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Swinton Estate Trails: Swinton Park to Swinton Bivouac

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Swinton Estate Trails: Swinton Park to Swinton Bivouac
Author: Swinton Estate, Published: 01 Sep 2018 Walk Rating:star1 iFootpath - walking guides and directions for the UK - iFootpathstar1 iFootpath - walking guides and directions for the UK - iFootpathstar1 iFootpath - walking guides and directions for the UK - iFootpathstar1 iFootpath - walking guides and directions for the UK - iFootpathstar0 iFootpath - walking guides and directions for the UK - iFootpath
North Yorkshire, Nidderdale
Walk Type: Footpaths and byways
Swinton Estate Trails: Swinton Park to Swinton Bivouac
Length: 3 miles,  Difficulty: boot iFootpath - walking guides and directions for the UK - iFootpath boot iFootpath - walking guides and directions for the UK - iFootpath boot iFootpath - walking guides and directions for the UK - iFootpath
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NOTE: The initial part of this walk is through parkland which is open every day from 10am to dusk and ENTRANCE FEES APPLY (see below). Earlier access is available by arrangement.

A 5km (3 mile) linear or 10km (6 mile) ‘there-and-back’ walk from Swinton Park to Swinton Bivouac within Swinton Estate in North Yorkshire. NOTE: The reverse version of this walk (Bivouac to Park) is available as a separate guide on iFootpath. In this direction, the walk leads you from Swinton Park (home to the hotel and Terrace bar) to Swinton Bivouac (home to the tree lodges, yurts and Bistro cafe). Along the way you will discover Swinton Park (with its beautiful walled garden, deer park and lakes), a wild stretch of path alongside Sole Beck, the ruins of Lobley Hall and several rolling grass pastures that lead you up to the Bivouac site. This walk is part of the Swinton Estate Trails collection, published through a collaboration between iFootpath and Swinton Estate to encourage people to discover the 20,000 acre Estate with varying terrain such as woodland, reservoirs, moorland, gardens and parkland.

The route follows permissive paths within Swinton Park (provided with permission of Swinton Estate) plus public footpaths on the wider estate. Entrance Fees apply (£5 per adult and £2.50 per child in 2019). The walk has several climbs and descents throughout, including a couple of fairly steep sections. Whilst most of the walk is on well-made paths and open pastures, there is one stretch of streamside path which is rocky underfoot, can be overgrown with bracken and includes a couple of very short but sharp scrambles (where hands may be needed). You will need to negotiate kissing gates, steps plus 5 fence stiles (there are some makeshift dog gaps alongside, but you may need to give your dog a lift). The walk crosses several pastures that may be holding sheep and cattle. Swinton Estate welcomes visiting walkers (and canine companions) but please remember the usual countryside code rules; take your litter home with you, keep dogs under close control and be careful to shut any gates behind you. Allow 1.5 hours (each way).

There are plenty of options when it comes to facilities. At the start of your walk you will find The Terrace Bar and Restaurant (the bar area is dog-friendly, there is a beautiful courtyard garden and walkers will receive a warm welcome). At the end of the walk you will reach the Bistro Cafe at Swinton Bivouac (which is full-licensed and dog-friendly, providing breakfast, light bites or hearty Yorkshire meals).

If you are a visiting walker, please park in the Swinton Country Club and Spa car park. From Masham, head south on Park Street and then turn right into Swinton Terrace (which becomes Swinton Road). After about a mile, you will see a side road and the impressive stone gates for Swinton Park on your right. Do NOT enter these gates, instead turn right to follow the side road. Ignore two more gateways within the wall on your left (the first is Exit Only and the second is for Deliveries) and take the third gateway which leads you into the parking area for the Country Club and Spa. Approximate post code HG4 4JH.

Walk Sections

Start to Quarry Gates
Start to Quarry Gates

Start point: 54.2139 lat, -1.6773 long
End point: 54.2131 lat, -1.6968 long

Standing with your back to the road, walk straight ahead and down the steps to the main entrance of the Country Club and Spa. Once inside the lobby turn right immediately into the shop (rather than going into the Spa reception). Dogs are welcome on this route. At the shop counter you can purchase your entry ticket for the Parkland and continue through the shop to the door leading into the garden. You will need to put in an access code which will be on your pass.

Once you have gone through the door, turn left and up the ramp to the steps where you will enter the Walled Garden, with the flower meadow on your left. Follow the gravel path to reach a fingerpost. Turn right (signed to the Gardens and Play Area), leaving the main gravel path and going up a step to join the stone path between the vegetable beds.

You will come to a T-junction in the stone path. Turn left, heading to the wall, fork left to pass through the wall gap and then turn immediately right to follow the stone path leading you through the flower section of the garden. As you reach the top wall ahead, head diagonally right to exit the garden via the door (signed to the Parkland, Lakes and Spring Garden). You will see a play area and picnic site ahead. Turn left and follow the path to reach a small path T-junction. Turn left here to reach the next junction, with a gate on your left, a bench on your right and the fenced deer park directly ahead. Turn right at this junction.

Continue ahead with the deer park on your left. At the path junction, take the left-hand branch and follow this stone path passing Coffin Pond down to your right. At the next two junctions keep ahead, ignoring a sharp right side turn and then a left fork. The path leads you to a T-junction with Top Lake ahead. Turn right to continue with the lake on your left. Ignore the first right turn (signed for Dales View), pass through the stone alcove folly and, about 90 metres later, turn sharp right onto the side path signed for Quarry Loop. Follow this stone track leading you downhill to reach a pair of green gates within the parkland wall, Quarry Gates.

