A walk at Ripley Castle offers an alternative to the official visit . It takes you round the rolling estate countryside to the west with some views of the castle from unusual angles.
It took me a long time to visit Ripley Castle and it’s grounds. I have no idea why as I must have passed Ripley hundreds of times on my regular trip from Newcastle to Long Preston. However some friends came to stay and it inspired the family to visit Ripley Castle and undertake a general exploration of the area. A hot day and a dog ban in the castle meant myself and Mist had to head out to explore the grounds rather than the inside. Fine by me. The remainder of family and friends went inside, visited the gardens and undertook the guided tour. Ripley Castle has been owned by the Ingleby family for over 700 years which maybe its most remarkable fact. The good thing about consistency is that many of the old records of times past have survived. All the more reason to take the tour.
The walk at Ripley Castle is pleasant enough. I walked for an hour and a half through rolling countryside and isolated farms, initially along a cycle track and then a path. There are some glimpses of the castle and estate over woodland and walls. However the views of the castle are not great. There are some good views though of the double lakes inside the grounds. However I returned to the excellent cafe to meet the others and found I was there quite a bit earlier. The walk was good and I should have extended it.
The party who went inside the castle and took the tour thoroughly enjoyed it.
There are no difficulties in finding the paths. In addition the final section on the busy road does fortunately has a path alongside.
Be aware that a farmer has blocked part of this route. There is barbed wire across the entrance to a copse, and the access to a route round the outside of the copse has a gate tied across it. We got through, to go round the copse, but it does not make walkers welcome. In places, very muddy this weekend, as the fields hold the water. The last bit, along the road, is with busy traffic going past. You need an OS map to keep you on course, as it’s not all clearly signed. There is a lovely little distillery in Ripley, as well as the pub. Very welcoming and worth a visit. Use the free car park and toilets in Ripley before you start.
There is one pub only.
It was relatively recently opened as the village was ‘dry ‘ for years!
Its biggest claim to fame was the Ripley ice cream which
attracted many people to call for a cornet.
The previous owners who were responsible for the success of the ice cream
also had the main shop as a lovely deli but I believe it now just sells sweets!
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