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This is a short out and back stroll of about 1 1/2 miles along the escarpment of the Hambleton Hills from where there are distant views to the Yorkshire Dales. Leaving the Drove Road a grass track then leads to an outstanding view over hidden Thorodale.
August is a great time to walk this route when the heather is in full bloom.
The walk has maximum gradients down and up of 1:15.
Path Surface and Gradient
The start of this walk has enough width to use either the close cropped grass or the stony track of the Drove Road. Where it leaves the Drove Road it joins a grassy track, with a gradient of approximately 1:15 before levelling out. The route then passes through a bridlegate and is a narrower and rougher path for a short distance before the views of Thorodale. Some may choose to turn back at the gate.
There is space for a few cars where the road from Kepwick meets the Hambleton Drove Road. From here head north descending gently along the Hambleton Drove Road. On reaching the ruins of Lime Kiln House turn right on the grassy track of the bridleway, climbing at around a 1:15 slope before it levels out. After a short distance you can turn around, or head through the gate on the left along the rougher path to see the wonderful view over Thorodale.
There are no immediate facilities.
The closest are at Thirsk and Osmotherley where there are accessible toilets.
Kepwick is situated north-east of Thirsk.
Turn off the A19 at Knayton for Kepwick.
At the west end of the village by the entrance to Kepwick Hall, take the road signed ‘Unsuitable for motors’ (It is ok for cars up to the parking point!)
This is a steep, narrow, gated tarmac road which will take you to the start point of the walk.
Points of Interest
The Hambleton Drove Road has been used for thousands of years. Along its length archaeologists have found flints, axes and pottery dating back to the stone age.
In the 18th Century the road was used by Scottish cattle drovers. They drove vast herds of cattle from Scotland across England to various market towns, even as far as London.
The walk also leads you down to the ruins of Limekiln House. This was once an Inn serving the drovers.
This is limestone country and evidence of stone quarries abound in the area. During the 19th century the stone was used extensively for mortar, limewash and agricultural lime as well as for building local dry stone walls.
Further north the limestone thins out and is replaced by grit and sandstone and the vegetation changes from grassland to heather moorland.
Miles without Stiles Categories
The Miles without Stiles categories are for 'all', 'many', or 'some' and are based on gradients and surface conditions. The grades are a guide only, so please weigh up your route choice carefully.
Suitable for everyone, including pushchairs and people operating their own wheelchairs
Gradient: No more than 1:10
Surface: Tarmac or smooth, compacted stone with a diameter of 10 mm or less. Path width will be a minimum of 1 metre with passing places
Suitable for assisted wheelchair users and families with more robust, all-terrain type buggies
Gradient: Existing gradients no more than 1:10, although newly built gradients can be up to 1:8
Surface: The path surface will be rougher stone of 4 cm diameter or less
Strong and confident wheelchair users and helpers may find routes 'for some' within their abilities. May be suitable for off-road mobility scooters
Gradient: Gradients are not limited, but slopes greater than 1:8 will have improved surfacing, or handrails
Surface: There may be some low steps or breaks in the surface up to 10 cm in height. Stone surface material may be up to 10 cm in diameter.
Download this Route
You can find this route and follow it on your Smartphone here: OutdoorActive (Hambleton Drove Road Accessible Walk).