Quarry Gates to Lobley Hall
Quarry Gates to Lobley Hall

Start point: 54.2131 lat, -1.6968 long
End point: 54.2088 lat, -1.7095 long

Pass through the gates to reach the lane and, taking care of any traffic, turn right along this. At the road junction, turn left. After just a few paces, ignore the first footpath on the left, instead continue on the lane for about another 200 metres, to the point just before the road sign for a ford. Turn left here to join the signed public footpath to Ilton, passing through a small metal gate to enter a sheep pasture.

With your back to the gate, walk diagonally right up the slope and exit via the small gate in the top boundary. Walk directly ahead on the grass track leading you through a rough meadow. As you approach the stone wall at the far side, do NOT follow the main track swinging right, instead fork left to pass through a gateway in the stone wall. Follow the grass path now leading you ahead through a small belt of woodland.

The path leads you steadily downhill with the gully of Sole Beck down to your right. NOTE: This next stretch of route has challenging terrain and can be difficult to follow so take extra care. The path narrows and becomes less distinct as it heads into bracken, but simply continue with the beck down to your right. You will reach a fence with a yellow arrow waymarker ahead. Climb over this (using the rocks each side as steps). Dogs may be able to use the stone wall on the left to scramble around.

Just a few paces later, there is a sharp drop down (formed by an old tree) so be careful as you drop down to the next stretch of rocky path. Continue ahead, crossing a small stream to reach a stretch with Sole Beck immediately on your right. Just a few paces later, the path turns left to climb a steep bank and bears right along this, winding between gorse bushes to reach the next fence stile ahead. Cross this (there is a wire flap for dogs) and continue winding through the bracken. You will emerge to reach the corner of an old ruined stone farmhouse, Lobley Hall, on your left.

Lobley Hall to Lane
Lobley Hall to Lane

Start point: 54.2088 lat, -1.7095 long
End point: 54.2039 lat, -1.7162 long

The hall is a farmhouse that is thought to date to the late 1600s and is Grade II listed. With the Lobley Hall ruins on your left, go straight ahead to join the grass track, a welcome stretch of easier walking, with a stone wall running on your left. This grass track leads you to a wide metal gate ahead (with a yellow arrow).

Do NOT take this, instead bear left to continue on the grass track. Simply stay with this grass track winding ahead, with Sole Beck usually audible, and often visible, to your right. This track once formed the access drive for Lobley Hall. Eventually the track leads you over the beck, passes an old stone barn on your left and emerges to a lane via a farm gate.

Lane to End
Lane to End

Start point: 54.2039 lat, -1.7162 long
End point: 54.2037 lat, -1.7247 long

Turn left along the lane for just a few metres and then turn right to join the grass track (signed as a public footpath to Knowle Lane). As you reach the farm gate ahead, cross the stile alongside it (dogs may be able to use the fence gap to the left of the gate) to enter the large hillside pasture. Walk straight ahead on the grass track with a conifer plantation on your left.

The track climbs steadily and, as you reach the brow of the rise, you will be able to see the stone buildings of the Swinton Bivouac centre across to your right. At the end of this first field, go through the gate ahead and turn immediately right to join the grass path leading you uphill, with a stone wall on your right. Continue ahead, passing through a stone squeeze stile and along the right-hand edge of a second field to reach a stile with the Bivouac centre directly ahead.

Cross the stile (there is something of a dog gap at the fence corner to your left) and go straight ahead to follow the line of the buildings on your left. Climb the steps to reach the terrace for the Bistro Cafe, the perfect place for some well-earned hospitality.

(To return to the start of the walk, simply retrace your steps – if you need help with navigation, then follow the directions in the iFootpath walking guide called Swinton Bivouac to Swinton Park).

Remember...the best way of following our walking guides is to use the iFootpath App (iOS and Android) where you will have all the information in the palm of your hand and see your exact location on the live map as you travel. You can also add comments, photos, ratings and track your own routes.

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Text and images for this walk are Copyright © 2018 by iFootpath and the author swintonestate 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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8 Gallery Images for: "Swinton Estate Trails: Swinton Park to Swinton Bivouac"

11575_0swintonestate1536076871 iFootpath - walking guides and directions for the UK - iFootpath Image by: Swinton Estate
Uploaded: 04 Sep 2018
Towards the Terrace Bar
11575_1swintonestate1536076872 iFootpath - walking guides and directions for the UK - iFootpath Image by: Swinton Estate
Uploaded: 04 Sep 2018
The Terrace Bar
11575_2swintonestate1536076872 iFootpath - walking guides and directions for the UK - iFootpath Image by: Swinton Estate
Uploaded: 04 Sep 2018
The Walled Garden
11575_3swintonestate1536076872 iFootpath - walking guides and directions for the UK - iFootpath Image by: Swinton Estate
Uploaded: 04 Sep 2018
The Walled Garden
11575_4swintonestate1536076872 iFootpath - walking guides and directions for the UK - iFootpath Image by: Swinton Estate
Uploaded: 04 Sep 2018
The Walled Garden
11575_0swintonestate1536077161 iFootpath - walking guides and directions for the UK - iFootpath Image by: Swinton Estate
Uploaded: 04 Sep 2018
The Ruins of Lobley Hall
11575_1swintonestate1536077161 iFootpath - walking guides and directions for the UK - iFootpath Image by: Swinton Estate
Uploaded: 04 Sep 2018
The Bivouac play area
11575_2swintonestate1536077161 iFootpath - walking guides and directions for the UK - iFootpath Image by: Swinton Estate
Uploaded: 04 Sep 2018
The Bivouac Bistro and terrace

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