This 8-mile circular walk from Bishop Wilton to Deep Dale is a magnificent way to take in the Wolds in the East Riding of Yorkshire. Along with enormous views across the Vale of York, you get to walk within chalk wold dales that are quiet, remote and beautiful.
As you shall see, I did this walk in early December and had the pleasure of many seasons in one day. From an early snowfall to glorious winter sunshine, with autumn colours still abound.
And to add to all that, the walk begins and ends in the pretty village of Bishop Wilton, not far off the A166. It is a gorgeous village to explore in its own right with a small convenience shop and, right in the middle, the local pub called The Fleece Inn.
Parking spaces are available around and about the village green area near the pub but please be respectful of people’s property and space.
So. What better place is there to start and end this walk but at The Fleece itself?
For your information, I did this walk in a clockwise direction and have put the GPX on the Walkshire Map to help.
OK. Imagine you are coming out of the pub door, head immediately right and go along the lane for a couple of hundred metres. Then head up the last lane on the left before leaving the village. Follow the lane and it will soon turn to path and continue on, following the yellow waymark arrows. You will soon enter a field where you begin your trek uphill.
That first bit certainly gets the heart and lungs going and we soon warmed up.
Once it levels up you are on Stonetable Hill. Follow the path around the edge of the top beside the field. You get amazing views across the Vale of York as you walk. You can see for miles, especially on a clear day.
As you follow the contour of the valley around the hill it clears ahead with Worsendale Plantation as your next landmark to head to.
The path heads to the right of the trees and after a gate you keep the plantation to your left and head straight on to the end of the field where you turn right and uphill again. Not so steep though this time.
The dogs were absolutely loving the walk. Freedom to run and play. It was certainly doing a job of tiring them out happily.
It is up here that you reach Bishop Wilton Wold. Otherwise known as Garrowby Hill. The highest point in the Yorkshire Wolds. Not a mountain but a fine place with fine views and nature that is for sure. The view back over The Vale of York was bigger than ever so far.
At the end of this field you come to a lane. Cross over and carry on directly opposite along the public footpath.
It is here that you drop down into Deep Dale. A wonderfully secluded and tranquil dale that is full of sights and nature yet completely quiet. I dropped down into and up the other side without seeing another soul.
This is one of those great valleys that you need to walk to to explore, not just park up within.
After the early snow showers the sun had not broken above the trees to melt it so we walked from sunshine to a winter scene almost immediately.
You drop down to the heart of the dale and then almost immediately climb up the other side. The path then heads left at the top along a path above the valley.
Eventually you will meet a road. This is the section were you will need to put the leads on the dogs. For now there are two miles of road walking. It is not busy though at all in my experience. Once at the road turn right along it.
After a mile or so the lane meets a bigger road at a signposted junction. But all you need to do is keep going straight on and downhill, towards Millington.
Don’t just keep your head down and look straight ahead, there is joy to be seen either side of the road. The Vale of York opens up again to your right and views of fields and beyond to your left.
After the snow I got some surreal views.
After a mile from the junction there is a gate off to your right where the path takes you down and down.
Again, the variety of views on offer just keep on coming at every turn.
The path ahead is off through those trees in the pic above. From open fields to a woodland walk. Nice indeed!
This tree-lined Dale is a magical place to walk through.
Towards the end of this dale and woods you will see appearing the gorgeous little Church of St. Ethelburga.
This landmark tells you that you are arriving at Great Givendale, a beautiful little hamlet. From the church, cross the road directly and along the lane that goes through the hamlet itself.
After the houses you will see a path heading right along a track and you take this route.
Before long the track heads right again through a gate and along a narrow path that traverses the contours of the hill with open views to your left.
Keep following the yellow arrows and before long you start heading down and down, with Bishop Wilton unmistakeably ahead.
Once back down to the road, turn right and you will head straight back to the The Fleece Inn.
I have to say that if you want to do one walk that has every variety that the Yorkshire Wolds has to offer, then start with this one. No matter the weather, it will be a most memorable 8 miles well spent!