Over­seas Walk: Thorn­ton-le-Dale Walks -a walk through a quaint English vil­lage

Thorn­ton-le-Dale is a small, quaint vil­lage in North York­shire, Eng­land. It also hap­pens to be my mum’s favourite vil­lage be­cause it has a very pic­turesque thatched cottage in it; we’d al­ready vis­ited it five times this trip.

Walking New Zealand - - Contents - By Leah Bronn

On this par­tic­u­lar oc­ca­sion, the sun was shin­ing with no signs of rain, so Mum or­ga­nized a walk for us.

The walk was easy enough, first tak­ing us through Thorn­ton-le-Dale, then down a paved coun­try lane.

The route we fol­lowed lead us past farm pad­docks on one side, with a dense pine for­est on the other side, shad­ing us most of the way.

We met a few walk­ers along the way, and the oc­ca­sional car. But other than that, we had the track to our­selves.

Af­ter half an hour, the walk ended at a small ham­let called Ellerby. It was made up of one farm house, a tea­room

and an old church.

Dad was keen to go to the tea­room, but mum in­sisted we first look in the tiny church, called St Hilda’s.

The front yard was filled with grave stones; they must have been there for a very long time be­cause we couldn’t even make out the writ­ing on them! In­side, there was a bit of his­tory about the place, which claimed the church had been built in the year 820. Well, that was a bit of a sur­prise!

Af­ter we fin­ished ex­plor­ing the church, dad led the way to the tea­rooms. At the en­trance was a big sign stat­ing,

“Tea Cosy Tea­room”. The tea­room was small but quaint and sur­pris­ingly, quite full. We or­dered our scones and tea, then went out­side to en­joy it in the sun­shine.

Af­ter our af­ter­noon tea, we headed back to Thorn­ton-le-Dale. We took a dif­fer­ent trail back, which went through the farm pad­docks we had passed on the way.

The pad­docks were dot­ted with black and white sheep, look­ing at us cu­ri­ously as we strolled by. It was a well marked path with a few signs every so of­ten, re­as­sur­ing us we were on the right track.

The whole way back, we fol­lowed a bub­bling stream that ran all the way to Thorn­ton-le-Dale. It flowed along side the pine for­est we passed on our way to Ellerby.

Even­tu­ally, the path lead us back into Thorn­ton-le-Dale and past mum’s favourite cottage, Beck­side Cottage.

All in all, the walk had taken us no more than an hour and a half, with a very sat­is­fy­ing end at the ice-cream shop!

Thorn­ton-le-Dale Walk - a walk through quaint English coun­try­side

The paths are level and way­marked on the Thorn­ton-le-Dale walk but run through river­side fields and may be muddy in places af­ter rain.

There are oc­ca­sional stiles and gates en route. Take care on vil­lage roads in Thorn­ton le Dale and on the nar­row road when re­turn­ing from Eller­burn.

The route runs through farm­land and a farm­yard. Please keep your dog Above: The path wan­ders through a shaded area. Mid­dle: Quaint cot­tages are a fea­ture of Thorn­ton-le-Dale.

un­der con­trol and al­ways on a lead near live­stock.

Beau­ti­ful Thorn­ton le Dale is one of the most vis­ited vil­lages in the Na­tional Park, with its mar­ket cross and stocks on the vil­lage green and a bab­bling stream crossed by lit­tle bridges.

It's an an­cient set­tle­ment – farmed by Ne­olithic man, set­tled by the An­gloSax­ons and known to have been in ex­is­tence in its present form since be­fore the Nor­man Con­quest. A grant for a weekly mar­ket was first made in 1281, while the stocks (not the present ones) were last used in 1874.

At the start of the walk (on the main road, head­ing to­wards the bridge) you'll pass the Lady Lum­ley almshouses, com­pleted in 1670 to ac­com­mo­date twelve poor peo­ple of the parish.

The vil­lage is also known for its thatched – and much-pho­tographed – Beck Isle Cottage, idyl­li­cally sited on a bend in Thorn­ton Beck. It's one of many hand­some cruck-framed build­ings in the vil­lage, all of which would orig­i­nally have been thatched.

Fol­low­ing the ser­pen­tine course of Thorn­ton Beck leads you to the peace­ful ham­let of Eller­burn and the ro­man­ti­cally sited church of St Hilda, set in a clear­ing close to the beck. The church is ded­i­cated to the first abbess of Whitby Abbey and is by far the old­est church in the area.

The orig­i­nal build­ing would have been a sim­ple wooden chapel, and while the cur­rent church dates back to at least 1050 AD it also in­cor­po­rates carved church­yard stones of an even ear­lier era.

Above: The walk­way runs be­side a stream. In­sert: Those yummy scones! Be­low left: The trail crosses an old bridge over a small stream.

Above: Walk­ing through a shaded area In­sert Those yummy scaones. Be­low: One of the many thatched cot­tages..

Above right: The church of St Hilda and grave­yard. Mid­dle: The tea­rooms at Allerby. Be­low Left: Time to stop and take in the coun­try­side. Be­low Right; One of the many gates along the route.

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