Harhar one
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By a Slow Ways Volunteer on 07 Apr 2021







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This is a Slow Ways route connecting Harrogate and Harewood.

Know of a better route? Share it here.

This is a Slow Ways route connecting Harrogate and Harewood.

Know of a better route? Share it here.


This route has been reviewed by 3 people.

This route has been flagged (2 times) for reasons relating to safety.

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Not verified

Route status - Live

Reviews - 3

Average rating -

Is this route good enough? -  Yes (1) Maybe (2)

Problems reported -  Safety (2)

Downloads - 11


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Geography information system (GIS) data

Total length

Maximum elevation

Minimum elevation

Start and end points

Grid Ref SE3037055300
Lat / Lon 53.99287° / -1.53827°
Easting / Northing 430,370E / 455,300N
What3Words rescue.shakes.device
Grid Ref SE3215345147
Lat / Lon 53.90151° / -1.51214°
Easting / Northing 432,153E / 445,147N
What3Words rebirth.glassware.darker

Harhar One's land is

Arable 30.3%
Green urban 2.6%
Pasture 33.0%
Urban 30.6%
Woods 3.5%

Data: Corine Land Cover (CLC) 2018



29 Oct 2022 Autumn

Please note: for my own reasons (I started from home in north Leeds) I was doing this route in reverse from Harewood to Harrogate. However, I will describe in the same order as previous reviewers, north to south. I was also running most of it, but pausing to note issues and take photos.

Overview: I found the route mostly very enjoyable. The section leaving Harrogate follows quiet residential roads beyond the Stray and then a quiet track on the edge of green space to the Crimple valley. The farmland is mostly pastureland, hence one should be aware that many fields will have livestock, and there is one field a short way south of Kirby Overblow with horses (though they were quite chilled even with someone running through). Where there are arable crops, either the path is along a generous field edge verge, or after recent ploughing and reseeding has been marked by the farmer. Given the amount of woodland and trees, it was especially attractive yesterday afternoon with sun highlighting the autumn colours. There were also extensive views from around Hill top farm over to the NY Moors and Yorkshire Wolds, plus good views the Crimple Viaduct. (The Alternate route up to Harewood village also offers views up Wharfedale, and the Arthington Viaduct if one pauses to look near the top). The sections along the A61 are the exception, more detail below.

I second what the previous two reviewers say. Leaving the edge of the Stray, the cycle signing towards Hornbeam Park should work (I followed the reverse of course). It is then reasonably well-marked and straightforward until nearer Kirby Overblow. The issue mentioned near Hill Top Farm appears to follow from the fact that on the ground the actual path stays in strip of semi-wooded land between fields, doing a wiggle rather than cutting across a field as per the public footpath. In reverse I had no trouble following it, and knowing it does the wiggle should help heading south. I have submitted an alternate route, with the first minor amendment being this detail. Then after crossing Follifoot lane, once again the route on the ground diverges from the right of way. Running south it's easy to follow, going north I had to check my map and make a guess. Instead of cutting through the middle of a field the route follows a very obvious track, parallel but therefore coming out quite a few metres west of the continuation beyond Walton Head lane- as appears in my alternative route.
The path is then in a fenced off section at the edge of field. At the end of this field, the route heads turns left (heading east), through the church yard to take one to the hostelries (and bus stops) of Kirby Overblow. Alternatively, one can go straight on, through a garden and down a driveway on another public footpath (note: heading north it's not at all clear, with a missing finger post-- to be reported to N Yorks ROW service) to reach Swindon lane. South from Swindon lane, once again the public footpath has been moved so as to not cut diagonally through a garden, hence one must look for the finger post, which is directly opposite the entrance to the afore mentioned driveway, a few metres west of where it appears on OS mapping (and Harhar One). My alternate route also corrects this. The path heads down within a rather narrow fenced enclosure, before crossing a stile to get out into a field. The exit stile from the next field is also not exactly where you might expect to find it from the current route, being in the far right corner at ///buildings.speaks.prayers. The stile cross piece is also a liability (see photo, also to be reported to ROW service!) being entirely loose.
As mentioned by the other reviewers, even beyond here the right of way is not very clearly waymarked and the use of OS maps or Open Street Map Outdoor or Cycle is needed.
Eventually after crossing Spring lane, you reach the joys of the A61. I agree entirely with the other reviewers that this 400m section of A-road walking until you reach the start of the footway by the bus stop is both unpleasant and not the safest. There is a bit of a path adjacent to the northbound, but since I was heading north I opted not to cross over twice and run facing the oncoming traffic. Very little of the verge is suitable to walk on, given the growth of the hedgerow and trees. In the good weather and wearing my rather bright running gear, I was visible to vehicles and the A61 here is very wide so they could give me a decent amount of space, quite easily. However, if one was wearing duller clothing or in darkish, wet weather I would have found this quite worrying. Hence, the most major reroute as proposed in my alternative. In brief, this goes left at Spring lane, and then uses ROW to eventually return to the A61 at Harewood bridge, and avoids the whole section without footway and includes a short section following the Wharfe bank- look out for kingfishers and herons! The downside is that it does add 1.3km to the distance, and has 1km of road walking but now at least on a much quieter back road.
Lastly, there is the final approach to Harewood village. Harhar one in total follows the A61 for 1.5km, and even where there is a footway, it's a busy A-road and the close proximity of thundering traffic does detract from the pleasant quietness of really the rest of the route (I'd give the rest 4 stars, but this section one star). Not to mention that the footpath up from the A61 is hardly walked, boggy and overgrown. Hence, I also suggest following Gabbi's proposed alternative, which is incorporated into my alternative. It adds a mere 200m the length.

