It was a good start to the Ramblers’ general council weekend at York University to be offered a pleasant, four-mile walk from the station. It is one of the Ramblers’ Routes (join for unlimited access to them) devised by Vera Silberberg, who has been the diligent secretary of the Ramblers’ York Group for 22 years.
I arrived at York station at about 3.30 on a drizzly Friday afternoon and set off along the River Ouse.
At Lendal Bridge I climbed to the city wall, with a fine view back to the Minster, and a smug feeling as I watched the queuing Friday traffic below. This section of the wall enclosed the colonia (planned town) of the Roman fortress which was on the other side of the river, centred on the site of York Minster.
At Micklegate Bar I went through the gateway. Pevsner considers Micklegate to be ‘the most rewarding street in York’.
I continued round the wall with profusions of daffodils on the slopes
and then rejoined the river at Skeldergate Bridge.
A bit further downstream I came to Rowntree Park which is dedicated to the employees of Rowntree’s who died in the First World War.
The eighteenth-century gates are grade II*-listed, donated by Rowntree’s in 1955 as a World War II memorial.
I crossed the river on the elegant Millennium Bridge, with a view downstream to the tower of the former Terry’s chocolate factory.
After a rather boring urban stretch to Fulford Road and past the TA barracks, I came to Walmgate Stray, with its tantalising sign suggesting that there might just be short-eared owls here (but it is rather an old sign).
Here the city freemen have grazing rights. It is not shown as access land on the Explorer map, but the public has freedom to roam. It is one of a number of the historic strays of York.
From here I entered the university grounds, at which point the navigation became more difficult; the walk delivered me to Derwent College but it’s a confusing campus and it was some time before I eventually reached my accommodation in Alcuin College on the far side of University Road.
Thanks to Vera, and to route checker Marilyn Skelton, for such an interesting walk.