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Ripon and Studley Royal

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Ripon and Studley Royal
Author: DWY, Published: 05 Oct 2016 Walk rating : Rating:star0 Ripon and Studley Royal Walking Guide star0 Ripon and Studley Royal Walking Guide star0 Ripon and Studley Royal Walking Guide star0 Ripon and Studley Royal Walking Guide star0 Ripon and Studley Royal Walking Guide
North Yorkshire, Ripon
Walk Type: River or lakeside
Ripon and Studley Royal
Length: 7 miles,  Difficulty: boot Ripon and Studley Royal Walking Guide boot Ripon and Studley Royal Walking Guide
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A 7 mile circular walk from the cathedral city of Ripon in North Yorkshire. This walk from the centre of the city is ideal if your dog likes a good paddle or a swim, as there are many opportunities to get wet along the way! The enclosed paths provide safe off-lead opportunities for well-behaved pooches and Studley Royal Park with its Water Garden is not to be missed.

The terrain is fairly easy, mostly on green or gravel, easily navigable flat paths. There are no stiles on the route, just some gates and several flights of steps. Whilst most of the route is livestock-free, you will encounter deer in Studley Royal Park and one of the fields may be holding cattle. Many stretches of path are enclosed allowing plenty of off-lead time for well-behaved dogs and there are plenty of canine paddling and swimming opportunities on the way back from the lake. June to August is fawning season at Studley Royal Park, so dogs must be on a lead around that time. Allow 3 hours.

The walk starts and finishes at the main entrance to Ripon Cathedral. Ripon is on the A61 between Harrogate and the A1 (M) near Thirsk. Alternatively, leave the A1 (M) further south and take the B6265 Boroughbridge Road past the racecourse and into the city. The No 142 and 143 bus (operated by Eddie Brown) connect York, Boroughbridge and Ripon. From Northallerton and Thirsk, the No 70 bus (operated by Dales and District) runs to Ripon as does the No 70 bus from Leeds and Harrogate, (operated by Transdev). If you are coming by car, there are several choices of pay and display car parks in Ripon. Approximate post code HG4 1QT.

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Walk Sections

Start to Roundabout
Start to Roundabout

Start point: 54.1351 lat, -1.5212 long
End point: 54.1343 lat, -1.54 long

From the main entrance to Ripon Cathedral in the centre of the city, walk down Bedern Bank and turn left at the roundabout. Head over the bridge crossing the River Skell, then take an immediate left turn down a flight of steps to the concrete path on the river bank. Turn left and head along the path under the bridge. Continue along the path to the road at Bondgate Bridge. Cross the road and make for the gap on the other side to continue on the path with the river once again to the right.

At the next bridge head for the pavement next to Williamson Drive. After a short while, pass through the gap in the stone wall near a dog-waste bin and follow the path under the next bridge – close to the river. With a children’s play area ahead, turn left towards some steps back up to the road then continue along the pavement for a short distance to the entrance to Borrage Green Lane – on the right.

Continue along Borrage Green Lane, soon passing another dog-waste bin. As the path becomes greener, the river is re-joined once again through the trees to the right – and weather permitting there are definite paddling and swimming opportunities here.

Cross the river at a waymarked footbridge and head along a concrete path at the edge of a park – now with the river on the left. There is another dog-waste bin here. Climb a flight of concrete steps and turn left, and then continue along the pavement next to a road following a line of trees on the left – also passing a weir.

Roundabout to Studley Royal
Roundabout to Studley Royal

Start point: 54.1343 lat, -1.54 long
End point: 54.1256 lat, -1.5618 long

At the roundabout, turn left following the sign to Fountains Abbey, before crossing the road straight away to use the pavement on the other side.

Near the entrance to a caravan park, the road bends to the right. At this point, look for a public footpath sign for Studley Roger and Fountains Abbey on the other side of the road. Cross the road then pass through the kissing gate onto a path enclosed on each side by hedges. At the crossroads of paths keep straight ahead. This route is easy to navigate and, being enclosed, is safe for well-behaved dogs to be let off the lead.

