Solar System (York to Riccall) walk - Walks Around Britain

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Walks from Season Three - Solar System (York to Riccall)
Just one part of the massive Trans Pennine Trail, this walk between York and the village of Riccall is perfect for children as it is flat throughout... and has the added benefit of having scale models of the Solar System along the way...

And for the railway enthusiasts, there's history as the route was once part of the East Coast Main Line.

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A walk between York and Riccall along the Trans Pennine Trail - Walks Around Britain Shorts
The old swingbridge over the
River Ouse.
Walk Info
7½ miles (12km)
Minimum time
3 hours (one way)
Total ascent
136 ft (41m)
Level of difficulty
Pavement, Public footpaths / cycleway. No gates or stiles
Grid SE 58039 48452
Could be let off under close control
Be aware of cyclists
Park & Ride Car Park off A64
Public Transport
Bus - Arriva service 415 York to Selby
At the Park & Ride / In Riccall village
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Route Directions

  • The walk starts at the Askham Bar Park and Ride, just off the A64.  If you’re arriving by car, park in the park and ride and make your way to the bus stop at the front.  If you’re arriving by bus, get off the bus at the Park and Ride stop.

  • Cross over the road into the Park and Ride using the crossing, and follow the blue Cycleway signs as the path drops down and snakes underneath the A1036 road.

  • The walk is completely along this part of the Trans Pennine Trail – which is also route number 65 National Cycle Network, the first to be opened by the newly-formed Sustrans back in 1987.  It is also the route of the original East Coast Main Line railway between Selby and York.

  • Along this walk is the model of the Solar System installed by the University of York in 1999 – the first element of which is the Sun, which is just before the A64 bridge.

  • At the other side of the bridge is Mercury, with Venus, the Earth (with our Moon) and Mars all before the trail enters the suburb of Bishopthorpe.

  • Because the housing estate has been built over part of the old railway line, the trail takes a detour here.  It is well sign posted, but at the end of the straight trail, turn left, then immediate right to walk down Appleton Crescent.  Then, at the cul-de-sac, turn left and walk underneath the road bridge – and you’re back on the straight trail again.

  • The next planet is Jupiter, with the open fields on your right.

  • Saturn is after you cross the former swing bridge which spans the River Ouse.  Watch out for the “Fisher of Dreams” sitting on top of the bridge.

  • Just after Saturn is the scale model of the Cassini-Huygens space probe, just outside the former Naburn Railway Station.

  • You’ll walk a fair distance, and go under two road bridges, before you reach Uranus – and Neptune is two more bridges and through a wooded area.

  • After a while, the A19 enters into view from the left.  This is the cue to look for a branch off the main trail on the left, to see the final element of the Solar System model – Pluto.

  • Then, get back onto the main trail again, as it runs alongside of the A19 for a short while – this is the outskirts of Riccall.

  • Just before the A19’s junction with York Road, turn right, to walks past a house and then to join York Road proper.  The bus road for the bus back to York City Centre is a little way down York Road.

  • The bus back to York doesn’t call at the Park and Ride, so you are best to get off at the “Edinburgh Arms” bus stop in the city, and walk in the same direction as the bus is going along the A1036, cross over the bridge to Tower Street and find the “Tower Street” bus stop just in front of the entrance for the York Castle Museum for the Park and Ride bus back to your car.

Relevant Links

The University of York's website detailing how the model of the solar system was made - with lots of information about our solar system, the planets and the spacecraft models on the route.

Trans Pennine Trail
Information about the epic Trans Pennine Trail from the official website.

The new third edition of the AA Guide to Yorkshire gives you everything you need to know to get the most out of your visit to this wonderful county - and written by our own Andrew White.
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