Tuesday, 17 January 2012

Yorkshire Wolds Walk - Wolds Way Pt 1

We decided as part of a New Year's resolution to complete the Wolds Way that runs between Hessle and Filey or the other way round.  Itching to make progress and with no holidays on the horizon we've decided to split it in to chunks and do each as a day becomes available.  So on Sunday we did leg one between Hessle Foreshore and South Cave.

Wolds Way Marker
RAF Sea King SAR Helicopter
The start (or end) of the walk is marked by a carved stone that stands by the Humber Estuary just east of the Humber Bridge. The route heads under the bridge and along the path next to the foreshore. Just past the bridge is the base of Humber Rescue, a voluntary organisation that does what the name says.  As we walked along the foreshore we watched as they exercised in boats with HM Coastguard.  Then the Royal Air Force Search and Rescue Sea King swooped in low over the estuary and joined in the exercise. The helicopter hovered low over the boats and an occasional barge, at times winching personnel back and forth. They continued their practicing as we reached North Ferriby and dropped down on to the foreshore following the low tide route past this Humber Bank village. At high tide a path through the village has to be taken.  Immediately past the village a set of steps leads up from the foreshore and we took these. 

Welton Church
Leaving the estuary behind we followed a path north through a strip wood  that runs up the side of North Ferriby.  Before long we arrived at the A63 and crossed over. The path then takes you in to Terrace Plantation and you set foot on to the Yorkshire Wolds as the path heads uphill.  Again the path follows the course of this strip wood and eventually leads down to the road that runs through Melton Bottoms.  Situated here is a large quarry and processing plant operated by Omya.  The path dissects their site with signs warning of blasting operations posted on the fences.  Not a place to stray from the path which continues through woodland with glimpses of the Humber through the trees. We dropped in to Welton, a pretty village nestled at the very edge of the Wolds.  At this point we'd done about six miles and if we'd wished to take refreshments Welton would have provided the first opportunity being the location of the "Green Dragon" public house.  The pub is situated in a great location opposite the village pond and church and is claimed to have been frequented by the famous highwayman, Dick Turpin, before his capture.

Welton Dale
Wauldby Manor
We didn't linger in Welton taking the path north through Welton Dale. The sheer number of people walking through the dale in both directions proves the popularity of Welton as  a starting point for walks. The path was being churned in to mud and this was to be a feature of our walk for the next few miles. As we came to the end of the dale we climbed through a small wood. Amongst the trees to your left you can see a Mausoleum built for the residents of the nearby Wauldby Manor. Coming out of the wood we turned east on to a hard surfaced road for a short distance before turning north along a strip wood that took us to the aforementioned manor house.  The house stands in open countryside with a chapel and small lake in it's grounds.

Towards sundown
Sunset from Brantingham Wold
After the manor house we continued to head north on a muddy, well trodden trail until we reached a cross roads. We turned to the west towards Brantingham, the path east would have taken us to Raywell and the path north eventually would lead to Skidby. The route cuts across the road from Welton to Riplingham and joins the road leading to Elloughton Dale for a short distance but as that road turns south we continued to head west along the track.  As we headed down the track my pace quickened as I could see a golden sky through a tunnel created by the hedges and I knew it was the sign of a fine sunset. The closer we got the greater the anticipation was and as we  came over the crest of the hill the sunset that greeted us didn't disappoint. The sun bathed the landscape in front of us from the Humberhead Levels via Drax to York and beyond in a golden light as it dropped towards the horizon.  We stopped quite awhile and admired the view but conscious the sun was setting and we needed to finish before dark we pressed on.

Sunset in Brantingham Dale
Brantingham Church
We joined a road down towards Brantingham then veered right on to a path leading down to Brantingham Church. The church is nestled in the valley with a backdrop of trees and it's as fine a location for a village church as I've ever seen.  We followed the road up in to Brantingham Dale for a few hundred metres then turned left through the wood and up the dale side. At the top the route then took us down in to Woo Dale where we turned right and north skirting the edge of the plantation of the same name. We then past behind and round Mount Airy Farm.

Twisty benches near South Cave
The name says it all
We followed the farm access road down towards South Cave.  At the bottom we saw a sign that gave the name of the track we'd just followed, rather aptly stated "Steep Hill".  The route just grazes the northern edge of South Cave and we headed up the opposite side of the dale we'd just come down.  At the top we turned right and north heading along a wood line.  We came across two of the "artistic benches" recently placed along the route but by now it was too dark to rest and admire the view.  Before long the route joined Swinescaif Lane.  A little along the lane the Wolds Way leaves the track and heads north down through Comber Dale.  However, we carried on up the track to it's junction with Beverley Road where our transport awaited us some 14 miles or so since setting out.  We will soon rejoin the Wolds Way at the head of Comber Dale.  Leg 1 of our walk has whetted our appetite for more.

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