This beautiful walk starts and ends at the fascinating ruins of Jervaulx Abbey. It takes you through stunning parkland, over lush pasture fields and through the historic village of Thornton Steward, a quiet village which can be traced back to 1041 in a pre-Conquest Saxon Land Charter.
You’ll pass the impressive Danby Hall and cross the River Ure over two historic bridges.
Jervaulx Abbey is one of the very few privately owned Cistercian Abbeys open to the public. The abbey and Jervaulx estate was bought by its present owners, the Burdon family, in 1971.
Founded in 1156 by Cistercian Monks who had arrived from France following the Norman Conquest, this enchanting abbey eventually became one of the busiest and wealthiest religious houses.
It takes its name from the medieval word for valley, and the River Ure or Yorre, “Jur”.
This beautiful site is now carefully managed with conservation in mind and it is noted for more than 180 species of wild flowers and shrubs growing amid its ruins. It is a place of great beauty, tranquillity and history and is a wonderful site to visit.
The abbey is open all year round during daylight hours. There is an honesty box at the abbey entrance.
1. From the Jervaulx Abbey car park cross the road carefully and go through the gates heading towards the abbey. Pick up a track heading right through the park. Follow the track all the way through the park, over the cattle grid, and to the road. At the road turn left. You will be on the road for approximately half a mile.
2. Shortly after crossing the river look for a footpath on the left. Once into the open field follow the way markers (take care - the gateways can be a bit boggy).
Cross this field and the next field before turning right and heading up to Woodhouse. Follow the way markers, which take you to the left of the buildings and turn sharp left at the gate that goes into the farmyard.
Head northwest along the edge of a field keeping the hedge to your left. Keep following the line of the hedge until you pass a small plantation on your left.
Continue past the plantation and follow the edge of the field until you reach a stile. Cross the stile, head across the field, go through two more gates in quick succession in front of the houses and you’ll pick up a track bringing you up to a road in the middle of the village.
3. Joining the road, turn left following it through the village. At the end of the village go through a gate and follow the track past Manor Farm and down through a wood to St Oswald’s Church.
Go through the gate at the end of the car park and walk along the edge of the field keeping the fence to your right. After two fields go through a gate with a small stream just beyond it. Follow the line of the wall but this time, keep it to your left.
Just past a small plantation on your left go through a gate. Beyond the gate follow the same wall but keep it on your right.
At the end of the field go through the gate and bear left. You will join a track which runs in front of Danby Hall and takes you past Danby Mill and onto the road.
4. Join the road turning left. At the T-junction turn left over the bridge.
When you reach the Coverbridge Inn turn left and over another bridge. Just beyond the bridge join a path on the left heading downstream to Jervaulx Abbey.
The path brings you onto the road, where turning left will bring you back to the car park.
l For more information about Jervaulx Abbey, visit www.jervaulxabbey.com