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Great Ouseburn Circular

Starting point  and OS Grid reference:

Free car park at Great Ouseburn village hall. (SE 446621)

Ordnance Survey Map
OS 299 - Ripon and Boroughbridge

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Distance:  7.2 miles Date of Walk:  12 December 2019


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399ft (121m)
399ft (121m)

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 Click the PDF logo above to give a printable version of this walk without the photos.

Great Ouseburn circular walk sketch map

To view route as a dynamic Ordnance Survey map click here.

Introduction: This easy walk from Great Ouseburn is a circular route across relatively flat countryside. It takes you through Great Ouseburn itself, Little Ouseburn, the curiously named Marton-cum-Grafton and Upper Dunsforth.

Great Ouseburn, Little Ouseburn and Marton-cum-Grafton are conservation areas and looking at the age of some of the buildings and varied architecture it is easy to see why. The route takes you along the entire main street of Great Ouseburn, starting with the Millennium Seat with its curious boulder said to have been on the village green for centuries and gives a real appreciation of the architecture.

The route also passes the impressive Moat Hall at Little Ouseburn. It is possible this was constructed on the foundations of a Roman house but certainly its origins can be traced back to the 17th Century but with numerous additions and alterations since.

You will pass Holy Trinity church at Little Ouseburn which is worth a look, if only to see the huge ashlar stone, circular mausoleum, built for Henry Thompson of nearby Kirby Hall who died in 1760.

The route passes the Punch Bowl Inn at Marton-cum-Grafton. This dates fro the 16th century and is a cosy pub. I can vouch for the quality of its food and real ale on the basis of my visit!

You then come to Grafton Hill, where there is a trig. point. This was once the site of an Iron Age Hill Fort and is a Scheduled Monument. Unfortunately it has been badly affected by various quarrying and landscape changes over the years but you can still get a sense of its ditch at one side. As you pass the water tower, there are good views to the North York Moors and the White Horse at Kilburn can be made out.

The walk starts from the village hall in Great Ouseburn where there is a large car park. To get there, turn east off the B6265, about four miles south of Boroughbridge. The village hall is a fairly unmistakable modern building at the north end of the village.

Start: Exit the car park and turn left down the main street. Immediately you see the Millennium Seat with its large boulder. An inscription reads “Have More Care To Stay Than Will To Go”.

Millennium Seat at Great Ouseburn

Follow the road out of the village, crossing the beck via a footbridge alongside the road bridge.

River and foot bridges at Little Ouseburn

Holy Trinity Church, Little Ouseburn

The Thompson Mausoleum in the churchyard at Little Ouseburn

Continue along the road and just past Moat Hall, turn right through a kissing gate (SE 452610). Cross the field and at the road, turn right passing the village hall.

Moat Hall, Little Ouseburn

Village Hall, Little Ouseburn

Turn right up Back Lane, opposite the house “The Forge”.

Follow the lane along and the rough track which continues it, to the far side of the first field. Follow the track round to the left, keeping the hedge on your right.

At the road, cross straight over along the broad track towards Lylands Farm, in the direction of an old style, metal public footpath marker.

Countryside view on outskirts of Little Ouseburn

Just before the farm’s gate, turn right into the field following the public footpath fingerpost for “Moor Lane ½ mile” (SE 427603).

Follow the right hand boundary and at the corner, branch off left slightly to a gate opposite with a yellow arrow.

In the two fields beyond the gate, follow the right hand boundaries. At the end of the second field, join a broad tarmac track and turn right (SE 424610). On the day I dad the walk, this point was marred by the most appalling dump of mixed rubbish!

Continue along the track for a quarter of a mile. The next turn has little to recognise as it is merely a gap in the hedge. Look out for a farm across a couple of fields to the left (Grassgills). Turn off through the gap, just before a slight bend in the track which to this point has been straight. Head initially, for the right hand corner of a wood.

At the corner of the wood, follow the track as it bears right to the farm.

As you enter the farmyard, keep straight ahead between the buildings, to the far side of the field beyond.

The continuation of the route means finding the stile, which is well hidden behind the hedge (SE 421623)! Go through a gap then immediately left to find it. If you have kept a straight line from the farm you should find it.

In the field beyond the stile, follow the left hand boundary to the far side where a dog-leg right then left takes you through a gateway.

Follow the obvious track to the road. Go straight across and along Reas Lane into Marton. At the junction by the telephone box, turn right.

Christ Church, Marton-cum-Grafton

Punch Bowl Pub, Marton-cum-Grafton

To the right of the Punch Bowl pub, turn right, following a public footpath fingerpost for “Grafton via Playing Fields.

Follow the path down to a kissing gate where there are several paths. Keep straight ahead up more steps, to the left of the fence.

At the top of the steps at a cross roads of paths, keep straight ahead.

The path leads to the trig point which is up steps on the left (SE 421632). Return from the trig point, at the bottom of the steps circle clockwise round the water tower.

View over playing fields at Grafton

Trig point and steps at Grafton

Water tower at Grafton

At a cross roads of paths just beyond the water tower is a public footpath fingerpost, indicating a route across the field. However based on evidence on the ground, the convention here is obviously to follow a well worn track down the right hand side of the hedge to the road. This will avoid damaging any crops and is marginally shorter than taking the “official” route.

View to the North York Moors

The White Horse at Kilburn

At the road (B6265) cross straight over and down the single track road.

In less than a quarter of a mile, just after a passing place, take a broad track on the right to Hundayfield Cottages.

Pass the cottages and at the farm, go between the first two buildings and on reaching the centre of the complex, turn left.

Once through the farm, follow the left hand boundary of the field. Almost at the end of the field, come to a gate on the left. Go through it and turn immediately right.

Go through a gate opposite in the next field then bear right at about 45° to a gate at the corner of fencing. Through this, follow the obvious track straight ahead.

The track emerges into a road. Turn right to walk through Upper Dunsford. At the ‘T’ road junction, cross to follow the obvious path in a straight line across the field opposite, which returns you to Great Ouseburn village hall.

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All information on this site is given in good faith and no liability is accepted in respect of any damage, loss or injury which might result from acting on it.