abbey walks

Stage 1 - St Mary's Abbey, York to Green Hammerton




19.7 km / 12.4 miles

Explorer maps


York - OL290, Leeds - OL289



5 - 5.5 hours average time based on Naismith’s rule

Total ascent   74m

Total descent





Waypoint coordinates


gpx coordinates Right click on icon and choose save.  (Learn how to use this file)

Download PDF  

PDF icon Click on PDF icon to open.





This first stage of the Prior Richard Way is a very pleasant and easy walk from the 12th century Benedictine Abbey of St. Mary's in York which initially follows the River Ouse towpath before passing through residential streets to reach the medieval village of Nether Poppleton. This village name is derived from 'popel' (pebble) and 'tun' (hamlet or farm) therefore meaning 'Pebble Farm' due to the gravel bed upon which the village was built.


At the edge of the Nether Poppleton the Prior Richard Way crosses fields to reach the tiny village of Moor Monkton and then along a very short stretch of the busy A59 which was formerly the Roman Road of Dere Street - please take care on this part. The route continues through fields and along minor roads, passing through Green Hammerton 'Hammerton with the green', from Middle English 'grene'. Green Hammeton was first mentioned in the Domesday Book of 1086.  This is the end of the stage and a chance for accommodation at the Bay Horse pub.




Walk Description :

1 - From St Mary's Abbey pass the Yorkshire Museum on the left to walk out of the Museum Gardens. Turn right before the main road and down the lane and enjoy a pleasant walk along the riverside to eventually pass under a road bridge. 


2 - As the river bends left bear right before the sluice gates to continue along the path / cycle path to reach a road bridge over the river. Keep right up onto the path by the road and turn left to cross the river and railway line. At the roundabout take the second road, Millfield Lane.


3 - Just after the houses, before the railway crossing turn right at the junction and under a road bridge and along Millfield Lane to Nether Poppleton village.


4 - In the village the road naturally bears left along Main Street past a pub on the left. After passing River Gardens road on the left take the 2nd footpath on the right to cross a field keeping to the left. At the end bear left and right to continue ahead with the field boundary on the right to reach New Farm.


5 - At New Farm just before a building on the left, turn right through the hedge and then left passing the edge of the farm. At the end of a large farm building turn right into the field and immediately left to keep a ditch on the left. Pass round the field again keeping the ditch on the left to reach a tarmac lane.


6 - Turn right on the lane and just before the house turn left, direction Moor Monkton 2 miles. Cross over a stile towards farm buildings and then over a 2nd stile and a bridge over a ditch. Cross the 3rd stile and turn left and then a final stile into house gardens. Pass through the garden to the drive and bear left and immediately right through the gate into the field to cross diagonally to the bottom left hand corner.


7 - Continue through the gate onto a tarmac lane past Foss Dyke Barn and then ahead through the gate to pass Thick Penny Forge and the bungalow. At the Tarmac lane again continue ahead to reach a T-junction. Continue ahead along the Bridleway past farm buildings on the left into a field. Continue around it keeping the boundary on the right to the left hand corner and through the gate. Keep the ditch on the right and through a second gate and along a narrow green track. This can be muddy due to horse traffic. Pass under electricity wires and into the village of Moor Monkton.


8 - Pass through the village and continue left onto Church Lane. Pass the houses on the left and then turn right through a metal gate (footpath sign and agricultural building on the left of the wide path. Continue ahead (possible riverside spot for a rest / refreshment stop) passing through five gates.


9 - At the fifth gate continue straight ahead, brick building on the right,

down to cross a wooden bridge over a small ditch and towards a telegraph pole. Keep to the right of the field and at the end turn right over the stile and immediately left. Pass through three fields to reach the farmyard. Continue rough it to reach the busy A59 Harrogate Road. Turn right and be very very careful keeping on the grass verge. After crossing the river, turn left through a hedge over the stile.


10 - Bear slightly right and ahead to reach a double stile and cross over. Bear diagonally left through the tree hedge to a gate and Pool Lane. Cross straight over into the field and then across three more fields keeping ahead to reach and cross a wooden bridge. Continue ahead at the field bearing very slightly right to reach a stile. Cross over into a narrow green strip to reach Red Lane. Turn right and continue ahead to the village of Green Hammerton. The Bay Horse pub is an excellent overnight stay with some fabulous home made meals


Back to top

contact abbey walks

We love to hear from fellow walkers and history fans. Drop us a line and we’ll get back to you when we’re back from our next walk !







facebook twitter google plus



Walking can be a dangerous sport.  Walkers should always be suitably equipped, including carrying and knowing how to use a map and compass.