A circular walk around the historic site of Kirkham Abbey in the Howardian Hills. There's much to enjoy with fascinating history, beautiful Ryedale countryside, moderate hill climbs, riverside paths and some pleasant woodland sections on the way.
The route starts at the atmospheric ruins of the 12th century Kirkham Priory. Enjoy a stroll around the grounds where you can see the stunning Gothic architecture of the Gatehouse.
From the abbey you pick up a section of the Centenary Way to take you east towards Firby. A woodland section through the Coldwell Plantation follows before coming to the River Derwent. You follow the river round to the Suspension Bridge at Huttons Ambo where you cross to the village of Low Hutton.
The path then follows a track west to Hutton Hill and Chanting Hill, with nice views from the high points. Please take care when crossing the A64 road on this section.
You then descend to the village of Crambeck before following woodland trails along the Derwent to Kirkham Bridge. Cross the bridge and you will soon return to the priory.
To extend your walking in the area you could follow the Centenary Way, north along the Derwent to the nearby town of Malton. Here you can enjoy a visit to the fascinating Derventio Brigantum Roman Fort.
In nearby Coneysthorpe you could visit Castle Howard. The site includes 1000 acres of parkland and gardens surrounding a fine stately home.
You could also try the Helmsley to Rievaulx Abbey where there are more wonderful abbey ruins to see. Walter l'Espec, lord of nearby Helmsley, built both Rievaulx Abbey and Kirkham Abbey in the 12th century.