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Dales Trails - Walking in Northern England

From East Yorkshire's Wolds and Derbyshire's Peak District to the North Yorkshire Moors and Pennines, you will find the valleys among the rolling hills, the limestone scars, the gritstone ridges universally known as 'Dales'. This vast area provides some of the best & most varied walking opportunities in the country.

Dales Trails gives you some ideas how to explore Yorkshire and other parts of Northern England on foot, and find hidden delights off the beaten track. You can follow one of my medium distance Trans-Dales Trails, try one of my day walks as featured in 'Walking with Underwood' , or join one of the two Walking Clubs featured below.


Sunset/Photo © Arnold Underwood, Dec 31st 2016

Walks Photographs

Unfortunately GOOGLE+ has been closed down by Google

Links to my walks photos will now be compiled in a 'Photo Albums'page on this website

Click on Photo Albums link at the top of this page

There will still be the photo album link via Facebook after each walk.
However if you are not signed up to Facebook you can still see the albums of my most recent walks by following these links:
'Google photos - Sept 22nd The other side from Goathland'
'Google photos - Sept 26th Wharram Percy & Fairy Dale'
'Google photos - Sept 28th Rail Ale Trail'
'Google photos - Sept 29th Goathland NYMR Steam Gala'

'Google photos - 3rd Oct Lockton,Horcum & Bridestones'
'Google photos - 10th Oct Ravenscar & Stoupe Brow'
'Google photos - 13th Oct Lockton & Levisham Station'

e-mail: arnold.dalestrails@gmail.com



UPDATED - 14th Oct 2019 11.30am




Tuesday 12th November 2019
The New Inn, Leven
Start 7.30pm prompt
Items for the Agenda to the Secretary ASAP please


The CALENDAR shows scheduled CLUB WALKS for the remainder of 2019

These details include:
* HDWC Shorter Walks - 1st Sunday of each month.
* HDWC Longer Walks - 2nd and 4th Sundays.
* LWC Walks - 3rd Sundays.


Download the Hornsea & Leven 2019 Walks Programme (July-Dec)pdf file to view, save or print

Click here and follow the instructions to view or save the document - 2019 Walks Programme July-Dec





SUNDAY OCT 20th 2019

A 9 mile walk from Thixendale via Kirby Underdale

Meet at Leven Sports Hall at 9.00am or near Thixendale Village Hall for a 10.00am start

Leader: Stuart Kemp



SUNDAY OCT 27th 2019

A 9 mile circular walk from Fountains Abbey. Meet at Fountains Abbey Visitor Centre for a 10.00am start.

Depart Hornsea 8.15am, Leven 8.30am
Leader: Bob Cutts



SUNDAY NOV 3rd 2019

MALTON & NORTON - The Malton Round
A 6.5mile circular walk of Malton. Meet at Norton St Nicholas Street car park for a 10.30am start.

Depart Hornsea 9.15am, Leven 9.30am

Leader: Stuart Kemp



SUNDAY Nov 10th 2019

CROPTON (North York Moors)
A 9 mile circular walk from Cropton via Cropton Banks Wood, Appleton and Sinnington
Meet in Cropton High Street (near Reading Room) for a 10am start
Parking/Start 'Cropton Parking'
Depart Hornsea 8.15am, Leven 8.30am (15mins earlier than on printed programme)
Leader: Arnold Underwood



HDWC at Low Dalby, North York Moors/Photo © Arnold Underwood, Sept 20th 2009

Hornsea District Walking Club taking a break at Low Dalby, North York Moors, Sept 20th 2009


For promotions and offers from Tog 24 Outlet Store, Hornsea Freeport.


Exciting time at the Hornsea Store which has recently changed to become a Factory Clearance Store!
This means lots of wonderful bargains for our customers!
For example we have zip neck fleeces from just £8.00, technical t’s from £10.00 and waterproofs from £20.00 for a 3K jacket and just £65.00 for a 20K!

Members of Hornsea and Leven Walking Clubs can take advantage of some wonderful bargains

Tog 24 is a Yorkshire Company, established in 1958, specialising in Outdoor & Leisure wear.