Accessibility: as noted by previous reviewers.

Other comments: I also wish the flag up the need to take great care crossing the A658 bypass (even trickier to going northwards) and the A61. In fact I had to wait almost 3min to cross, once is quite enough!.


18 Jun 2021 Spring

This is a very pleasant and surprisingly rural walk along mainly level paths.
The steady climb out of Crimple Valley to Follifoot Road through the woods (Spacey Houses Whin) used to be narrow and irregular with tree roots and rocks (as described in the previous review) but has recently been widened and levelled with rock chippings (photo 3 below), so is less aesthetically pleasing but provides very much improved access.
Crossing the Harrogate Bypass (A658) requires great care as it carries fast moving traffic, but the walk from there is easy going, though additional signposting would welcome.
The path at Hill Top Hall Farm is very difficult to follow as it disappears into the undergrowth. We ended up going through the gate and walking along the new fence before spotting the correct path on the other side of the fence and doubling back to battle through the undergrowth to get to the Footpath (photo 5 below - taken looking back at the gate from the correct path).
The last part of the walk inevitably involves walking along the A61 as this is the only local bridge over the river Wharfe, but it is very busy with fast moving traffic. There is a narrow overgrown pavement on the R side of the road, but when approaching the bridge the pavement switches to the L side so requires crossing the road again.
Having read Gabbi's review from 1st May we ended the walk by taking the suggested alternative route through the gate at the junction of the A61 and A659 (photo 4 below). Walking through Harewood House deer park is much more pleasant than walking further along the A61 and, on leaving Harewood House, the Muddy Boots cafe is on the L side of the road and the Harewood Arms is opposite the bus stop on the A61. The 36 bus runs every 10mins back to Harrogate.


01 May 2021 (edited 27 Jun 2023) Spring

For most of its length this is a very enjoyable route but it suffers from needing to use a stretch of a very busy road (A61) in order to cross the river Wharfe.

You will need more than the Slow Ways map to navigate this route. I was glad of my OS map in several places and at one point needed to use the OS app on my phone to keep myself on the footpaths. A few specific comments:-
1. Leaving Harrogate the maze of residential roads after you cross the Stray can be confusing. I suggest following the blue cycle route signing for Hornbeam Park and the Showground. This brings you out opposite Hornbeam Park where you turn right to cross back over the railway line. When you reach a recreation ground on your right, cross the road to take a bridle path signed to Leeds Road.
2. After Kirkby Overblow the footpath between Swindon Grange Farm and Red House Farm is poorly signed and poorly maintained. Although it looks clear on the map I needed the OS app on my phone to stay on track.
3. Approaching Harewood the final footpath that cuts off a corner of the A61 is not signed. It is accessed through a painted wooden gate.

1. Much of the route is over level paths, however, the climb up through Spacey Houses Whin is steep with lots of tree roots and rocks. There is a flight of steps as you leave Kirkby Overblow and a couple of gates or stiles en route which incorporate steps.
2. I counted 21 gates and 11 stiles on the route.
3. The path beside the railway from Moor Wood to Spacey Houses Whin is very muddy in winter.
4. The last footpath that cuts off the corner of the A61 is steep, muddy all year round and bisected by a narrow but steep sided ditch which has no bridge across.

1. Some of the stiles between Swindon Grange Farm and Red House Farm are very difficult.
2. When you emerge onto the A61 after Red House Farm there is no pavement on your side of the road. There are the overgrown remnants of a pavement on the other side of the road.
3. After the Harewood Bridge bus stop there is a well maintained pavement on the left hand side of the A61 for the rest of the way.
4. You will need to cross the A61 at least once, three times if you choose to use the overgrown pavement, it is a very busy road.

Suggested modification:-
At the junction of the A61 and A659 leave the road and pass through the double wooden gates opposite to access the public rights of way through the Harewood Estate. The footpath up from the road is steep, at the top turn left on to the bridle way. This will take you into Harewood by a much nicer route.

  • Gabbi


    01 May 2021

    I also intended to mention livestock. Quite a few sheep and some cattle.

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