Visiting Pompocali in Hetchell Woods

This is one of our favourite walks, with lots of routes you could take. You enter from Tenter Hill Lane and at the bottom of this lane you turn right and follow the path through the woods, continuing to the side of a farmer’s field.

You cross a small road and then enter Hetchell Woods and follow the lane.

Throw da ball – I’m ready!
Surveying the land – could I follow my ball if I drop it here…?

This is a great place for playing hide and seek, capture the flag, having a picnic and playing tig! Kids, dogs and grown-ups love it! We describe it as Teletubby land and it is often covered with purple heather.

Incoming!!!

As you come over the top of Pompocali you enter the old railway path and go under gorgeous stone arches – it is often very muddy here however!

My favourite place to run wild through – da bog!

We looped back round, walking back through Terry Lug Wood by the river into the tall tree forest.

This is a great mixed landscape walk which is perfect for families and dogs and you can go as far as you want to.

Merlin ran about 17 times further than us! Follow him on Instagram for more adventures: https://www.instagram.com/merlinthechocolatewizard/

Merlin was walked responsibly throughout this walk in line with the countryside code and specific site recommendations. Merlin supports walking with his two legged friend in a way which takes into account other walkers, wildlife and the natural environment.

Be a responsible dog owner and supervise your canine companion at all times.

Boston Spa and the River Wharfe

This is my favourite daily walk- you can see me jumping for joy even though I get to do it pretty much every day at the moment!

As you travel through the village of Boston Spa towards Newton Kyme, you’ll find the entry to the spa baths walk on your left just as the shops start to disappear. If you look closely, you can see the original spa baths sign engraved into the wall here.

Following this path through the middle of some lovely houses, you’ll reach a hill descending towards the site of the original baths.

Still jumping for joy as Daddy gets ready to release my ball- my favourite thing ever!!

As you travel down the hill (chasing the ball in Merlin’s case!), you can either continue straight ahead towards Newton Kyme or make a sharp left towards our river walk. The river is down a sloped bank and as you walk along, you’ll spot the bridge below in the distance, with its beautiful arches.

This is my favourite kind of peril- dropping my ball down a slope and chasing it- then crying for Daddy to rescue me!!

As you pass under the bridge (which has great echoes by the way!), you’ll arrive at Merlin’s daily ball chasing patch. He enjoys running the length of it and skidding through the mud to grab his ball!

Muddy tongue out, Tuesday post-ball chasing

From here, the path to the right leads to a great swimming spot. It’s always a joy to watch Merlin dive in for his ball- he’s such a strong swimmer. It’s far enough away from the weir to avoid the drift, while the reflection in the still river is glorious with a bright blue sky above.

Continuing with the river on your right, you’ll reach a narrow path, from which you can spot Stick Man in the river on a low water day. The steps leading upwards are breath-taking for another reason: you’ll need to prepare yourself for the climb (and watch out for flying chocolate Labradors rushing back down again in pursuit of the ball)!

At the top of the climb, turn left to complete this circular walk and you’ll see a relatively new housing estate on the right. The fields and grounds around the estate are a great place for a picnic, sledging session, coffee stop and of course another ball throwing session!

There is a lovely bug hotel here too to check out, built by local joiner Tom Brothwell. You can see the beautiful church from here as well.

merlin the chocolate wizard
Hello!! Anyone home?

As you go back into the woods, head right down some much more gradual steps and back to the ball throwing open space. You can turn to the right just before or just after this to enter the gorgeous village of Boston Spa. Here you’ll find some lovely coffee and gift shops, as well as a few bars and restaurants for a lunch or tea stop (when we’re out of lockdown!).

Try Harts for the best ice cream sundaes, tiffin and hot chocolates on the block (their hatch is open throughout lockdown!).

It’s a great end to a lovely walk and even Merlin gets the last bits – yum!

harts coffee shop boston spa
puppy eating ice cream
The pure bliss of an ice cream treat!

Read more about Merlin on Instagram at https://www.instagram.com/merlinthechocolatewizard/