abbey walks

Stage 5 - Harrogate To Kirkstall Abbey




33.1km / 20.7 Miles

Explorer map


Leeds 289



8 - 8.5 hours average time based on Naismith’s rule

Total ascent   421m
Total descent   451m

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This is a fairly flat walk with no significant hills to climb. It passes through the suburb of Harrogate following the Harrogate Ringway, through woods, along part of the River Wharfe before entering the Harewood House Estate Grounds and past the Emmerdale village television location. The path then follows a number of pre-existing paths, Ebor Way, Leeds Country Way, Dales Way and the Meanwood Valley Trail to the area of Meanwood on the outskirts of Leeds. Eventually Kirkstall Abbey Gatehouse is reached and the Abbey across the road.






Walk Description :


stage 5 photo1 - Return to the end of the previous days walk Jenny Field Drive. Cross over Oakdale Place Road, don’t cross the stream but turn left and bear right to Oakdale Glen. Bear right keeping the houses on the left to pick up the Ringway signs.


2 - Walking through the woods, the path will eventually bear right, here take the Ringway path left up the few steps and pass round the boundary of a house. At the end of the alley turn right up the road passing the Golf Club and return into the woods on the right and the Ringway path. The path will follow the stream again and the edge of the Golf course. Just before the old bridge over the stream on the right, turn left up the bank and steps to the road.

3 - Turn right at the road, walk to the end past the large houses on the left. At the end turn left and follow the Ringway path up the hill and at the top turn right. Note the Girl Guide campsite in front, follow Ringway path through the woods to the right. Follow this until after the top of Birk Crag Steps where the Ringway path will turn right. Turn left here to follow the footpath and along the track walking past RHS Harlow Carr Gardens and Betty’s Tea rooms. An ideal chance to sample Yorkshire finest tea room.

stage 5 photo 4 - Walk across the road to the t junction, and across and down the next road before turning left as the road bears right, rejoin the Ringway path. At the road (Lady Lane) turn right and after the junction (there is a Public House 50 metres down that road) turn left into the fields. Just before the path reaches the next road at the end of the fields, the Ringway path turns right through a hedge to follow the field boundary on the right hand side to reach a road. Turn right and then left on the Ringway Path through the field to the road, and then right and left again. Cross over a stream, ig-nore the path left but walk up through the woods to the field at the top.



stage 5 photo 5 - Turn left and again left at the end of the woods (The Warren ) . Follow the path across two roads. After the second one the track skirts past a cricket field on the right. Just before reaching the end of the cricket field and the houses take the path right. This will go over a railway line ( Take Care ) and the main A61 road to Harrogate. Cross over the rd bearing right to reach the path by the side of Walton Head Farm. Cross into the field and follow the path through two fields to reach the main A658 road. Take care crossing the road and into the next fields to pass behind a house on the right before reaching Walton Head Lane. Cross over the lane and three stiles before bearing left around the boundary of two further fields. After the second pass below the high point of the field to reach a break in the hedge. Just before reaching Kirby Overblow take the right path over a wall to continue down the drive to the road. Ignore the path left.


6 - In Kirby Overblow cross over the road to the path ahead to reach the road at Swindon Grange Farm. Turn left and just past Low Barrowby Farm turn right through two fields and then right along the track parallel and alongside the River Wharfe to reach the A61 main road. Turn left to cross over the river at Harwood Bridge and immediately cross the road to the path and into the wood yard. Head towards Mill Farm and pass with it on your right and around it to then head to the far left corner of the field. Cross over the A659 (Otley road) right and then left into Harwood Estate


7 - Follow the drive and at the top reach a path crossing point, ignore left and right but continue straight on. The path now becomes the Dales Way (on the map) but sign posted the Leeds Country Way for some of the route. Continue to pass through and between the Estate buildings and offices, around a walled garden that is now the home for estate vehicles, and then bear right up into the woods and not straight on past the lake on the left. The path will reach a t-junction, turn left (Ebor way) and then right (Leeds Country Way) to pass the Emmerdale television location on the left. Continue ahead up the track and then right around the field (not to the top of the incline). The bri-dleway is followed to Eccup


8 - At Eccup turn right on Eccup Moor road keeping left to then turn left on the Dales Way footpath to pass the forest plantation on the left and up to the stile at the end of the field. Turn right through two fields to reach King Lane. Cross over to the Public Bridleway / Dales Way and in the next field turn left into Adel Woods and then across the road to the next path. (Also marked Meanwood Valley Trail). Just after the parking area take the path right (not the Bridleway ahead) keep left on the path to reach and pass a small pond, down some steps. Take the 2nd right path to pass the spring on your left (this could easily be missed). Turn right at the viaduct to pass with it on your left. After dropping down an incline, stream in front, turn right. Stay on the footpath bearing right to pass under the road.


9 - Arrive at Parkside road, turn left and the right signposted the Meanwood Valley Trail. The path will come out at a park, turn right past Hustlers Row houses and cross over the beck and up the track. At the road leave the Meanwood Valley Trail and turn left and then right along Glen Road. Turn right at the main road and the next left, Ancaster Road. Continue to the end of the road and then turn left and after the last house on the left, continue across the field. Travel keeping the stream on the left side, straight on to reach a road. Turn right and then left, Ghyll Road and at the end turn left to pass under the railway bridge, across the mini roundabout. Turn right into the field and travel diagonally across to reach the main road, Kirkstall Abbey in view across it.




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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.