I was in Leeds for a few days. My son recommended this varied walk - I inadvertently extended it a bit, but wouldn't recommend trying to walk along the busy A61, between mile 4 and 5 on the map. About 6 and a half miles.
There is just about a walkable verge all the way, but it's noisy, and a bit dodgy in a couple of places. Another time, I would turn back and find the proper route!
Just after the turning to Harewood House on the A61, there is a left turn along a small road. I started my walk with a cup of coffee in the Muddy Boots Café, which is in the village hall.
After this the road is private as far as motor vehicles are concerned, and it hugs the walls of the Harewood grounds.
According to the OS map there is a church on the other side of the wall, but it seems well hidden among the trees. I couldn't see it even with a short detour up the track to the left.
There was a herd of deer, and the stags were in good voice. Buzzards and red kites were around too. Soon after the field where the deer are, the route turns left, following the contours round the hill. The path so far has been following the Ebor Way, and continues to do this for about another mile, through the farmyard called Stank on the map, across the stream from the Fish Pond. It continues up hill slightly past some more buildings, and at Stub House plantation, You should turn left along the Leeds Country Way.The leaves were just beginning to show their autumn colours
|View of the Fish Pond from the path along the side of woodland, heading for Stub House plantation.|
I managed to miss the turn and continued heading south - this takes you past the area used to film Emmerdale - as shown by various signs on gates:
I met an Irish couple who were in Yorkshire to see the 'real' Emmerdale.
I walked blithely on, following an easy path, not realising how far out of the way I had wandered until I came to the road to Eccup Reservoir. I couldn't see any rights of way to walk back and decided not to risk the other footpaths. Retracing my steps goes against the grain! The walk to the reservoir past Owlet Hall and across the dam is fine, and another time I might continue right round the reservoir.
Instead I walked for about a mile along the A61 - there is a verge, but it is not by any means pleasant. I joined it near Millfield Farm, went past Wikefield Farm entrance, and passed the minor road to Wike. This would be another alternative route! The short busy stretch between the two roads leading to Wike is not good for walking - you need to keep ears and eyes working the whole time.
At last I reached the second road to Wike, and opposite this I joined the Leeds Country Way.
|Harewood House from the Leeds Country Way|
Just after is a turn to the right along a very pleasant wooded permissive path, almost parallel to the main road.The path emerges on to the main road just after a derelict house very close to the Harewood House entrance.