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Scarborough Ramblers

Yorkshire Wolds Way


Second walk

8 February 12
Wednesday group, with Phil and Bob
12.5 miles
Folkton to Filey, with snow on the ground but fine weather.  Lunch at Filey Dams, and we walked along the Brigg, before ending the walk through Filey Field.

15 June 11
Wednesday group, with Phil and Bob
11 miles.
Buses from Folkton to Sherburn, then walked back, with lunch at Staxton Hill car park.

20 April 2011
Wednesday group, with Phil and Bob.
13.2 miles
Wharram le Street to Sherburn, returning on Coastliner to Malton, then Postbus to Wharram.
Wonderfully sunny day.

















30 March 2011
Wednesday group, with Phil and Bob
10.6 miles
Fridaythorpe to Wharram le Street, using two cars.




2 February 2011
Wednesday group, with Phil and Bob
8.5 miles
Millington to Fridaythorpe, using two cars.

12 January 2011
Wednesday group, with Phil and Bob
12.5 miles

We caught a bus from Pocklington, and fortunately, the driver agreed to drop us at Arras - otherwise, it would have been necessary for us to take a taxi for the last two miles from Market Weighton.  There was some remaining ice, and quite a lot of mud.  We stopped for coffee at the pub in Goodmanham, then pressed on for lunch in Nunburnholm.  There was a bitterly cold wind when we set off, but the weather soon improved.  We ended the Wolds Way walk at the start of the ridge above Millington, then walked two miles into Pocklington to return to the car. Near Goodmanham, a sheep dog greeted us in the lane, then ran into a field and kept showing off its skills by herding sheep towards us.


12 December 2010
Wednesday group, with Phil and Bob
10.5 miles

From Arras crossroads near Market Weighton, we took a taxi to our last finish point in Brantingham, and followed the Way back.  Most of the route was covered with heavily crusted snow.  I took a wrong turn beside East Dale - we wouldn't, as it turned out, have been able to walk along the dale, as shooters were at work.






24 November 2010
Wednesday group, with Phil and Bob
11.4 miles

I drove to Brantingham, where we caught the bus to Hessle.  Although there had been snow, sleet and heavy rain during our drive over the Wolds from Scarborough, for much of the day we had bright sunlight, with just a few drizzles.

We had lunch beside the stream in Welton.


First walk

Wednesday 4 February 2010
Sherburn-Filey, 15.9 miles (running total 100.8 miles)

The 9.15 bus carried me from Scarborough to Sherburn to start the last leg of the walk.

Disappointingly, the Way descends after a mile or so from the crest of the ridge to the edge of the Vale of Pickering for a mile and a half.   How much better it would be to have a uninterrupted march west to east from Heslerton Brow to the coastal plain.

The ridge is mounted again to pass by the sinister presence of RAF Staxton Wold, an early warning station with low-rise, dark-windowed buildings behind a security fence.

Beyond it, there is a descent along a narrow dale, followed by the Way's steepest climb.  A signpost reads discouragingly: "Flixton Wold 4.5 miles" but the map reassuringly suggests that this was a signwriter's error, and that the true distance is closer to 1.5 miles.

Once in Filey, I resisted the temptation to proceed direct to the bus station, and I walked to the official end of the Way at the end of Filey Brigg, to link with the end of the Cleveland Way. 






Below: The sea appears.

Wednesday 27 January 2010
Wharram le Street-Sherburn, 13.6 miles
(running total 84.9 miles)

A crisp and overcast day for the penultimate leg.

I set off at 9.30am and followed the way through fields and forests, having left behind the former Wolds scenery of successive deep, rounded valleys.

The stiffest climb of the entire route to date was encountered in woodland between Wintringham and West Heslerton Brow.  Even the Wolds Way marker post points upwards and states the blindingly obvious: "steep gradient".

I walked non-stop for three hours, stopping for lunch at the first point on the brow that afforded a clear view over the Vale of Pickering.

I was startled by a deer that burst out of woodland only 20 yards ahead of me, and watched in jink in panic across the field.

A man appeared to warn me that there was "a gun" ahead, but that I should not be concerned.  In the next 20 minutes, I saw about half a dozen people blasting away at birds that had been put to flight by beaters.

I reached Sherburn with about 45 minutes to spare for my date with the Coastliner bus service to Malton, then had another 40 minutes' delay in Malton while I waited for the Postbus to take me back to Wharram.