Rachel's Walnut Cottage Tea Room
Tea, Coffee, Homemade Cakes & Scones



Become a Friend of the Trans-Pennine Trail - click on this link for more details:
Friends of the Trans-Pennine Trail



New walks will be added regularly to give a selection of walks for you to experience England's Landscape at its finest.
See Walking with Underwood.


North Yorkshire - Fountains Abbey

'Fountains Abbey and Studley Park' - 9 miles
A walk of great variety; secluded dales, farmland and forest bordering the site of Fountains Abbey, with plenty of history and natural history to hold your attention all day. The walk passes the historic Markenfield Hall, and through Studley Royal Park, a World Heritage Site which also includes the ruins of Fountains Abbey.

Click on this link for details: 'Fountains Abbey'


Please do not print the route maps - purchase the relevant OS Map (Explorer 289) or subscribe to the OS Maps website 'OS Maps Online'



Trans-Dales Trails

Booklets for my three Trans-Dales Trails are now out of print, but it is intended to make these routes available as free PDF file downloads.
Trans-Dales Trail 2 and Trans-Dales Trail 3 are now available to download. Go to Trans-Dales Trail 2 or Trans-Dales Trail 3 and follow the links.
Trans Dale Trail 1 will be available in this format in due course




Sunday 1st Sept
Fourteen walkers gathered at Hackness at 10.30am for this month's HDWC 'short' walk. This was shown on the programme as being about 6 miles with a 2* rating. Several hours later thirteen walkers arrived back at Hackness after completing about 8 miles with three steep climbs, struggling through undergrowth and over fallen trees, negotiating bogs and electric fences. A walk definitely on a par with 'one of Bob's' and deserving a 4* rating at least! For the second Sunday running we had to abandon one of our group - this time it was Mavis, who does struggle with steep hills and she wasn't expecting any today. The sight of the second climb was too much for her and she opted out for a gentle stroll back through Hackness village, and a long wait. After two ups and downs the walkers arrived at Mowforth Bridge over Sea Cut. Our leader, Sue, had from the start decided to add in extra loop which would add about a mile to the walk which avoided a stretch along a busy road, but it did introduce another up and down! After a lunch break on the banks of a rather overgrown Sea Cut (a flood relief channel for the River Derwent) we headed to Raincliffe Woods and a pleasant walk through the trees (which sheltered us from a short sharp shower) along Middle Road and round into Forge Valley. Here we faced a tricky steep descent to the road - the map shows a path but there's not much evidence of it on the ground. All safely down, we crossed the footbridge over the river and followed the boardwalk - slippery in places - into open pastures. Back on Sue's original plan, which was to follow the lower path close to the river to Cockrah Foot and Wrench Green. This path is notoriously difficult to follow with a distinct lack of waymarks, rough ground, boggy ground and cattle. With the aid of those with GPS we kept more or less on track, and were mightily impressed when this was confirmed by the occasional way-mark! One such waymark directed us over a stile over an electric fence into an area occupied by a pond - formed by flooding of the river. Unfortunately there was no stile out at the other end, so we resorted to 'limboing' under the wire. At last back on familiar territory we made our way back via Wrench Green (where we were caught in another short sharp shower) to Hackness, much to the relief of everyone, including Mavis who had been waiting patiently for our return. Fortunately we were still in time to call at the Everley Country House Café for tea and cakes before continuing our journey home.

Thursday 5th Sept
A return to Fridaythorpe for a shorter version, for Caroline's benefit, of a walk I did a few weeks ago. After a detour via the little church our route followed the Yorkshire Wolds Way through Brubber Dale up to Gill's Farm. By the farm, a pair of CLAAS combine harvesters waited for the overnight rain to dry off before completing their work. Leaving the Wolds Way we headed past Pluckham Farm with its pheasants and guinea fowl to cross the A166 and head towards Huggate. After a lunch stop sheltered from the strong wind, and entertained by various aircraft overhead, Caroline decided going via Horsedale would be too much for her, so we back-tracked and headed past Wold House Farm. Here, Farmer Dale was preparing to paint some barn doors and one of his dogs - a terrier called Ralph - decided it would be fun to go our way, and he shot off along the track towards Fridaythorpe. Farmer Dale gave chase initially on his bike, then in his pick-up truck but Ralph had vanished into the distance. Caroline noted Farmer Dale's phone number and said she would call him if we saw the dog, and sure enough as we neared the end of the track above Holm Dale, Ralph came trotting up to us, looking very pleased with himself. Caroline called Farmer Dale, who soon arrived on a quad-bike to collect his runaway. We continued into Fridaythorpe past the Weather-Stone which was once again correct - swaying gently - which meant it would be windy, and it was. This time we called at Sledmere House tearooms on our way home.

