Thursday 8th October 2020
Langton & Westow
Langton, Mantledam Bridge, Kennythorpe, Burythorpe, Nursery Cottage, Leavening, Madeira, Hanging Hill Lane, High Lane, Westow, Church Lane, St. Mary’s Church, Church Farm, Howlbeck Bridge, Laysike Wood, Menethorpe, Manor Farm, Thornthorpe House, Langton (10 miles).
Members; Paul, Stu and Col
We had a 50% increase in our numbers from those of a fortnight ago as Col joined us today. First time he’s been out with us since March so he was really looking forward to our trek around the countryside east of the River Derwent. It didn’t look over promising as we left a very wet Hull but by the time Col had tagged along at Wetwang the rain had just about stopped.
Parking can sometimes be a problem in these small villages but fortunately Langton is blessed with a wide main street passing between the pretty cottages so today it wasn’t an issue. Another plus was that it had stopped raining although we decided to put on our wet gear anyway as the grey clouds above looked like they could drop more of the wet stuff on us at any moment.
We set off due west on the narrow lane out of the village whilst keeping a wary eye on the various oncoming 4×4’s carrying little Jeremy and/or Jemima (delete as appropriate) to the local school. We finally left the tarmac behind at Mantledam Bridge and struck off along a narrow path threading our way through a strip of woodland. Autumn was definitely in the air with the leaves taking on a lovely golden colour and assorted fungi flourishing at every turn.
Once clear of the woodland our path took a direct route across a freshly ploughed field which, after the overnight rain, would have meant us carrying an acre or two of mud on each boot had we attempted to follow it. We decided it would be prudent to walk round the edge of the muddy field which still left us with mud almost up to our elbows as the farmer had ploughed the field right up to the edge.
We re-joined the tarmac once more as we trekked along the quiet lane through Kennythorpe and into Burythorpe. We met a lady in the village who greeted us with a cheery “Good morning gentlemen” which either means she was still half asleep at this early hour or she’d missed her appointment at Specsavers. We stood in conversation for a few minutes and she told us she was a voluntary warden on the North York Moors. Apparently one of her main tasks is inspecting and reporting on the state of footpaths up on the moors. “Is that a job?” we exclaimed, “Where do we sign up?”.
From Burythorpe we struck off across more open pasture and muddy fields leaving a trail of muddy footprints along the lane leading into Leavening. Just outside the village we sat on some rusting farm machinery for a brew, a butty and a breather. The threatening clouds above were beginning to move off and we noted some blue bits breaking through the grey gloom, things were looking up.
Once clear of Leavening we headed along the farm track charmingly named Hanging Hill Lane then onto one of those ancient and steep sided tracks virtually hidden by trees and bushes as it wound its way towards Westow. This turned out to be the steepest climb of the day although it was difficult to gauge how steep as we only caught brief glimpses of the surrounding countryside through the greenary above and around us. We all had a bit of a glow on by the time we’d reached the outer environs of Westow village.
From here we headed off down Church Lane to St. Mary’s Church set in spacious grounds although oddly a good half mile from the village. A little research reveals this beautiful old church, built on Saxon foundations, was once known as St. Mary of the Moor and had a beacon light to guide people over the Yorkshire Wolds from the monasteries of Bridlington and Beverley to the nearby Kirkham Priory. Outside the church was a rustic wooden bench, so what better place to sit and enjoy the peace and tranquillity, only broken by the sound of three hungry walkers enjoying some scran.
Suitably refreshed we continued onwards towards Howlbeck Bridge then followed the lane to Menethorpe with the swollen River Derwent on one side and autumn tinged Laysike Wood on the other. While walking along this quiet lane Col received a phone call from Keith who wanted to know how the day was going. He also wondered whereabouts we were and Col replied “Somewhere near the River Trent I think”. Luckily Col wasn’t map reading today…or on any day on that evidence.
We had the choice of two paths either side of Menethorpe Beck so we took the northern route for no other reason than when it met the road it was marginally closer to our next footpath leading to Manor Farm. This is commonly known as hill craft. We were on the last leg now heading for Thornthorpe House and our walks end at Langton.
There were quite a few farm gates to negotiate with various fastenings to fathom out. Where was John when we needed him? Col was complaining that he’d been left to close all these gates and that Paul could close the next one at Thornthorpe House. Once through this gate we quickly realised we needed to be back the way we’d just come to access our next gate. So, we duly back tracked a few yards and guess who had to close the gate? Welcome back Col.
We all agreed it had been an excellent day out and to quote Col “A jolly good walk” mostly on paths we’d never used before. Hopefully we’ll be out again in a fortnight but in these strange times who can be sure. Fingers crossed.
As Keith will not be with us for the foreseeable future, And after many requests for photos of our walks we’ve set up a Facebook page imaginatively titled “FAC Photos” which can be found here
Our intention is to post photos of our fortnightly walks plus pictures from previous walks. It’s work in progress at the moment but we hope it develops into an interesting and entertaining resource.