After passing through a wooden kissing gate, the path passes by some houses before reaching a road in Studley Roger village. Cross the road and head between two more houses along an inclined lane following a public footpath sign. After a short while, the now flat gravel path becomes bordered on each side by wire and post fences as it heads towards a tall wooden gate with a hook-lock. This marks the entrance to Studley Royal.

Studley Royal to Open Field
Studley Royal to Open Field

Start point: 54.1256 lat, -1.5618 long
End point: 54.1136 lat, -1.5535 long

Pass through the gate, taking care to read any warning signs about the fawning season for deer (June to August) – and ensuring dogs are on short leads as appropriate. Head diagonally left along the grassy cut path before joining the tree-lined lane heading towards an obelisk.

The water garden at Studley Royal dates from 1718 and is one of the best surviving examples of a Georgian water garden in England. The garden’s elegant ornamental lakes, canals, temples and cascades provide interest as you pass through this picturesque area. The medieval deer park is home to 500 deer and a wealth of flora and fauna.

With the monument straight in front, head along the lane then turn left towards the lakeside car park. With the lake coming into view through the trees, bear left on to a path towards its left hand edge. Cross the wooden footbridge next to a weir and follow the path round before taking the left fork towards a stone footbridge. There are plenty of paddling opportunities on this section as the path continually crosses the stream using stone footbridges. Keep to the path as it follows the stream and eventually head through a metal gate within a stone wall to leave Studley Royal Park.

Look out for a waymarked footbridge, approached by a few concrete steps on the right. Cross the stream one last time and head into the trees, following the path round to the right and passing a ford to the left. At a crossroads of paths take a sharp left, following a blue waymarker. After a short while follow another waymarker through a wooden gate out of the trees and into a field.

Open Field to Path Through Trees
Open Field to Path Through Trees

Start point: 54.1136 lat, -1.5535 long
End point: 54.1242 lat, -1.5428 long

Follow the grassy path as it bears left following the line of trees through the field – ignoring the metal gate and keeping to the left of it.

At the end of the field, pass through a gate and turn left on to a lane following a blue waymarker. Follow the quiet lane past Whitcliffe Hall Farm and Whitcliffe Grange Livery – enjoying panoramic views along the way including Ripon Cathedral and the city itself. At the end of the lane (where there is another dog-waste bin), cross over the road and turn left along the pavement at the edge of a residential area. After a short while, cross back over the road and head along a lane near a sign for Hell Wath Grove (don’t go right) – passing some football pitches on the right.

Ahead is a waymarked wooden gate with a dog-waste bin. Do not pass through the gate, instead turn right and head along a path through the trees.

Path Through Trees to End
Path Through Trees to End

Start point: 54.1242 lat, -1.5428 long
End point: 54.1354 lat, -1.5209 long

Continue ahead on the path through a field – where the River Skell can be heard on the left, and stay ahead at the next fork keeping the trees to the left. Follow the path as it heads up a flight of wooden steps before dropping down to the River Skell again using some concrete steps – once again paddling and swimming opportunities here are plentiful!

When the fun is over, continue along the riverside path past the footbridge crossed earlier in the walk. From this point you will be retracing your steps back to the start. Head back along Borrage Green Lane and the riverside paths to the start by the entrance to Ripon Cathedral.

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Text and images for this walk are Copyright © 2016 by the author DWY and may not be reproduced without permission.


The information in this guide has been provided in good faith and is intended only as a guide, not a statement of fact. You are advised to check the accuracy of the information provided and should not use this guide for navigational directions nor should you rely on the accuracy of the weather forecast. You are advised to take appropriate clothing, footwear, equipment and navigational materials with you according to the current and possible weather and nature of the terrain. Always follow the country code and follow any additional warnings or instructions that may be available. Some walks may be very strenuous and you are advised to seek medical advice if you have any doubts as to your capability to complete the walk.

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