Sunday 8th Sept
With ideal weather and walking conditions this walk in the Peak District probably ranks as the best club walk of 2019. It's a pity that only ten club members made the journey to Ladybower Reservoir (where numbers were augmented by three friends). So, once car parking issues had been resolved, I was twelve and a leader who set off from Bridge End Car Park to follow the permissive path alongside the reservoir towards the A57 road. Here we used the broad roadside pavement/cycle path on the viaduct to cross the reservoir to Ashopton. Here we began the climb away from the noise of the road up through forest initially, then after a drink stop onwards and upwards to reach the edge of the Derwent Moors at Whinstone Lee. For the next 3 miles we would follow the Derwent Edge, climbing gradually from around 1300ft to a summit of 1725ft at Back Tor. This popular path, much of it now laid with flagstones from former mills, passes numerous gritstone outcrops - the Coach & Horses (Wheel Stones), Dove Stones, Cakes of Bread, Back Tor - to finish at the cairn at Lost Lad. Lunch stop was taken on Dovestone Tor overlooking Ladybower with our car park visible, looking a long way off! From Lost Lad we began the descent gradually at first, then no longer, with flagstones across rough moorland to an edge overlooking Derwent Reservoir. There had been quite a few aircraft buzzing around all day - helicopters, microlights, light aircraft - but now we were in for a surprise. Two aircraft swept by below us over the reservoirs, and almost invisible against the background but the characteristic sound of RR Merlin engines gave them away - A Spitfire and a Hurricane. Then two elderly bi-planes came overhead and turned to head down the valley, and finally.. something loud was coming in low over Howden Moor - alas not the Lancaster (which is grounded) but the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight 'Dakota'. The BBMF Spitfire, Hurricane, and Dakota had included a fly-over of Derwent Reservoir (used in the Dambusters trials & subsequent film) on their way back to RAF Coningsby from Southport. Excitement over we were now faced a final steep & tricky descent to the track by Derwent Reservoir and down to Fairholmes car park with its much-welcome facilities - toilets, tea, and benches. After a short respite we now had just about half a mile to walk alongside Ladybower back to our cars at Bridge End. A trouble-free drive home ended a grand day out indeed.

Thursday 12th Sept
This Thursday's walk with Caroline and Suzie linked the historic village of Goodmanham with the estate village of Londesborough, on the fringes of the Yorkshire Wolds. Cutting across fields from Goodmanham we joined the Yorkshire Wolds Way and followed this, crossing the busy A614 near Towthorpe picnic site, and down through Londesborough Park. We took a short break in Londesborough village before exploring the 'Wilderness' - the site of the original Londesborough Hall. Although this is private property, a notice seems to suggest the site is open for 'quiet contemplation' - which is what we did! Our return took us via the more easterly path across the Park, passing cattle and sheep, towards Easthorpe. By the Easthorpe road a stack of bales provided a good seat for our lunch break in the sunshine. Continuing, we took another alternative path past High Plantation to cross the A614 at the top of Towthorpe Hill, then down to re-join the Wolds Way back into Goodmanham. Here we took the opportunity to look inside the historic 12th century All Hallows (All Saints) Church which is thought to have been built on the site of a pagan temple. After a leisurely walk of just over 6 miles, we adjourned for cups of tea at the Fiddle Drill Tearoom at the top of the village.