The sign (left) reads:  "Rabbits at work".







Wednesday 20 January 2010
Thixendale-Wharram le Street-Thixendale, 10 miles
(running total 71.3 miles)

A great change from the last two outings, with the snow hanging on only in sheltered spots and pockets.

The day was cold, and there were occasional bursts of driving sharp rain, but conditions were quite good underfoot, and I was back at the car in a little under three hours.

Unfortunately, there was a constant light mist, which kept the day very grey, with no sight of the sun.

I managed to find a sheltered spot in a copse for lunch but the weather did not encourage lingering.

I followed the Wolds Way out of Thixendale, and passed through the abandoned medieval village of Wharram Percy, where there is  very little to see, with the exception of a ruined church and a recreated fish pond that might, or might not, resemble the original

Soon after, I diverted from the route of the Way, to approach Wharram le Street along the bed of the former Malton railway, to avoid covering too much of the same ground twice on the round trip.

From Wharram, I followed the missing segment of the Way in the reverse direction, then approached Thixendale along the Centenary Way.



Above: The path above Cowdale still had a smattering of snow. 
The ruined church at Wharram Percy emerges from the mist.

Wednesday 13 January 2010
Fridaythorpe-Thixendale-Fridaythorpe, 6.6 miles

Yet more very hard work.  The snow had disappeared from Scarborough, so I hoped that conditions would have improved enough on the Wolds for me to walk from Fridaythorpe to Wharram Percy along the Wolds Way, then back on local lanes, a total of just over 12 miles.

However, as I moved deeper into the countryside, I could see that there was still plenty of snow around, and Fridaythorpe was in an  appalling state.  Frozen snow was heaped beside the roads, and the pavements were very hazardous.

The lane by which the Way leaves Fridaythorpe was very slippy, and as I reached the first field path, I began breaking a way through six inches of crisp snow.  The descent into Bruberdale was a slog, and I  hoped there would not be a comparable ascent to be tackled.

By the time I reached Thixen Dale (ie the dale, not the village) it was clear that any plan to reach Wharram Percy was unrealistic, and I decided to continue to limit my immediate ambition to Thixendale.  

When I joined the road for the last leg into the village, the walk became very hazardous, as the surface was covered with black ice.  It was impossible to walk on the road, as my foot slid away as soon as I put any weight on it.  Progress was achieved only by walking on the strips of frozen snow in the middle of the road (where these were present) or on snow that had spilt of the verges (rarely) and in desperation, in the track of a horse that had been ridden in an adjacent field, although this involved stepping into widely space nine-inch deep holes.

After a cup of coffee from my flask outside Thixendale Village Hall, I set off to make the return by the direct lane to Fridaythorpe.  This involved two one-in-six ascents and one one-in-six descent, but this road had, at least, been gritted in places.

I finished the walk by visiting Fridaythorpe's fascinating little church.  Unfortunately, the interior was in near darkness and I could not find any light switches.  Having stumbled down the three steps immediately inside the door, I found the visitors were prevented from entering the aisle by a locked door across the nave.  I could just discern that church notelets were available for £1,so I located a coin by touch and placed it in the box, got outside, and discovered in daylight that I had brought out with me a single sample, rather than a pack of four. On my return, I tripped down the steps again (I'd forgotten they were there.

The local butcher sold me a very meaty and very welcome sausage roll for 80p.

Wharram Percy next week...I hope.

Wednesday 6 January 2010
Fridaythorpe-Huggate-Fridaythorpe, 8.3 miles

This was quite an experience, as I walked after a couple of weeks of intermittent snow, which had caused widespread problems.

My intention was to drive to Huggate, and if possible, follow the Wolds Way through Fridaythorpe and on to Thixendale, returning on the country lanes, which I estimated to be about 12 miles.

However, I found that the lane to Huggate from the main road had a lot of snow on it, and it would have been hazardous to attempt it in my car.

I returned to Fridaythorpe and set off to walk the Wolds Way from north to south to Huggate, where I would make a decision about my next move.

The first dale, Holmdale, was followed gradually downhill along the valley floor. There were about four inches of virgin snow, which made walking quite tiring.

I then turned into Horsedale, where it was necessary to start climbing gradually along the valley side.  The snow was now even deeper and because of the effort required, I made several stops on the ascent.

Until now, the weather had been clear and there was even some bright sunlight, but I heard a pattering of rain on my jacket.  A slight breeze started blowing, then suddenly there was a driving snowstorm, which cut visibility drastically.  

