Friday 17 April 2015. The leaflet for today’s walk suggested that it would be 9.5 miles, however, even with a short cut through the grounds of Castle Howard, it turned out to be 10.2 miles with almost 1,200ft of ascent. I’m pleased to say that, at last, the sun came out and it was a pleasant day if still a little cool at 12c.
After an initial section of road walking, much of the route was in woodland which provided added interest. I had a brief coffee stop after 3 miles at Ganthorpe and lunch after 8 miles at Coneysthorpe. In between, I passed a group of 4 ladies walking in the opposite direction and shortly afterwards came upon a walking pole lent up against a log. I suspected that it might have been left behind by the ladies. What should I do? Leave it where it was on the assumption that it was theirs and that they would come back for it or, if it wasn’t theirs, should I add it to my collection. I decided on the latter and perhaps I’d bump into the ladies later in the day.
Whilst having my lunch in the hamlet of Coneysthorpe I was engaged in conversation by a 78 year old lady who took great joy in telling me something of the history of the place who’s origins were as homes for workers on the Castle Howard estate. She spoke knowledgeably about both football and cricket, particularly from the 1970’s. She was also friends with the chef, James Martin, who was born in nearby Welburn and started his career in the kitchens of Castle Howard where his father was catering manager.
The last part of my route should have taken me around the outskirts of Castle Howard but a low boundary fence offered me the opportunity to hop across into the castle grounds and to have a closer look at the house.
Just as I was approaching my car, I bumped into the 4 ladies from earlier in the day. They had indeed left a walking pole behind. One of them backtracked to pick it up but by then it was in my hand and I was well away in the opposite direction. I was pleased to be able to hand it back and they were pleased to have it back.