Hackfall Wood 8 September 2011
Eight of us took the riverside path from Masham to Hackfall Wood. We passed Nutwith Cote a substantial 18th century manor house previously owned by the monks of Fountains Abbey. An interesting house with adjoining stone beehives and a ruined dovecote on the top of a hill.
We did the full tour of Hackfall about 4 miles visiting the many follies and admiring the views of the ravines and the the distant Masham church spire. The gardens were laid out as an ornamental landscape by William Aislabie and became a famous beauty spot painted by Turner, written about by Wordsworth and depicted on a dinner service by Wedgwood.
We arrived just in time to see the fountain spout (which it does automatically about every 20 - 30 minutes when the water in the system reaches a certain level). We lunched outside the Ruin a folly now owned by the Landmark Trust and let out to holiday makers. The views acrosss to the North York Moors were magnificent.
Our return leg took us past Swinton Hall, Masham Golf Club and a sculpture which some of the party mistook for a urinal.
We finished our 9 mile walk with a welcome cup of tea at the Sun Catcher's cafe.