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South Stainley Circular 

Starting point  and OS Grid reference:

South Stainley – Church car park – honesty box (SE 306632)

Ordnance Survey Map

OS Explorer 299 – Ripon & Boroughbridge.

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Distance: 6.3 miles

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

Walk from South Stainley sketch map

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

Introduction: This is an easy walk, almost entirely along well defined tracks. It is ideal for the short winter days. There are good views across to the North York Moors, including the Kilburn White Horse and to the west on the homeward section.

The walk takes in the attractive villages of Copgrove, Burton Leonard and South Stainley itself, with their equally attractive churches. Burton Leonard especially is very picturesque with its village green areas and the opportunity for refreshment at the Royal Oak. – check opening times.

St Michael and All Saints church at Copgrove has a useful seat for a picnic lunch and there is another bench in the village on a grassy area on Mongahs Lane in Copgrove.

The walk starts from the church car park at South Stainley. This parking is available for public use except before 11.00am on a Sunday. There is an honesty box and I urge anyone using the car park to make a donation to encourage retention of the facility. To get to the car park, turn east off the A61 at South Stainley, about 5½ miles north of the centre of Harrogate. The junction is not signposted. You need to turn down the right hand side of the The Inn. Follow the road through the village and the car park is opposite the church.

Start: From the car park (SE 306632), facing the church, turn right to walk along the broad tarmac track, in the direction of the “Public Bridleway” fingerpost. You immediately pass a sign to show you are entering Mountgarret Estates land.

St Wilfreds Church South Stainley

When the track splits, the left hand arm indicated as a private road to Stainley Hall Farmhouse, turn right over the bridge. Stay on the main track, passing the old drive to Stainley Hall Farmhouse which goes through two significant gateposts in the field to your left.

Stainley Hall farmhouse

Go through a gate, ignoring the right turn (SE 313626). The track climbs very gently through the woods. You soon leave the trees to walk between open fields. At a ‘T’ junction, where there is an old stone milepost, turn left to follow the blue bridleway arrow (SE 316622). This track is shown as Raikes Lane on the OS map.

Old milepost at Raikes Lane

Autumn in Raikes Lane

Pass the end of a lane with a cattle grid (SE 323625), descending to farm buildings with red tiled roofs (Limekiln Lane on the OS map). Although a sign indicates the public bridleway heads down here, ignore this and keep straight ahead. You soon go over another cattle grid where there is another “Public Bridleway” fingerpost. Follow its direction straight ahead.

The track crosses open fields and you will see Robert Beck to the left.

After passing a steel barrier, the track becomes hedged and you are following the course of two sets of powerlines. After a few hundred yards, the track curves right leaving the power lines behind.

Pass under another two sets of powerlines, before descending to a wooded area. You arrive at a ‘T’ junction in the trees next to a ford with concrete over wide pipes (SE 3376628). Turn right here, following the old style metal public bridleway sign.

The track climbs gently past a wood on the left. At the end of the wood, after passing under powerlines again, turn left off what is now a tarmac track, through a gate to walk alongside another side of the same woods (SE 338626). The gate is not marked but it is the only one so easy to spot. The track passes between hedgerows.

Follow this track to the road where you turn right into Copgrove (SE 343630). Before continuing however, it is worth turning left for 50 yards or so to the bridge, for a look along the length of the lake in front of the Hall.

Lake at Copgrove

Follow the road into Copgrove. There can be quite a bit of traffic on this stretch, including some heavy lorries. However, there are wide verges to keep you out of harms way and you are only on it for ¼ mile. Stay on the main road as you pass the old gatehouse, following the road sign for “Stavely 1½  Boroughbridge 5 miles”.

When the main road bends right (SE 346633), turn left along Mongahs Lane. Before doing so however, you might like to view St Michael and All Angels church on the corner or avail yourself of the bench in the churchyard for your picnic. Alternatively you will soon pass another bench on a grassy area on Mongahs Lane.

St Michael and All Saints church Copgrove

Follow Mongahs Lane and not far past the bench, turn left, then almost immediately right by the electricity transformer, to follow the footpath between the houses. As the track bends left, go straight ahead to follow the yellow footpath arrow to the left of Newholme Cottage. Cross a stile into a field and keep straight ahead as the field descends to trees, where the route goes anti-clockwise around the right hand end of them.

By the trees, cross a stile on to a broad track and turn left.

As the track bends right to barns, go over the stile straight ahead on the bend and walk down the right hand side of the stream a few yards to a footbridge (SE 346639). Cross this and keep straight ahead to follow the broad track, rising slightly to the right of the woods.

Follow the track as it curves to the right and it is along this section, as the land drops away to the right where there are good views across to the North York Moors. If the weather is clear you should be able to make out the White Horse at Kilburn.

View towards North York Moors

Kilburn White Horse

Cross a cattle grid (or use the stile) keeping straight ahead and ignoring the footpath off to the right. Also ignore a track off to the left on a right hand bend.

At the road (SE 335641), turn left and go straight over at the crossroads into Burton Leonard, along Mill Lane.

Pass St Leonard’s Church, the village green with its shelter and village pump and climb the slight hill. On the green to the left are a couple of large trees with circular seats around them. Turn left along Scarah Lane. Look out for white painted Prospect House on the left and opposite this, turn right following the “Public Footpath” fingerpost (SE 325637).

St Leonards Church Burton Leonard

Burton Leonard centre

Burton Leonard

As the field descends, there are good views to the south-west.

View SW from Burton Leonard

The path passes through Jackson’s Wood. When the track curves left and a sign indicates no public right of way, turn right on the bend to follow the public footpath arrow. The path opens into a field. Head for the diagonally opposite corner.

Jacksons Wood track

At the corner, go through the gap in the hedge and bear round to the right on a broad track. Follow the track as it meanders through the fields. After crossing a level field, along its right hand boundary, the track turns sharp left and there is again a sign indicating no right of way. Go straight ahead (i.e. do not go round the bend) heading towards some woods. The path goes over a stile at the right hand end of the woods, and follows the edge of them. At the next corner of the woods, go over another stile and follow the right hand field boundary.

You come in sight of South Stainley Church. Follow the left hand boundary wall of the churchyard back to the car park.

If you need to buy any hiking equipment/clothing before your trip see the Hiking Store

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.