Start / End: Field House Camping Tibthorpe
Distance: 9.16 miles
Time: 4 hours
Map: OS 294
Stretch your legs along the Chalkland and Wold Rangers Ways plus the scenic Shortlands, Oxlands and Cow Dales. There's even an opportunity to stop for refreshments in Huggate. (You can also easily shorten this walk by 1.5 miles)
1. This walk starts at Field House Camping and Coffee Barn, which is great if you are staying there or just want to start and end your walk in their lovely coffee shop. If you would like to learn more about the campsite click on our link to their website via our Bill Loves page in the Our Walks dropdown. However, if not, you can park down Tibthorpe Road (nearer Huggate) opposite Freshlands Farm (YO25 9EW ///spenders.tags.proposals) which cuts off 1.5 miles.
If starting at the campsite turn left onto Tibthorpe Road and walk to Freshlands Farm. At the public footpath signpost turn right to head up towards the farm, past the houses, on the farm road.
2. Walk up the road and follow it up the side of the fields. Turn left where the road is crossed by the Chalkland Way footpath (spot the markers on a post) and follow the Chalkland Way along the edge of the field with the hedge on your left. You are now overlooking Aunham Dale and then Long Lands.
3. Go through the gap in the hedge and keep following the footpath along the field edge. At the end of this stretch the path bends right towards Fox Covert Farm and crosses the quiet road there.
4. Following the footpath sign over to the other side of the road, walk up the farm road with Shortlands Plantation in front of you. There could be sheep in the fields either side (which are fenced) so if your dog gets giddy it may be best to stick to lead walking for a short distance.
5. At the tree -line turn left and follow it down the side of the field to the gate. In this stretch we got fantastic views of red kites skimming the skies and coming in quite low. Go through the gate and you are now in Shortlands Dale.
6. This is a beautiful, peaceful stretch where dogs can run off-lead initially, down the wide grassy paths - Bill loved it! Follow the path down the valley, with Shortland and then Oxland Plantation on your right. Keep following the path as it swings left into Oxlands Dale. Be aware that when we reached this point there were lots of sheep, which we walked through with Bill on a lead - but obviously go wide of them if you think it might be a problem.
7. At the fence line and the three-way footpath sign, go through the gate and turn left. If you have already done our Huggate Circular Walk you will recognise Cow Dale.
8. Walk through Cow Dale as it slopes gently upwards towards the gate onto the farm road. Turn left onto the road and follow this up, all the way into Huggate.
9. As you enter Huggate just keep following the road past the playing field and up towards the main road to either Pocklington or Driffield. You could stop for refreshments at either the Wolds Inn (turn left) or Rachel's Walnut Cottage Tearooms (turn right) or just press on by taking the Warter road up Mill Lane straight ahead - with thoughts of Field Head Coffee Shop at the end.
10. Walk up this fairly quiet road for about 3/4 of a mile to where it is crossed by the Minster Way. There are often cars parked here so it's a bit easier to spot where to turn off. Turn left along the footpath (turning right goes up to Cobdale Cottage - another one of our walks) and now enjoy a nice easy stretch along Huggate Heads with expansive views across the fields all around.
11. Follow the footpath all the way along until you come to a gate at the road. Cross the road towards the footpath sign and continue to follow the Minster Way Bridleway, which is also the Wold Rangers Way, along the field edge with the hedge to your left.
The Wold Rangers Way is a 44-mile route that celebrates the Wold Rangers. Between the 16th and 19th centuries the process of enclosure and the introduction of agricultural machinery, created a landless and homeless class of rural folk. Some travelled the countryside looking for seasonal work and were allowed to graze their cattle on what was left of common land. The Wold Rangers lived off the land on the Yorkshire Wolds, travelling from farm to farm using the network of footpaths, green lanes and bridleways. The last of the Wold Rangers were George Smith, better known as Dog Geordie and Mary Murray, or Croom Mabel, both of whom died in the late 1900's.
12. Go through the gap in the hedge and keep following the field edge with the hedge now on your right. If you parked at Freshlands Farm look out for the footpath at the hedge-line heading left, after about 1.3 miles, that takes you left and down towards a stretch of trees. The signpost is somewhat hidden in the hedge on your right, and has the left-pointing arm broken off! This footpath which keeps the trees to your right will take you back to the road at Freshlands Farm.
13. If you are heading back to Field House Campsite and Coffee Barn keep walking along the path for about another mile, (without turning left at point 12), and then turn off left at the permissive path back to the campsite.
Now you can have that well-earned cuppa and big slice of cake at the coffee barn!
Enjoy one-minute walking Huggate Heads with Bill & Mrs M.