A super walk found so close to Harrogate, this five mile journey takes you to a picturesque small castle and then on a beck-side walk past some very interesting sculptured gritstone outcrops.
Follifoot and Spofforth are two popular commuter villages for Leeds and Harrogate that have managed to retain community charm.
Follifoot in particular is a joy to visit in its secluded location south of Harrogate.
The walk begins in isolated Follifoot, a village which has retained all its rural charm.
However, it is definitely a commuter belt village for Leeds and Harrogate.
A good place to park your car is opposite the Post Office.
You leave the village by a footpath sign pointing west from the main road, past the narrow band of houses, then south and east again to Horse Pond Beck.
After crossing diminutive Horse Pond Beck you will edge around fields to cross the dismantled Harrogate to Tadcaster railway.
After that, continue south across another field to Haggs Road.
At Haggs Road, you will come across the only real drawback to the walk – there’s a 400-metre stroll alongside the road.
After this section there’s a good walk ahead down to Lodge Wood which protects a small pond.
Ducks and other wildlife can be seen around the pond on a regular basis.
Travelling east you start walking alongside and through Spofforth Golf Course along well manicured avenues to the village of Spofforth.
You arrive in Spofforth by walking underneath one of the arches of Manor Bridge that once allowed the Harrogate and Tadcaster trains over it.
As soon as you are underneath the arches you will be standing in front of the magnificent ruins of Spofforth Castle.
It’s not exactly a castle but a large manor house. The remains are impressive indeed, especially the tower structure.
It will not be the longest exploration of a ruined English Heritage site if you take a look around but it is delightful.
You then leave the castle and walk through Spofforth to Crimple Beck via Mill Farm.
Mill Farm has now been converted into a home.
After Mill Farm you start the walk back to Follifoot along Crimple Beck, or River Crimple.
Following the social history of Spofforth Castle you will encounter some amazing geological history at Hell Hole and then beyond to Braham Hall.
There are a group of grit stone obelisks with superb chishelled shapes.
The millstone grit formations are sentinels of Plumpton Rocks to the north and east and their amazing shapes are likely draw you from the beck side to take a good look at them.
The captivation with the sights is likely to make the walk seem much shorter and before you know it you will be at the roadside for the journey back into Follifoot.