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Country walk near Welburn
GEORGE WILKINSON has his cake and eats it in a walk from Welburn.
Welburn’s Pattacakes took our fancy, and we weren’t the first, newspaper cuttings framed on the wall record Maxine Gordon’s delight in a ‘patisserie paradise’ with ‘portions Yorkshire in size’ while, and also from The Press, Graeme Robertson considered ‘moving to Welburn’ for the nosh.
His only complaint was that the lemon cake ‘was a little bit on the solid side’, actually my preference is also squidgy, but I can now report they bake a lighter version that was delicately delicious. Across the road, it’s a one-road village, cyclists on a tour of the Wolds and the Howardian Hills pulled in for the comforts of the Crown And Cushion.
Three huge old Bentleys rumbled by and we ambled off across the fields, sort of towards Castle Howard, which Maxine Gordon suggested was ‘a hop, skip and a jump’ from Welburn. There be no need for that as the footpaths are very good, and the signs. The fields were dry, some of the crops thin and with bare patches. But the flowers were lovely. Among the reds were the pinks of orchids, the red of red campion and the real red of poppies, but they were later.
Yellow hammers added to the summer spectrum and sang over the hedges. In damp little woods, insects spun on trickling streams. From Hutton Hill we could see the cars, vans and lorries on the A64 and hear the hum. A fawn watched us. Nearby is a farmstead where nothing moved and where tiles and slates lay broken and stone crumbled, brick cracked and the paint peeled from tin sheet. A Chicken Of The Woods fungus consumed a hollow oak.
In contrast, over the fields, round a wooded corner and down a metalled park drive is Castle Howard, and there arrayed in the landscape is the Mausoleum on its columns, the Temple of the Four Winds, the grand house dome and all and, closest, and my favourite, the futuristic Pyramid over wheat fields fringed with poppies.
One complaint. At a parklands crossroads there is a notice on a gate on a public footpath showing a sharp toothed German Shepherd and warning ‘The Castle Howard Estate is Patrolled by 2 Operational Dogs and Handlers. Entering after hours, will result in Deployment and Containment’. Perhaps the dogs are trained with the scent of poets, anyway, night walking on public rights of way is legal.
Our afternoon was nearly done, just a dip down through the woods of East Moor Banks that in the spring are vivid with bluebells, gone over now, yellow and flaccid, to seed.
When in doubt look at the map. Check your position at each point. Keep straight on unless otherwise directed.
1. From Crown And Cushion east through village on pavement for 400 yards. Small gate (waymark) on left in hedge near 40mph sign, diagonally across field.
2. Field-edge path on right (white waymark post) with trees to right.
3. Hedge gap (waymarks), cross track, uphill across field.
4. Left (fingerpost) to track by fence, 50 yards, path on right (fingerpost Huttons Ambo 1¾), gate (waymark) in wood, downhill, duckboards which were slippy, bridge, 100 yards uphill, fieldgate (waymark) and right, uphill. Fieldgate (waymark) to track into middle of yard.
5. Gate on left (waymark), 11 o’clock across field, gate (waymark), left 50 yards by hedge, grassy track on right (no sign).
6. Hedge gap (loose waymark post) and cross field, downhill. Footbridge (white waymark post) up over field, fieldgate, hedge to right, fieldgate, fieldgate, pass house sheds, fieldgate into yard (waymark), 100 yards.
7. Left to track (fingerpost Low Gaterley ½m), stream, building on right, 50 yards uphill, left to metalled bridleway/drive, 50 yards, sharp right.
8. Track on left (4-way fingerpost Welburn ¾m), into wood and ignore left at 3-way fingerpost, footbridge, gate (waymark), track to Welburn.
Distance: Four miles.
General location: Howardian Hills.
Start: Welburn, near Malton.
Right of way: Public.
Date walked: June 2011.
Road route: From York via A64.
Car parking: Roadside.
Refreshments: The Crown And Cushion and Pattacakes.
Tourist and public transport information: Malton TIC 01653 600048.
Map: Drawn from OS Explorer 300 Howardian Hills and Malton.
Terrain: Gentle hills.
Difficulty: Quite easy.
Please observe the Country Code and park sensibly. While every effort is made to provide accurate information, walkers set out at their own risk.