Ebor Way: Sherriff Hutton to York

Flat fields, a few lanes and pleasant riverside walking make the approach to York straightforward and easy


Sherriff Hutton


12 miles (19.4kms)

114ft (35m)
4hrs 30min

About the walk

The approach to York is flat and easy, dropping down from Sheriff Hutton and the last vestiges of the Howardian Hills to join the meandering River Foss as it guides you across open fields, through the outer suburbs and ultimately into the centre of the city. First you come to Strensall, a pleasant northern outpost of York, with its remnant of heathland and villagey feel; then via Haxby and a long section of riverside path that squeezes between the houses and past the city’s famous chocolate factory. When you finally leave the river you are almost in sight of York’s medieval city walls and the historic gateway of Monk Bar, still with its working portcullis.

Walk directions

On The Square in Sheriff Hutton, at the road junction by The Highwayman pub, walk south on the Strensall road and turn left before the village hall, to join a path across fields to West Lilling. Turn left at the village street, then turn right along a quiet unsigned tarmac lane out of the hamlet.

The lane crosses a road and continues as a broad unmade track to Lilling Green. A tubular bridge takes the path over the River Foss. Continue, turning right through the edge of Strensall Common Nature Reserve and alongside the lane beside the railway into Strensall. Before the level-crossing, turn right through the village.

Turn right along the road just before The Ship Inn, cross the new footbridge beside the old road bridge over the Foss and turn left along the riverbank past new housing. The riverside path leads to Strensall New Bridge, the last surviving bridge built by the Foss Navigation Company in 1796. The creation of the Foss Navigation from York meant improved communications for the villages of Huntington, Strensall and Sheriff Hutton. The route continues beside the river, going under a railway bridge to Towthorpe Bridge.

The path now bears right across the field to a road, where the route turns left into Haxby. Just after the sharp bend in the road, turn down Landing Lane. Turn left on a path waymarked ‘Ebor Way’ and swing right along the riverbank. Pass Lock House, a delightful place with water lilies growing on the site of the lock. Cross at a footbridge and return to the west bank at the next footbridge.

Pass under the York outer ring road and continue beside the river to Huntington Church. The church was built in 1874 but contains a fine Jacobean pulpit. Robert de Skitherby, an Augustinian friar, collected tolls from travellers at Huntington to be used for making a safe way through the Forest of Galtres. Continue beside the river until you join a road at Lock Cottage, New Earswick and then bear left after a short distance, when the river veers away from the road. Pass the giant Nestle Rowntree factory, where you might notice the sweet, pleasant smell of chocolate. The path turns right to join a road near traffic lights.

The route now goes across the road, and down steps to continue beside the river and then on for a short distance beside the road to reach Monkgate Roundabout. Cross the road at the roundabout and proceed along Monkgate to Monk Bar.

Additional information

Easy field tracks and riverside paths, a few lanes and pavements

A gradual transition from rural to urban

Good for most of the way, but on lead on streets

Sheriff Hutton village centre

Numerous locations in York city centre (see signs)

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About the area