Wednesday, 28 December 2011

Yorkshire Wolds Walk - Christmas excess walked off around Millington & Huggate

After a few days of eating and drinking the 28 December provided an opportunity for walking off some Christmas excess before returning to work.  A seven to eight mile walk in a very windy Millington/Huggate area was just what was needed.

Sylvan Dale
We parked at the car park at Millington Wood (worth exploring in it's own right - Millington Wood) and then headed north east down the road in to Millington Dale and after a short distance turned off the road, headed south east, crossed a small stream and in to Sylvan Dale. After only 100 metres or so we again turned north east and climbed the steep bank of the dale up to Wold Top. 

View from Chalkland Way
The path we'd joined forms part of the Chalkland Way a 40 mile circular walk around this part of the Yorkshire Wolds starting and finishing in Pocklington. The path we followed went down then up the side of Nettle Dale before swinging round Jessop's Plantation which appeared to once have been the site of a settlement of some kind. 

View from Huggate Sheepwalk
We then skirted the top of Pasture Dale on a path marked on the OS map as Huggate Sheepwalk. 

Red berry hedge

At the end of the Sheepwalk we left behind the series of dales connected to Millington Dale for a while. Taking a footpath north we crossed the top of Huggate Pasture and then across York Lane. After a short walk down a tarmac road we turned sharp left and walked along a hedge laden with red berries. Our path then cut across the head of Horse Dale. When we reached the entrance road to Wold House Farm we turned south east down the road and came up to the back of a covered reservoir. 

Avenue of Trees

After a short walk north east along the road we turned south west and headed down in to a wooded dale through an avenue of trees labelled as Great Plantation. The path then turned left and we headed south through a still wooded Tun Dale. 

Brooding sky in Frendal Dale
As we came out of the wooded dale the landscape opened out and we found ourselves in Frendal Dale with a brooding sky overhead.  We followed the dale until we joined the road that traverses Millington Dale. The wind was being funnelled by the Dale and was blowing directly in to our faces making progress back to the car hard work. 

Headwaters of Millington Beck
We observed as we walked along the road that the springs were still gushing out water even though rainfall has recently been low and some winterbourne streams in the local area are dry. 

We got back to the car after a good walk that had certainly helped us walk off our Christmas excess.  The wind had definitely blown any cobwebs away.

Sunday, 18 December 2011

Yorkshire Wolds - Big Apple

One sign of the the mild autumn we had is the size of the apples our tree has produced. The warmer weather meant an extended growing season. We even still have a few on the tree.

Tuesday, 13 December 2011

Winter Sunrise on the Yorkshire Wolds

Taken just north of Huggate on a beautiful December Day.

Sent from my Windows Phone

Sunday, 20 November 2011

Late autumn fruit

Wasn't expecting to find Rasberries on our bushes this late in the Year. It has been a mild autumn on the Yorkshire Wolds.

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Sunday, 6 November 2011

Drewton's on the Drewton Estate Farm Shop & Cafe

Since it opened in October 2010 I've been meaning to visit this Farm Shop & Cafe which is situated on the A1034 just north of South Cave.  A pleasant afternoon gave the chance to meander across the Yorkshire Wolds and admire the colours of Autumn.  Drewton's gave the opportunity for a pit stop half way round. 

We browsed around the farm shop first admiring some great produce, much of it sourced in Yorkshire, but also including exotic delights from further afield such as Turkish Delight and Buffalo burgers.  There were two sections within the smartly renovated farm buildings where food was being served on this Sunday afternoon.  Both were bustling with customers.  

Drewton's bills itself as both a restaurant and a tearoom.  We only had room for afternoon tea but having seen the menu and the plates going past us to other diners we vowed to come back another day for a full Sunday lunch.  Roast rib of beef at £9.95 seemed very reasonable.  We had coffee and tea with cakes - Harrogate fruit loaf served with Wensleydale cheese was very tasty indeed and the serving was generous.  My companions had carrot cake, recommended by the waitress and, I was told, it was moist and delicious.  The surroundings were pleasant, the staff attentive and at around £5 per person it was an afternoon well spent.

Drewton's website is here -

Sunday, 23 October 2011

North Cave Wetlands Nature Reserve

This nature reserve sits at the very foot of the Yorkshire Wolds and has been adapted from a worked out sand and gravel quarry. As more workings are taking place in the area it's likely that the reserve will expand in the future. Once earmarked as a landfill the site is now managed by Yorkshire Wildlife Trust as a wetland and the focus is on birds with several features created to provide an ideal environment. Hides overlook the ponds and lakes in several places. Inside the hides bird guides have been provided to ease identification for those, like me, whose knowledge of birds is basic. A route round the boundaries of the reserve has been created which at what cant be much more than a mile makes for a pleasant stroll.

