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Path along the bottom of Cow Dale heading back towards Huggate
Path along the bottom of Cow Dale heading back towards Huggate

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Route No. 786 - Saturday 7 September 2019
Huggate, Wolds Way, Horse Dale,
Rabbit Dale, Cow Dale circuit - 9km
Yorkshire Wolds . . .

Route map from Ordnance Survey Open Space service.

Map: OS Explorer 294 Market Weighton & Yorkshire Wolds Central


On the first Saturday in the month my wife & I usually have a walk with a group of friends. Today the walk was led by our friend Peter and we all met at map ref. SE 880 549 on the edge of Huggate in the Yorkshire Wolds. We parked on the wide grass verge on Mill Lane at the southern edge of the village.

Our parking spot on the wide grass verge of Mill Lane on the southern edge of Huggate
Our parking spot on the wide grass verge of Mill Lane on the southern edge of Huggate

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Setting off along Mill Lane into Huggate village
Setting off along Mill Lane into Huggate village

The road southwards through Huggate village
The road southwards through Huggate village

The road led us northwards through the village. Just beyond the last house on our left we turned left along a public footpath up a farm track into a field.

From our parking spot we walked along Mill Lane to the cross roads with Pocklington Lane and Driffield Road. We continued straight on at the cross roads.

The crossroads of Mill Lane, Pocklington Lane & Driffield Road
The crossroads of Mill Lane, Pocklington Lane & Driffield Road

Turning left from the road to the path down to the Wolds Way
Turning left from the road to the path down to the Wolds Way

Path across the field to a kissing gate in the corner on to the Wolds Way
Path across the field to a kissing gate in the corner on to the Wolds Way

Kissing gate on to the Wolds Way
Kissing gate on to the Wolds Way

Muck spreading by the Wolds Way
Muck spreading by the Wolds Way

Wolds Way by-passing Glebe Farm
Wolds Way by-passing Glebe Farm

Joining the farm access road northwest of Glebe Farm
Joining the farm access road northwest of Glebe Farm

At the corner of Glebe Farm the access road turned right into the farm and the Wolds Way kept straight on from the left of the access road to by-pass the farm. Just beyond the farm the Wolds Way path joined another access road coming to the farm from the northwest. We walked along this access road for about 120m to a left hand bend in the road.

From the top of a short ramp up from the road the field dropped down to a kissing gate in the far corner of the field leading on to the Wolds Way. Through the kissing gate we turned left to follow the Wolds Way along the farm access road leading to Glebe Farm. In the field next to the Wolds Way there was a large tractor towing a huge slurry tank and spray arms, spreading the foul smelling slurry on the field.

The Wolds Way along the farm road to Glebe Farm
The Wolds Way along the farm road to Glebe Farm

Wolds Way leaving the farm road at the corner of Glebe Farm
Wolds Way leaving the farm road at the corner of Glebe Farm

Wolds Way by-passing Glebe Farm
Wolds Way by-passing Glebe Farm

About to turn right off the road down to Horse Dale
About to turn right off the road down to Horse Dale

Path along the field edge down to Horse Dale
Path along the field edge down to Horse Dale

Nearing the gate on the rim of Horse Dale
Nearing the gate on the rim of Horse Dale

Path along the top edge of Horse Dale
Path along the top edge of Horse Dale

Path along the top edge of Horse Dale
Path along the top edge of Horse Dale

After about 1.7km along this path we came to a pair of bench seats by the path. These benches are part of the 'Secret Art' project along the Wolds Way. There is a plastic box with a note book where we read some of the poems left by other walkers and three of our group left their own contributions in the book.

On the right hand side of the bend there was a finger post where we turned right off the access road to follow a public footpath along the edge of the field down to the edge of Horse Dale, one of the typical wolds dry valleys. At the edge of the valley we passed through a field gate and turned right, dropping a few metres down the valley side to a clear path running along the side of the valley on the line of an ancient earthwork.

