Tour of Fishergate & Fulford
Fulford sits two miles south of the city, with as much history stuffed into it as you’d expect from an ancient York village turned desirable suburb.
We asked Dave Taylor Green Party Councillor for neighbouring ward Fishergate - and Lord Mayor of York 2016-17 - for the best walking route to experience the area.
Why not give the walk a go yourself?
1. Start on Fulford Road, with a pint of real ale at The Fulford Arms. It’s on the York real ale trail and is a sizable venue for live music but if that’s not your bag there’s a large, quiet beer garden.
2. Cross Fulford Road and walk down Alma Terrace towards the river. The networks of streets have lots of charming Victorian terraced houses, with bigger villas along the riverside.
3. Once you reach the tree-lined river path, you’re on The New Walk - a Georgian promenade along the Ouse, developed from the 1730s onwards, to provide genteel exercise for fashionable York residents. Take a brief detour to the right to look at the Pikeing Well. The grade II listed well head for the mineral spring was built by John Carr in 1752 as a feature for the walk.
4. Turn back south so the river is on your right and continue your walk. Notice the tramway which mysteriously disappears into a high brick wall. The railway carried supplies from the river to a former army property, which included a military hospital. It’s now an industrial estate.
5. You’ll see the Millennium Bridge arcing smoothly over the river. If you want to cross to the other side, leaving Fishergate and our route to Fulford, you can spend a lovely afternoon in Rowntree Park.
The park was given to York in 1921 by Rowntree & Company Ltd in memory of employees of Rowntree's who died in World War I. After a major refurb in 2003, it now has tennis courts, a skate park, a big kiddies’ playground and lots of events, including the council’s annual Festival of Cycling where the family can indulge in all kinds of cycle-related fun, including riding comedy bikes round a circuit. There’s also a lovely café, which doubles as a community library.
Image source: Geograph/ Rowntree Park
6. Back on the Fishergate/Fulford side of the river, carry on along the path. The river is still on your right but the path veers away from it. You’ll go past Fulford Cross allotments opposite the Steiner School. If you chose to turn left here, you’d emerge opposite Imphal Barracks - an army camp since 79AD - once the home of the 14th Regiment of Foot and now HQ of the 1st (United Kingdom) Division, as well as other units.
7. As you reach the ancient St Oswald’s Hall, you can choose from two options.
a. Go straight ahead and rejoin the river. If you go this way, you’ll walk along Fulford Ings and see the secluded houseboats and their imaginative gardens, created from old junk, such as bicycle wheels etc. Turn off this path as the river bears right (there’s a gate, so you’ll recognise it) and walk back up to rejoin Fulford Road (here known as Main Street), opposite the Fulford Parish Council Playing Field.
Near here is the site of the Battle of Fulford which took place shortly before
the Battle of Hastings in 1066.
b. Alternatively, turn up St Oswald’s Road, past some lovely houses on your left and the immaculately-kept Sir John Hunt Almshouses on your right.
8. As you reach Fulford Road/Main Street, if you need a snack, turn left and then right at the crossroads onto Broadway - the Co-op, hairdressers, gift shop and Post Office are all just a few hundred yards up this road. The shops are surrounded by a network of streets containing 1930s semi-detached houses.
9. If you don’t need the shops, turn right on Fulford Road/Main Street. As you come to the next set of lights, you would turn left to reach St Oswald’s CE Primary School (rated ‘good’ by Ofsted) and secondary school Fulford School (‘outstanding’ Ofsted rating).
10. But we’re not off to school today. Instead, carry on along Fulford Road/Main Street, stopping, if you like, for a quick drink at the small but charming Saddle Inn, which also has a beer garden.
11. Turn left as you leave the Saddle Inn - if you’re hungry, The Plough Inn is just a couple of hundred yards away, on the other side of the road, serving huge portions of quality pub food. You’ll need to book at the weekend though.
Image source: The Plough Inn
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