abbey walks

Stage 5 - Brafferton To Fountains Abbey




25.6km / 15.9 miles

Explorer maps


North York Moors, Western Area OL26 & Ripon & Boroughbridge 299



6.5 - 7 hours average time based on Naismith’s rule

Total ascent   127m

Total descent





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This is predominantly a flat walk along a combination of good paths, the riverside, and country roads.






Walk Description :


stage 3 photo1 - Return to the junction of Hall Lane and continue down Bridge Street, direction St Peters Church. Continue ahead and follow the Public Bridleway sign to go over a bridge.


















2 - The Public Bridleway will take you past Burton Grange to reach the main road. Turn left down Helperby Lane and continue to Milby. At Milby turn left down Tinkler Lane to reach the river. Cross over the lock and follow the canal and then the river path to Boroughbridge.

stage 3 photo


3 - At the main road turn left into the town past the left turn and then about 50 metres turn right up Valuation Lane (photo) and follow the footpath through the housing estate to the main road and there turn right to Roecliffe.




4 - At Roecliffe turn right just by the side of St Mary’s church down to the river, and left to follow this to Westwick Lock.


*A detour to Newby Hall can be made here by going over the lock and the path to Skelton On Ure *


If not taking the detour keep to the left of the lock and continue along the river

bank to eventually reach a view directly across the river bank to Newby

Hall (a good rest spot).

stage 3 photo


5 - Continue following the river bank and right on the tarmac road, and then back onto the river bank to reach a small lane (Green Lane). Turn right and at Rentons Bridge turn right to cross the canal and then left to walk on the right side of the Canal bank. Pass Nicholson’s Bridge on the left, Ripon racecourse on the right and the nature reserve and hides to then pass the Lock House. Continue ahead under Bypass Bridge and at the end of the canal path ahead into Low Saint Agnesgate (small public garden on the left). Continue to a T-junction with the Minster gardens on the left, ignore any roads left or right. Turn left on Minster road to reach Ripon Cathedral on the right.  

6 - With the Minster behind you turn left along Bedern Bank and across the roundabout into King’s Street to cross the River Skell. Immediately turn right along the river pathway and at the road continue ahead on Barefoot Street and then bear left on Harrogate Road, direction Harrogate A61. Take the next left Borrage Green Lane keeping the river on the right to pass the junction with the River Laver on the right. Continue with the River Skell on the right to reach a road at Hell Wath Cottage.


7 - Turn right over the stile with an information board on the left and continue ahead to cross the foot bridge over the River Skell and then a second footbridge. Continue on this well-defined and hedged path, passing a large house on the left to reach a path crossroad, turn right to reach the village of Studley. Cross over the road and through the gate into the grounds of Studley Royal, continuing diagonally left to the main drive in the deer park. At the crossroad turn left downto the lake and then keep to the lakeside to reach the gatehouse, a tea room and the entrance to Fountains Abbey.


For stage 6 either pass through the gatehouse, visit the abbey and the start is at the far side of the abbey site by the west gate house. 


Or, re-trace the drive back to the crossroad and turn left past the obalisk to the door in the park wall. Pass through and turn left and continue along the drive, past the visitors centre and car park to a T-junction and the road. Turn left and down the hill to reach the west gatehouse and the start of stage 6.















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