GEORGE WILKINSON heads for Terrington in the heart of the Howardian Hills.

TERRINGTON’S website states that ‘nothing big happened here’ and indeed the village sits in the central part of the Howardian Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, with the glitz of Castle Howard a distance off to the east and the Hovingham estate over to the west.

Nevertheless, it is a good place to walk from and the imminent reopening, on Mother’s Day ‘hopefully’, of the village café is most welcome, especially as the pub is shut and for sale.

A dozen mothers perhaps, even, well women certainly, strode out of the village.

Small children flitted around the private school, fresh daffodils overlapped with faded snowdrops and we headed north, past playing fields and on to a track that is both the Ebor Way and the Centenary Way.

The land is up and down, cultivated where possible, wooded or boggy otherwise. The doubly prestigious route takes a clean line.

A skylark sang briefly, but it was really a day for bigger birds. Rooks boiled above their nests in the old woods of Lord Morpeth Plantation and, as if to irritate them, a pair of buzzards swept over, breaking their glide for a bout of aerobatic talon tangling.

There are or have been Exmoor ponies on Terrington Moor but we found the walk to be animal-free, except at Ganthorpe.

Said hamlet was a mile away along Broats Lane, a nice track where hazel hung with catkins, lords and ladies showed generous growth and the field terraces are stylish.

Nicolas Pevsner describes Ganthorpe House as “plain and dignified”, which it looks, and there’s a stone pump and spring-fed ponds, a farm or two and that’s it (except A J Toynbee, who wrote The Study of History, lived here).

Next up, or rather down, was Mowthorpe. On the OS map, this name is attached to most things in the area, I counted ten. Yet again the Terrington website is clear in stating that “Mowthorpe has been a backwater, even in this parish, for four hundred years”. The woods were damp with a scent of decay, an owl hooted and a hedge held a nest every yard.

Low Mowthorpe Farm looked industrial, Mowthorpe Hill was steep, then Mowthorpe Lane was straight and level as a ruler for a mile and carries the Ebor way and the Centenary way into Terrington.


When in doubt look at the map. Check your position at each point. Keep straight on unless otherwise directed. (wm=waymark, fp=fingerpost)

1. From shop, downhill, first left to Church Lane, straight on at bend to grass strip (fp Ebor Way), between houses, right at wall corner (fp Ebor Way), by playing field, steps at end, by wood/hedge.

2. Path turns left (wm - Centenary Way) and becomes track, gate, footbridge by trees (wm), left 20 yards, snickelgate into field and right 100 yards by trees, snickelgate and left uphill.

3. Right to good track (fp other way).

4. At road, straight on, verge, left at T-junction, 20 yards, track on left (fp Broats Lane), grass track, path in trees, field-edge path, cross track, by wood, snickelgate (wm).

5. Right to track at wood corner (wm), broken field gate, cross field, small gate to path up through trees by stream, swing right to join road into village.

6. At junction, cross road to track for 500 yards. On left-hand bend, take field-edge path with hedge to left, old gate nearby (old wm on post nearby).

7. Gate to path downhill in wood, footbridge (wm), boggy area, step-ditch, boggy area for 20 yards, fork left, pass a waymarked post. Path becomes track. On right-hand bend after going uphill, straight on to path for 25 yards, downhill on path through bramble patch for 50 yards, left at wood edge, footbridge to path uphill by hedge. Gate and left by hedge

8. Right to farm drive, becomes dead-end road into Terrington.

Fact file

Distance: Five miles.

Car parking: Roadside in Terrington.

Right of way: Public.

Date walked: March 2014.

Tourist information: Pickering TIC 01751 473791.

Refreshments: In Terrington – pub currently shut, café to open soon.

Map: OS Explorer 300 Howardian Hills and Malton.

Terrain: Hills.

Difficulty: Moderate.

Please observe the Country Code and park sensibly.

While every effort is made to provide accurate information about the route and conditions, walkers set out at their own risk.