Start / End: Millington
Distance: 3.28 miles
Time: 1.5 hours
Map: OS 294
This is a lovely scenic walk and, though the last mile is on road, it's very quiet. The first part heads up from the village and affords great views from the Wolds Way before dropping into Sylvan Dale. It's also a great excuse to visit the Gait Inn.
1. Starting in Millington, park in the layby on Swineridge Lane just past the church (i.e.do not park down in the village). Head down into the village at the signpost.
2. Just before the low cream cottage take the Minster Way left and head down the tarmac roadway.
3. The path bends round to the right and comes to some houses, where you will not be able to miss the huge, impressive Minster Way Arrow, which points your way along a boarded walkway.
4. Follow this to a gate and on the other side carry on straight ahead of you in Wan Dale, up the hill as you are aiming for a fence and marker in the far-left hand corner of the field. (You can take the better marked pathway bending to your left and upwards to the right if you want). You will need to keep dogs on leads here as there are sheep.
5. At the fence line, do not go through it, but follow the yellow Minster Way markers up the side of the wire fence, keeping it on your left. You can then follow the path all the way up hill - don't be shy to take plenty of breathers like I did - as it's pretty relentless!!
You can, though, enjoy lots of lovely views back over Millington on your way up.
6. There could be horses as you near the top, but you will spot a 3-way signpost to aim for at the top - pointing left and right along the Yorkshire Wolds Way.
7. Turn left at the top to follow the Yorkshire Wolds Way. It's pretty easy just to follow this along past Warren Farm. Do not take the path right just after the farm but carry on straight ahead - past a very large steaming muck-heap when we were there!
8. You are now walking along a prehistoric earthwork with fabulous views to your left over the Becks and Millington Bottom.
These linear earthworks form part of the Wold Entrenchments, a late prehistoric boundary complex, possibly Bronze Age in date. The earthworks extend north from Warter Wold and Millington Bottom through Millington Dale, crossing east into Harper Dale.
9. At the end of this stretch the path turns left and downhill. You will eventually come to gate, which you go through to enter the top of Sylvan Dale. When we reached this point, it was incredibly still and quite eerie - although very beautiful.
10. Head down into the valley bottom. On route you will cross the route of a Roman road, which unfortunately is not really visible, but Bill had a nice roll here anyway.
11. At the bottom of the Dale and at the fence line running straight up in front of you, turn left (the path also goes right but we will leave that for another day).
12. Follow the path along the valley bottom to a ford, where you will cross on some duck boards back to the road.
13. Turn left onto the quiet road and follow it all the way back along to Millington Woods.
14. At the sign for the woods, you can take a quick short cut up the grassy bank to higher up the road instead of keeping to the road, and then just continue following the road all the way back to Millington. Once back in Millington we would recommend paying a visit to the dog-friendly Gait Inn or you can also grab refreshments in the Ramblers Rest cafe where they allow dogs outside.