Yorkshire Wolds Way: Fridaythorpe to Settrington

29 March 2014

With Lucy going to a dog rally trial near York, we decided to book a cottage and make a weekend of it together - the trial ended up being somewhat smaller in scale than had been originally expected, but it gave me the chance to do some walking with all the of dogs, Lucy swapping them over, and having easy transport to and from the walk. The weather wasn't great but it didn't rain.

We were staying in Burythorpe, south of Malton/Norton, and so I decided to start my walk at Fridaythorpe, so that today's start and tomorrow's end would be roughly equally distant from the cottage. The six of us having walked through Fridaythorpe, Lucy and the other two returned to the car while George, Lottie and I walked past the ABN site and into open country in the mist

We soon reached the edge of Brubber Dale, where the gentle slope visible on the right gradually took us down into the valley bottom

George is always safe near sheep; Lottie is on the lead because I'm not confident in her, though she didn't really show any interest

After a short walk along the valley bottom, we turn left through this gate, past the National Trail acorn which confirms we haven't yet gone astray

There was a gradual ascent up a gully towards the higher, flatter ground. Sadly I didn't get a photo, but while I was preparing to take one here, George in his boundless energy leapt onto the top of the metal structure (from his low-down perspective), and there was a priceless look on his face as he saw the water in the trough filling the area he'd planned to land on; never daunted, he adjusted his landing and launched himself off the near lip and straight over the trough, landing neatly on the other side, and then tried to pretend nonchalantly that this was what he'd intended all along, but I'd seen his eyes earlier! Quite an impressive leap for a small dog from an almost standing start.

We passed Gill's Farm and then began another descent along a track running down the side of a valley, this time into Thixen Dale.

At the bottom is some landscape art, rather lost in the mist today.

Thixen Dale was rather damp and muddy, but we made our way out of it and through to the village of Thixendale, from where we climbed onto Cow Wold. From here there is a view of our route ahead, into Vessey Pasture Dale

George investigates a way around the fallen tree

Having climbed out of Vessey Pasture Dale, there was a long walk along a ridge, with Deep Dale gradually opening up on our left. Just past here my map was in disagreement with the signs - the map suggested we should continue along the ridge to the road and then turn north, but the signs pointed north along Deep Dale and then down into the valley for a visit to Wharram Percy before climbing up White Hill to the same road. The two routes were of similar distance (though more height gain by going down into the valley), but that via Wharram Percy looked the more interesting, so that's the way we went.

Looking down to Wharram Percy, a deserted mediaeval village

The ruins of the church still stand

Excavations since the 1950s have revealed the outlines of mediaeval houses, cottages and paddocks, as well as evidence of prehistoric and Roman occupation.

These cottages were built in around 1850 on the site of an earlier farmhouse and outbuildings

We then cross the route of the North Eastern Railway's line from Driffield through Malton to the mainline near Pilmoor: in the direction of the photo is Burdale Tunnel. We climbed up White Hill to the road and the car park, where I had a little sit down in the car and we swapped dogs.

Passing through Warram le Street

After crossing High Street, we start our descent of The Peak into the valley of Whitestone Beck. The sun is trying hard to break through the mist and haze.

Ellie, about to cross Whitestone Beck

Blue sky, as we climb towards Wood House Farm

Hetty investigates an old tree stump, with Wood House Farm behind. From there it was an easy gradually climbing route on a track all the way to the road at Settrington Beacon, where Lucy met us and conveyed us in comfort back to the cottage.

Total walk was 20.9 km with approximately 570 metres of ascent in 5 hours 45 mins



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Unless otherwise stated, all images copyright (c) Stephen and Lucy Dawson