Start / End: Fridaythorpe (duck pond)
Distance: 7.78 miles
Time: 3.5 hours
Map: OS 294
A beautiful walk that includes a host of features that make it as interesting as it is stunning. It includes Wave and Time, one of the Wander art installations, as well as dew ponds and glorious views across 5 different Dales.
1. Park down Back Lane in Fridaythorpe by the duck pond and village green, on the road verge and not on the green itself. Take the Thixendale Road out of Fridaythorpe, with the beacon on your left, and almost immediately you will come to the signpost for the Yorkshire Wolds Way and Thixendale 4miles. Turn left here.
2. Walk down the track, crossing the access road to the farm buildings on your right and carry on up the Wolds Way with the hedge line on your left. The path eventually opens out on West Dale with some fantastic views down the valley.
3. Turn right to follow the path along the edge of the dale as it heads downwards to the valley floor and swings right at the fence in front of you.
4. Follow the path for a short while and then on your left in the fence line you will see a Wolds Way signpost as well as one of the lovely acorn marker posts next to a metal kissing gate and a wooden swing gate.
5. Go through the gate and head up the bottom of Brubber Dale on a slight incline (I was a bit puffed!) with trees running along the left-hand-side.
6. At the end of Brubber Dale is another pair of gates - one a five-bar swing gate and one a kissing gate. Go through and follow the stony path straight ahead.
7. Follow the path straight ahead. It does curve off right at one point but this direction is private property marked by a sign, so go left.
8. The path bends right at a wooden Wolds Way marked sign and then straight ahead by another one, just by a wooden area at Gill's Farm.
9. The end of this part of the path comes out on a quiet road so be prepared to briefly put dogs on a lead just in case. At the road cross straight over and follow the signpost pointing to the Yorkshire Wolds Way, public bridleway and Thixendale 2 miles.
10. Follow the path and you come to a lovely carved wooden sign for the Water on the Wolds Dew Pond sign and a wooden swing gate (next to a stile which you don't need to use) and the entrance to the top of Thixen Dale. Go into Thixen Dale and take a minute to have a read of the signage next to the reinstated dew pond here. Bill did try and get into the pond but I managed to restrain him, and instead head down into the valley.
11. The views along the path as it heads down to the valley floor are remarkable and if you want to sit and take it all in, there is even a bench part way down.
12. At the valley floor you will come to a four-way signpost for the Wolds Way (the way you've just come), The Yorkshire Wolds Way Public Footpath to the right which heads along Thixen Dale, a Public Bridleway straight ahead down the fabulously named Worm Dale, and then to the left along the Public Footpath which is the direction you need to take.
13. At this point you will also find Waves and Time - the art installation which is part of the Wander art project:
The artist Chris Drury was commissioned to create a new work of art Waves and Time (previously called Time and Flow) in Thixen Dale as part of “Wander – Art on the Yorkshire Wolds Way”, a programme of artists’ commissions for sites on the Wolds Way. The project aimed to increase enjoyment and awareness of the Wolds Way and the surrounding countryside and to encourage more visitors to the route, locally and from further afield.
Of the commission the artist said:
"The site was at the confluence of two glacial valleys and I noticed that a curve had been carved out of the far bank where the meeting of two glaciers would have formed a vortex before flowing on down. My plan was therefore to draw these lines of ancient flow in gentle grassed mounds. In the smaller of the two valleys was a small disused dew pond which I wanted to restore and incorporate".
14. After pondering the art work, like Bill, continue up Bradeham Dale passing Waves and Time on your left.
15. Carry on to the first fence line and go straight ahead (there is another path bending away left). Carry on through Bradeham Dale to the next gate in the bottom of the valley.
16. Just after the gate and on your right -hand-side there is another dew pond, which Bill was able to go and paddle in, which he enjoyed. After that continue down the valley bottom to another gate where the path starts to go between trees on either side.
17. Go through the wooden swing gate and walk along the path, which on the day we went afforded a bit more shelter from the wind. You are now in Wayrham Dale
18. The path swings round to the left at the way marker post and carries on between more trees, where we spotted a rather large animal hole (badger set?)
19. At the end of the trees there is another wooden kissing gate which you go through and continue straight ahead along the dale bottom until you reach a metal swing gate. Just past here is the busy A166 so dogs should go back on a lead and kept under control.
20. Go through the gate and up to the A166, where you can walk along a wide grass verge away from the road for a very short distance towards the sign post for Huggate, Water & N. Dalton as well as The Wolds Way Inn and Picnic Site brown sign.
21. Cross straight over here as it gives you good visibility in either direction. On the other side of the road go straight down the Huggate road passing the picnic area on your left.
22. Cross the smaller road just after Wayrham Picnic Site, where you could stop for a quick cheese and water break, and then head up the 'scenic road' towards Huggate, Warter and N. Dalton.
23. Continue up this quiestish road until you get to a cross roads and go straight ahead.
24. Keep on going up the road passing some odd, large round bollards which seem to have Latin inscriptions and past the next turning on your left just after Greenwick Farm.
25. After a short distance you will reach the sign for Wold House Farm and the farm road where you turn left, to head up to the farm.
26. Head into the farmyard, and walk through the centre of it, turning left as you go in and then right taking you out. There are various signs pointing the way, so look out for those on the sides of two of the buildings.
27. Head out the farmyard onto Huggate Wold, and then just follow the track. along in between fields.
28. Towards the end of this stretch it turns left at a way marker in the hedge and then right at another way marker bringing you to the head of Holm Dale - a very windy stretch where Bill nearly got blown off! Do not walk down into the dale but keep to the top edge just after you go through the open gate. (Bill weirdly wanted to go through the kissing gate alongside it)
29. At the end of Holm Dale you will find a new green metal swing gate, which you go through. Go straight ahead on the path at the 3-way sign (don't turn left) and just carry on up this path.
30. The path heads straight back into Fridaythorpe where you emerge on the main road and a Yorkshire Wolds Way signpost.
31. Turn right along the footpath. Cross the road and then left again at the Yorkshire Wolds Way sign (just past the defibrillator) and back to the duck pond.
We would then suggest heading for Seaways Cafe for a well-earned, large mug of Yorkshire tea and a ham and cheese toastie - lovely!