Our second walk out in the Yorkshire countryside last weekend was a little more off the beaten track, with episodes of walking through fields with no clear path and climbing through nettle patches in shorts that seemed such a good idea when we set off!
We parked in the Punch Bowl Inn carpark in Marton cum Grafton, and headed straight out through the path at the back of the car park up towards the water tower and through the fields. There we met Sue and Dave who were lovely and spent a good half hour walking with them and comparing our favourite places- and them pointing out a slightly easier route for us before parting ways at Upper Dunsforth, where we stopped for our picnic lunch.
The path then lead us down to the River Ure (through the afore-mentioned nettles) which was simply beautiful in the sunshine. It was easy walking along the river bank, spotting all sorts of wildlife- we even saw a kingfisher, although it was much too fast to take a picture of! It was also nice to see a group of kayakers heading down the river, and slightly meanly laughing at the teenage boys hopelessly trying to steer away from the banks (not that I could do much better!).
Feeling a little hot and thirsty by this point, we decided to stop on Lower Dunsforth at the Dunsforth Pub for a drink in the beer garden. As nice as this was, it was bloody expensive- almost £10 for a pint of Schweppes lemonade and a pint of beer. I am aware of it’s Michelin Bib Gourmand and reputation for fantastic food, but two drinks on a Sunday afternoon should not cost that much!
Feeling a little put out, we began to head back to Marton, retracing some of our earlier steps to come full circle. The whole route took us about 3.5 hours, including stops for lunch and the pub and was fairly easy walking, but you would need a map. We used the Ripon and Boroughbridge OS Explorer Map 299. Our fitbits also happily told us it was over 20,000 steps so the pizza for dinner that night seemed well deserved!