Yorkshire Wolds Way

Yorkshire Wolds Way

Trip Highlights

  • Reflections of a medieval landscape
  • Big skies and colour, attracting artists to the area
  • Quiet walking across rolling hills
  • Small and eclectic accommodations in peaceful villages
  • Beautiful wild flowers on trail verges and some fields in spring and summer
  • Many small ancient British sites on the way

Trip Summary

This pretty walk follows the crescent of chalk uplands from Hessle on the banks of the Humber in the south to Filey Brigg in the north. It is a hike through the quiet rolling chalk downlands of the Yorkshire Wolds an area of fertile farmland, consisting of easy hills with big skies, as you walk along dry valleys, some filled with woodland, and through serene villages. It is an area that has inspired David Hockney the famous British landscape artist among many others and there are some art installations on parts of the trail. You walk between dramatic rolling viewpoints, especially pretty in spring to mid summer with the array of field side and downland flowers. Despite being an English 'National Trail' for more than 20 years it is perhaps the least well known. The paths are good with little erosion and there’s plenty of signposts pointing you in the right direction. A walk along the Wolds Way is a completely different experience to what is found in the English Lake District or the Yorkshire Dales and this walk is an ideal gentle introduction to multi-day walking.

Suitability

Introductory to Moderate. This is generally a straight forward and gentle walk along field roads and downland paths on grass, chalk, gravel and some tarmac. By its nature however there are a few long hills, the highest only reaching around 220m / 700 feet. Depending upon accommodation availability, some overnight stops maybe a mile or so from the trail. The last two days are long, but nothing is too challenging!

Itinerary

Make your way to Hessle for your first night which is 8km / 5 miles from Kingston Upon Hull. The town is based around a square with shops and All Saints' Church located just off the square and is a Grade I listed building. Hessle is home to the Humber Bridge, which was opened by Queen Elizabeth II in 1981. At the time of its opening, it was the world's longest single span suspension bridge. It links Hessle to the town of Barton-upon-Humber on the opposite side of the River Humber. Hessle developed as a ship building town and actually produced one of the Scottish Caledonian Mac Brayne ferries in 1986 before the business ended. Accommodation: A family-owned boutique hotel in a quiet, convenient location for the start of the walk in Hessle. It is just a 2 minute walk to the stunning views of the Humber Bridge. It is a large, welcoming 100 year old Edwardian property in a leafy residential area.

Meals:  Nil

On this easy grassy first day the walk begins alongside the foreshore of the Humber Estuary, close to where three 4000 year old bronze aged boats were discovered in the mud. The route goes under the Humber Bridge passing old quarry workings nearby, and starts to ascend the milky chalk hills known as The Yorkshire Wolds. The trail heads northwesterly passing through Welton Village where the Green Dragon Inn was historically connected to the infamous highwayman Dick Turpin. The horizons now open up, interspersed with sections of woodland until you descend the Wolds off the route into South Cave where there are good pubs, shops and accommodation. Accommodation: The elegant pub we use here has been an Inn for 300 years, but rooms have recently been comfortably modernised.

Meals:  B

Climbing back upon the Wolds, vistas open on the Humber to the south and you gradually climb High Hunsley Beacon. The Yorkshire Wolds Way now drops down through the long grassy Swin Dale, a classic dry valley. 2km off route you can visit North Newbald with a beautiful Norman church, two pubs and the village shop. On the tops above Market Weighton, you pass the site of a Roman amphitheatre and Hesselskew Farm, once a granary belonging to Watton Abbey in the Middle Ages. There are also a number of ancient burials or 'tumuli' dating from the late Iron Age. Once in Market Weighton you will find several references to William Bradley, the 7ft 9ins (2.36m) Yorkshire Giant who was born here in 1787. John Wesle, the founder of the Methodist movement preached in the town in 1788 when he was 85, one of six sermons he taught over two days at villages between Hull and York. Accommodation: This is at a double fronted Victorian cottage and is one of the original buildings in the village. It has been restored retaining its original features and is full of character with open fires in the lounge and kitchen. It has a pleasant quiet cottage garden to the rear. Open solely for walkers enjoying the Yorkshire Wolds Way!

Meals:  B

The day gets underway within the landscaped surroundings of Londesborough Park. Approaching the same named village you pass the remains of the original hall, once owned by the Duke and Duchess of Devonshire. To the east of the Yorkshire Wolds Way, near this point is the course of the oldest horse race in England, the Kiplingcotes Derby, first recorded over 450 years ago. You now head north, towards Nunburnholme which was the home to Frances Orpen Morrishe the village Rector (1854 and 1893) a Victorian nature conservation pioneer completing the six volume “A History of British Birds”. Passing Kilnwick Percy Hall, the route climbs above Warren Dale to the higher ground above Millington. The views from here are wide and expansive and you might see York Minster and the White Horse of Kilburn. Descend off route into the village. Accommodation: A former farm cottage that has been owned by a family who have farmed in Millington for three generations. There is a tea room and attractive rooms in a converted granary.

