Huggate and Dry Valleys Distance: 6 miles Duration: 3 hours Level of walk: Medium Check latest weather Why you should do this walk… A circular walk, of about 6 miles, from Huggate that passes through dry valleys created around 18,000 years ago at the end of the Ice Age. These valleys, known locally as dales,…
Westow and the River Derwent
Westow and the River Derwent
Distance: 4¼ miles
milesDuration: 1¾ hours
Level of walk: Easy
Why you should do this walk…
If you’re looking for a gentle and quiet wander through arable fields, with plenty of wide open spaces and a lovely riverside section. The walk offers great views of the beautiful Wolds through unspoilt countryside not frequently visited by the masses! This is a very pretty circular walk.
What else you need to know
How to get there – turn off the A64 York to Scarborough road at Whitwell-on-the-Hill, and follow the road downhill to the railway level crossing, past Kirkham Priory and on to the next village, Westow.
Suggested map OS Explorer Howardian Hills and Malton 300
Car park – road side in the village of Westow
Start – main road in Westow in front of the Blacksmith’s Arms
Length/time – 4¼ miles, takes around 1¾ hours
Terrain/difficulty – EASY, mostly on flat, green paths through fields, by the riverside or on quiet local roads. The Jeffry Bog plantation can be a bit muddy, but there are duckboards to assist in the worst areas.
Dog friendliness – no stiles and plenty of off-lead time available on the paths through the fields. No sheep were seen, with one clearly marked field holding a few cattle.
Food and drink – The Blacksmiths Arms in Westow welcomed Izzy, alternatively the Stone Trough Inn just five minutes away down the road near Kirkham, is very dog friendly.
Public toilets – for patrons of the village pub.
Other interesting info:
The Yorkshire Wolds are the most northerly chalk hills in Britain and give you spectacular views of the Vale of Pickering and even the city of York on clear days.
- Start on the main road in Westow by the Blacksmiths Arms. Keeping the pub to the right, head towards the sign for the road back to Kirkham and York. At the junction, take this road for a short distance before turning right at the end of the stone wall onto a track heading across the field. There isn’t a waymarker, but a well weathered road sign advising ‘Unsuitable for Motors’ marks where the track joins the road.
- Take the track along the edge of the field, keeping a hedge to the left with the outskirts of the village and the Wolds to the right. After a while the track becomes enclosed by small trees on either side before coming out at a road junction. Cross the road and head along the quiet road opposite, following the sign for Firby, before turning right at a waymarked bridleway sign for the River Derwent (½ mile). Keeping ahead past houses, the road turns into a farm track and continues between two fields. Head towards the tree line, and once past it, turn immediately left along the edge of a field keeping the trees to the left. Where the path bears right, look out for an opening in the trees leading down to a waymarked gate.
- Pass through the gate into a field and keep ahead towards the river Derwent with the railway line beyond it. The path bears right and continues alongside the river, which is now to the left. On entering the next field an old waymarker on a fence post points the way. Keep following the path through the fields by the river, occasionally passing through a waymarked gate. As the name suggests, Jeffry Bog can be muddy underfoot but there are duckboards to help in the worst areas and the real pleasure comes from being so close to the river at this point.
- Cross a footbridge into another field and keep to the path at its lower end by the river. After crossing another footbridge, head towards a wire and post fence, where to the left there is waymarker sign pointing right. Head away from the river now up the bank, keeping the fence to the left, looking for a waymarked kissing gate in the top right hand corner of the field. Pass through the gate and continue along an enclosed farm track to a road.
- Cross the road and following a public bridleway sign, head up the lane for Church Farm Kennels. Where the lane bears left, follow a waymarker through a kissing gate into a field. Ignore the farm gate in front and head along the hedge line, keeping it to the left, and passing a waymarker head for a kissing gate ahead leading to a small enclosed area and another kissing gate.
- Pass through the gates and follow the path around the church, keeping it to the right. Head away from the church along a quiet road with fields and views of the area all around. The road turns left through 90 degrees and heads back towards the village. On the right look for a public bridleway sign and follow a path slightly uphill between two fields. Approaching the village, the path becomes a quiet residential road. There is a dog waste bin here. Continue along the road, turn left at the end, and head back into Westow village.