George Wilkinson discovers an unmissable walk in the Wolds

THIS is a wonderful Wolds walk, one of the best I have done. We started at Fordon which is a farm, a mini church, a house or two, that's all, a hamlet at the junction of North Dale, East Dale and West Dale. A road took us up and over South Hills to a trig point on Middle Flats and then a dirt track 'green lane' called North Cotes Road took us a mile or two on the flat due east.

So we had got our bearings, plus views of the chalk-white and green contrast of the spring land. However, our warm up was mitigated by a north wind that came sharp out of the blue sky and we were on the wrong side of shelter-belts of trees and hedge. You might see a dewpond; I hope you hear the curlew, lapwing and skylark trio.

We descended, skirting a shantytown of empty pig huts, and connected with our main climb. This takes you from 200 feet to 500 feet over two miles and is a wonderful 'green lane' ascent. Tall thorn hedges cheated the northerly wind, the verges were colouring up, near the top there is an elder tree sheltered sandwich stop and a little further a sea view to Filey Bay. Chaffinches gave way to yellow hammers and at Danebury Manor a once fine Georgian looking house is home for hens.

Just before a working quarry you can see in some trees a part of Sharpe Howe, which is five (once six) Bronze Age round barrows where skeletons, cremations, vessels and a bone pin were found in the 19th century.

A little of the Centenary/Wolds Way dropped us into Lang Dale, for an absolutely fabulous two-mile descent down the six sinuous curves of the majestic dry valley. The shape of Lang Dale and North Dale (they are one) is perfect, a wide motorway-smooth turf bottom and high shaved flanks of short grass here and there burnished with gorse. Trees and scrub are localised. Sheep graze, rabbits burrow, the young were out, you will see a giant triangular box (probably little owl) and nearby another magic dewpond. I have had report of buzzard and nocturnal quail.

We emerged at Fordon, to daffodils around the old village pump. The neat farm has good twentieth century sheds and eighteenth century chalk buildings. We read in the tiny church of the 'desolate' local roads, and of the church once being the haunt of outlaws; talking of roads - the three short stretches today yielded three cars. This route is unmissable.


When in doubt look at the map. Check your position at each point. Keep straight on unless otherwise directed.

1. Uphill on road south-west from Fordon crossroads (signed Wold Newton & Driffield). Pass Trig point on top of hill.

2. Track on left at road junction (no sign). Pass wood to right and stay on track (hedge to right). Right when track meets field (leaving right of way to avoid cutting corner of field), 100 yards, left (hedge on right).

3. Left to road (verge). Ignore drive to Hunmanby Grange.

4. Track on right between mature hedge and fence at side of Cans Dale (no sign). Uphill. Keep straight on past Danebury Manor. Join road (verge).

5. Stile on left, downhill (fence to right, signed Wolds and Centenary Way), stile/fieldgate.

6. Left at signpost before stiles near bottom (fence to right). Stay on that side of valley and in valley bottom to Fordon (grassed over old track/path just visible sometimes)

7. Stile/fieldgate, cross track (pens to right), 20 yards, left by fence and stay by fence to your right.

8. Stile by fieldgate by trees and stay in valley bottom till fence, right, 50 yards, first fieldgate then stay by fence to your right.

9. Fieldgate, fieldgate into farmyard, fieldgate and left into Fordon.

Fact file:

Distance: Seven miles.

Time: Three to four hours.

General location: The Wolds, ten miles south of Scarborough.

Start: Fordon or near Danebury Manor.

Right of way: The complete route is along public rights of way.

Date walked: Saturday April 13, 2002.

Road route: From York, perhaps A64 easiest, taking the A1039 after Staxton and turning off at Flixton.

Car parking: Roadside verge at Fordon or just north of Danebury Manor.

Lavatories: None.

Refreshments: None.

Tourist & Public Transport Information: Scarborough TIC 01723 373333.

Map: Based on OS Explorer Scarborough 301.

Terrain: Dry valley, old road climb and high level track.

Points of interest: The Danebury Manor dogs were lively. The dog warden, in whom I have every confidence, has been informed.

Difficulty: Comfortable, felt like five miles, hardly any stiles or gates.

Dogs: Suitable, but keep on leads at lambing time especially in North Dale and Lang Dale.

Weather forecast: Evening Press and recorded forecast 0891 500 418

Please observe the Country Code and park sensibly. While every effort is made to provide accurate information, walkers set out at their own risk.

Click here to view a map of the walk

Updated: 08:48 Saturday, April 20, 2002