Whether a casual observer or serious birder the site is worth a visit. It has plenty of parking and a mobile catering unit aptly named the "Wild Bird Cafe" is often present. Full details of the site can be found at -

Saturday, 22 October 2011

Sunny Autumn Day

Another day of autumn sunshine on the Yorkshire Wolds. Combined with cool clear air the landscape shows all it's features. Church spires poking out of villages. Rustic colours of waning trees. Deep dry valleys running in all directions. Wide open views. The Wolds' famous big skies. What a great place to be.

Wednesday, 19 October 2011

Yorkshire Wolds - Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty?

Recent applications for wind turbines in several areas of the Yorkshire Wolds have opened a debate on how this special part of Yorkshire could be protected from inappropriate development. One suggestion is that official designation for the Wolds to classed as an ""Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty" (AONB) should be sought. This status offers some statutory protection of the features that make areas special. Information on this can be found on the National Association for Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty's website at - NAAONB Website.

One fact I found on the website was that the UK has 46 AONB. I've travelled the length and breadth of the country and I do believe that the Yorkshire Wolds is certainly as "outstanding" as many of the other areas classed as such. Maybe it is time to seek the protection for this unique part of Yorkshire so that any development is sustainable and fits with a coherent vision of what we want this area to remain and become.  The success of any campaign for AONB status will depend on having broad based support and not being driven by a single issue. It needs to be remembered and considered that every Pro has a Con.

The answer to the question in the title is that the Yorkshire Wolds is an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. The issue is whether legal recognition is needed to keep it that way.

Saturday, 15 October 2011

Autumn sunrise on the Yorkshire Wolds

Just after I got up I looked out our bathroom window and saw a fabulous sunrise. I went straight outside to enjoy it. Here's a selection of the photographs I captured of it.

Saturday, 1 October 2011

Hot October

It was Scorchio on the Yorkshire Wolds today. Being the 1st of October I'd say that's pretty unusual. A great hot day was topped off by a Buzzard sitting in the tree at the end of our garden allowing me to observe it up close. Buzzards were unheard of on the Wolds in recent times until a few years ago. The presence of this top predator is a good indicator of the general state of nature on the Wolds.

Thursday, 29 September 2011

Tree at sunset

Took this photo the other day of the setting sun casting it's glow on the tree.

Saturday, 24 September 2011

Indian Summer

The media has been full of stories of an Indian summer. Will it come true for us on the Yorkshire Wolds? Is nature going to give us a treat before the onslaught of a very cold winter? Are we going  to have weeks of snow or will it be cold, wet and miserable?

I know it causes disruption but I think I'd rather have the snow than damp. Whatever it'll be an Indian summer will be most welcome.

Thursday, 22 September 2011


Nights are closing in quickly. Taken not much after 7pm.

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Thursday, 1 September 2011

Choppy pleasure(?) ride

A sunny evening provided an opportunity to  visit Bridlington and take a walk along the wide promenade. As often is the case a stiff onshore breeze was blowing. This didn't stop the Yorkshire Belle taking onboard a large number of passengers for a trip out in to the bay. We stood and watched as the Belle left the harbour and as she caught the swell a number of shrieks could be heard.

I hope everyone onboard quickly got their sea legs and enjoyed the trip.

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Thursday, 25 August 2011

Late Summer evening skyscape over the Yorkshire Wolds

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Saturday, 13 August 2011

River Hull Sunset

Took this picture whilst walking along bank of River Hull near High Eske.

Sent from my Nokia phone

Sunday, 17 July 2011

Yorkshire Wolds Walk - Walking near Warter

Thatched cottages at Warter
A day off gave the opportunity for a walk and I chose to do a circular walk starting in Warter.  As I struck out North using the road up the side of Manor Farm the sun was shining, the wide verges covered in flowers and the birds were singing.  A great day for a walk.
Junction with Cobdale Lane

Not long after the road joins up with Cobdale Lane that goes up to Huggate I was thinking what a great place for views - to the west you could see down in to the Vale of York and to the east across to the coast.  This probably represented a view of sixty miles or more.  I saw that someone else had had the same idea as a car was parked at the side of the road and a man was taking pictures.  As I passed I remarked about it being a great place for pictures and we and the man's wife started talking.  As it turned out the gentleman had, what must have been quite a number of years ago, lived in York and used to cycle across the Wolds to Bridlington. They were navigating using a dog-eared RAC atlas that must have been at least 50 years old that the man had used, pinned to his handlebars, to navigate around the wolds many years ago.   As it turned out the couple now lived in Italy and had visited York to see their son graduate the day before and were taking a one day trip down memory lane. They knew of David Hockney's work in painting Yorkshire Wolds landscapes and being not far from Warter I showed them the location where he had painted his "Bigger Trees near Warter" (My Bigger Trees Near Warter).  We then bade each other farewell and went on our way. 

