Wolds Way Day Walk
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“Swerving east from traffic all night north” brings you to the Yorkshire Wolds; an area of steeply sided, riverless dales and probably the quietest of the National Trails, the Wolds Way. At roughly mid distance is the deserted medieval village of Wharram Percy, an archaeological treasure and an area of haunting beauty. This is the centre point of a gentle stroll on the boundary between the east and north ridings.
The walk works its way, circuitously, to the village of Thixendale. This is a working landscape as we walk through fields of wheat, corn and barley, with disused chalk works scarring the countryside and the first introduction to the typical dales. Thixendale, the debate rages as whether the name is from Sig’s dale or refers to the reportedly sixteen dales that surround, whatever the origin, this is an isolated village and one of the last places to receive terrestrial TV in the UK due to its remoteness. If we are lucky, the church hall café may be open, otherwise provisions can be bought from the local shop.
From Thixendale, a steep climb past a farm takes us to the most demanding section of the walk, a descent into a deep dale followed immediately by a climb up the other side to take us to a long flat section, curving around to Wharram Percy. Exploring the village brings a sense of what living in the village might have been like. The ruins of the church, the fish pond and foundations of the manor house are the most obvious indications, but the groundworks on the hill, indicate the locations of the long houses and shared areas.
The walk continues along the route of the Malton-Driffield junction line, closed following the closure of the Burdale quarry, before returning to the start of the walk. For those that wish, a café is available about 4 miles drive away, opposite the start of the heritage railway.
What to bring
Water: bring at least two litres
Medicines: if you have hay fever, diabetes, minor ailments etc.
Day rucksack: typically 20-30 litres, they are comfortable to wear and allow you to use your arms freely
Boots: waterproof and breathable and designed for hiking.
Gaiters: recommended for wet weather or boggy conditions
Socks: proper walking socks will keep your feet dry and help prevent blisters
Layered clothing: lets you quickly adapt to changes in the weather and body temperature. Go for a base layer (vest or t-shirt) and a mid layer (a micro fleece or shirt) and in cooler weather add an outer layer (a windproof jacket or thick fleece)
Trousers: Proper walking trousers. Breathable fabrics are more comfortable and dry and on warm days shorts are OK
Waterproof jacket: essential when hiking in all but the calmest of weather, breathable fabrics are more comfortable and dry
Gloves: Windproof, or better still, waterproof gloves are the best choice, bring a spare pair if expecting rain
Hat or cap: stay warm in winter and shaded in summer
Sunglasses: for any sunny day, even in winter
Sun cream: can be useful even on cloudy and winter days
Snacks: bring biscuits, energy bars, gels, bananas, chocolate or dried fruit for example and put them somewhere easy to get hold of
Lunch: bring a packed lunch
Food & drink
Please bring a packed lunch.