Meals:  B

There are a couple of short, steep climbs up the sides of dry valleys beyond Millington and then a gradual rise to a high point from which, if the weather is clear, you may be able to spot the towers of the Humber Bridge, York Minster, Lincoln Cathedral and the lighthouse on Flamborough Head! The Yorkshire Wolds Way continues on beyond Huggate, with its little Inn before dropping into the quaint dry valleys of Horse Dale and Holm Dale. The path then climbs gradually to reach Fridaythorpe, where you can rest at the walkers’ shelter/ bus shelter set alongside the village pond, this smart modern building is part of a series of art works along the way called 'The wander.' Then turning west you enter Thixendale. This valley includes the spiral 'Time and Flow' art earthwork best viewed from the top of the valley sides. Now you just need to walk along Thixendale to its namesake village, one of the prettiest on the whole route and if you like pubs, 'The Cross Keys' is very popular with walkers. Nearby at Fotherdale Farm you can see the works of Robert Fuller, a famous local wildlife artist. Accommodation: Conveniently next door to the village pub, our B&B consists of rooms designed primarily with walkers and cyclists in mind. There is a boot room - drying room and facilities.

Meals:  B

Climbing out and beyond Thixendale Village the Yorkshire Wolds Way reaches the highest point on the walk at 700ft (215m) and then descends into Deepdale to the attractively located deserted village of Wharram Percy, it was abandoned in the 15th century. However the only standing walls are those of St Martin’s Church which was in use for a further 400 years after the village was deserted. Then climb again through mixed woodland to Settrington Beacon. Once out of the trees appreciate the views across the Vale of Pickering to the North York Moors on the distant skyline. The descent leads to Wintringham where the Wolds escarpment and the Yorkshire Wolds Way change direction. Now instead of facing west over the Vale of York, the scarp is looking north over the Vale of Pickering as it travels east towards Speeton. The Way climbs steeply out of Wintringham with its attractive St. Peters Church, before revealing a true surprise – an artwork called Enclosure Rites, which celebrates the abundant archaeology of the area. From here follow the northern scarp of the Wolds, eventually dropping down to reach accommodation in either West or East Heslerton, about a mile apart. Accommodation: A small family run B&B set in East Heslerton a mile or so off the route, popular with walkers and ramblers. There are two en-suite bedrooms and breakfasts are very popular using locally sourced ingredients. If this is full you may be at a charming pub in West Heslerton.

Meals:  B

This is a long last walk to the North Sea Coast and the small town of Filey. On the way there are many ancient sites in the landscape such as tumuli and linear earthworks. The walk follows the foot of the escarpment between Sherburn and Ganton before climbing back up onto the Wolds at Staxton Brow. Beyond Stocking Dale you say goodbye to the Yorkshire Wolds and the landscapes of chalk country as you descend to Muston and onward to Filey and the sea! Now you can kick off your boots and go for a paddle or maybe take the bus to Speeton and follow the cliff path along the airy heights of the magnificent chalk cliffs to Flamborough – a truly fitting finish to a superb Yorkshire Wolds Way! Accommodation: Abbots Leigh guesthouse situated 100 yards from the crescent gardens, which overlook 5 miles of award winning beach which forms Filey Bay.

Meals:  B

Depart Filey for your onward journey.

Meals:  B

What's Included

  • 7 breakfasts
  • 7 nights accommodation on a twin share basis with ensuite facilities where available
  • One piece of luggage per person transferred from Inn to Inn, not exceeding 17kg
  • Information pack including route notes & maps (1 pack per room booked)
  • Emergency hotline

What's Not Included

  • Lunch, Dinner and drinks
  • Entrance fees
  • Travel insurance
  • Travel to the start and from the end point of the trip
  • Personal expenses such as laundry and phone calls
  • Unscheduled transfers required during the trip

Upcoming Travel Dates

AT A GLANCE

Duration:8 Days
Countries:England
Starting Point:Hessle
Finishing Point:Filey
Activities:Self-Guided Walking
Grade:introductory to moderate  Click for more information
Trip Code:WYW
Prices From:GBP£820 Per Person
Single Supplement:GBP£170  Click for more information
Solo Traveller:GBP£290  Click for more information
Please do not book any flights or extra arrangements until such time that your booking is confirmed by Sherpa Expeditions by phone or email.