Sunday 15th Sept
Eleven of us gathered at Terrington Village Hall for this month's LWC walk. This would take us along the fringe of the Howardian Hills AONB by way of farm tracks and country roads to the little village of Scackleton to a lunch stop by the woodland at Great Plantation. From there it was just a short stroll to the highlight of the walk - the turf maze known as the 'City of Troy'. I was pleased to discover that this had been tidied up as it was rather overgrown when I was last here about two years ago. From the maze we continued through woodland then down to Skewsby and along Low Lane to the hamlet of Dalby. Here we visited the historic church of St Peter before continue down the hillside via a rather overgrown path and into farmland - acres of clover fields. A lack of waymarking here caused some to-ing and fro-ing but David's GPS got us back on course. Level walking now mainly on farm roads and tracks, with a couple of 'footpath diversions' thrown in to keep us on our toes! One little 'sting in the tail' was the hill back up to Terrington, and with light rain falling we made quick progress through the village to the tearoom. With the tearoom attached to the village store, it is open every day to about 5pm - worth knowing when many tearooms close by 4pm or even 3pm! After 10 miles we all appreciated the cups of tea and selection of home-made cakes.

Thursday 19th Sept
With good weather forecast we ventured further afield for our Thursday shorter walk. Parking on the edge of Goathland village the three of us, Suzie, Caroline and me, set off following a clear track across Goathland Moor. This track was once the route of a wagon-way bringing rock and minerals down from the quarries on Whinstone Ridge. It provides any easy walk across the moor with wide view west over Goathland and Darnholm. Crossing the Beckhole road we entered the disused quarry on Whinstone Ridge. This ridge was formed by mineral-bearing rock and stretches for several miles across the moors. For centuries the mineral deposits were quarried forming a man-made gorge through which we walked. From the ridge we turned down to cross the Beck Hole road again and headed down a track towards Hawthorn Hill Farm. Here we turned right following a track by a wall downhill coming to a convenient mound - a former quarry spoil heap - which provided a good spot for lunch with a view west over Beck Hole. Continuing downhill we took the path that crosses Eller Beck by the footbridge under the railway bridge. Climbing the steps on the other side I commented 'all we need now is for a train to come by' at which point the sound of a steam loco working hard echoed around the moors and 80136 appeared crossing the bridge with the NYMR Lunchtime Pullman - pure luck, I hadn't checked the timetable! Back in Goathland we completed a loop along the old railway via Abbot's Bridge and rounded the day off with tea in the garden at Goathland Tearooms.

Sunday 22nd Sept
Another warm day, another visit to Goathland. This 10mile walk led by David Holtby, would take us over to the 'other side' visiting parts most of us hadn't been to for several years. The 'other side' being the west side of West Beck and the Murk Esk river (tributaries of the River Esk). Initially the walk was on 'this side' along the edge of Howl Moor with views across to where we would be walking later. Near Hunt House we crossed to the other side and walked into Wheeldale Gill for our elevenses by the stream. From Wheeldale Gill we climbed across moorland above Hazel Head Farm and continued along farm roads and tracks past Hollin House and through woodland, dropping down to join the 'Rail Trail' near Beck Hole. An easy stretch of walking was short-lived as we soon turned off the trail up through woodland on Murkside to a lunch stop near Murk Esk Cottage, overlooking the valley (to where I was just 3 days ago). Continuing through more woodland, with fallen trees to contend with!) we dropped down towards the river, but rather than the easy option of the Rail Trail we followed an indistinct path across rough grassland. We rejoined the Rail Trail but almost immediately diverted off through Beck Hole and then back alongside the Murk Esk towards Mallyan Spout to finish the walk with that never-ending plod up hill and steps to the Mallyan Spout Hotel, to most welcome cups of tea at the Coach House tearoom.

