We came into Huggate on York Lane and left a landscape burnished in the harvest time heat for the cool of the Wolds Inn at noon. Thereby "mad dogs and Englishmen" were delayed a while, and it was hot, more than 80 degrees Fahrenheit.

Huggate is a low density, small population village set deep in the central Wolds. Half an hour later, fed and watered, we left via the very quiet Mill Lane, the asphalt was sticky, a strong southerly wind blew into our faces and a large flock of rooks gyrated above the ash trees.

One road led to another, now we headed west on Hawold Bridle Road, a wide grassy track that we took for two miles, climbing a little and passing a couple of dry valleys, Keasey Dale and Well Dale. The wind direction was perfect for a motionless raptor high above the head of Well Dale, and panicked partridges clattered airborne every now and then. Grasshoppers or crickets had been warmed up by the sunshine so there was some chirping and scratching in the thorn hedge, otherwise there were no insects.

The views are long and to the south, a few miles to the spire of the church at Warter, and beyond, about 20 miles into haze, one support of the Humber Bridge was visible.

We dropped into the head of Nettle Dale, where there are more harebells than nettles and followed a line of thorn trees the whole length of the valley. This left us a sharp climb out at the end as we turned for our return route, which was delayed for a snooze in dappled sunlight under Jessops Plantation.

Two walkers came the other way, one said it was better here than London in a heatwave. We passed iron estate-style fencing, picked up altitude, reaching about 600ft, and saw some lovely super smooth curvy Wolds landscape lines.

Then we met a retired local farm worker and got a ten-minute education on the agricultural past and present. While a corn field softy rattled in the wind he recounted his memory of post "enclosure" fields, the largest of 20 acres, told us the Jessops (as in plantation) were the Sheffield steel magnate owners of the land from 1870-1920, and that nowadays the big profits are in strawberries not wheat.

We homed in on Huggate's church spire. There was a lull in combining so all that was missed was a slice of harvest action.

Also "Matt and Tom's pavement lemonade stand" had, unfortunately, just closed.


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

1. From Wolds Inn, right to road, road on left (signed Warter).

2. Track on right (signed Minster Way). Keep old hedge to right. Cross road to track.

3. Gate at corner of wood (signpost), left 100 yards, 1 o'clock down side of valley (faint paths) to follow grown-out hedgerow.

4. Right at fence (signpost), cross valley bottom, 100 yards uphill, right to path gently uphill (signpost).

5. Fieldgate near dewpond, path by railings, gate on left at corner to wood-edge path.

6. Stile/fieldgate at wood corner, right and follow dale (maintain height), stile/fieldgate by corner of wood, left to road and at junction cross road to left to gate and field-edge path (signed Wolds Way).

7. Right to track (so hedge on right), 100 yards, cross road to asphalt farm drive, swings right, path between fence and hedge in front of farm, rejoin asphalt, right at T-junction and back to Huggate.

Fact file

Distance: Six miles.

Time: Three hours.

General location: The Wolds.

Start: The Wolds Inn, Huggate.

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

Date walked: Saturday, August 17, 2002.

Road route: From York, A166, turn off before Fridaythorpe.

Parking: Roadside in and around Huggate.

Lavatories: None.

Refreshments: The Wolds Inn.

Tourist & public transport Information: Beverley TIC 01482 867430

Map: Based on OS Explorer 294 Yorkshire Wolds central.

Terrain: Dry valley and tops.

Points of interest: Dry walk.

Difficulty: Moderate.

Dogs: Suitable.

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.

Updated: 09:29 Saturday, August 31, 2002

Click here to view a map of the walk