Few villages can have a lovelier setting than Hackness and its pretty neighbour due south, named Wrench Green. This countryside of little dales, hills clad with trees, fine views, and tumuli is “heaven”!
If you love trees this walk is for you, following part of the Tabular Hills Walk to Highwood Brow view point, through Wykeham Forest, and returning via Cockrah Wood, with the prospect of fine food at the Everley’s Country House Cafe to complete your day.
Start from The Everley, just north-west of Mowthorp Bridge. This licensed cafe is open from 10am-5pm so you may choose to dine there first.
From the Everley, walk along the road to Hackness for only about half a mile, seeking a sign indicating: ‘Wrench Green Only’. Here turn off left and cross the road bridge spanning the River Derwent – a popular fishing venue! Follow the lane past cottages and a small hut and turn right by Derwent Joinery.
A row of attractive cottages lead to a road junction. Here turn left by a house dated 1845, and ascend Lang Gate – a long, leafy lane. [You may of course have chosen to park your transport in Wrench Green to save your energies for this less interesting section!] Don’t give in, as the best lies ahead.
Reaching the very top, you’ll see a large ‘caution’ sign.
Here, turn right along a good, broad track signed on a low post, ‘Tabular Hills Walk’.
Your forestry trek is about a mile to the magnificent view point at Highwood Brow, seen to the right.
Here, turn left along a minor road through Wykeham Forest. Beyond a passing place on your left, notice a road junction sign. Where the minor road of Moor Lane turns right off Moor Road, you should go left down a broad track. Observe Long Grain steep valley to the right. Ascending the track ahead, we found a huge rock which served quite admirably as a stopping place for coffee. Quite a few traces of autumn flowers were noted ahead. The dusky-pink heads of the hemp agrimony, beloved by butterflies, eyebright, fleabane, hop trefoil and knapweed. The silvery-white, ‘feathery’ leaves of silverweed edged the track too, with daisy, yarrow and red barista. All revelled in the warm rays of autumn sunshine.
Leaving by a metal barrier, meet a cross-track. Go over this onto a rough, narrow path leading directly through woodland. Meeting a cross-track on a bend, bear very slightly right to cross over into a signed bridleway. [The blue waymarker is between a tree trunk and low metal barrier.]
Enjoy the narrow bridleway through woodland of silver birch and gorse, with matting of bilberry.
Emerging from the wood, a fine view across to the Everley is revealed. Bear right, and pass three large stones to find a wooden marker post to your left. Now turn sharp left into Cockrah Wood.
Descend the path, and observe the steep drop into the valley off right. You shortly welcome a sign of human habitation – a farm gate! Enter, and continue along the grassy path with post and wire fencing to the right. Admire the view overlooking fields to the Everley. Keep alongside post and wire fencing to enter a second gate. Go straight ahead, with hawthorn bushes to your right. The narrow, insignificant bridleway is banked to the left, with hazel to the right.
Descending the sunken way, notice the exposed, contorted tree roots, and evidence of foxgloves in season. Leave by a kissing gate near a ‘North Stile Farm’ name board.
Proceed down a stony track between Short Gate Cottage and Cockrah Foot House. Continue along the driveway past The Cottage to your right. Keep straight forward to reach Derwent Joinery with a little seat in the sun and a post box. Maybe rest a wee while before turning right, and then left to return to the bridge over the River Derwent. Reaching the Hackness to Mowthorp Bridge road, turn right to complete the final section of walk to the Everley.
Distance from Everley, approximately 6.5 miles. Allow three hours plus.
Refreshment: The Everley Country House Cafe. Open 10am-5pm.
NB The map is only a rough guide. Please read the route with care.