Start / End: Kirby Underdale
Distance: 3.69 miles
Time: 1 hour 45 mins
Map: OS 294
This is a lovely walk in the dales above Kirby Underdale for a frosty day, which is when Bill and I did it -BUT- I would advise saving it for after when t has been dry for a while, as it includes scaling a fence / dog paddling if wet!
1. Park on Painsthorpe Road outside All Saints Church Kirby Underdale, making sure that you are well off the road. Take the footpath into the churchyard and follow it around the back of the church to the far-right hand corner, where you will see a wooden bridge crossing Kirby Beck.
2. Walk across the bridge and straight ahead up to a kissing gate, which you go through.
3. In the field on the other side, keep fairly close to the hedge on your left and walk up the slope of the hill to the brow and then back down the other side enjoying the views over the hills. In the bottom left-hand corner of the field, you will spot another bridge over a small stream which you cross over. Here there is first a kissing gate and then a normal wooden gate.
4. In the next field walk directly across to the wire fence on your left and follow it up until you come to a gap, where the gate has fallen over, and a yellow way-marker pointing straight ahead. Go through the gap.
5. In the next field just walk directly ahead and across the field towards three trees standing in the distance and a farmhouse. In the frost it was pretty obvious, but it might not be in drier / wet weather.
6. At the end of this field you will come to another kissing gate which leads onto a quiet road. At the road turn left.
7. Walk down the road for a short distance until you come to the first farm driveway on your right, leading to Woodley Farmhouse. There is a cattle grid here which can be quite tricky but there is a swing gate on the left which you can use instead.
8. Walk up the farm road, watching out for another cattle grid part way along, as it bends up to the left and then right, and left again, to where it swings round to the right up the farm, but the footpath you take is directly ahead, through a five-bar gate, and into the field. (look for the yellow way-marker)
9. In the field follow the tree line down the centre of it - there were sheep over to our left at this point so keep dogs on a lead just in case. At the end of this field and after the trees is a fence / hedge line with an open 5-bar gate. The yellow-way marker here points straight ahead and right.
10. Once you are through the gate / gap there is a large, felled tree just on your right (or at least there was when we were there (Jan 2024)). Take the way marked straight ahead, walking to the left of the telegraph pole.
11. You will see that you are heading down towards a gate in the fence / hedge line on your left at the bottom of the slope. Here there is also a tree, and you can see Mount Pleasant Farm before you in the distance.
However - when we were here the gate was underwater and we had to climb commando like along the fence to the kissing gate, dismount, and edge along the water edge at the gate and then go through - Bill did some quite deep paddling at this point. So, as I have said, maybe wait until it is dry!
12. Once you have recovered from your escapades at this gate (if you had any), turn right and walk with the stream and trees on your right to the next open five-bar gate and yellow way marker and walk through going straight ahead.
13. This next field is a little bit difficult, in that its quite hard to find the path and the ground can be very boggy. The best bet, I found, was to keep close to the fence line higher up and on the left for as long as possible, as the next 5-bar gate you are heading for is more or less directly ahead in the far hedge line.
14. You may have to come down slightly into the field at the end to find the 5-bar gate, which is just slightly down the fence in front of you from the top left-hand corner.
15. Through the gate turn left and follow the path with the fence-line on your left for a while. The path then opens up and you are then walking through the middle of this field (which may have sheep in it) slightly to the top right. Head straight across this field with Mount Pleasant Farm buildings on your right toward the V shaped tree, which you pass on your left.
16. At the wire fence in front of you look for the wooden gate to your right near the farm buildings and go through. Continue straight ahead and slightly to your left over the next field until you get to the next fence line which runs across your path. This one has a gap in it near the trees ahead.
17. Go through the gap / gateway in the fence (watching for sheep) and just walk straight ahead to Gatehowe Road in front of you. At the road turn right.
18. Walk up the road for a short while and then opposite the driveway for Mount Pleasant Farm, turn left to walk towards the trees.
19. At the trees go through the green metal five-bar gate and then follow the path along the edge of the field with the trees on your left. The path bends round to the left and comes to a wooden five-bar gate.
20. Go through the gate into the sheep field and walk straight ahead to the next fence / hedge line with a gap in it. At the gap look for the yellow way-marker which shows that you turn immediately left.
21. Follow the path with the hedge on your left to the next hedge line where there is a gap and a way-marker telling you to turn sharp right before the hedge. (I did go a bit wrong here as I went through the gap and then turned right but found my way back eventually to point 23 by turning right at the bottom of this field after passing some rusted farm machinery). What you should do is:
22. Follow the hedge line on your left to the bottom and turn right, again keeping the hedge on your left.
23. Where the hedge on your left is joined by another coming up from the left turn left through the hedge and head down, keeping the hedge on your left. (sorry if this sounds a bit complicated but essentially you need to head back towards Kirby Underdale at this point). The path heads downhill towards Salamanca Beck at the bottom.
24. At the bottom of the field you join the Baffham Farm Road and cross over another cattle grid and then Salamanca Beck itself.
25. Walk straight ahead on the farm road as it climbs up very slightly and eventually emerges on the road at Glebe Farm. Cross the road into Glebe Farm following the public footpath sign.
26. At Glebe Farm turn left before reaching the farm buildings through a wooden gate and at the yellow way marker. Follow the path with the hedge on your left passing through another kissing gate.
27. After this gate take a diagonal turn to walk up hill towards the far right-hand corner of this field to find a kissing gate, which you go through. Now walk straight ahead and go through another kissing gate.
28. Go straight through a swing gate and then head slightly upwards and to your right (slightly) towards a red-brick building (the village hall back in Kirby Underdale).
29. At the Village Hall go through the kissing gate and out onto the road. The Village Hall is open as a pop-up cafe on the last Saturday of each month from 11am to 3pm. So, if you time it right pop in for a brew!
30. Head straight down the road at the Village Hall past the red phone box and you will find yourself back at the church!
Quick bit of history before you finish -
All Saints Church in Kirby Underdale dates from the 12th century. The church contains a small Roman carving, originally discovered in 1916 in the rectory garden. The carving, from the 2nd or 3rd century, shows a horned figure with a purse and wand that probably represents Mercury, who is associated with good luck, and we all need some of that!!