Anyway - this post contains pictures from Markenfield Hall, taken on July 17th. My sister and I intended to walk from Ripon to Ripley - it looks all very doable on the map, but proved much more difficult than anticipated. But although we did not manage to walk all the way (more about that later), we DID walk to Markenfield Hall and around it, as even when the house itself is not open to the public, one is allowed to walk around the moat.
But see for yourself. First of all, look at that wonderful blue sky! It was really warm (hot in Yorkshire terms) on that day, and we set off from Ripon via Whitecliff Lane past farms and fields, pastures and woods.
|The same view as the one above, only zoomed in - Ripon Cathedral is never far away!|
First glimpse of Markenfield Hall:
Coming up past outbuildings and the drystone wall surrounding it:
Moat, gate house and car park. We were polite enough NOT to fall in the moat!
Now follow me on the path that leads around the moat:
Isn't this wonderful? You expect to stumble across Sleeping Beauty or some other fairytale character any moment (we didn't)! Next year, we are going to plan our Yorkshire Holiday so that we can catch an open day here.
Walking further on, the public footpath lead across a field of cows. It is an official path; walkers/ramblers are allowed to walk there. But on the gates to the field were warning notices, advising people to keep to the perimeter of the field and generally use caution, as the cows were with calves. Also, the notice said NOT to bring dogs onto the field.
I don't mind a few cows at the other end of a large field, when I know I can walk across at a safe distance and all looks quiet. But I do take such warnings seriously, and when we did indeed dare to go through the cow-proof gate and walked slowly and quietly along the perimeter, I felt uneasy. Then, some of the cows started looking our way, with one of them appearing particularly interested in us. I thought, better safe than sorry, and quickly climbed over the wire fence, from where I took the picture below.
In all likelihood, nothing would have happened, but I did not want to risk anything.
There was no path this side of the fence, and we struggled for a rather long stretch of field amidst nettles, thorns and thistles at the outer rim of a field of wheat. It was very difficult walking, as the growth was so thick we could not really see where we were putting our feet. Emerging at the other end of that field, where the footpath across the cow pasture came out by another gate, we needed a break - taking a good ten minutes just to get off the worst of the prickly and sticky plant bits that had made their way into our shoes and socks.
From that point on, walking became a little easier. And all cows were - although still interested - on the other side of a fence.
Eventually, we found ourselves in Wormald Green - a small village/hamlet halfway between Ripon and Ripley, where we have come through many times on the bus to and from Harrogate. My sister's mobile phone had only just informed us that by now, we had been walking about 12 km (7,5 miles); we were sweaty, thirsty (we did have water with us, and something to eat) and still many plant bits clinging to our feet. Guess how we felt, then, coming across a road sign that said "Ripon 4 miles"...! It was about the most discouraging sight imaginable.
Therefore, we decided to have a nice cold drink at "The George" in Wormald Green and take the bus for the rest of the way to Ripley.
It was a very good decision, because we had our energy and spirits restored by the time we arrived in Ripley, ready to have once again (as in previous years) a walk around the pretty village and the castle grounds. That will be the subject of another post,