Hessle to South Cave
This 13 mile (21km) length is a good and fairly easy going introduction to the Yorkshire Wolds Way.
If you are not planning to stay overnight you can walk this section using public transport for your return journey as the No.155 East Yorkshire Motor Services bus connects with Hull, Hessle and South Cave.
The start of the trail
For most walkers the start of the Yorkshire Wolds Way will be at the sculpture in the shadow of the mighty Humber Bridge, just 3 miles (5km) from the centre of Hull. However, for historic reasons the official start is a short distance back at Hessle Haven.
Enjoy the first 3 miles (5km) of the Yorkshire Wolds Way alongside the foreshore of the Humber estuary. No other National Trail parallels such a vast estuary or passes under such a significant structure as the Humber Bridge, once the worlds’ largest single span bridge. This is an ideal location to observe passing shipping or the hosts of wading birds along the foreshore.
White chalk pebbles on the foreshore indicate that the Humber cuts through the chalk hills of the Yorkshire and Lincolnshire Wolds at this point and large quarries have, in the past, taken advantage of this low ground route to move their products by water and rail. The Country Park by the northern approach to the bridge was a disused quarry known locally as "Little Switzerland". A black painted mill used for crushing the chalk is all that is left of the old quarry workings.
Bronze Age boats
Just before the path leaves the foreshore and heads towards the rising Yorkshire Wolds you pass the site where the remains of three Bronze Age boats were found protruding from the mud that had preserved them for nearly 4.000 years. If you look a little further along the foreshore you will see a cliff of clay, sand and gravel left behind by a once mighty glacier that plugged the Humber estuary during the last ice age and caused extensive flooding of the whole of the Vale of York.
Heading north west you will pass through the delightful village of Welton. Enjoy a stroll around the village and pause for refreshment at the Green Dragon Inn where you can learn about a famous event in its past!
Continuing north along Welton Wold you will realise that you are now truly in Yorkshire Wolds country. The route passes near Brantingham which for the sake of a short deviation is well worth a visit. Strikingly out of place is the interesting Gothic war memorial, built from stones taken from Hull Town Hall. Pevsner described it as "lovingly awful"!
Pleasant woodland and distant views dominate the final length of this section before you drop down to enter South Cave where there are good pubs, shops and accommodation as well as public transport back to Hessle or Hull.back to top
South Cave to Market Weighton
This 12 mile (19 km) length offers fairly easy walking and a visit to several interesting villages and historic locations.
From Hull an Explorer ticket with East Yorkshire Motor Services will allow you to reach South Cave by one route (No 155) with a return from Market Weighton by another (No X46).
The Yorkshire Wolds Way now drops down through the long grassy Swin Dale, a classic dry valley of the Yorkshire Wolds.
The route climbs north east out of South Cave and soon offers wide expansive views of the Humber to the south. In Weedley Dale you cross the line of the old Hull – Barnsley railway line before gradually climbing towards the BBC relay mast at High Hunsley Beacon. The Yorkshire Wolds Way now drops down through the long grassy Swin Dale, a classic dry valley of the Yorkshire Wolds. You are within 2km of North Newbald. which is well worth a visit to view its beautiful Norman church or visit one of its two pubs and the village shop.
After North Newbald you may get the impression that the Yorkshire Wolds Way is determined to avoid Market Weighton as it seems to keep defiantly to the Wold tops above the small market town. The high ground is, however, of great archaeological significance as you will pass the site of a Roman amphitheatre in a field to the east, Hesselskew Farm, once a granary belonging to Watton Abbey in the Middle Ages, and a great many tumuli around Arras Farm dating from the late Iron Age.
In Spring Dale the Yorkshire Wolds Way divides, one branch follows the Hudson Way into Market Weighton, the other going north to Goodmanham. The Hudson Way named after the "Railway King" George Hudson, who for a while lived nearby at Londesborough, follows the track of one of his former railway lines from Market Weighton to Beverley. In Market Weighton you will find several references to William Bradley, the Yorkshire Giant. who was born here in 1787 and reached a height of 7ft 9ins (2.36m) The town also has links with John Wesley who preached in the town in 1788, one of six sermons he preached over only two days at villages between Hull and York. Not bad for a man of 85!
The route to Goodmanham, passes close to Rifle Butts Quarry, a Yorkshire Wildlife Trust reserve and a site of international importance which demonstrates a huge gap in the geological sequence of rocks in this area. Goodmanham is an attractive village with a significant place in Christian history, it was here in AD 626 that the Saxon King of Northumbria was converted to Christianity.back to top
Market Weighton to Fridaythrope
This 17 mile (26 km) section takes you into the higher Yorkshire Wolds country.
