point and OS Grid reference:
Markington War Memorial Institute car park (SE 288651)
Explorer 299 – Ripon and Boroughbridge or OS Explorer 298 - Nidderdale.
Date of Walk: 18 March 2015
Traffic light rating:
(For explanation see My
For advice on .gpx files see
the PDF logo above to give a printable version of this walk without the
view route as a dynamic Ordnance Survey map click here.
you need somewhere to stay for a trip to Yorkshire, check out "walker
This walk from Markington, between Harrogate and Ripon
is a leisurely amble in pleasant if unremarkable countryside. However
“unremarkable” does not mean boring because there are two significant
points of interest, namely Markenfield Hall and How Hill Tower. The walk is
on easy to follow paths/tracks with some road walking but on very quiet
lanes. The walk could easily be extended to take in Fountains Abbey if
Hall is a little known and rare moated medieval farmhouse which has survived
largely unspoiled as a private house and working farm since the 14th
century. Its isolation probably contributes to its survival, as a turnpike
act of 1777 diverted the main road away from it and it was largely
forgotten. Its water filled moat still survives.
Hall is mentioned on the site in the 1086 Domesday Book. It has had a
colourful history too involved to go into here.
Hall is open to the public on only a few days each year and if you can time
your walk to coincide, you could be in for a rare treat. I have looked round
in the past and it is truly memorable. Please remember it is a private house
so you will need to leave your muddy boots/rucksacks as directed by the
more information about the opening dates and history, see
NB my photos of Markenfield Hall were taken
on different days.
Hill Tower sits on the site of the Chapel of Saint Michael de Monte, which
was originally built about 1200 and was given by Robert de Sartis to
Fountains Abbey. It was repaired or rebuilt between 1494 and 1526 by Abbot
Marmaduke Huby. The tower itself was built by John Aislabie between 1718 and
1723 as part of the first phase of the garden at Studley Park. Fragments of
the ruined chapel were incorporated. It was used as a gaming house 1737-8.
is an inscription on the south face which reads SOL DEO HONOR MH ET GLORIA.
On line translation services translate this as “God The
Honour MH” – MH perhaps referring to an
individual. If any Latin scholars know better, please let me know.
tower is built on a small hill in otherwise fairly flat countryside so there
are 360° views
from the top – or would be on a clear day. I was not so lucky!
are no facilities during the walk. There is a picnic table and a bench as
indicated in the directions, where you could enjoy a picnic.
are two pubs in Markington, the Yorkshire Hussar Inn and the Cross Keys Inn
but check opening times before relying on them.
walk starts from the attractive village of Markington. There
is a car park at the Markington War Memorial Institute, next to the sports
field. To get to Markington, turn west off the A61 between Harrogate and
Ripon at Wormald Green where signposted.
could begin the walk by just crossing the sports field and picking up the
walk where marked #
but then you would miss the heads!
the car park (SE 288651), turn right and walk along the road. Just after the
primary school, turn right at the road junction for “Fountains Abbey 2½
miles”. Cross the stream and then turn right on a broad track following
the public footpath sign. Watch out for the heads.
arriving at the sports field, continue straight ahead, following the left of
the field. At the top of the football field , climb some steps (#). There is a post at the top with a
yellow footpath arrow indicating the way. Keep to the right of a hedge
the next field, follow the path which is initially to the left of the power
lines. Follow the path to the road.
the road (SE292658), keep straight ahead along it, ignoring a path off to
the left. Follow the road to a cross roads then branch off left on to a
broad track, a few feet after the
left turn at the cross roads (SE 294662). Don’t turn left at the cross
the broad track narrows to footpath width, turn right over a stile to follow
the direction of a yellow footpath arrow across the middle of the field.
Markenfield Hall soon appears in the distance. Follow the obvious path to
the barns at Markenfield Hall (SE 294673), turn right and at the end of the
last barn, turn left through a metal gate, again following the yellow
footpath arrow. The path runs up the right hand side of the property and if
you peer over the wall, you can see the moat.
arriving at the corner of a wood, turn left, then over a stile and left
past the next farm (Bland Close on the OS map) until you reach the drive to
it. Turn left along it.
as the drive crests a slight rise, turn left just before a picnic table, to
follow the public bridleway fingerpost (SE 295685).
relatively rough track gives way to tarmac. How Hill Tower is visible on the
hill top ahead. Follow this quiet lane for a further mile and turn left at
the ‘T’ junction SE 277670). Within a matter of yards, turn right
through a walkers’ gate on to the National Trust permissive path to the
tower. It initially heads towards the trees before curving right to the
the tower, retrace your steps to the road and turn right. You now follow the
road for about three quarters of a mile, passing the left turn for Wormald
Green and Markington.
after passing a bungalow on the left, turn left on the broad track,
following the public bridleway sign (SE 273659).
the bridleway along the edge of the trees and go through the gateway just
beyond the trees to follow the right hand boundary of the field. When you
get to the buildings of Haddockstones Grange, go to the right of the stone
the road, go straight across along the broad track opposite, passing a
bench. Stay on this clear track and at the end of the band of trees on the
right, turn left. Follow the track to a ‘T’ junction of tracks. Turn
right then immediately left to follow the left hand boundary of the field.
you approach the buildings of High Cayton, look out for a gap in the hedge
just before the power lines and turn left (SE 286643). After the next power
pole, turn left again along a pretty obvious track. It leads to a gate and
through this, follow the somewhat threadbare hedge on the left. At the end
of the field turn right and go through the gateway on the left, marked with
a blue arrow.
the clear route through the yard at Hinks Hall.
the track joins a road, turn right along it and follow it round to the main
street through Markington. Turn right back to the car park.
If you need to buy any
hiking equipment/clothing before your trip see the Hiking
All information on this
site is given in good faith and no liability is accepted in respect of any
damage, loss or injury which might result from acting on it.