Start / End: Huggate village car park
Distance: 6 miles
Time: 3 hours
Map: OS 294
This is another walk that navigates past the Secret Poetry Bench near Huggate. This one's a bit longer than the other two described here, and takes in Holm Dale and Huggate Wold. A really lovely, peaceful walk with plenty of cow pats.
1. Starting in the car park not far past the Wolds Inn in Huggate (the highest village on the Yorkshire Wolds), take the foot path to your right and at the car park entrance, heading across some farm land. There may be cows (and horses) here so be sure to keep your dog on a lead as you follow the path first to your left in front of an open barn, through a gate and down the field to another gate leading to a small non-through road in Huggate.
2. Follow the road to the left into Huggate village, past the playground and turn right heading out of the village along, what turns into, the farm road. This takes you past the sewage works and then climbs steadily up along the field-lined road heading toward Northfield Farm House. If your dog gets excited around sheep you may want to keep them on a lead for now as the first field on your right often has sheep in it.
3. Walk past the sign to Northfield Farm and carry on up the tree lined road for a while until it turns a slight corner. Here you will find a signpost on your left taking you to the Yorkshire Wolds Way along a bridleway that heads down the side of a field.
4. Follow the path all the way to the gate onto Horse Dale. Go through the gate and you will see the poetry bench down and to your right.
The bench was designed by artist Angus Ross, who created it to represent the curves of the dales (or dry valleys) and the springs along the Yorkshire Wolds Way. The bench is carved with a poem by John Wedgwood Clark. Go down to the bench.
5. After a short break at the Poetry Bench, continue to walk down the path to the valley bottom. At the gates take the one on your left which continues along the Yorkshire Wolds Way. You are now in Holm Dale. Walk all the way along this Dale enjoying the peace and quiet until reaching the end where the path rises slightly. Go up to the gate at the end but DO NOT go through it. (as I did- then came back!)- (you can also fork left just as the path starts to rise to the gate).
Holm Dale is one of the many dry valleys of the Yorkshire Wolds which were created at the end of the last Ice Age, c.18,000 years ago by fast-running streams flowing over frozen ground carving out these valleys. The chalk geology here allows water to drain so efficiently that the valleys are dry.
6. Turn left before the gate and follow the footpath all the way along Huggate Wold toward Wold House Farm. The path here is a farm track which is bordered by fields. Eventually you will reach Wold House Farm.
7. Wold House Farm is a working farm and you should walk straight through the central area being mindful of farm vehicles. At the far side of the farm complex veer left, walking across to the far-left fence line and follow this down the side of a building on your right to the farm access road. Walk along the road for a short while and look out for a way marker on the left-hand-side, which is slightly hidden in the hedge. Take the path that leads all the way down the edge of the field here (with the hedge on your left and then a fence on your right half way down).
8. Go through the gate at the end of the field path and head down the fence line to the bottom of Horse Dale. Cross into the valley bottom but walk straight up and follow the right hand-side of the dale for a short distance until reaching a gate on the right in the hedge line. Go through the gate.
9. Follow the path along the side of a field. This emerges onto a farm road where you turn left. Continue along this for a while until you reach a footpath (marked PF) that bypasses Glebe Farm. After Glebe Farm it is a simple matter of following the farm road down until you reach the sewage works again. Turn right and retrace your steps back to the car park in Huggate or pop into the Wolds Inn or Walnut Cottage Tearooms for a drink and bite to eat! 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!).
Finding the Secret Poetry Bench