That walk was just one of many more we intended to go on, and so on the 2nd of June we were out again, well equipped with bottles of water, camera, brollies and a leaflet we had picked up at the Tourist Information. (The leaflet can be found here and viewed as a PDF on the website, or printed out if you intend to go on that walk yourself.)
The Sanctuary Way Walk is a circuit walk of 10 miles altogether, along what used to be the Sanctuary boundary of the settlement from the year 937 onwards. Whoever was looking for shelter - either because they were criminals or being persecuted for some other reason - was granted sanctuary overnight as long as they kept inside the boundary, marked by Sanctuary crosses. Originally, there were eight crosses; only one is still there. At the site of the other seven, replicas have been set up and information boards tell the story of the place and those bygone times.
Near Ripon canal basin.
Along the river.
Out of the woods and across fields:
Coming up towards Sharow:
This, Sharow Cross, is the only original part left of one of the eight Sanctuary crosses. Not something you'd stop to look at, if you didn't know it was there and what it once was.
The leaflet had promised "unique views of the cathedral". This is what we saw from Sharow:
If you look very carefully, you can just about make out the top of the cathedral to the right of the tree in the middle. Zooming in with my camera, I could confirm that it was indeed the cathedral:
Ours was what the leaflet describes as the "scenic route", of a mere 2 hours. I am not sure how long we actually walked, but I know we ended up with very muddy feet and rather hungry. Fortunately, nobody checked our shoes when we entered the "Warehouse Café" for a bite of lunch!
In spite of our wet feet, we had both very much liked this walk, which lead us to places where I'd not been before, and through a very peaceful, quiet and green landscape. Maybe next year I'll walk the entire circuit.