This is an easy but satisfying walk around the field paths, back lanes and tracks on the west side of Harrogate.
The starting village, Beckwithshaw, actually takes its name from the hamlet of Beckwith which is also included in the route, the suffix “shaw” meaning a copse. The Church of St Michael and All Angels at Beckwithshaw is late Victorian and considered one of finest examples of an Arts and Crafts church. It has retained most of its original features. The section of the route into and through the valley to the south of Lund House Green is particularly scenic. Look out for red-legged partridges here, as well as redwings and fieldfares.
1. Start from St. Michael and All Angels Church on the B6161, opposite the Smiths Arms. Take a signposted footpath to the right of the church and follow it in a straight line over a field. Cross a stile and to right to walk with a stream on your right. Cross another stile and follow the course of the waymarked field path before going through a handgate and turning right towards a house at Howe House Farm.
2. Go through a handgate to the left of the house and continue ahead. Cross the access road and follow a gravel drive and take a handgate to the left and follow the path up to a tarmac lane. Turn right then fork left to pass Low House Farm. Continue downhill through buildings and away from the farm to a follow the path up a slight incline aiming to the right of a house. Walk up the road to the hamlet of Beckwith.
3. Look for the Harrogate Ringway signpost taking the path right. Keep right round the side of farm buildings and follow the Ringway path as it swings left across fields, eventually arriving at a stile leading onto Lady Lane.
4. Turn right and walk with care along the road to Lund House Green. Just past Hill Top View take a signposted track on the right and follow the obvious path downhill to start one of the nicest parts of the walk. Eventually, go through a metal gate and a short distance further on turn right to follow an intersecting path across fields to Valley Farm.
5. After a footbridge bear right and walk past buildings. Look for a footpath forking left and follow it above a stream and farm to continue along field edges on a clear route. Keep to the right of a farm at Shaw Green and cross a field to a signpost and turn right onto the road. Walk up to a junction and go right again to return to Beckwithshaw.
Difficulty rating: 1 star
Distance: 4 miles
Time: 2 hours.
Map: OS Explorer (1:25000) sheet 297 Lower Wharfedale & Washburn Valley.
Parking: Responsible/informal, Beckwithshaw or Shaw Green.
Public transport: No convenient bus service.
Refreshments: Beckwithshaw and (off route) RHS Garden Harlow Car.
Toilets: For refreshments customers.