Walk: Family orientated route in wonderful woodland

A map of the route. Walk courtesy of The Walking Englishman
A map of the route. Walk courtesy of The Walking Englishman

It is a gem of a walk for lovers of woodland and parkland.

Start by walking along Harlow Moor Road to the offices and filling plant of Harrogate Spa Water, enjoying a last chance to enjoy the glorious autumnal colours of the trees before winter’s arrival.

Walking through the woods and along the paths, the low autumn sun glints through the trees and the thinning leaves of the deciduous types cast a sublime colour deep into what in high summer will be a darker place.

Walking on the crunch of recent fallen leaves heightens the enjoyment of the walk and with the thinning comes a deeper appreciation of the intricate shapes and entwining of overhead branches.

Families would love this walk and the youngsters wouldn’t be bored.

Another delight of walking in woodland is listening for the sounds of animals and birds scurrying about or taking their leave when people approach.

As you walk, you may see magpies, crows, grey squirrels, starlings and sparrows amid the Scots pine, birch, holly, oak, rowan, beech, sycamore, alder, hornbeam, hawthorne, whitebeam, yew, spruce and larch.

After wandering in the deep woodland for about 45 minutes, you emerge into the light of Valley Gardens where the larger trees, unrestricted by close neighbours, stand in glory.

Here, horse chestnut also join in the serenity of the scene and many conkers can be found.

The horse chestnut leaves turn a lovely russet shade, always attractive as the leaves give up their summer green.

Standing close by the horse chestnut are evergreens, remaining defiantly green to the darkening days and longer nights.

Soon you will have meandered across Valley Gardens. Walk along Harlow Moor Drive and then homebound on Harlow Moor Road.