Yorkshire Wolds Way – Part 3: Near Huggate to Filey

Awake early, but better rested, it was an even earlier start at just after 7am. As I set off, my whole plan consisted of getting to Fridaythorpe. Here would be a cafe, shop and other facilities. As to how far beyond Fridaythorpe I’d get, that was completely up in the air – I was open to a slow meandering day or cracking on. Whatever happened would be fine.

I packed up and followed a high level route overlooking Pasture Dale and made my way down to the edge of Huggate itself. There was no point dropping into the village as the cafe there didn’t open until 11am – the following day.

I made slow and steady progress through a world of wheat fields, before the trail dumped me into Horse Dale and then swung left into Holm Dale, the end of which took me into Fridaythorpe.

Here, I made straight for Seaways Cafe and put away sausage, egg, beans and chips. I was glad I didn’t stay at the campsite here though – what I could see of it was underwhelming. I was happy that my schedule had fallen into a between-campsites pattern rather than aligning with them.

A short way back down the road towards the trail was the garage and shop, where in my haste to buy the usual items I left my trekking pole propped up outside as I set off to resume the path. It wasn’t until I reached the village green and pond that I realised and had to scoot back to retrieve it.

Here also was the “halfway” sign. Technically, of course, the halfway point would be in 1/2 mile’s time.

After Fridaythorpe, next up was Brubber Dale

This one required a bit of a sit as it was so nice.

Over Thixendale Wold and I came to the restored dewpond and thence descended into Thixen Dale itself.

This was just great and I had another sit for almost an hour here, even toying with sitting out the rest of the day and stopping overnight. But it wasn’t quite lunchtime, so that would have been a lot of sitting.

Into Thixendale itself, which was pretty quiet, the pub being shut (of course). Up a steep chalky track, a dip down into Vessey pasture Dale and then the climb to the highest point on the YWW. Here it was then a long walk handrailing trees through cattle fields as Deep Dale developed below.

Another hour’s sit here and serious consideration to making it the stop point. Again a bit early, and I ideally wanted something a little more discreet.

Along towards Wharram Percy I found what I was looking for – continuing along the top of the dale after the path turned off, I found a patch of not too scrubby ground amidst various scrubby stuff with a view overlooking the village, but also shielded by trees from the main routes.

I got my best sunset of the trip here.

A start just before 7am the next morning, meant I was the only person poking around Wharram Percy.

I hit the road to Wharram-le-Street, then a succession of wheat fields and small wooded bits. Flying along quite nicely, I was very much in the mode of see how much I could do today. with about 50km to the end, it was pretty clear that I’d finish tomorrow, and given that was the case it would be better to go further today to make for a shorter finish and earlier arrival at home the next day. But it would also give me the option of extending the walk to Scarborough if I wanted.

I arrived at Wintringham which involved a long trudge on a track behind the village houses.

Up a slope into woodland and then I was upon the infamous “steep incline” sign.

Turned out that it wasn’t lying – it was pretty steep, but my main trouble was keeping my footing rather than running out of puff!

At the top was “Enclosure Rites”, a recent artwork. I spent a few minutes looking around.

But progress needed to be made, and Wolds Way Campsite was less than a mile away. Here I was hoping to find refreshment. Not to be – the reception/shop was all locked up and although there was a phone number on the door, I wasn’t going to call them just for the sake of a cold drink when I wasn’t even staying there.

What I did do was avail myself of a bench to sort out return train tickets while there were still some advance tickets for tomorrow left. That done I set off again.

After the campsite, or indeed parallel to it if you don’t take the detour, the YWW follows the northern edge of the escarpment, and I started to feel at home – much of this was just like the scarp slope of the North Downs.

But it did have one problem – the path kept going up the slope, along a bit, then down, then along a bit, and then repeating. On a hot day this was a bit more up and down than I wanted.

But on one of these dog legs, the trail comes close to Sherburn, at which point I set off down the lane into the village for my now traditional basket of items, emerging with those and the largest slice of Victoria Sponge I’ve ever seen.

More of this step up, step down progress towards Ganton before the path finally went properly up onto the top of the escarpment. A heavy shower caught me at Staxton Wold Farm, where I huddled under a tree to escape the worst, before continuing on towards the RAF base.

Now camping radar switched on, I descended into Cotton Dale through loads of wet brambly grass before a steep climb back out of the dale. Over a very long series of wheat fields, I found a deserted dry valley not overlooked by anything and after investigating it opted for a spot overlooking it instead. This turned out to be the furthest I’d ever walked in a day at 38.07km, with a fair bit of up and down too.

I went to bed with two visions of the next day – one of a short jaunt into Filey to finish, and another of a fuller day to Filey and then Scarborough. Mulling this choice overnight must have contributed to me being so awake when the sun came up that I was packed and away at 06:32.

At my typical pace, this just about made Scarborough possible, so with that in mind, I set about cracking on to keep that as an option until I properly decided how far to go.

The sun was out, the the vegetation was still wet, and within a quarter mile of camp I had soaking wet feet.

Along the edge of Raven Dale and into Camp Dale. This was about the limit of what I might have been prepared to do yesterday, but I was glad I’d stopped short of it as it was crap for camping in, despite the name. Long grass, brambles and nettles abounded.

Camp Dale became Stocking Dale, and that was no better.

I emerged into farmland and could see the sea. Time for a brief rest which became a longer rest, and the decision not to push for Scarborough. All I had to do now was go as slow as I liked as I had until mid afternoon to finish.

I dropped down through Muston and into Filey, and down some more to the seafront. Two lots of climbing and descending later got me onto the cliffs around to Filey Brigg, the finish of the YWW, and (incidentally) the start of the Cleveland Way. It was partly the knowledge that extending to Scarborough would perhaps spoil starting the Cleveland Way, when the time comes, that made me decide to stop at Filey.

So I took my time exploring Filey Brigg, walking down the narrow sliver of cliffy land for a good look.

Then it was back into Filey to begin the process of getting home.

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