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Route No 74 - 8 May 2003
Huggate, Cow Dale & Minster Way circuit - 12 km
Yorkshire Wolds

Map: OS Explorer 294 Yorkshire Wolds Central 1:25000

Route map from Ordnance Survey Open Space service.

 Looking down Cow Dale near huggateI went into York this lunch time to pick up a friend and we drove through Stamford bridge, up Garrowby Hill to Huggate on the Yorkshire Wolds. It was a fine sunny day and we parked on the edge of the village at map ref. SE 877551. We set off at about 1.00pm and walked down the village street to the footpath at map ref. SE 882559 down Cow Dale. After almost a kilometer we turned right down Oxlands Dale and Shortlands dale to emerge on to the road at map ref. SE 902554. We crossed the road and continued on the path along the field boundaries. A large bird of prey got up from the field to our left and we soon recognised it by its long straight tail and scimitar wings as a peregrine falcon- a rare sight indeed for me. At map ref. SE 918558 there was a huge forklift truck maneuvering large bags of fertilizer into a stockpile and we turned right here on to a Another view of Cow Dale near Huggatetrack down the side of Freshfields Farm. We crossed the road and continued on the path for about 600m to join a bridleway at map ref. SE 917545. We followed the bridleway to map ref. SE 896545, where we joined the Minster Way. Farming on the wolds is on a huge scale but the fields along this path were particularly vast with a wide grassy track (about 4m) along the field edge to accommodate the massive machinery needed to work these enormous spaces. There was a huge tractor parked at one point (with the keys in the ignition). It had double wheels front and back, an enormous bulbous bonnet over the engine and a disc harrow over 10m wide hanging off the back. After about 2km (and only two fields!) we reached a minor road, Mill Lane, and turned right to follow the road back into the village and up to our starting point. The whole route was about 12km and took us three and a half hours to walk with no significant stops.

Forklift truck stockpiling fertilizer

Borridge in flower along the field margins
Borridge in flower along the field margins

Red Campion in flower along the wide verges
Red Campion in flower along the wide verges

Vivid yellow of the oilseed rape