Start / End: Cobdale Cottage
Distance: 4.9 miles
Time: 2 hours 30 mins
Map: OS 294
This walk has a middle section on a quiet road, but starts with a lovely stretch along Hawold Bridle Path, and ends with gorgeous stroll with views across Pasture and Nettle Dale. It does also allows you a refreshment break in Huggate.
If you want a slightly shorter dog walk, miss out the first section along the Minster Way and up to Huggate by taking Cobdale Lane. Pros - You'll avoid lots of road walking / Cons - You'll miss lovely views over Well Dale & Rachel's tearoom.
1. Park up on the side of the road just after Cobdale Cottage, on Cobdale Lane heading towards Huggate. There is limited space here but you can get well off the road. This walk heads off along the Minster Way / Hawold Bridle Road, which is a lovely stretch overlooking Well Dale and Saintofts. But you can take 2.2 miles off the route by just heading straight up the road towards Huggate and then joining the walk at point 5. This short-cut avoids much of the on-road route and a visit to Huggate, but you will miss Rachels Walnut Cottage Tearooms and other fine offerings in the village!
For the longer route - Take the footpath on the right-hand side of the road (as you look towards Huggate), signposted the Minster Way and walk all the way along this easy bridleway to the other end - you can't go wrong!
2. At the other end of the path turn left along the road and walk up towards Huggate. This is a very quiet road but you will need dogs on leads here.
3. Walk into Huggate and at the T junction turn left. Just after this point you will spot Rachel's Walnut Cottage Tea Rooms on the left. Call in to refresh yourselves or carry on up the road. This is quite a long on-road stretch as you walk past the turning for York and Fridaythorpe (carry on towards Warter and Pocklington) and then take the left-hand fork at the signpost to Millington Wood. The road is not too busy but dogs should be on lead.
4. Just after the Millington Wood sign there is the footpath sign for the Yorkshire Wolds Way. Carry on up the left-hand road to the first corner bending left, where you will find another Yorkshire Wolds Way sign pointing right across Pasture Dale. Go through the gate here and your on-road part of the walk is over!
This is where you join the route if you avoid the first section of this walk (1-4)
5. Follow the Yorkshire Wolds Way around the top of Pasture Dale, with gorgeous views over to your right and ahead. There could be cows here I'm afraid (there were when we did it and they were very curious about us - Bill behaved impeccably!)
6. As you pass next to Huggate Sheepwalk on your left, you will come to Jessops Plantation - this is the first wooded area you come to. At this point, and as the wood starts, go through the gate on your left and follow the edge of the plantation to the next gate.
7. Go through the next gate and the path turns right, again skirting Jessops Plantation until the next gate which has signs for cattle and a bull in field. I saw neither but just take care! Once you go through this gate Nettle Dale opens up before you.
8. Follow the path along the top of Nettle Dale, with lovely views all around. When you reach a four-way sign take the left way continuing on the Yorkshire Wolds Way (Millington Dale Public Bridleway is straight on / the Chalkland Way is right through the gate). This route heads steeply downhill using the stony 'stepping points' to the valley bottom - don't worry - this is correct - but it is quite steep so be careful - Bill just bounded off, by the way, as I tottered down!
9. At the bottom follow the path (and Yorkshire Wolds Way sign) straight up the other side again. If you have already done our Millington Pastures Walk you may recognise the 'strange round agricultural thing' on the other side of the fence. After a short distance you will find another signpost pointing left along the Minster Way. This is where you leave the Yorkshire Wolds Way which carries straight on, to follow the Minster Way back along the other side of Nettle Dale.
10. At this signpost the footpath, to your left, heads quite steeply up for a short distance. Go up and then walk along Nettle Dale. Bill had a good romp about here and lay on his back for a while. I meanwhile got stung by a bee or something similar as I had forgotten to douse myself in bug spray. Whilst I swatted madly at it Bill just looked confused and lay on his back some more!
11. Just before the end of the Dale, go through the gate on your right. If you get to the end of the dale and a cattle trough under a tree you've gone too far so double back (as we did). The Minster Way path, that goes through the gate and left, heads all the way back along the sides of fields to Cobdale Cottage and the road where you started.
From here you can carry on up the road to Huggate if you fancy a drink or bite to eat at The Wolds Inn or Rachel's Tearooms. Alternatively, if you are heading east, drive the 3 miles along Driffield Road to Field House Camping Coffee Shop near Tibthorpe (where you can also stay!).