Walk: Past ancient meadows from Kirkby Malzeard to Grewelthorpe
This walk links Grewelthorpe and Kirkby Malzeard. There are some facilities in both villages but check opening times.
Stick to the green line – the pink line marks the route I had planned but which was impassable. The walk requires wellies as it is pretty wet in places.
Park on the main street in Kirkby Malzeard and walk past a new post box into the back lane. Go past the public footpath sign on your left to a public bridleway sign a few steps further on and take this.
Very soon this bridleway branches left on to an old track which leads between two mature hedges.
Follow the path up to a stream, there is a stile and a footbridge here beside a ford. The path continues, clearly marked, through a series of well-maintained metal gates into, and through, Holmes Farm and emerges into a large pasture with sheep and lambs.
Cross this pasture to a gate and note this point because you will pass here again later on the bottom loop of the walk. Go through the metal gate onto a boggy track. There is wild watercress growing here.
When you emerge onto a muddy track, turn right and follow the gently rising ground to the steading of Foulgate Farm where you meet the tarmac road. Bear right and, passing and ignoring a footpath sign on your right, take the footpath sign to the left through the farm buildings. This is another working farm so please keep dogs on a lead and leave gates as you find them.
The path leads along a clear track over Grewelthorpe Moor. This is a beautiful expanse of ancient grassland and here you will see unusual species of wildflowers. There is yarrow and vetch, and I suspect yellow rattle in the near future. It is a rich pasture made beautiful by the variety of colours,.
There are spectacular far reaching views over to the right and new planting of native woodland. The path is well marked and eventually you emerge over a stone stile onto Hutts Lane. Here there is the Himalayan Garden open in May and June and also briefly in the autumn.
Turn right down Hutts Lane towards Grewelthorpe. I had hoped to go down the Grewelthorpe road and follow the route marked in pink on the map. This was a sad disappointment.
The waymarkers are missing and the stiles were either overgrown or topped with barbed wire. I have reported it to the North Yorkshire County Council Access Officer but it does illustrate that if we don’t use our footpaths they disappear.
So I recommend turning right at the bottom of Hutts Lane and follow the narrow ‘No Through Road’ back to Foulgate Farm. As you approach the steading there is a bridleway sign on your left. Follow this down the lovely grassy field to where the fence becomes a wall and then, keeping the wall on your right, walk down until you reach the gate and the watercress you saw earlier.
Do not take the path you followed previously but continue down the field to the beck and turn left along the side of it to a ford. Cross here and follow the clearly marked bridle way to a point where a footpath crosses it.
I tried the footpath to the Ringbeck marked in red on the map, but it is impassable, a real pity as it is a very pretty route but not worth the effort. Hopefully North Yorkshire will sort it out and we can all enjoy that path soon.
So keep on the bridleway toward the farm, go round the back, keeping the buildings on your left hand side and emerge onto a track which leads down to Kirk Bank Lane. Turn left back to the village.