Otley: Green fields and corridors
Cyril Francis follows a route around Otley
An attractive feature of this week’s walk around the village of Otley is a delightful green corridor marked on the map as Gipsy Lane. Elsewhere, there is pleasant walking through pasture, beside corn fields and along quiet roads - all enclosed within an agricultural landscape.
Leave the car park, turn right and go quickly right again to follow a narrow path with a metal fence on the left. Pass the village school and playing field and continue ahead. From time to time hedgerows and wooden fencing border the path that later emerges beside the entrance drive to Bowerfield House.
Turn right to join a road, walk to the junction ahead and turn left on to the Ipswich Road. Follow the road for about 300 yards and look left for a footpath sign directing you through a hedge gap and into a field. Bear right, cross a sleeper bridge and head towards the hedge opposite. Go over another sleeper bridge, pass through a hedge gap and emerge into pasture. Go past a tennis court, continue ahead and pass through a gate into more pasture.
Continue along the left edge but do not enter the garden beyond. Turn left and right in the field corner and enter the adjoining field. Continue with a hedge on the right and shortly cross a shallow ditch and stile. Cross some new pasture diagonally, aiming for the hedge in front. Go through a hedge gap, pass under power lines and continue ahead to later pass through a gate and on to the Ipswich Road again. Turn right, shortly pass a mail box on the left and keep forward to reach a right-hand bend. Turn left here to join Gypsy Lane.
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Keep following the shaded lane, flanked by mature hedgerows either side, to finally emerge beside the B1077. Turn right, walk along the road for about 75 yards and take the next turning right. Keep following a broad track that runs between two cultivated fields to reach a path junction beside a three-finger post. Turn right here, walk beside a hedge on the right and soon pass an electricity pylon.
Curve left at the next corner and continue beside a mature hedge. Shortly cross a multi-sleeper bridge that takes you into the adjoining field. Keep forward and later pass through a large hedge gap to enter the next field. Maintain direction over a brief stretch of plough and continue along the field edge. Cross the B1079 ahead with care, enter a new field and afterwards stay beside the hedge on the right.
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At the next entrance gap, turn right on to a grassy area and afterwards go straight ahead to follow a farm access path with a hedge on the left. Pass under some overhead power cables and quickly turn left over a sleeper bridge to enter a cultivated field with a hedge on the left. Follow the path to the boundary, turn right and continue ahead to reach a T-junction of paths.
Turn right to join a broad green lane that later meets a surfaced area with buildings on the right. Go past a pond and quickly take the next footpath going left. The even path now runs through a field of pasture with horse paddocks sited either side. Exit the pasture by a springer stile sited beside a gate and turn right when meeting a road in front. Continue through the village along a footway to find the car park further ahead on the right.