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Wayrham picnic area

Wayrham picnic area

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Route No 8 - 18 September 2001
Garrowby Hill, Kirby Underdale
Thixendale, Wayrham - 17.5km
Yorkshire Wolds . . .

Route map from OS Open Space Service

Maps: OS Explorer 294 Market Weighton & Yorkshire Wolds Central at 1:25000
and OS Explorer 300 Howardian Hills & Malton at 1:25000
(the route overlaps the join between these two maps)


Stile into the fields at the start
Stile into the fields at the start

We, that's two friends and I, made a bad choice to-day. We went east from York, an area of low annual rainfall, but to-day it was one of the wettest parts of the country, the Yorkshire Wolds. At least all the footpaths are open there so we were able to walk one of our old favourite routes. We drove though Stamford Bridge up Garrowby Hill on the Bridlington road. About one and a half miles from the top of the hill is a lay-by on the right hand side of the road, it's one of those where the road has been straightened out and the old road is now a lay-by and in this case it has a nice picnic area well screened from the main road by trees and bushes. It's at the head of Wayrham Dale but the dale is not really visible from the main road. We parked here to start the walk.

Parish Church at Kirby Underdale
Parish Church at Kirby Underdale

From time to time there were strong winds driving the frequent showers into soaking diagonal columns of water. We followed the paths generally south west across the fields towards the escarpment overlooking Bishop Wilton about 2 miles away. As we began to cross Deep dale there was a roe deer doe on the track below us but it bounded off into the woods as soon as we began to descend into the valley. The descent is very steep but the climb out up a stone track is much more gentle. The route is part of the North Wolds Walk and this is the route we followed all the way through Kirby Underdale(with its mention in the Domesday book) through the church yard, across the fields and up over the hill to Thixendale.

The weather was foul, low cloud drifting in and out closing the visibility right down to a hundred yards or so

Parish Church at Kirby Underdale
Parish Church at Kirby Underdale

Geese guarding the path into Thixendale
Geese guarding the path into Thixendale

Village Hall-cum-Youth Hostel in Thixendale
Village Hall-cum-Youth Hostel in Thixendale

The final approach to the village was guarded by a beligerant flock of white geese, the most aggressive one was only deterred by vigorous waving of walking sticks as we emerged through the gate onto the safety of the road into the village. I had bought some new batteries for the digital camera that I use to take the pictures for the web site, but I forgot to pick them up from the table at home - so no pictures to-day (the photos used here I took on another visit). I tried to buy some new batteries in the post office/village shop in Thixendale but they had none in stock. The couple who run the shop were very helpful and managed to find three new batteries from their own household supplies and one part used one but it was no good the camera wanted four new batteries and refused to perform. Up until two years ago the village hall in Thixendale was used as a Youth Hostel in the summer and the post mistress also acted as warden of the youth hostel but the hostel is now closed, all part of the move up-market by the YHA. That's progress I suppose.

From Thixendale we continued on the North Wolds Walk route up the dry valleys (well 'dry' means without a river in the bottom but they were all pretty wet to-day). They are steep sided grassy valleys with sheep grazing. The whole circular route back to the Wayrham picnic site is about 11 miles with a few hills to climb along the way. Quite a stenuous route but interesting and varied - well worth the effort even on a day like to-day.

A view of the Yorkshire Wolds along the way
A view of the Yorkshire Wolds along the way

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