Winter walk along lanes

View from Foulbridge Lane towards Snainton
View from Foulbridge Lane towards Snainton

by Maureen Robinson

Enjoy this grand, level and direct route following minor lanes and a bridleway to the south of Snainton village. It’s ideal for winter walking, providing you go prepared for possible muddy conditions along the bridleway.

Access. Take the A170 Scarborough to Pickering road as far as Snainton village, by bus or private transport. I suggest parking near the Peacock Inn – possibly along Station Road.

Start. From the Peacock, walk briefly west along the A170 and turn left down 
Station Road. Pass the Methodist Church and Pudding Lane off right, and then The Orchard features to your left, and bungalows.

Keep straight ahead along Middle Lane with grassed, hedged verges. This direct route traverses fields as it heads south towards the Wolds. Being level land, it’s prone to flooding, and you’ll notice well-maintained drainage ditches as you cross Snainton East Carr.

Reaching cross-roads, keep straight forward. You’ll see Winlea Farm to the left on Snainton Ings. Where the row of telephone posts ends, seek a bridleway off right. This is a grassy track which traverses fields to Foulbridge, which is just north of the River Derwent.

After about a mile of cross-country walking, you reach a lane near barns and Foulbridge Farm. The house and Knights Templars’ Hall are directly behind the stone buildings to your left. Foulbridge is an ancient crossing of the River Derwent about one mile east of the modern crossing at Yedingham. It has several spellings, but all show that the name means the bridge of Fulk, a well-known Norman personal name derived from the Scandinavian. Across the river from Foulbridge, a road made its way to York from important monastic sites at Whitby and Hackness.

The Knights Templars’ Hall is sited here. [The Knights Templars, founded in 1118, were one of two great international military religious orders deeply involved with the crusading spirit of the 12th century. This was at a time when the newly formed Christian Kingdom of Jerusalem found itself under constant attack from the rising tide of Islam.

The orders, Templars and Hospitallers, both had their headquarters in France, but had houses and widespread properties in this country. On January 8 1308, the Sheriff of Yorkshire, obeying the King’s writ, arrested all the templars he could find in the country. The entire Templar Order was finally suppressed by the Pope in 1312.]

Continue along the lane – frequented by horse-riders – as far as a track leading off left named Abbey Lane. Halt here, as at the corner of Abbey Lane is a field named Mill Hill. 
 Although it now appears to be level, there used to be a mound where the Templars erected a windmill. They apparently didn’t construct a water mill at Foulbridge, but possibly rented one on a nearby site along with neighbouring estates.

Leaving Mill Hill, proceed northwards along Foulbridge Lane. At a forking of ways, ignore the lane off right and keep straight ahead. Foulbridge Lane takes a right-angled bend to meet Station Road at its union with Middle Lane. Here, turn left to 
retrace your steps, passing The Orchard etc. Stone walling and properties return you to the A170 in Snainton. Turn right alongside the road to The Peacock for possible refreshment, or fish and chips just beyond.

Distance: 4.75 miles.

Refreshment: The Peacock Inn, Snainton.

Public transport: The 128 Pickering service bus takes you to Snainton village and stops at Station Road, which is the road you require.

Map reference: Ordnance Survey - Explorer Map OL 27 North York Moors Eastern Area. Scale 2½” to 1 mile.