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.
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.