There is no regular public transport at Fridaythorpe so you may need to use a taxi if you want to return to Market Weighton. Alternatively there are plenty of opportunities for circular walks using the Yorkshire Wolds Way from places like Pocklington which has a bus service (X46) linking York and Hull.
you will soon enter the impressive and most attractive landscaped surroundings
Setting out from either Goodmanham or Market Weighton you will soon enter the impressive and most attractive landscaped surroundings of Londesborough Park (The Goodmanham route makes the most of the Park). Approaching the village you will see signs of the original Hall long since demolished. Over Londesborough Wold, to the east of the Yorkshire Wolds Way, is the course of the oldest horse race in England, the Kiplingcotes Derby. first recorded over 450 years ago.
From Londesborough the Yorkshire Wolds Way heads north, passing Nunburnholme. The rector of the church here between 1854 and 1893 was Frances Orpen Morris. A pioneer of nature conservation in Victorian times, he published the six volume "A History of British Birds". Continuing north the Yorkshire Wolds Way passes near Pocklington and Kilnwick Percy Hall.
The views from here are wide and expansive across Millington, on a clear day you can see York Minster and the White Horse of Kilburn.
Now the route climbs above Warren Dale to the higher ground above Millington. The views from here are wide and expansive across Millington, on a clear day you can see York Minster and the White Horse of Kilburn. On the far side of the valley is the site of Millington Pasture. 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, where the Wolds Inn provides refreshment, before dropping into the appealing dry valleys of Horse Dale and Holm Dale. The path then climbs gradually to reach Fridaythorpe, where there are pubs, accommodation , a shop and a cafe.back to top
Fridaythorpe to Sherburn
This stretch is 22˝ miles (36.5km) and can be explored over more than one day using the nearby town of Malton as a base.
one of the most charming villages along the Yorkshire Wolds Way
The walk heads west out of Fridaythorpe then north along Thixendale to the village that bears its name. The snug location of Thixendale village make it one of the most charming villages along the Yorkshire Wolds Way and there is accommodation, refreshments and a shop available here.
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, There is evidence here that dates as far back as the Iron Age but most of the remains are those associated with the village that was abandoned in the 15th century. Don’t expect to see many actual ruins, the only standing walls remaining are those of St Martin’s Church which was in use for a further 400 years after the village was deserted.
Beyond Wharram le Street the Yorkshire Wolds Way climbs once again reaching a high point at Settrington Beacon. The mixed woodland here makes pleasant walking and as you leave the woods you get wide views across the Vale of Pickering to the North York Moors on the distant skyline.
The descent leads to Wintringham where the Wold scarp and the Yorkshire Wolds Way change direction, so that, 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 Yorkshire Wolds Way climbs steeply out of Wintringham to follow this northern scarp, eventually dropping down to reach Sherburn on the Scarborough – York road. There is a pub here, shops and good public transport between Leeds, York, Malton, Scarborough and Filey. (No’s 840/842/843).back to top
Sherburn to Filey
This last section of the Yorkshire Wolds Way is 17 miles (28km) long.
It is well served by public transport throughout the length, using the 840/842/843 Yorkshire Coastliner service between Leeds, York, Malton, Scarborough and Filey.
You will notice from the maps of this last section of the walk that there are many tumuli and linear earthworks marked. This suggests a long and complicated history of land ownership. Informed opinion is that Iron Age farmsteads became Romano-British villa farms. These in their turn became small hamlets under the Angles and Danes dependent on more important villages with a larger manor. (such as Hunmanby). Bridlington Priory had control of large tracts of the high wolds in this area and the monks were responsible for clearing (or assarting) much of the remnant woodland between established villages for sheep farming.
The walk follows the foot of the escarpment between Sherburn and Ganton (where accommodation and facilities are available) before climbing back up onto the Wolds for a short distance and then turning back into the Wolds landscape at Staxton Brow.
End of your journey
Filey is the sort of place to kick off your boots and go for a paddle at the end of a long walk
Beyond Stocking Dale you say goodbye to the Yorkshire Wolds and the landscapes of chalk country as you descend to Muston. Leaving the village, a deviation onto the Centenary Way offers an imposing route into Filey and along the seafront to the dramatic promontory of Filey Brigg. Relax at the sculpture carved with the National Trail acorn that marks the finish of the Yorkshire Wolds Way and also the Cleveland Way. Filey is the sort of place to kick off your boots and go for a paddle at the end of a long walk but if you have a day to spare, 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!back to top