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Walking down towards the sculpture at Junction of Thixendale and Worm Dale
Walking down towards the sculpture at Junction of Thixendale and Worm Dale

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Route No. 448 - Saturday 3 December 2011
Fridaythorpe, Bruber Dale, Thixendale,
Horsedale, Holm Dale, Wolds Way circuit - 13km
Yorkshire Wolds . . .

Route map from Ordnance Survey Open Space service.

Map: OS Explorer 294 Market Weighton & Yorkshire Wolds Central


Track out of Brubberdale to Gill's Farm
Track out of Brubberdale to Gill's Farm

I usually meet a group of friends for a walk each month but I was unable to join them this month. The walk was led by my brother-in-law, John, and our friend Peter took the photos and provided the following notes describing the walk:-

Acorn sculpture on Wolds Way at Brubberdale
Acorn sculpture on Wolds Way at Brubberdale

Sculpture at Junction of Thixendale and Worm Dale
Sculpture at Junction of Thixendale and Worm Dale

Hawthorn tree laden with berries
Hawthorn tree laden with berries

At the junction with Brubber Dale the Way is marked by a new large carved acorn on post, through the gate we continued up a small valley and track to Gill’s Farm. Emerging onto a small road we crossed down another good track heading for Thixendale and the first of the new sculptures on the route. As we turned to head south down into the dale we caught site of this major landscape sculpture ‘Time and Flow’ by Chris Drury positioned at the junction with Worm Dale.

"Eight of our group met for the December walk at the village pond in Fridaythorpe this morning. The route was a circular walk of about 12km much of it on the Yorkshire Wolds Way. Along the way we would take in two of the new sculptures placed on the Wolds Way as part of an Arts Council project. Having parked up near the village pond we headed NE out of the village on a fine sunny morning though with a piercing wind. Past a large mill we walked down a wide track before dropping down a pleasant grassy path to the first dale of the day, West Dale.

Track away from Gill's Farm towards Thixendale
Track away from Gill's Farm towards Thixendale

Walking down towards the sculpture
Walking down towards the sculpture

Sculpture at Junction of Thixendale and Worm Dale
Sculpture at Junction of Thixendale and Worm Dale

Sculpture ‘Time and Flow’ by Chris Drury at Junction of Thixendale and Worm Dale
Sculpture ‘Time and Flow’ by Chris Drury at Junction of Thixendale and Worm Dale

Track through Pluckham plantation
Track through Pluckham plantation

We had to walk alongside the road east for 600m and were caught in a short shower of rain before crossing the road to follow a bridle way.

Having stopped briefly to take in the sculpture and displayed details we left the Wolds Way climbing out of Thixendale via Pluckham Dale and Pluckham plantation to the A166.

Old hedge laid many years ago
Old hedge laid many years ago

Double rainbow seen from A166
Double rainbow seen from A166

Descending track to Horse Dale
Descending track to Horse Dale

View along Horse Dale open access valley
View along Horse Dale open access valley

Solitary tree above Horse Dale
Solitary tree above Horse Dale

New inscribed seats on upper slope of Horse Dale
New inscribed seats on upper slope of Horse Dale

Here we made use of the open access arrangement and climbing the south side of the dale we walked along the old earthworks before coming to the next sculpture on the Wolds Way. A practical and very comfortable inscribed shapely pair of oak benches

We followed the bridle way to pick up the Wolds Way again close to Wold House Farm (worth walking through just to see the fine bronze statue of a farm worker). We continued on the Way down to Horse Dale.

View along Horse Dale open access valley
View along Horse Dale open access valley

Trees on upper slopes of Horse Dale
Trees on upper slopes of Horse Dale

Horse Dale plantation
Horse Dale plantation

Still flowering in December
Still flowering in December

Beginning the descent along the Wols Way to Holm Dale
Beginning the descent along the Wolds Way to Holm Dale

On track to Fridaythorpe looking back towards Holm Dale
On track to Fridaythorpe looking back towards Holm Dale

The whole route had been about 13km and it had taken us 4 hours to walk including our various stops along the way. We headed back for a fine afternoon tea at the home of one of our group members who lived nearby." - Peter Crosby

After a brief stop we followed the Wolds Way down to the valley bottom then climbed out via Holm Dale and back into Fridaythorpe.

Fridaythorpe village pond
Fridaythorpe village pond

Track back into Fridaythorpe
Track back into Fridaythorpe

Background Notes:
This walk is a circular route of 13km, about 8 miles, from Fridaythorpe in the Yorkshire Wolds. Fridaythorpe is one of the highest villages on the wolds at an altitude of around 170m. Our walk starts by the village duck pond and just after the start, off to the right hand side of the road is the village church, St Mary's, which has an unusual clock with an elaborate black and white face with the inscription 'Time is short, eternity is long'. Apparently the design of the clock was copied from one on a French chateau. We follow the Wolds Way National Trail eastwards out of the village. After about 1km we drop down to cross the first of several dry valleys so typical of the wolds. This one's called Bruber Dale and in the valley bottom there is a new sculpture of a large acorn on top of a substantial wooden post. The acorn is of course the symbol of the National Trails. These valleys were cut into the chalk by glaciers during the ice ages, but because the rock here is chalk it's too well drained underground for many water courses to form. Sheep and cattle graze these valleys and the flat wolds between the valleys provide rich arable land. It's these steep sided grassy dry valleys that are so characteristic of the wolds giving the area its peculiar scenic quality. Yet there's a quite different view from the top of the flat wolds between the valleys. Here you simply see a vast area of rolling rich arable land because the valleys are so steep you don't notice them. They act like a Ha-Ha on a giant scale. Our route climbs out of Bruber Dale and after another kilometer or so we drop down into the next dry valley called Thixendale. As the path descends into the valley a large landscape sculpture becomes visible below on the valley floor at the junction of Thixendale with Worm Dale. This sculpture is the work of an artist called Chris Drury and is called 'Time & Flow'. He says that his inspiration was the slow flow of the glaciers that sculpted the valleys here. The work was carried out in September and a further stage us planned. This sculpture is part of a scheme called 'WANDER' sponsored by the Arts Council and LEADER, a rural development body, and it will ultimately include 10 sculptures at intervals along the 127km, 79 miles, of the Wolds Way in an arc from the Humber Bridge to Filey Brigg. One other sculpture has been completed at Knapton Brow by Jony Easterby called 'Enclosure Rites' It's all part of a programme to attract more visitors to the Yorkshire Wolds. Our walk continues along the dry valleys and up over the flat top of the wold to Horse Dale. This is another lovely steep sided grassy valley cut into the chalk and we cross the head of the valley and then follow a line of ancient earthworks along the valley rim. Here we are crossing 'open access land' with no specific public footpath. After around 1.5km we rejoin the Wolds Way and here on these upper slopes of Horse Dale there are some unusual sculpted seats with poetic inscriptions by John Clarke, overlooking the valley. There are some similar seats by the Wolds Way above the village of Millington, all part of the WANDER project. We follow the Wolds Way down a steep descent to the valley floor at the junction of Horse Dale and Holm Dale. Then we continue up Holm Dale back into Fridaythorpe where there is an old but still funtional bus shelter by the duck pond. I believe that the next planned element in the WANDER project is a sculpted walkers' shelter and bus shelter to replace it. There is a well known cafe (Seaways) frequented by bikers and walkers in the village where you can round off the walk with a coffee and a bacon butty.

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