Ridges, rivers, gentle rounded hills, relaxed rolling countryside, pretty villages, ruined castles and the magnificent architecture of Castle Howard. All these features can be found in the Howardian Hills.
This walk, in aid of the British Heart Foundation, starts on the edge of these outstanding hills and climbs across Slingsby Ridge where you can stand, stare and soak up the fantastic countryside.
Along the way you have views towards Castle Howard, you will see in the distance the Temple of the Four Winds basking in glorious splendour on the Castle Howard estate.
It was early in the 18th century that celebrated architect Sir John Vanbrugh sent his design to the Earl of Carlisle for a pavilion at Castle Howard adjacent to Wray Wood.
His design was much liked and he received a commission from the Earl to go ahead and build, it was called the Temple.
But Vanbrugh was not to see the fruits of his glorious design in stone because it was not completed until 10 years after his death.
It became known as the Temple of Diana, the magnificent building we see today is known as the Temple of the Four Winds.
The interior was finally decorated in 1738 by the stuccoist Francesco Vassalli and was a place of solitude for reading and having a little refreshment provided from the cellar of the Temple by servants.
Vanbrugh led a rather chequered existence and only took an interest in architecture late in life. As a young man he had been a radical who had been imprisoned in the Bastille for being a political activist. He spent four and a half years in the French prison and was eventually released in an exchange for other political prisoners.
He returned to England in 1693 and decided to pursue a writing career becoming a comic dramatist and playwright. This didn’t go too well as he offended many, his plays being sexually explicit and defended women’s rights in marriage.
His career as an architect designing buildings in the Baroque style commenced in1699 with a commission, much to the surprise of well-established fellow designers, as his drawings were chosen by the Earl of Carlisle to commence the building of Castle Howard. Later commissions included Blenheim Palace and Seaton Delaval Hall. Vanbrugh died of asthma in March 1726 at the age of sixty two.
More architectural delights can be seen when you walk through the village of Coneysthorpe past the 19th century chapel, a quaint place which has been refurbished. Then as you approach the end of the walk perhaps take a peek at the church of All Saints in Appleton le Street which is thought to have been built on the site of a pagan temple.
The lower part of the tower at All Saints is the oldest part of the church built in the days of the mighty Saxons. Enjoy exploring the small church then wander along to the Cresswell Arms for some refreshment and most importantly, sign off with the organisers.
Instructions for the British Heart Foundation walk on 28 September 2014
Wear appropriate footwear and clothing as the route has the normal country walking hazards. Watch out for wildlife and stock, keeping dogs on a lead for the whole walk. The route will be signed and you will be given instructions and a map. On completion of the walk please sign off with the organisers.
The route will be cleared at the end of the day but in case of emergency please ring 999 or if no mobile signal is available make your way to the nearest farm or house.
If you have other problems on the day please ring the organisers on either 07753618752 or 07785788179. Don’t forget to sign off, the BHF organisers will be at registration until 4pm.
This year the route takes in outstanding scenery on the edge of the Howardian Hills around Slingsby Ridge and Castle Howard. Both walks leave the start any time after 10am and head off in the direction of Slingsby Ridge where there are grand views across Ryedale almost to the coast.
The views then change as you progress past Easthorpe onto the Castle Howard estate with the Mausoleum and the Temple of the Four Winds standing proud in the distance. The route soon splits, the short route bears right uphill to cross the road again as it makes its way to Slingsby Ridge then downhill to return to Appleton le Street.
From where the two routes split the longer route continues along to Bog Hall, along the Castle Howard Estate roads to Coneysthorpe then through Coneysthorpe village to Slingsby Ridge where there are more grand views across the Howardian Hills to Castle Howard and Ryedale along the way. Eventually you walk along to join the short walkers to return to Appleton le Street.
When you approach the Cresswell Arms why not pay a visit to the unique and welcoming All Saints Church. It is along the lane on your left almost opposite the pub car park. Not far along the lane turn right to the Church then return to the Cresswell Arms to sign off and perhaps have a well-earned drink to quench your thirst and a bite to eat to restore your energy levels.
Sponsor forms available from the walk organisers on 01653 618309 and 01653 658312 or from the Gazette & Herald office in Yorkersgate, Malton.
Distance - Long route is about 8miles/13km. Shorter route is about 4½miles/7¼km
Time - Approximately 3½ hours (long route), 1¾ hours (short route)
Grading - Easy
Map - Supplied at the start
Start/grid Ref. - Cresswell Arms Appleton le Street which is situated on the B1257. GR736736. And for Sat Nav users YO17 6PG
Parking - Cresswell Arms car park
Refreshments - The Cresswell Arms