Start / End: Main St, Elvington
Distance: 3.25 miles
Time: 1 hour 15m
Map: OS 294
Although not technically in the Wolds, enjoy the autumn colours or spring shoots on this short walk. It initially runs along the River Dewent where Bill likes a dip and it can get a bit muddy and water-logged after rain - so wear wellies!
(Jan 2024) This walk is currently flooded between points 3 & 4. If you would still like to do this woodland walk start at YO41 4BX ///probe.burden.seagulls.
1. Head out of Elvington over the bridge towards Sutton on Derwent. At the right-hand bend in the road take Sandhill Lane and drive out of the village. On the first bend park off road on your right. This is quite a busy road so be careful crossing it towards the footpath at this corner.
2. Just past the bend on the left-hand side is a footpath path that heads towards the woods along The Butts with trees and hedging either side. Walk along this path and cross the small wooden footbridge and then walk straight over the field towards the lone tree.
3. At the end of this part of the path there is a footpath sign. Turn left and you will enter the walk at point 7.
4. Follow the walk at point 7 but do not go onto 8, instead pick up the walk at point 4 and follow it around the woods to point 7 again.
5. At point 7 retrace your steps out of the woods, down The Butts and back to Sandhill Lane.
6. If you still want to do the part of the walk in Elvington Drive back to the Grey Horse pub and pick up the walk at point 9 just after the bridge.
1. Park in Elvington village along Main Street (near the Grey Horse pub, village green or shop - which sells various drinks or snacks that you can take with you), being mindful of access, then walk towards the edge of the village heading to Sutton on Derwent. Go through the traffic lights at the bridge. Keep to the left on the bridge and be careful of traffic; if you see something coming you can step off the road in the middle of the bridge into a safer area. Just after the bridge turn left along the far side of the river at the public footpath sign.
A bridge, which may have replaced an earlier ferry, was first recorded here in 1396. The current bridge probably dates from the late 17th century when Robert Holme, a York merchant, left money to build a new one. In the mid-19th century coal yards lay on the river bank near the bridge and the river was used as a trade route.
2. Follow the path alongside the river and the canal barges where you will spot hand painted canal art that you can buy. After the first field on your right go through the fence / hedge line and carry on along the river. There are lovely views of the River Derwent along here but it does sometimes become inaccessible when the river levels are high. To the right of the footpath are lovely open spaces where dogs can have a fantastic run off lead.
3. Go through the next kissing gate at the river and cross diagonally over this next field to the woods. There are sometimes sheep in this field but usually much further up so it's generally safe to keep dogs off lead if you want to. Go through the kissing gate over the wooden bridge and go up into the woods, being careful of the sometimes-slippery surface and exposed tree roots here.
4. At the top of the small incline on your way into the woods turn left at the footpath sign to walk clock-wise around the woods. At this point you can just follow the path, enjoying the varied colours and species of the trees, which range from oak, beech, fir to ash. In the spring there are hosts of bluebells and wild garlic growing here, in the summer various mushrooms and other wild flowers, and in the autumn, you can enjoy the changing colours of the leaves, blackberries and the occasional view of wildlife that lives here.
5. The path continues forward through a fence line (the path to your right does cut off the top end of the walk but it is not a permitted path). At the top end, the path bends right and continues through the bracken growing on either side.
6. The path then bends right again as you continue to follow the stony path back down the other side of the wood. All of the different areas of Sutton Wood are in private ownership and you will spot various signs for the woodland areas as you walk, including Northland Wood, Grange Wood and Giant's Hill Wood. If you are walking with younger children it might be good to see how many they can spot. Dogs meanwhile can be off lead and enjoy this lovely safe walk as long as they are kept under control in the private woodland areas.
7. At the end of this part of the path it bends right again (with the path left heading out of the wood towards either Newton on Derwent or Sutton on Derwent). Follow the path right, over a small wooden bridge and back to where you started your circuit, at the footpath sign.
8. Follow the path the way you came in, out of the woods, diagonally back across the field and then follow the river edge path, with the river on your right, all the way back to the bridge.
9. At the bridge turn right to cross back over the river, again keeping to your right on the bridge for safety, and, just at the other side, cross the road to the footpath that runs along the other side of the river (the river now on your left). Follow this path alongside the river walking past the locks and the lock house.
The River Derwent was improved for navigation in the early 18th century and by 1723 a cut with a lock had been made at Elvington, bypassing a new weir across the river. A lock-keeper's house had been built by 1782 but the present house, which can be seen over the river, dates from the 19th century. The Derwent was closed as a public waterway in 1932 and the lock subsequently decayed, but it was restored for pleasure craft in 1972.
10. Keep following the path alongside the river. If you look to your right you can see the grounds of Elvington Hall, where you may spot a rhinoceros, elephant and a giraffe! Elvington Hall was rebuilt by the Sterne family (the writer Lawrence Sterne was a member) in the later 18th century. It remained the manor-house until 1881. The house was remodelled in the 20th century but the oldest part is the north front, which may be 17th-century in origin.
Cross over the small bridge on the stream and up, what can sometimes be a muddy path, which heads back to the road at Church Lane.
11. Go through the gate and turn right to walk up the road past Holy Trinity Church. This road will take you back up to the village green, the shop and the Grey Horse pub. An alehouse was licensed in the village from 1754 onwards and in 1823 it was called the Bay Horse. Since at least 1840 it has been known as the Grey Horse and, as a dog friendly pub also with tables on the green in the summer, is a great place for a drink or a bite to eat before heading home.