Red Kites over the Yorkshire Wolds
Well Dale
Further up the lane at Cobdale Cottage I turned right on to Hawold Bridle Road and headed East. This broad track immediately crosses  the head of Well Dale. The dale is typical of this feature in the Yorkshire Wolds with Hawthorn scrub clinging on to the steep sides; the dale is open access land. As I stood to admire the view my attention was caught by a pair of Red Kites circling about a hundred yards away. I watched for a while and then tried to photograph them. Again this highlighted to me that I need a new lens for my camera as the photograph showed them to be nothing more than mere specks. Before long they silently glided far off in to the distance.

Felling Operations - Yorkshire Wolds
I carried on and before long drew close to where the Bridle Road crosses Mill Lane that heads up from Warter to Huggate. Here I got two reminders that the countryside is a place of work and not just leisure. Firstly, about twenty people were working picking strawberries from a field and secondly, a large pile of newly cut logs highlighting forestry work in the area. 

As I crossed the lane I noticed the car from earlier parked further up the road and more photos being taken.  I waited and after a short while the couple drove up to me. They'd not managed to find the location of the picture so I gave them some more directions and advised them that the trees aren't that near Warter and they'd need to go a little further out of the village to find them than they'd previously tried. They turned round and headed back to Warter. I really hope that they found the site of the picture. 

Lavender Dale
I followed the track across Huggate Heads until it reached the Huggate to North Dalton Road. My route then took me south east down the road but only for a few hundred metres before following the public path that goes down the access to Blanche Farm. I passed the farm to the North and the path then joined the open access land of Brig and Lavender Dales. These two small dales are as fine as any I've seen on the Wolds with a mixture of scrub and woodland.  I then followed the path on a steep climb up the West slope and out of Lavender Dale. Here the path takes a sharp turn round the corner of a wood and as I rounded the corner two young stoats were playing on the track not ten metres in front of me. So engrossed were they in their play that they didn't notice me.  I watched them twist, turn and roll around together for a minute or more but finally their play brought them towards me and they shot off as they noticed me.

Entrance to Warter
Before long this track joins the Warter - Huggate Road I'd crossed earlier and I headed south west along it and down in to Warter. I stopped off at the Yorkshire Wolds Heritage Centre -  you can find more about that here - - before getting back to my car. 
I reckoned that I'd done somewhere around 9 miles across this fantastic piece of countryside and I'd really enjoyed this part of my day off.

Friday, 15 July 2011

Yorkshire Wolds Heritage Centre

Yorkshire Wolds
Heritage Centre
At the end of a good circular walk starting and finishing in Warter I visited the Yorkshire Wolds Heritage Centre. The centre is located in the old parish church of St James. With the church at risk of demolition after being declared surplus to requirements it has been taken over by a local heritage society. 

The ex-St James church is an impressive building reflective of the wealthy families who once lived at the now demolished Warter Priory. The graves and memorials to these wealthy individuals are located in the churchyard and inside. An area of the churchyard is still maintained as a graveyard for more recent burials.

A number of information boards have been dotted around the churchyard providing information on the history of the village, chalk grassland ecology and an explanation of the earthworks to the north of the site that mark the site of the ancient Priory that stood there. Within the porch of the church you can get a number of leaflets that outline some walks in the local area. One of the walks takes in the site of the subject of Hockney"s "Bigger Trees near Warter" that has immortalised the area and normally hangs in the Tate Britain Gallery. Other leaflets are available, as you might expect, that outline details of the local heritage.

Interior of the Yorkshire
Wolds Heritage Centre
I tried the door not really expecting the door to this isolated building to be open but it was. The building as you might imagine still has a church feel and it is replete with pews. More leaflets are available by the door and around the walls information panels have been erected giving details of Yorkshire Wolds life and heritage and the history of the Warter Estate. A nice touch was a number of folders each containing details of the local farms with pictures of life on the farms in the past. One folder also contained wedding photos for weddings that had taken place in the church. The building is used by the Heritage Society to host concerts and is available for hire for exhibitions and such like.

After a long walk in the summer sunshine this oasis of calm was a welcome place to cool down before heading home. If you're ever in the area I would recommend a visit. 

Link to Website - Yorkshire Wolds Heritage Trust

Monday, 11 July 2011

Summer Evening Pub Trip - Gnu Inn, North Newbald

A day of sunshine and showers had turned in to a warm sunny evening when we decided to pay the Gnu Inn at North Newbald a visit.  North Newbald has two pubs and the other one, the Tiger, is just across the road from the Gnu.  In these times the ability to sustain two pubs in one village is impressive.