Thursday 26th Sept
After a late start to allow rain to clear, blue skies over Wharram Percy greeted the three of us, that's Caroline, Suzie, and myself, as we set off on our short walk. The plan was to head through the site of the deserted Medieval Village on the Wolds Way then loop back via the Centenary Way which would be about 5 or 6 miles. The medieval village of Wharram Percy was abandoned in the 16th Century although the farm there was rebuilt in the 1800s and the farm cottages, still standing, where occupied until the 1970s. The church of St Martin, the only surviving medieval building, also outlived the village and was finally abandoned in the 1940s and fell into ruin, with the tower collapsing in 1959. After passing the village and climbing above Deepale we reached the road above Burdale. Below us stretched out Fairy Dale and Burdale, with its disused chalk quarry. This area is 'access land' but the access was right down the bottom of the hill, but a little way down the road we found a convenient place to cross the fence safely onto 'access land'. We were now high up the valley side above the south portal of the long-closed Burdale railway tunnel. We picked our way down slowly, although Caroline, remember she's the one with the hip and back trouble, skipped down the hillside and was soon on the old track by the bricked-up tunnel. Now down on the valley floor, the only way out was up - so we headed up Fairy Dale with a strong following wind. As with all Wolds dry valleys this one ends with a short but steep climb. Through the gate at the top we reached the bridle-track on the top from which there is a great panoramic view down Fairy Dale to Burdale. Back at the road and our walk ended with an easy stroll back down to the car park to complete a challenging little 5 mile walk. On the drive home we diverted to Rachel's tearoom in Huggate for cups of tea in the garden.

Saturday 28th Sept
As a birthday present, eldest son Matt had arranged for me and him to spend a day doing the Rail Ale Trail organised by the East Lancs Railway at Bury. The adventure began for me on Friday on the16.40 Trans Pennine Express from Hull to Manchester Piccadilly. Here I met up with Matt who arrived from Milton Keynes, and we had something to eat and a pint before boarding the Metrolink Tram to Bury. We were booked one night at a Best Western hotel. It was raining in Bury so we got a cab to the hotel. After breakfast on Saturday morning as it was still raining we took another cab back to the station to meet up with other 20 or so booked for this activity. We all boarded the 10.55am train to Heywood and were presented with our free bottle of beer to while away the train ride. On the return we left the train at Summerseat for the walking bit - the weather was better than forecast and we were kitted out for the worst, we soon feeling a bit warm. Our guide took is into Summerseat village, explaining the history of the mills, etc but then discovered the bridge over the Irwell was closed! So we had to backtrack round by the road and to reach our first pub, The Footballers Inn. As we were behind schedule we soon had to press on to the Hare and Hounds where a pub lunch (steak & ale pie, chips, and peas) had been arranged, and another pint. Service was slow in the pub, so we were later away for the walk (downhill thankfully) into Ramsbottom. A visit to the Brewery Tap in Ramsbottom had been arranged, but this would mean missing the steam train to Bury, but we could catch a later diesel train. A few of us decided to skip the brewery and catch the steam train. Back in Bury we walked to the Interchange and were soon speeding towards Manchester on the Metrolink, for our homeward bound connections.

Sunday 29th Sept
A plan, hatched many months ago, was for an extra walk on the North York Moors to coincide with the NYMR Autumn Steam Gala. The route would head south past Simon Howe to Wardle Green then return along the top of Northdale Scar overlooking the railway back to the road at Moorgates. The day duly arrived and for several reasons, one being the terrible weather forecast, only five intrepid souls turned up. Undaunted at 10am we set off across the moor towards Simon Howe through rain and mist. Our leader, David, assured us it would brighten up - it didn't! As I hadn't been 100% this week (cold/man flu) I had made the decision that I would cut off at Simon Howe and head along the Lyke Wake to rejoin our planned route near Eller Beck. So as the foursome headed towards Wardle Green I turned east to follow the well-worn track across the bleak featureless moor. There was a lot of standing water, but the ground was generally quite firm under foot. At last, at about 11.30, I reached the end of the moorland and dropped down to the railway into the relative shelter of a few birch trees near Eller Beck. Here I took a coffee break and waited - the 11.08 train from Pickering was due through here at about 11.45 and it was scheduled to have both locos I particularly wanted to see - A4 60009 'Union of South Africa' and BR blue liveried GWR 6023 ' King Edward ll'. Of course the train was about 15mins late, but at least I caught 'two birds with one stone'. Now I had to head north along the edge of the moor, keeping close to the railway boundary fence if possible. Double-headed B1 and K1 passed below me through the trees as I battled through bracken into the shelter of a small wood. Here I found a moss-covered rock to perch on for lunch. Unbeknown to me, the other four having come along Northdale Scar, skirted around the wood and passed me here. After a short lunch break I continued and dropped down to Moorgates to find the others taking their lunch break under the old railway bridge! So, after watching a couple of trains pass, reunited, the five of us returned to Goathland together... and it was still raining.

