Start / End: The Mile Cafe, Pocklington
Distance: 4.5 miles
Time: 2 hours
Map: OS 294
A great way to stretch your legs, with some interesting detours exploring the Madhyamaka Kadampa Meditation Centre, if you want to take your time. Plus two fabulous refreshment stops.
Note - when parking at The Mile please pop into the shop before setting off to let them know you are walking or, if it’s early, leave a note on your car.
1. Park in the Mile car park then walk over the main road to the path and turn right. Walk down The Mile, crossing over the various side roads until you come to the roundabout after 1 mile.
2. Cross Maxwell Road and take the next exit which continues along the Mile signposted Bridlington & Driffield / Town Centre (B1246). Walk up to the T junction and follow the pavement left along London Street and then St Helen's Gate still following the B1246 - this is where you pick up the Chalkland Way.
3. At Clockhill Lane cross over the road to Target Street (leading to Payton Close) and walk up here, taking the left-hand road at Payton Close on the right. Cross Denison Road and continue up as the road turns into a footpath, which you follow up hill to just before the waterworks.
4. Just before the waterworks take the path which heads right (there is a footpath that also goes straight ahead). Follow this path up to a fence line, where there is another footpath sign and turn left.
5. Follow this path with the wire fence on your right and trees/ bushes on your left along. There are some lovely views out to your right here and on your left you will come to the fairways of Kilnwick Percy Golf Club, which is where Bill disgraced himself by running off and interfering with play! So, if you have a dog that is very poor at recall when balls are involved, put them on a lead as it's open access here and very embarrassing if they run off - take my word for it!
6. The footpath eventually comes out onto the golf course, and continues across the middle of it. First skirt the wooded area on your right (there is a sign pointing into the woods for a nature trail) but keep going, heading straight across the course and following their own public footpath signs, being mindful of any flying golf balls - plus keep dogs on a lead for all of this bit!
7. The designated path eventually comes out on the road, where you turn right and head up towards the entrance to the Madhyamaka Kadampa Meditation Centre on the left.
8. Enter the grounds of the Meditation Centre, where you can choose to do a number of trails, either around the lake (although it was flooded half way round when we visited, so watch water levels), or head straight on and right to the church of St Helen's.
The church, along with the Hall, marks the site of the small village once located here and which was finally deserted in the early 18th century. It was originally built in the Norman period and then rebuilt in 1864-5 ‘in a more elaborate Norman’ style but perhaps on the same plan.
You can also visit the Kilnwick Percy Hall, which has been the home to Madhyamaka Kadampa Meditation Centre for the past 30 years and is a relaxing place of peace and tranquillity to rest and reflect.
The history of Kilnwick Percy goes back to the Bronze Age. One mile away are the remains of a Roman road. William the Conqueror took the land at Killenwick and gave it, with a hall, to Robert de Bruis. (His great-great-great-grandson was to become Robert the Bruce of Scotland). Later that century, Ernald de Perci married into the family and the anglicised name Percy was added. The estate and hall have subsequently been owned by several different families, which you can learn about in a house tour if you have the time.
One such owner was Robert Denison, a wealthy Leeds wool merchant, who bought the estate in 1784. In 1790, he started work on a new mansion to replace the Elizabethan hall. Leading York architect John Carr (who also designed Castle Howard), was employed to build it, which took ten years to complete. Interestingly, the idea for what is now The Great Yorkshire Show was first put forward by Robert Denison (son of the above) at a dinner party here on 28 August 1837, and as he was more interested in horse breeding and farming than in the family business, he increased the estate to 2600 acres, until by 1840 he had run into financial difficulty and was forced to auction the whole thing.
9. You can also stop off for refreshments in the Peace Cafe on the site, and also have a look around the walled garden, which you need to seek out, around the back of the house, as this is where you turn left and follow the path towards the car park.
If you have wandered around for a bit just head for the car park / walled garden to re-orientate yourself.
10. Keep following the path through the trees and then with the wall of the walled garden on your right, as it heads off right up towards a number of houses that sit just off the road.
11. At the road, turn left and follow it down and round to your left, heading back to the entrance to the Golf Club on your right, which you turn into.
12. Follow the roadway, as though you are heading up to the main reception building and head for the car park following the one-way road. Walk through the car park
13. At the fork, on the other side of the car park take the right-hand road and follow it (past housekeeping) all the way to the T junction at the top and turn right (past lodges 30 & 31). The tarmac road runs out into a gravelled path past more of the lodges (32-35) and onto the start of the nature trail.
(I have added the route through the Golf Club to the Route Information Sheet - for extra reference)
14. Follow the nature trail path along the side of the fairways, taking the path as it turns into the woods and heads right for a short distance.
15. The path emerges onto a roadway where you turn left, and then follow the road downhill all the way back to the main Mile road.
16. At the Mile turn left and then just walk along the pavement back to the Mile Farm shop where you can grab a bite to eat or a drink to finish off your day.