The Lumps and Bumps of Castle Howard

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This walk guide was originally created by Graham Wilson but Walkingworld are very grateful for Phil Catterall for updating this route in June 2022.

This circular walk takes in the Howardian Hills AONB around the 18th Century palace of Castle Howard, made famous for its filming of Brideshead Revisited. It begins in the shadow of the great baroque house and dips into woodlands before coming out into rolling farmland.

The first dale to be seen is Mowthorpe Dale, and the route offers tremendous views over the York plains. The route passes through the picturesque hamlet of Ganthorpe and soon enters more extensive mixed woodland, followed by more open countryside. Having passed some very good examples of tumuli, the turning point in the walk takes you along the top of ancient earthworks. At times you can easily make out the ancient fortifications which must have presented some challenge to marauders. As the track is elevated, there are also great views across Ryedale towards the North York Moors.

The path heads back to Castle Howard along Centenary Way, which picks its way through woodland and farmland before meeting the beautiful Yorkshire stone-built village of Coneysthorpe. Along this stretch of path, there are tremendous views of the Castle Howard frontage. The path returns around the outside of the grounds of Castle Howard, but passes close to a final highlight, the follies built in the grounds around Castle Howard. These include The Temple, The Mausoleum, an ornate humpback bridge over man-made lakes and finally, The Pyramid. With the woodlands, rivers and lakes which are passed, a great variety of birds and flora can be expected.

England - North England - Yorkshire - Howardian Hills


Ancient Monument, Birds, Butterflies, Cafe, Church, Flowers, Food Shop, Gift Shop, Great Views, Hills or Fells, Lake/Loch, Public Transport, Stately Home, Tea Shop, Toilets, Wildlife, Woodland
4/7/2021 - Mark Bailey

Well close to 20 years since the first review and the good news is that this walk is still as good even during Covid 19 Days.... Away from the madding throngs visiting CH, the walk to the south is largely other walker free until you head north when those on 3/4 mile walks appear. Undulating - with reasonable rise and fall - Coneysthorpe a real highlight towards the end as are the shots of Castle Howard from angles not normally seen. The App worked perfectly so online map it was for me allowing carefree walking in what is a beautiful part of the Harwordian Hills.

9/21/2016 - James Barker

Loved this walk. Beautiful and varied countryside with a unique look at Castle Howard and it's follies. Take note at Point 3. There are no waymarks. Continue forward until a junction of paths. Ignore the main route left. Look forward and you will see a faint path and the edge of the woods in the distance. Take this path. Follow hedgerow but the stile leading to the road is inaccessible due to undergrowth. However, a clear path and good exit is in the next field, left. Other instructions are very good.

4/2/2007 - Paul Rowe

Very pleasant walk for a warm day. Not too strenuous, with good views. We started and finished at Slingsby, making the total walk about 12 miles. Thank you for this excellent walk.

2/10/2004 - Edward French

Excellent walk, but the indicated distance is incorrect. The total miles is about 10.5 (not 8). Otherwise we had a great day out. Good views and moderate under foot Thank you

9/30/2002 - Joy Boldero

We very much enjoyed this walk around Castle Howard. It was easy to follow, the woodlands were beautiful, 'not a sound could be heard - not a funeral note' as the poem says, only pheasants calling and deer rushing thro the trees!

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