Gate to the path along the top edge of Horse Dale
Gate to the path along the top edge of Horse Dale

Path along the top edge of Horse Dale
Path along the top edge of Horse Dale

Path along the top edge of Horse Dale
Path along the top edge of Horse Dale

The poetry seats, part of the ‘Secret Arts‘ project in the Yorkshire Wolds
The poetry seats, part of the ‘Secret Arts‘ project in the Yorkshire Wolds

From the poetry seata we continued along the path
From the poetry seats we continued along the path

The path dropped down to the valley bottom
The path dropped down to the valley bottom

We continued on the path along the valley bottom
We continued on the path along the valley bottom

As we slowly approached to investigate the ewe tried to wriggle away but could not stand. her back legs seemed to be paralised. I believe this is a condition caused by a mineral deficincy in the sheeps diet, sometimes called Swayback. Fortunately just then a couple came by in an all terrain buggy looking for a lost dog. They lived nearby and said they would alert the farmer, whom they knew, to the ewe's predicament. We continued along the valley bottom for another 200m and then the path began to bend to our right climbing up the valley side to join a stony farm access track.

A little way beyond these benches the path dropped down the valley side to the valley floor. In the field in the valley bottom there was a herd of beef cattle, red in colour but I do not know what breed they were. We followed the path along the valley bottom where there were some sheep grazing. There was one ewe some distance from the rest of the flock lying in the middle of a ring of closely cropped grass suggesting that it had been there for some time.

Soon the path dropped down to the valley bottom
Soon the path dropped down to the valley bottom

We continued on the path along the valley bottom
We continued on the path along the valley bottom

The path climbed to our right to join a stony farm access track
The path climbed to our right to join a stony farm access track

We followed the farm access track up over the top of the wold
We followed the farm access track up over the top of the wold

We followed the track along the edge of a large arable field
We followed the track along the edge of a large arable field

At the finger post we followed the diverted track to our left
At the finger post we followed the diverted track to our left

From the finger post the public footpath used to continue straight on to Northfield House farm, but now it has been diverted away from to farm. So we turned left at the finger post and followed the path down the hillside into the bottom of Rabbit Dale.

We followed this track over the top of the wold to the corner of a large arable field where the access track turned right. From this right turn we continued along the access track for another 60m to a finger post on the left of the track.

At the corner of the field we followed the track to our right
At the corner of the field we followed the track to our right

The diverted path along the field edge into Rabbit Dale
The diverted path along the field edge into Rabbit Dale

In the valley we turned right to walk along the bottom of the valley
In the valley we turned right to walk along the bottom of the valley

Following the path along the bottom of Rabbit Dale
Following the path along the bottom of Rabbit Dale

We sat on the bank in the shelter of the hedge for our lunch break. It was a very pleasant spot and a large bird of prey, probably a buzzard appeared briefly above the rim of the valley opposite and then dropped back out of sight again.

In the valley bottom we turned right and followed the path along the bottom of Rabbit Dale. After a few hundred metres along the valley we came to a tall hedge running straight up the valley side.

Following the path along the bottom of Rabbit Dale
Following the path along the bottom of Rabbit Dale

Getting ready to leave our sheltered lunch stop by the hedge
Getting ready to leave our sheltered lunch stop by the hedge

The path turning to our right out of Rabbit Dale into Cow Dale
The path turning to our right out of Rabbit Dale into Cow Dale

Path along the bottom of Cow Dale
Path along the bottom of Cow Dale

Heading for the kissing gate on to the road
Heading for the kissing gate on to the road

After about 900m we came to a kissing gate on to the road at the right hand side of the valley. We passed through the kissing gate and turned left to walk along the road towards Huggate.

After our lunch break we continued along the valley for another few hundred metres to a right hand bend into Cow Dale and followed the path along the bottom of Cow Dale.

Path along the bottom of Cow Dale
Path along the bottom of Cow Dale

Path along the bottom of Cow Dale
Path along the bottom of Cow Dale

Kissing gate from Cow Dale on to the road
Kissing gate from Cow Dale on to the road

Looking back along Cow Dale from the kissing gate
Looking back along Cow Dale from the kissing gate

Following the road towards Huggate
Following the road towards Huggate

Not much room for us and a tractor
Not much room for us and a tractor

The whole route had been just a little under 9km and it had taken me about three and a half hours to walk it (but it had only taken Peter and his wife, Wendy, two and a half hours to walk the route when they checked it out ready for our group walk)

We continued along the road up through Huggate village. We retraced our outward route over the crossroads and back to our parking spot on Mill Lane and the end of our walk.

Climbing up along the road into Huggate
Climbing up along the road into Huggate

Entering Huggate village near the end of our walk
Entering Huggate village near the end of our walk

Following the road through the village to our parking spot off Mill Lane at the end of our walk
Following the road through the village to our parking spot off Mill Lane at the end of our walk

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