Thursday 5th May 2022
KILNWICK & HUTTON CRANSWICK
Kilnwick, Cawkeld, Wedding Wood, Bracken Cottages, Point 43, Old Field, Bustardnest Fox Covert, Little Bustard Farm, Point 31, Hobman Lane, Hutton Cranswick (The White Horse), The Green, Footbridge, Watton Abbey, Watton, Watton Beck, Tall Trees, Kilnwick Beck, Highthorpe Farm, Kilnwick (10 miles).
Members; Paul, Keith, Stan & Stu.
We last did this walk on a cold snowy day last December and someone must have mentioned it would be a good idea to do the walk again during the summer. Well, not quite summer yet, but late spring is good enough and with the weather set fair all day it was a good a time as any to revisit the walk.
There had been quite a bit of rain overnight which was particularly evident as we negotiated the rain-soaked long grass between Kilnwick and Cawkeld. Once on the track alongside Wedding Wood and onward towards Bracken Cottages it became much drier underfoot.
At Bracken Cottages we struggled with a troublesome wooden gate which initially refused to open. It almost had to be taken off its hinges, which were made of string, so we could continue on our way. It was only after all this effort we noticed a perfectly usable metal gate just the other side of a nearby hawthorn bush! I blame the early start.
Beyond Bracken Cottages we crossed a series of fields mostly full of sheep and lambs and they’d done a good job of keeping the wet grass closely cropped. At Old Field we headed east towards the delightfully named Bustardnest Fox Covert. Stu was regretting not bringing his drone out with him today. It was a perfect day for it weather wise with rolling fields all around it would have made for some interesting overhead photos.
After a long section of path with long wet grass on the one side of us and even longer and wetter Oilseed Rape plants at the other side we thought it a good idea to stop for a break in a clearing in the corner of the field. The sun was out and it was warming up nicely and it proved a perfect spot for a brew and a butty. As we were walking by 8 o’clock there was no need to rush as we were already a good two thirds of our way to the half way point at Hutton Cranswick. So, we enjoyed a nice leisurely lunch taking in the surrounding countryside whilst being serenaded by the local birdlife.
Continuing on our way it was a mixture of field paths and quiet country lanes as we made our way to Hutton Cranswick. We arrived on the village green outside the pub at 11.40 and 10 minutes later the doors of The White Horse were opened and we were in, we don’t need asking twice. And it has to be said we had a most enjoyable 45 minutes or so in the pub with good company, good ale, along with teas for Stu and Stan, plus friendly bar staff. What’s not to like about The White Horse?
We headed due south out of Hutton Cranswick more or less running parallel with the Hull to Bridlington railway line as far as Watton. We came across a herd of cattle along with numerous calves and where past experience made us a little wary of walking too close to them. As we decided upon a plan to keep some distance between us and the watchful bovines a farmer rumbled past on his ancient tractor. Stu asked “Are we OK to walk by these beasts?”. “Aye” said the farmer “They’ve been alright today” which infers there might have been days when they weren’t ‘alright’.
Following the path towards Watton village we passed the now restored 12th century Watton Priory Barn which has a tunnel entrance at each side with a stream running through the middle of it. Amongst the trees we glimpsed the spooky looking Watton Priory. This Tudor style building incorporates the remains of an eighth-century nunnery and a medieval priory and wouldn’t look out of place in a Hammer Horror film.
In Watton we decided to stop for a brew after finding a suitable bench to sit upon. For a small village it certainly had more than its fair share of Ukranian flags flying. In a grassy area nearby, we spied a bloke engaged in digging in the grass. He kept glancing our way looking as if he was dying to tell us what he was doing with us being equally determined not to ask him. We did speculate later, with the profusion of Ukranian flags around the village, that he might have been from the Ukraine armed forces engaged in digging trenches in preparation for Putin’s long planned invasion of East Yorkshire. Then again, probably not.
From Watton we walked alongside the crystal clear Watton Beck and through Tall Trees Wood and then back to our start point in Kilnwick. An excellent day out with great weather throughout and good company to walk with. It’s just a pity there wasn’t more of us out to enjoy the day, maybe next time.