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Dales Trails

Snow on the Wolds Way, from the track climbing out of Thixendale/Photo by Arnold Underwood/Feb 2004

On the Wolds Way near Fridaythorpe/from a photo by Arnold Underwood/Feb 2004

EAST YORKSHIRE - Fridaythorpe

As featured in Country Walking Magazine December 2005

Wonderful Wolds Ways – from Fridaythorpe returning via Wayrham Dale

The well-drained chalk landscape of the Yorkshire Wolds is ideal for winter walking. Winters can be hard for those living and working on the Wolds but firm ground and the clear air make it excellent walking country. This 10mile circuit takes in some of the best ups and downs the Wolds has to offer by using parts of the Wolds Way and the Chalkland Way.

Fact File

Distance 16km (10 miles)(with a shorter 7 mile option)
Time 5 hours
Map OS Explorer 294 (Market Weighton & Yorkshire Wolds Central)
Start/Parking Fridaythorpe by the village pond. Grid Ref. SE 875591
Terrain Field paths, tracks & minor roads Access Land Symbol
Grade **** (quite strenuous)
nearest Town Driffield
Refreshments Shop (at garage), café, & pub in Fridaythorpe
Toilets none
Public Transport Fridaythorpe is served by bus service 135 from Driffield
Suitable for for everyone.
Stiles 8

  1. (Start) From the pond in Fridaythorpe walk back towards the Inn and the main road and turn right along the pavement. Cross over the road and walk past some new homes. Where the main road bears right continue on down a lane, signed Wolds Way. In a further 400m (¼mile) go straight ahead through a gate. There then follows a pleasant stroll down the grassy Holme Dale. At the bottom the Wolds Way bears right heading directly towards Huggate up the steep bank.Access Land Symbol(Access Land: It is now possible to walk the full length of the delightful Horse Dale direct to Point 3)
    However our route takes a pleasant detour, over a stile on the left, and round towards Harper Dale. As you approach a belt of trees, keep to the right and join a farm track up to the corner of the wood by a disused pit (now a rubbish tip!). Continue forward and turn right along the ridge towards Northfield Farm.

  2. (3.6km, 2¼miles) Almost immediately, at the first hedge on your left turn down the hillside, keeping to the right of the hedge. This ‘secret’ path is indicated by a yellow waymark but is not shown on OS maps. At the bottom turn right along Rabbit Dale and walk along this grassy valley, the slopes of which become wooded as you approach a divergence of dales. Do not cross the new stile directly ahead but bear right, crossing another stile, into Cow Dale. Head towards the end of this dale to a gate onto a farm road, rejoining the direct route of the Wolds Way.

  3. (5.7km, 3½miles) Walk towards Huggate, but turn right along a road to Glebe Farm, still following the Wolds Way – which for some reason deliberately avoids Huggate village. Beyond Glebe Farm, at a bend, leave the Wolds Way and take the path to the right along a field edge. A gate brings you out high above Horse Dale, where you turn left and descend diagonally into the valley.Access Land Symbol
    Cross the fence and swing right up the head of the dale to another gate. Follow a grassy bridleway along field sides to the road to Wold House Farm. (For the shorter walk turn right here to pass David Midgely’s Statue at Wold House Farm and head directly back to Fridaythorpe.)

  4. (8.5km, 5½ miles) To continue, turn left down the farm road to the junction with York Lane – one of the main, albeit narrow, roads into Huggate. Turning right, you are now faced with a breezy 1½miles along this lane – at about 210m(700ft) above sea level you are close to the highest point of the Yorkshire Wolds. Along this road note the concrete bollards bearing Latin inscriptions at field gateways whilst a large chalk quarry ahead to your left is something of an eyesore. Continue straight on at a crossroads, after which the road descends past a sheltering belt of woodland to the picnic site at Wayrham. There are several picnic tables here, and this could be an ideal spot for lunch, but the site is exposed to weather from the west. Depending on the weather either take lunch here or continue a little further into the confines of Wayrham Dale.

  5. (11.5km, 7 miles) At a corner of the picnic site a footpath sign points up to the main York - Bridlington road. Cross with care as traffic sweeps down in both directions at high speed, and follow a track down to a gate into Wayrham Dale. Walk down the valley and enter a wooded section – quite surprising for these parts as the trees are conifers – Christmas trees! The track swings right and the woodland becomes more open. At another gate/stile you leave the woodland and are back in the more typical Wolds landscape, with the sides of the dale rising steeply around you - at some point soon you will have to climb out of here! At the next gate/stile bear left down the main valley heading towards Thixendale. A Wolds Way signpost stand at the bottom of a stony track, which climbs up the right-hand hillside – this is your way up. At the top the track meets a road by Gills Farm.

  6. (14km, 8½miles) Go through the gate opposite to follow the Wolds Way down the side of the farm (old maps may show the path going through the farm – this was changed a few years ago). The clearly marked path descends straight down to a stile in Brubber Dale – not cutting diagonally across as shown on the current Explorer map. (The Countryside Commission Stewardship Scheme also allows access for anyone wishing to explore further up Brubber Dale.) Turn right (due south) as indicated by the Wolds Way sign and take the track that climbs diagonally up the left-hand side of the dale. (Not sign-posted but is directly in line with original route of the path as shown on the OS map). This is the final climb, you will be relieved to know, and is followed by a level 800m (½mile) along field sides, past a large animal-feed mill (another eye-sore!) into Fridaythorpe. Turn right along the lane to the pond, behind which a new housing development stands on the site of Mere Farm. (16km/10miles)

    Along the Way

    Fridaythorpe is a small village on the main York to Bridlington road. Its main claim to fame is for being the midpoint of the 80-mile Wolds Way national trail from the Humber Bridge to Filey. It was here that the Wold Way was officially declared open in October 1982. A new sign, by the pond, commemorates the 21st anniversary of the Wolds Way.

    The stones with Latin inscriptions were erected in 1960 to commemorate old 17th century field names. By a strange coincidence, I last studied Latin in 1960 but with a little help was still able to translate some of the inscriptions – PORTA MERIDIA – middle door or gate, VALLIS STONEDALE – Stonedale Valley, and KEEP BRITAIN TIDY – er…..!

    Arnold Underwood & Caroline Gowthorpe/LWC (Jan/Feb 2004) Revised Jan2006

This page was created by
Arnold Underwood

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