As we arrived a few customers were sitting outside on the forecourt overlooking the village green enjoying the sunshine. The pub has a large car park to the rear.  The inside of the pub has a traditional feel and we took a table in the lounge bar.  Tables were quite snugly fitted in and several were taken with diners and a few drinkers stood at the bar.  

As usual, we checked out the dessert menu before deciding whether to order starters and puddings won the day.  There was an excellent choice of main courses and several specials.  I had the sea bass, simply cooked in basil oil and served with very chunky chips and salad.  My companion had the steak and ale pie, again with chips and salad, though seasonal vegetables were also available. The portion sizes were good and the food was tasty.  The sea bass was one of the most expensive items on the menu but at £11.50 was excellent value.

Our waitress, a young girl, was kept busy, though service was faultless.  We chose summer fruit pudding and a chocolate creme brulee pyramid for dessert.  These were thoroughly enjoyed.  Also on offer was a home made treacle sponge, tiramisu, chocolate lumpy bumpy, New York vanilla baked cheesecake, to name a few.

My companion had a couple of pints of Black Sheep at £3.00 a pint, as the designated driver I had fruit juice.  As we left I mentioned to the landlord how impressed we were with the young waitress who was very attentive and efficient, and all done with a lovely smile.

We took a meandering route home and saw a barn owl during a lovely sunset.  A good night out that we are likely to repeat!

Sunday, 10 July 2011

Pitch and Putt at Sewerby Hall

Took a trip to Sewerby Hall, between downpours, yesterday afternoon to play on the Pitch and Putt course located in the grounds of the hall. We played badly as usual with much hacking between greens and wayward putting. 

Sewerby Hall has a number of attractions that make it a good place to while away an afternoon whether it be sunshine or rain. You can take a trip round the hall itself that has a number of displays in it's various rooms, walk round the pleasant gardens and grounds, visit the mini-zoo, sink a few balls on the putting green or like us do the pitch and putt.

From the hall you can also take the land train in to Bridlington if you wish to extend your visit to the area. The hall is owned and run by East Riding of Yorkshire Council. More details can be found at -

Saturday, 25 June 2011

Moonbeams Folk Festival on the Yorkshire Wolds

A Yorkshire Wolds brewery is the location for the Moonbeam Wold Top Folk Festival that takes place place on 8th and 9th July 2011. Details can be found here -

A combination of the Yorkshire Wolds landscape, good beer and music makes this sound like an idyllic summer festival. 

Tuesday, 21 June 2011

Beer Festival on the Yorkshire Wolds

Driving home tonight I noticed a sign at the side of the road advertising a Beer Festival at the Gait Inn, Millington on 1st, 2nd & 3rd July 2011. 

The Gait Inn is a traditional pub that serves good beer and good pub grub. The last time I visited I recall I had a decent pint produced by York Brewery although I don't recall the specific name. Millington itself is a good starting point for several walks around that part of the Yorkshire Wolds.

A long walk and a trip to the beer festival to sample a few sounds like a good idea to me. Time to get that one in the diary. I expect it will be well worth a visit if you've got the time.

Thursday, 16 June 2011

Driffield Show 2011 - the other Great Yorkshire Show

Driffield Show takes place on 20 July 2011 this year. The show is well worth a visit as it's a great chance to see many features of rural life. Watching performances, stock judging and show jumping in the main show "ring" provides an opportunity to sit down and take the strain off your feet once you've wandered round the pitches of the many exhibitors. These exhibits range from massive pieces of agricultural machinery to fine Yorkshire Wolds produce.

The show is hosted by Driffield Agricultural Society and takes place at their showground on the outskirts of the town.

If you're planning to visit why not consider travelling by train? We did last year. The traffic around the showground can be considerable with tailbacks building at peak times. We parked in a quiet car park at one of the many village stations on the Hull - Scarborough line. The showground is about a five minute walk from the station and last year shuttle buses were running too. We even got a discount on entry for using the train. We'll be travelling by train again this year.

Wednesday, 15 June 2011

Summer Evening Skies

Sunset after an evening of heavy rain showers gave two contrasting skyscapes over the Yorkshire Wolds tonight.

 Stormy early evening sky
Colours of sunset

Monday, 6 June 2011

Glorious Early Summer Evening

Snapped this picture earlier of a great early summer evening on the Yorkshire Wolds.

Sent from my Nokia phone

Photo's taken in the Leavening Area

Photo's taken on a walk we did whilst visiting Deepdale nr Leavening on the western edge of the Yorkshire Wolds.