Tuesday, 6 April 2010

Walking along the Wolds Way in Yorkshire

Date: 27th February 2010
Those there: Me, Phil
Map: OS Landranger 100, OS Landranger 106 / OS Explorer 300, OS Explorer 294
Distance: 5 1/2 miles

We kicked off in Fridaythorpe in just up the road from the pub (873593) and walked west out of the village on the Wolds Way in the shadow of what I think is a grain plant which overlooks you like a rather dark and intimidating cloud.

Yorkshire Wolds Valley
Here you follow the hiking trail towards Ings Plantation (which you will struggle to see until you come across it at the top of the valley side) across the field until you arrive at the valley top. Here the path veers slightly right as it descends into the valley bottom (860595). Here we came across a bit of a weird sight of a carcass of a lamb which was no older than a few days. As we approached it, what must have been it's mother let out a blood curdling noise which would have been more at home in one of Quentin Tarantino's blockbusters. It's age was confirmed by the placenta which was laying not much further down the hiking trail along with a further two carcasses. Just goes to show how furious this winter has been and how badly it must have hit the farming communities across the country.

Here you start to see the nature of the landscape and the nature of the valleys all around. The valleys run into each other but the bizarre thing is that they don't really seem to run from anywhere or to anywhere for that matter - there is an answer however which I will come to at the end - for those that are interested.

When we arrived at the valley bottom at Ings Plantation we took a right to walk north for literally a few metres when we headed west up a tree lined valley tributary (if you like) heading towards Gill's Farm, this is all still on the Wolds Way.

No time to call in for a brew, once at Gill's Farm we walked straight over the road and down the path to the fence here you get an even better example of the bizarre dry, flat bottomed valleys you saw earlier. Once through the gate the hiking trail veers to the left along a slighter decline. Instead we sliced off the corner and took the shorter, knee battering, bum sliding route to the valley bottom (844594).

Thixendale Wolds Way
Here we saw these cows which look to be well clothed for these chillier conditions out in the field, if they were to head from pasture to disco however a trim might be advantageously appealing to the opposite sex then again who am I to comment on that!?!

Highland Cow on the Wolds Way
Again continuing to walk along the Wolds Way, now north, we walked along the wide sweeping valley bottom where we saw other tributaries join this main valley bottom. This hiking trail is particularly easy to follow unless you feel like a rather strenuous scramble up and over the side of the valley. Through a gate at the northern end of the valley and it widens. We walked further still and we came to a paved road (842601 although it may now not seem too remote this is still the Wolds Way). We took a right here which is marked by a disused pit (presumably this could have been used for watering livestock at some time in the past) and walked along the road for probably around 1/2 mile until we were on the outskirts of Thixendale. Here we came across a pretty odd junction and we took the most fiercest of inclines - the 2nd right turn.

In not too far but pretty steep we arrived at the top of the hill and took a few minutes to check out the surroundings (849610) as you have a great vantage point of the area from here. Although you cant see it from this spot Wharram Percy is a superb Medieval Remains of a village. It could look as though some folk just moved out last week although it has been pretty well restored as most of it is actually no longer sadly. Either way if you're in this neck of the woods it is definitely worth stopping in on.

Breath back and set to go we walked back to Fridaythorpe along the road past Gritts Farm and into Fridaythorpe past the Grain Cloud and back to the car. Not a huge walk but a great leg stretch and a superb opportunity to get out and take in this crazy unique landscape.

I will post in the next couple of days the geography of the Wolds and why these bizarre valleys came into being.


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