I stumbled on, trying to follow the line of the path, but often stepping into snow a foot deep, and I soon realised that because of the conditions, I had missed a turn through a gate that should have appeared on my left - in fact, I hadn't even seen the hedge in which the gate was supposed to be located.

I decided to keep heading south-west along the dale to intercept the metalled lane to Huggate.

As usual, my bootlaces had worked loose, but I was disinclined to stop until I reached the lane.  The snow stopped and the sun came out again, but  I was wading through snow up to 6 inches deep.

At the lane, I checked my boots and found that as I had ignored the loose laces, the tongue of my right boot had popped out. This, in turn, had dislodged the gaiter, and the top of the boot was open and full of snow.

I wanted to take a photograph back along Horsedale, which 20 minutes earlier had been battering me in a howling white-out, but which was now lying benignly before me in brilliant sunshine.  Unfortunately, my mobile telephone decided it didn't want to play.

After a rest, I set off along the mile-long walk into Huggate, where the sun went into hiding again, and stinging micro-hail started battering me.

As planned, I had lunch in Huggate's very civilised bus shelter and waited for the hail to stop.

I set off along the Wolds Way towards Fridaythorpe, in order to cover the section that I missed by continuing along Horsedale.  At one point, it is necessary to follow a hedgeline north-west to join Horsedale, and this was a real pain. The snow was generally about eight inches deep, but in one section, there were ruts in the frozen earth beneath the snow, so I did not know whether my foot would go down for four inches, eight inches, a foot or more, and I was stumbling along until, inevitably, I fell flat on my face.

I discovered that I had missed the gate on the outward leg because in the snowstorm, I had been following a path along the dale parallel to, and about 50 feet below the correct one.  

Eventually I found my way back to Holmdale and headed for Fridaythorpe through more tiring powder snow.

On exiting Holmdale, I made the mistake of following the directions in the Wolds Way guide by turning right, and I had been walking for ten minutes before I could persuade myself to check the map and my GPS.

Thixendale can wait for better weather.  Probably. 

Wednesday December 16, 2009

Millington-Huggate-Millington, 10.3 miles.

I continued with the Wolds Way on my own while Maureen was doing her voluntary tasks at the hospital.

There was constant light rain, with occasional heavier falls, and the temperature was quite low, but conditions were not too bad underfoot, and the day proved to be very enjoyable.  

I followed the Way to Huggate, where I had a seat for lunch in the village bus shelter, then returned to the car along a surfaced country lane.  

The Rabbit Warren (bottom picture) is given a big write-up in the guide book as the steepest climb on the walk, which can be very tricky after rain.  It is certainly steep - the picture does not do it justice - but the climb is up wood-faced steps back-filled with limestone chips.  The real problem is that the steps are each up to a foot high, which is very tiring to climb.  The next valley, Nettle Dale, is left by another 45-degree climb, which although shorter, is worse under-foot.

Thursday October 29, 2009

Market Weighton - Millington (near) - Pocklington (off route), 10.2 miles.

We drove to Pocklington and caught a bus to Market Weighton, on a very pleasant, sunny day.  We were both walking in shirt sleeves for most of the day.

Sheila was ill and unable to join us.

Walking was mainly on the level, with only one hill of note.


The Wolds Way shared its route with the Wilberforce Way, and when they diverged near Millington (after 8.5 miles) we diverted into Pocklington to find the car and return home.

At one point (pictured below) a stile was obstructed by a gate that had been tied back.  This could be negotiated only by straddling a fence and the gate, then stepping over the gate. This was a very uncomfortable manoeuvre - and Maureen has the bruise to prove it.
























Thursday October 15, 2009

South Cave-Market Weighton, 11.9 miles.

For the second leg, we drove to Market Weighton and met Sheila in the village car park, and took a taxi for the eight (road) miles to South Cave.

The day was mild but misty, with visibility down to about 200 yards in most places.

With the only steep hills negotiated early in the journey, about a quarter of the route was along well-surfaced tracks or road. 













Thursday October 1, 2009

Hessle-South Cave, 13.7 miles

Harry and Maureen (left) were joined by Sheila from the Thursday walking group.

We drove to South Cave and caught a bus to Hessle, where we began our walk beside the Humber, passing under the Humber Bridge, on a pleasant, mild day.

Lunch was eaten on a bench in Welton.