A Wander Through Hudswell Woods

We awake to a cracking day, there is some early morning mist but the forecast is bright. I venture out for an early morning stroll with the dogs as the autumnal sun begins to burn off the mist.

This is one of those days when I will be combining work with our touring. So after breakfast I drive north for a meeting leaving Lynnie dog-sitting with a good book and what looks like the early signs of a cold.

It is late afternoon by the time I return so there is only time for a short stroll, though for many it would constitute a walk! This wander is far enough to give the dogs some exercise and work up an appetite and thirst for a trip to the George and Dragon later.


We take the same route out of Scar Close CL as we took yesterday. We go through the gate at bottom of the site leading onto a footpath and turn right to follow the path into another field and then along the edge of woodland with a steep slope to our left. Over a stile and across a couple of fields we then climb another stile and turn left at a crossroads of paths to go alongside trees to a gate where we enter Hudswell Wood.

The path descends and then goes through a gate into more woodland, and continues downhill. Today we turn left at the bottom rather than right and follow the footpath with the River Swale to our right.

Walking through the woods in the evening sun with regular views of the dappled river is a real treat and we have the constant accompaniment of bird song.

Hudswell Woods merges into Calfhall Woods and then Hudswell Bank, the whole area is owned by the National Trust and there are said to be over five miles of footpaths in these woods.


Whilst Lynnie is busy taking photos by the river I take a look at the old quarry and then we continue along by the riverbank. This is stunning countryside that judging by the wear of the path is frequently visited. However, we appear to be alone in the woods.


Of course on a circular route for every step you go downhill, there is a corresponding step back uphill. On few walks are the steps as clearly defined as they are in these woods. There are 230 of them and they will take us back up to the top of the scar.


We start to climb; a good blow! Clearly some restoration work has been done and the steps are well maintained. About two thirds of the way up we see further signs of the old industrial quarry workings and then on reaching the top are greeted by two fine views. One is the rear entrance to the George and Dragon the other is Whitcliffe Scar on the other side of the valley.


At the top of the steps we turn left, resisting, for the moment, the temptation to pop into the George and Dragon, the boys are ready for their dinner. At a fork in the path we go right and are soon in the playing field behind the village hall. On reaching the road we turn left and stroll back to Scar Close. This interesting little loop has covered a couple of miles.

Later we walk to the George and Dragon for a meal and to make use of their Wi-Fi. It is not long before we are introduced to a couple more locals and have a pleasant time talking about community pubs and our travelling adventures. I soon discover that I have developed a bit of a taste for the Copper Dragon bitter, brewed in Skipton. If there is one thing that Freddy’s like it is Yorkshire beer!

[To follow our walk you will need Ordnance Survey Explorer Map 304 – Darlington & Richmond]

29th September 2015

© Two Dogs and an Awning (2015)

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