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Stamford Bridge and the River Derwent

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Stamford Bridge and the River Derwent
Author: clairesharpuk, Published: 12 May 2014 Walk rating : Rating:star1 Stamford Bridge and the River Derwent Walking Guidestar1 Stamford Bridge and the River Derwent Walking Guidestar1 Stamford Bridge and the River Derwent Walking Guidestar1 Stamford Bridge and the River Derwent Walking Guidestar0 Stamford Bridge and the River Derwent Walking Guide
East Yorkshire, Stamford Bridge
Walk Type: River or lakeside
Stamford Bridge and the River Derwent
Length: 4 miles,  Difficulty: boot Stamford Bridge and the River Derwent Walking Guide boot Stamford Bridge and the River Derwent Walking Guide
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A 3.5 mile circular walk from the historic village of Stamford Bridge in the East Riding of Yorkshire. You’ll have chance to explore the history of the village including the site of the Battle of Stamford Bridge and the old rail line, plus a long peaceful stretch alongside the idyllic River Derwent.

The walk is almost entirely flat, some of the paths being fairly narrow and muddy/slippery after wet weather. There are no stiles on route, just several kissing gates and a squeeze gap to negotiate. Two of the fields you cross may be holding cattle so take care with dogs. About one mile of the route follows a quiet country lane which doesn’t have pavements so take care of traffic on this stretch. Approximate time 1.5 hours.

Stamford Bridge is located about 7 miles east of York on the A166. The walk starts and finishes from the free public car park on Viking Road, close to its junction with the main A166 (just to the south of the bridge). Approximate post code YO41 1BS.

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Walk Sections

Start to Path Between Hedgerows
Start to Path Between Hedgerows

Start point: 53.9908 lat, -0.9159 long
End point: 53.9853 lat, -0.9253 long

From the Viking Road car park, make your way back towards the vehicle entrance and, just before the road, turn left onto the footpath signed to Low Catton. Follow this path up onto the grass embankment and swinging round to a kissing gate. Pass through this and continue ahead on the path with the River Derwent down to the right.

The river rises in the North York Moors then flows in a loop heading south and then west to merge with the River Ouse before flowing into the Humber Estuary. The river is known for its purity of water and is home to a diverse range of flora and fauna. It has a healthy population of fish as well as being home to the rarer otter, water vole and kingfisher.

Keep straight ahead on the path which leads you under the impressive old rail viaduct (you’ll be walking over this later in the walk). Continue ahead on the riverside path and a footbridge and kissing gate lead you into the next large open field (which may be holding livestock). Walk the length of this field staying close to the river on the right.

At the end of the field, pass through the next gate into a smaller pasture. Cross this pasture diagonally left and the gate at the opposite side will lead you into an enclosed path between hedgerows.

Path Between Hedgerows to Church Lane
Path Between Hedgerows to Church Lane

Start point: 53.9853 lat, -0.9253 long
End point: 53.9763 lat, -0.9255 long

Follow this fenced path between the ancient hedgerows, packed with sloe and hawthorn bushes. At the end of the path a wooden footbridge will lead you to the corner of a crop field. Keep right following the path along the bottom edge of the field.

After crossing the bottom of two fields, the path continues ahead with a small belt of woodland now on the left. A little further along pass through the next kissing gate and continue on the path which runs though the centre of a plantation of pine trees. Pass through the next gate and continue on the straight fenced path which passes through some private landscaped grounds. The final kissing gate leads you out to the village road, Church Lane within Lower Catton, with the beautiful Old Rectory on the right.

Church Lane to Old Station
Church Lane to Old Station

Start point: 53.9763 lat, -0.9255 long
End point: 53.9881 lat, -0.9149 long

Turn left along the lane, taking care of any occasional traffic. Continue past the national speed limit signs to leave the village and, a little further along, take the first road on the left signed to Stamford Bridge.

Follow this quiet country lane for some distance, taking care of any traffic and using the grass verges for your safety when possible. Take time to enjoy the expansive views across the fields and the hills to the right. Some way along you’ll pass the village allotments and then some playing fields both on the right.

Keep straight ahead to join the pavement on the main road into Stamford Bridge. Follow the road, Low Catton Road, all the way to the T-junction. Turn left and, after just a few yards, you’ll see some old level crossing gates on the left, marking the old station.

Old Station to End
Old Station to End

Start point: 53.9881 lat, -0.9149 long
End point: 53.9909 lat, -0.9158 long

Turn left onto the footpath/cycleway which follows the line of the old railway. You’ll pass between platforms each side with the old station and the old engine shed on the right. The station was opened in 1847 on the York to Pickering Line. The line was closed in 1965. Today the station building is a club for local residents and the engine shed is a sports hall.

Keep ahead through the metal squeeze to cross the viaduct over the river (the one you passed under earlier). As you reach the centre of the viaduct, take a moment to enjoy the great views each way along the River Derwent. Keep ahead on the path as it passes between lines of hedgerow. As you draw level with a bench on the left (with open fields to the right), turn right down the steps and keep right again on the stone path heading back towards the river.

Follow the path past a picnic bench and then swinging left to run alongside the River Derwent, now on the right. Pass through the kissing gate and continue on the riverside path heading for the stone bridge of Stamford Bridge visible ahead.

The name Stamford Bridge derives from the term for a bridge over a stone ford. The village is most famous for the Battle of Stamford Bridge in 1066 when King Harold of England and his army defeated the army of King Hardraada of Norway, thus ending the Viking’s claim to the English throne. At the time the bridge was a narrow wooden structure and it was defended on the north side by a giant Norseman who slaughtered all who tried to cross. A crafty Englishman then paddled under the bridge in a boat and slaughtered the Norseman from below. This was the turning point in the battle as the English army surged over the bridge and defeated the Norse army.

As you approach the bridge, keep left though the flood gates and pair of kissing gates to reach the road. Cross over the road with care (it is best to wait to the traffic lights to stop the traffic) and turn right along the opposite pavement. Keep ahead over the pedestrian footbridge which gives you great views of the old stone vehicle bridge which dates from 1727. At the far side you’ll see Viking Road ahead, where the walk began. It is safest to reach this using the pedestrian crossing, so follow the road round to the left, cross over at the crossing and turn right back to Viking Road.

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