Start / End: Huggate village car park
Distance: 3.9 miles
Time: 2 hours
Map: OS 294
This is the first dog walk that we tried and I thoroughly recommend it as one that showcases the beautiful dry valleys of the Yorkshire Wolds and is a relatively easy two hour stroll.
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 (don't turn left towards Glebe Farm - you will return via this route) and then climbs steadily up along the 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. (this is fenced off but Bill does tend to get giddy here!!)
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 Clarke.
5. Here at the poetry bench you can relax, enjoy the peace and have a well- earned rest. From the bench you have a fantastic view of the point where three dry valleys meet (Horse Dale, Holm Dale and Harper Dale), which are amongst the most beautiful in the Wolds.
6. Once you have rested double back along the path and follow it all the way along the side of Horse Dale. This is a really lovely part of the walk but sometimes cows can be found on the path so be prepared to keep your dog on a lead.
7. As you walk along Horse Dale you are on the site of ancient earthworks. These form part of a widespread system of Bronze Age earthworks, or ‘dykes’, which may have been used to create boundaries between different tribes, used as defence against invasion, a barrier to livestock or routes between different villages.
8. Before you reach the end of the Dale you will see a gate up on your left which re-joins the Yorkshire Wolds Way. Go through the gate and follow the path along the side of a field. This emerges onto a farm road where you turn left.
9. Follow 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 or pop into the Wolds Inn for a drink and bite to eat or, 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