Photos of these walks can be found on the Photo Albums page. Click on this link: Photo Albums



25 years ago myself and three friends completed the Pennine Way from Edale in Derbyshire to Kirk Yetholm in the Scottish Borders.
The document telling the story of that epic adventure has just come to light after being thought lost.
Written back in 1990 using a Commodore 64 computer and saved to a long-lost 5¼" floppy disk, this printed draft was the only copy of our story.
As I laboriously re-type the document, I will 'serialise' it on this website in 15 chapters, one for each day of or walk.
So if you are interested (Days 1 - 8 so far), follow this link Pennine Way Conquered.


Dales Trails Photo Galleries

See my Dales Trails Photo Albums for a photo record of walks by Hornsea and Leven Walking Clubs

Links to recent walks photo albums are shown at the top of this page.


Welcome to the Trans-Dales Trails

These Trails, Trans-Dales Trail 1, Trans-Dales Trail 2 and Trans-Dales Trail 3, are each about sixty miles in length and can be comfortably completed by anyone that is reasonably fit in five days, with four nights Bed & Breakfast accommodation.
The routes establish links across the Yorkshire Dales using some of the public rights of way that are less frequently walked.
There are three booklets in the Trans-Dale Trail series, each giving a detailed description of the route.

The booklets are now out of print, but it is intended that the routes will be downloadable for FREE as PDF files.
Currently Trans-Dales Trail 2 and Trans-Dales Trail 3 are available as PDF files.

Arnold Underwood (Dales Trails)
41 The Orchard
East Yorkshire
HU17 5QA
e-mail: arnold.dalestrails@gmail.com


Me, near Sleights/ from a photo by Sheila Button/Aug 2008

The Author

Arnold Underwood is an experienced walker and a leader of his local walking club. He lives near Beverley and is the East Yorkshire correspondent for Country Walking magazine. He has walked the Ridgeway (1983), the Pennine Way (1990), the Dales Way (1993), and A Bowland - Dales Traverse (1994), the latter two with Peter Tomkinson. He has walked much in the Yorkshire Dales, Moors, and Wolds, including completing the Three Peaks, Lyke Wake, and Saltergate challenge walks - the last two again with PeterTomkinson.

Arnold devised the three Trails with the help of Peter Tomkinson, and together they walked each of the routes - Trail 1 in 1995, Trail 2 in 1996, and Trail 3 in 1997.
Peter Tomkinson is a former Scout Leader, and as such has done much walking in all terrains and in all conditions. In addition to those walks mentioned above he has also completed the Cleveland Way, Minster Way and the Ebor Way.

Heading back to Keswick through Brunholme Woods/from a photo by Arnold Underwood/8th Aug 2008

Leven Walking Club

Leven Walking Club on Knapton Brow (Yorkshire Wolds)/from a photo by Arnold Underwood/Mar 16th 2014

Leven Walking Club is a long-established club. Members suggestions result in a varied programme of walks on the Yorkshire Wolds, North York Moors and elsewhere.
Go to Calendar for walking programme.

For further information contact Arnold Underwood on 01964 543883 or 07989 292522.

Read Bogtrotter's report in each issue of Leven Life.

Leven Walking Club logo

Stuart snaps the view of Grasmere from Tarn Crag/from a photo by Arnold Underwood/13th Aug 2009

Crossing Arnagill Moor/from a photo by Arnold Underwood/23rd Aug 2009

Heading down Howl Dale/from a photo by Arnold Underwood/20th Sept 2009

Hornsea District Walking Club

Hornsea District Walking Club/Dale Head Farm, Rosedale/photo by Arnold Underwood/23rd Sept 2012

Hornsea District Walking Club is an independent club relying on its members for suggesting and leading the variety of walks. Go to Calendar for walking programme.

For further information contact Club Chairman Graham Hadfield or Walks Secretary Arnold Underwood (07989 292522)

Stuart Kemp's report in each issue of the Hornsea Community News.

Hornsea Walking Club logo

Visitors to Dales Trails since August 1st 2007


This page was created by
Arnold Underwood