Start / End: Allerthorpe Wood car park
Distance: 4.85 miles
Time: 2 hours
Map: OS 294
We did this walk on a lovely autumnal afternoon, when the sun was shining and the leaves were turning golden. It's a lovely mix of woodland and stretches of wide-open spaces, no cows and some water for Bill to jump in.
1. Start in the Forestry Commission car park off Common Lane (note you can park on the road if this is full but make sure you keep over to the side as the road is quite narrow and beware of the many pot holes!). Cross the road and go through the gate into the woods.
The history of Allerthorpe Common can be traced back to AD 1086 when it was recorded in the Doomsday book as Aluuarstorp, which suggests that is was a Viking settlement. Aluuarstorp means "thorpe" or village belonging to a man called Alfard. The area has been covered with heather and birch for 2,000 years, with clearance to create pasture during Anglo-Saxon times. The house-holders of Allerthorpe had common rights to graze their cattle on the common and to cut turves once a year. They could also take gorse and wood for repairs.
2. Walk straight ahead up the woodland path for about 1/3 mile. As the path swings slightly left you will see a gate on your right leading you out of the woods. Go through the gate and follow the path along the field edge.
3. The path is easy to follow all the way along the field edge with hedging then oak trees to your left.
4. Eventually the path turns right on the field edge towards Warren House and a small area of trees. Turn left at Warren House, where there were a couple of nice wooden chairs to take a breather by the way-marker post, and follow the path past the trees on your left and out along the path again with fields to your right.
5. Keep following the path past Warren Wood on your left and all the way into the small hamlet of Waplington. Do not turn left at the sign for Tank Cottage and Waplington Farm, just keep going straight ahead where you will pass the entrance to Allerthorpe golf course on your left and right. The path here is an access road so keep an eye out for vehicles and maybe keep dogs on a lead especially as you come to the main road at the end.
6. At the road turn left on the footpath and walk into Allerthorpe village, past the village hall and onto the Plough Inn, which is now back open as of February 2024.
7.At the Plough Inn, walk down the side of it on the small lane following the public bridleway sign. Follow the lane around the corner and out once again into farm land. Follow the path (part way down there was some deepish water which Bill took a dip in!) and then where the path appears to fork take the left-hand route towards the woods.
8. At the end of the path enter the woods again at Tank Plantation and just follow the main path all the way along to a gate. Go through the gate to the woods and turn right onto the main path (you can also go straight ahead and follow this way all the way back to the car park too!).
The Forestry Commission first showed an interest in this area in about 1950. By 1966 over half a million Scots pine, Austrian pine and Lodgepole pine had been planted. Up to this time, Allerthorpe was one of three lowland heaths in the Vale of York and was one of the last extensive tracts of semi natural vegetation in the East Riding. In the centre of the woods is a reserve (no dogs allowed), which was chosen for preservation as it represented the range of heathland habitats that were present on the larger Common area. The whole common was designated a SSSI in 1965 mainly on account of its botanical value.
9. Follow the main path as it swings left and then go straight ahead all the way to the cross roads at the pylon line. Go straight ahead and this wide stony path will take you all the way back to the car park.