Sunday, 6 November 2016

Micklefield to Wetherby 05/11/16

11 miles, via the Great North Road, Aberford & Bramham.

November comes around and the walking season is still going, only just, mind you as no wandering will go on after my birthday, but it's always good to get to the last viable day of the year and have not been knocked out by tiredness or discouraged by the weather, this seems to have come around with every even numbered year, concluding exactly where I had planned to finish, and the sun is shining too, so let's make haste to get out for my celebratory meal. Of course, a walk up the Main Road to the Chip Shop is a little more technical than it sounds, as the road in question is the Great North Road, and the chippie is the Wetherby Whaler, with the final 10+ miles of the year starting out from Micklefield, so an early start is necessary if we are going to finish around lunchtime, so off the train at 9.15am, and head straight for the Great North Road, passing beneath the railway on its impressive stone bridge. North we go, to gain the correct impression that Micklefield is really two entirely separate villages, New Micklefield, where the terraces and council house were built to serve the local collieries, and Old Micklefield further up the road where the farmsteads and larger houses were to be found. The former seems to still have its original flavour, whilst the latter has a power feel of 1980s suburbia judging by the number of bungalows filling every available space on the road front, indeed you need to be alert to spot the converted village school, the church hidden by a thick wall of trees or the former farms hiding among the encroaching low rise apartments. We retain a footway as the road passes on to the north, drawing the new North Road to its side in the shape of the A1(M), and it's a long drag with the sun behind us, looking over to the Hook Moor windfarm and being struck that the hum of the motorway is much quieter than had been anticipated, I'd honestly expected a constant hiss of white noise at this proximity. Pass over the M1, and the junction with the Roman Ridge road, the alternate route of Ermine Street and this slips us straight downhill to the crossing of the B1217 Aberford Road, and on past the Hookmoor Lodges, at the southern entrance of the Parlington Estate, another illustration of the extent of these parklands, presently earmarked for suburban regeneration.