deep dale pic

Bishop Wilton and Deep Dale Circular

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.

bishop wilton

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?

The Fleece

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.

dogs and tree

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.

view from stonetable hill

As you follow the contour of the valley around the hill it clears ahead with Worsendale Plantation as your next landmark to head to.

on stonetable hill

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.

bishop wilton wold

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.

views galore

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.

deep dale

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.

heading out of deepdale

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.

lane walk

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.

millington sign

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.

snow and fields

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.

wolds view

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.

dog in woods

Towards the end of this dale and woods you will see appearing the gorgeous little Church of St. Ethelburga.

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.

dog on wolds

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!

chalk lane

Tatton Sykes Monument and Cottam

A wonderfully quiet and scenic walk. Starting and finishing at the impressive and towering Tatton Sykes Monument, it takes you through the Yorkshire Wolds Countryside of the East Riding of Yorkshire and the scene of an old medieval village that was deserted at the time of the plague and where the remains of a derelict chapel still stands.

The Yorkshire Wolds are a joy to walk, even more so on a sunny day like it was for me. Big open skies, rolling landscapes of farmed fields, colours of all manner of crops and history hidden away from the main roads.

Tatton sykes monument

The walk starts and ends at Tatton Sykes Monument. The monument can be seen for miles around and is situated about a mile south of Sledmere House. It was erected in 1865, in memorial of Sir Tatton Sykes, 4th baronet (1772-1863).

There is free parking beside the monument and space for around 8-10 cars.

The walk starts by crossing the road directly across from the monument onto a tarmac lane called York Rd.

york road

Follow this lane for around a mile and at the farm entrance keep straight on. Here the tarmac goes and you continue on chalk track, gradually heading downhill. Here you really start to get a taste of escapism and big skies. A true Yorkshire Wolds walking feel.

At the bottom of the track you meet another road where you will see the path ahead across it and straight on. Now you are on a grass walking path heading upwards slightly as the well seen path takes you upwards beside fields of crops.

yorkshire wolds walk

I was here in September so it was abundant in colours. On one side the harvested grain in brown and the yellow of mustard on the other.

Keep going straight on for a couple of miles or so, there are no paths to tempt you off track left or right so do not worry. The path feels like a long straight line all the way so far.

Eventually the grass path will turn to a concrete lane until you reach a cross road type junction where you turn left and head towards Cottam.

You will pass a farm on your right so keep going straight on and at the next junction head left where you will immediately see the derelict Church of Holy Trinity. It is the only reminder of the hamlet of Cottam that stood here. A medieval dwelling that was deserted during the plague.

cottam church

After the church the scenery changes once more. Through the ditch that is Cottam Well Dale beneath the Earthworks. If you have dog watch out for cows and bulls.

yorkshire wolds scene

Walking this dale was beautiful and away from it all, we met nobody and the landscape changed all the time. Birds of prey in many numbers could be seen hovering in the breeze above the dale, looking for prey.

Eventually you will meet the road once more where you turn left and walk along the road for about half a mile.

You will then see on your right the chalk track that heads back following your first section back to the monument.

I have included a GPX file to assist you here: Tatton Sykes Monument – Map – Walkshire | Welcome to Yorkshire

wold rangers way

Horse Hair Jack Trod of The Wold Rangers Way

This is a glorious 9-mile circular walk through the stunning Yorkshire Wolds countryside. This is a smaller walk encompassing much of the new, longer challenge walk, The Wold Rangers Way.

The walk begins and ends at Market Place, in the centre of Driffield in the East Riding of Yorkshire. You will be walking primarily along well-trodden lanes steeped in history.

horse hair jack trod

The introduction of machinery to agriculture in the 19th century, along with the enclosure of land, created a lot of landless folk with no work. Most headed to the towns and cities but many remained, leading a nomadic existence and living off the land. They were known as The Wold Rangers.

They walked and lived along the lanes all around the Wolds, going from farm to farm in search of work. Known as extremely trustworthy, they were never turned away when they turned up at a farm. If there was no work, they at least received some food or shelter.

gate wolds

In fact, the last of the Wold Rangers, a man known as Dog Geordie, only died in 1987.

The full Wold Rangers Way itself is 43 miles in length and takes in the whole area. However, some smaller day walks have been created using the names of Wold Rangers from the past, like this one, Horse Hair Jack Trod.

driffield

From the centre of Driffield, head east and you’ll soon reach calm and green space. Even before leaving the town, you pass through The Keld, then along and over the A166 before hitting long straight lanes proper.

The walk is effectively 3 long tracks, well trodden and clear. You don’t have to worry about any turns so you can concentrate on the views and enjoying the great outdoors.

Continuing outwards and gradually upwards on Garton Balk (track), you won’t find anything strenuous at all. You soon get to see the lay of the land here, with fields of crops as far as the eye can see.

crops wolds

I was here in mid summer, when the contrasts of crop colours and blue skies made it invigorating with plenty of that feeling of escapism.

From there, you turn right to pass along some beautiful undulating tracks with secluded farms and farmhouses. You then complete the walk by heading back along a track called ‘Long Lane’ back to Driffield. I have put a GPX file on our routes map at Walkshire.com to help you.

tracks

This is a 9-mile walk, but due to the lay of the land, the well-trodden lanes and lack of steep inclines, it doesn’t feel like such a long walk at all. It is definitely a walk to enjoy at a sedate pace, rather than in a rush. You’ll be out with nature in the fresh air of The East Riding of Yorkshire.

This is also a very dog-friendly route too. The lanes are wide and not busy at all, though I would just advise you to be careful of the crops.

Riverside beauty at Barmby on the Marsh

The picturesque village of Barmby on the Marsh is the starting point for a beautiful six-mile circular route around the village, along the banks of the River Derwent and River Ouse and cutting across the edges of fields between the two. It’s a great choice for families with reluctant walkers, with various opportunities to cut the walk short and return to the village if necessary.

There are loads of interesting things to see, from the Tidal Barrage at the starting point of the walk to the huge towers of Drax Power Station. The walk is almost completely flat (as can be expected from this area) and very peaceful. On a beautiful sunny Saturday we only passed one other walker on the Trans Pennine Trail. It was our first time trying one of the suggested routes from the Walking the Riding website and we absolutely loved it!

Read more about this fabulous East Yorkshire walk (where you can also find other great walks for families around Yorkshire).