Cropton (Cropton Arms).
Thursday 11th 2019
Route Hutton-le-Hole, Austin Head, Bottomfields Lane, Lingmoor Barn, Southet Hill, South Ings Lane, Appleton-le-Moors, Hamley Lane, Appleton Mill Farm, Mill Wood, Bull Ing Lane, Cropton (New Inn), Woolcroft Farm, Low Lane, Cropton Bridge, Seven Bridge, Lower Askew, Hagg Wood, Spaunton, Grange Farm, Austin Head, Hutton-le-Hole (10 miles).
Members Paul, Chris, Col, Keith and Sherlock
We only settled on today’s walk a couple of days ago when it was decided that the intended walk to the tourist and/or train spotter hotspot of Grosmont would be best left for another time when the kids were not off school. Our alternative walk then bit the dust when we discovered that the Malt Shovel at Hovingham had closed down which came as a bit of a shock as the FAC has spent many a happy hour in the agreeable embrace of that particular drinking establishment. Thankfully we were relieved to read that the new owners intend to re-open in May after a bout of refurbishment.
So here we are heading for Hutton-le-Hole on a cool but sunny spring morning looking forward to a day on the hills and a drink in The New Inn at Cropton. We made good time up to Hutton arriving around 8.45 and not surprisingly the car park was empty. The only down side is it’s a pay & display site so the slush fund in ‘Bob’s Bag’ was duly raided and car park tickets were purchased.
Once clear of the village it’s a steady climb along Bottomfields Lane farm track but once past Lingmoor Barn in flattens out a bit. We skirted the northern edge of the long abandoned Spaunton limestone quarry then headed off along South Ings Lane to our grub stop sat outside Christ Church in Appleton-le-Moors. We’ve used this sheltered spot on a number of occasions and it made for a very pleasant break as we enjoyed our vittles. Col got into conversation with a passing dog walker enquiring about an inscription on a monument built into the church wall. He got his explanation and the dog didn’t bite him so Col seemed happy with that.
From Appleton-le-Moors we headed off down Hamley Lane crossing the River Seven at Appleton Mill Farm then climbed out of the east side of the Appleton Valley up to Bull Ing Lane and our half way point at Cropton. As we walked through the village we came across a bloke using a strimmer on a extensive embankment of grass. One of our merry band commented he was doing that the last time we came through here. It’s either his regular job or maybe he’s a retired Forth Bridge worker where he’s used to going from one end to the other before going back to the beginning again.
The New Inn at Cropton is another hostelry the FAC have used on numerous occasions over many years and is a particular favourite among our beer aficionados as it boasts its own brewery. Keith is quite partial to the strong bitter Monkman’s Slaughter but was disappointed to find none on tap today so he had to make do with the less potent Yorkshire Moors Bitter.
After an enjoyable hour or so ensconced in The New Inn it was time to leave. By then the pub was quite full and a gaggle, or should that be gargle, of drinkers stood at the bar were quick to fill our now vacant seats. We should have raffled them off. From the village we dropped down into the Appleton Valley once more followed by some road walking passing over Cropton Bridge and Seven Bridge before climbing up to Hagg Wood.
Leaving the tarmac behind we took the top path through the wood although this eventually strikes off westwards and is the route the more sensible walker would take. However we didn’t get where we are today by being sensible so we carried on along the sketchy path which threads its way along the top edge of the wood. This is not a footpath as marked on any map and is backed up by a sign stating ‘No Right Of Way’ but it’s a route utilised by the FAC in times past which both Paul & Chris remember well.
Admittedly it’s been a few years since either has trod this route and although relatively easy to follow we did have to negotiate a few fallen trees en-route finishing with a scramble over a tumbledown fence to reach the ‘official’ footpath. But as Chris pointed out the A in FAC stands for ‘Adventure’ although in hindsight it could well have stood for ‘Avoid’ which is what we’ll probably do in future.
After our ‘woodland escapade’ we decided to stop for a brew and a breather before setting off on the last leg of the walk through Spaunton and the field paths leading us back to Hutton-le-Hole. As we relaxed ‘neath the late afternoon spring sunshine we could hear the distant strains of a church choir, surely it wasn’t coming from the church down in the valley in Lastingham? We then realised it was emitting from Sherlock’s phone and we can only assume he had come over all Holy after escaping the clutches of Hagg Wood.
Yet another good day out and it was pleasing to see spring bursting out everywhere we looked. Soon be summer…
ON THIS DAY
9th April 2009 – Birk Nab Farm to Sun Inn.
Col, Paul Craggs, Paul, Chris, Keith, Paul ‘Sherlock’ Holmes, Stu, Ray, Jack Rhoades & Bob.
Bob christened his new Jag by driving along the long winding and mud splattered lane up to Birk Nab Farm. Much use was made of Keith’s & Sherlock’s new fangled GPS trackers to safely navigate across the open moor. The Sun Inn was as it always was with mine host William behind the bar, Formica topped tables, lino floor and pictures of long disbanded cricket teams adorning the walls along with a fire that hadn’t seen a flame in all the times the FAC had visited the pub.
14th April 1994 – Bolton Abbey to Appletreewick
Bob, Barry, Chris, Ray, Paul, Jacko & Dudley.
It was very windy on top of Simon’s Seat while alongside the River Wharfe a green woodpecker was spotted. On the homeward journey Dudley’s car broke down in Knaresborough and the RAC had to be summoned.
5th April 1979 – Rudland Farm to Church Houses
Bob, Jacko & Chris.