Wishing all Miladys Readers a Very Happy and Peaceful New Year!
Very much closer to home than Fountains Abbey is the Harewood Estate. Just a few miles north of Leeds off the A61, Harrogate Road. I often take a circular walk around the wider estate but not within the immediate site of the House and Gardens which are currently closed until late March 2017.
There are several just off- or slightly on- road places to park and the crowds were out in force today but I managed to park on Wike Lane and took my usual route which starts across the A61 at Lofthouse Gates.
From the track ahead you get great views of the House as it stands high looking south towards Leeds with the North Yorkshire hills and plains in the background.
The track eventually descends into woodland and the House disappears from view. There’s an elegant (John Carr designed) bridge over The Beck, which feeds Harewood Lake, and you can hear on both sides the sounds of falling water.
John Carr Bridge
The track continues through the woodland and eventually meets the Ebor Way at a crossroads. There’s a steep descent (and very muddy too, today) to a group of cottages and outbuildings that have recently been restored and now occupied again. The land opens up and Harewood Lake comes into view along with a small glimpse of The House again.
Crossing The Beck again and after a short climb you reach Harewood Yard a collection of stone estate buildings now containing The Estate Office, workshops, other businesses and cottages.
After Harewood Yard the track continues into parkland where deer are grazing and you might even see stags.
Deer with Almscliffe Crags on the horizon
There’s another bit of a climb uphill but still with great views northwards until the track, enclosed by stone walls, and now called Church Lane finally enters Harewood Village itself. Red kites have been introduced on the estate and can often be seen circling above the parkland but I didn’t notice any here today. There’s a short walk along the side of the A61 but there’s a pavement and nice views of the estate houses, school, pub.
The Harewood Arms
Doric Arch of The Lodge now the Main Entrance to Harewood House and Gardens
You also pass the main Entrance Gates. Keep going and it looks as if you’ll end up walking the rest of the way along the busy road. But a wooden personal gate appears in the high wall signifying the entrance to a Permissive Path which runs parallel to the main road through woodland all the way back to The Lofthouse Gates where the walk began.
The Permissive Path
Altogether I walked just over 5 miles which took me just less than two hours. I know this because I’m trying out the Mapmywalk app on the new phone!