Start / End: Millington Dale
Distance: 6.15 miles
Time: 3 hours
Map: OS 294
This is a beautifully peaceful walk that explores Nettle, Frendal, Tun, Horse and Pasture Dales using the Yorkshire Wolds and Chalkland Ways. You may encounter curious cows but these can be avoided if you divert via the road at the end.
1. In your car, head towards Millington Wood and then carry on past the car park up Pasture Lane. Your starting point is on the third bend in the road where you will spot a bridleway footpath sign pointing over to Nettle Dale on your right. Park up here off the road and head through the gate next to the signpost.
2. Your path heads left and straight up the hill along the grassy path. Looking down into the Dale you will see our old friend the 'strange round agricultural thing' as well as gorgeous views up Nettle Dale, which you will come back down at the end.
3. At the end of this first climb, which will wake you up for the day, go through the gate and at the 4-way signpost turn left through another gate and follow the Chalkland Way path. This path goes up a little further through a few trees until you emerge with views over Millington Dale. Go through another gate on this path until you come to a point where it heads down towards the road again.
4. Walk down to the bottom of the path and cross the road. The path is slightly off to the left and marked by a public bridleway sign pointing up Frendal Dale. There is, what appears to be, a disused and overgrown gate directly over the road but don't use this or you could come a cropper, instead go through the gate at the bridleway sign. Now you can enjoy the beautifully tranquil Frendal Dale.
5. The path through this dale winds all the way along and Bill felt that he needed to indulge in some mega-crazy running here. I, meanwhile, watched red kites swoop over the hills and spent a lot of time laughing at Bill. There is a gate part way down this path near a cow water trough but just keep going as the obvious path bends round to your left and into Tun Dale.
6. As you get to the end of Tun Dale you meet the trees of the Great Plantation, first running along the left hand-side and then all around the stony path that runs through the middle of the woods. On our walk (in September) there were dozens of pheasant running around here and Bill did lots of retriever style pointing. The path bends right at a Private Land sign and gate, then heads to a public bridleway sign at a crossroads.
7. Go straight ahead at the cross roads (don't be tempted to go up the easier looking road on the right as at the other end it says it is private). Our path goes through the trees to a gate at a sheep field, where dogs should be on a lead. Walk around the right-hand edge of the sheep field and after the bend left there is another gate which you go through. Walk up through the trees on the stony path and eventually you come to the road at Waterman Hole with a sign to Greenwick Farm pointing left.
8. Turn right and follow the road which is signposted YORKSHIRE WOLDS cycleway 167 and follow it up a short way to the sign and driveway for Wold House Farm Huggate. From here you can carry on up the road if you would prefer and pick up the walk at point 12 but as I wanted to do more off-roading I turned left and headed down the driveway.
9. Follow the drive (stopping half way for both of us to eat a Cheestring!) and look out for a waymarker sign in the hedge on the right-hand side before you get to the farm buildings. Turn right at the way marker and follow the field edge path with the hedge line on your left. Half way along the path is also edged on the right by a fence. Keep walking until you get to a gate and go through.
10. You are now in Horse Dale. Follow the fence line down into the valley bottom where gorgeous views up the Dale are revealed. Head straight over the valley bottom and climb up again on the path which runs along the right-hand-side of the Dale. Follow this until you come to a gate with a way marker sign on it. (if you have done the Huggate circular route you may recognise this point)
11. Go through the gate and follow the path until you reach the farm road for Glebe Farm and turn right. Follow the tarmacked farm track back up to the road where you will see the Yorkshire Wolds Way signpost. Cross the road to continue on the Wolds Way.
12. This is point at which you can re-join the route if you took the road from point 8. Follow the Yorkshire Wolds Way up the field to the point where it branches left at the signpost, then continue to follow the path all the way along the edge of the fields. Part way down this path you will come across a rather nice Yorkshire Wolds Way way-marker in the shape of an acorn. The path eventually comes to a gate to Pocklington Lane at the turning for Millington Woods.
13. Cross over the road leading to Millington Woods and continue to follow the Yorkshire Wolds Way signage right up Cobdale Lane along the second fork. At the first bend in the road you will spot the footpath sign on your right which takes you through a gate and off the road into Pasture Dale.
Note - if you do not like cows you can bypass this whole next section to the end and just walk down the first road towards Millington Wood as this will bring you back to where you parked on the road. It is quite a long on-road section but it's very quiet and still very scenic.
14. Walk along Pasture Dale enjoying your views to your right and straight ahead. This is where Bill and I encountered a herd of very curious bullocks, so dogs should be on a lead for this bit, just in case. Once you have negotiated the cows continue on the path overlooking the valley until reaching Jessop's Plantation.
15. At the point where the trees start, go through the gate on your left and skirt the edge of the plantation, turning right at the second gate and following the path to a third gate. At this one there is a sign for cattle and a bull - but we did not come across any more livestock after this.
16. After going through the gate the views of Nettle Dale open up before you and you are on the home straight! Continue walking along the Dale edge with clusters of yellow gorse and beautiful views all around. The path brings you back to the four-way signpost where you first turned left onto the Chalkland Way. So, this time just continue straight ahead through the gate and head back down the hill to the finish line.
You can go for a drink or a bite to eat in Huggate, if you continue following the road ahead, at the Wolds Inn or Rachel’s Walnut Cottage Tearooms, or, if you turn around and head back past Millington Woods car park, you will end up back in Millington, where you can try the Gait Inn or the Ramblers Rest. Alternatively, if you are heading east, drive up to Huggate and then 3 miles along Driffield Road to Field House Camping Coffee Shop near Tibthorpe (where you can also stay!).
Or, like Bill, just have a cheestring!
Nettles and Bees