The Yorkshire Wolds Way
Hessle to Filey in 8 Days Walking Code: YW9
Note for 2020
A section of the Yorkshire Wolds Way is due to be closed from April 2020. This is the Hessle foreshore section from just east of the Country Park Inn through to North Ferriby. The closure is necessary for some works to be carried out to stabilise the bank alongside the railway line.
Our recommendation for walkers is to walk the first 1 km so that you can visit the Humber Bridge, then retrace your steps back to the station and catch the regular train between Hessle and North Ferriby. You can pick up the trail again from here. Alternatively you can just catch the train from Hessle and start the walk from North Ferriby, missing the first 4.5km of the route.
This option allows you to enjoy the peaceful countryside at a more leisurely pace with a maximum distance of 14 miles in any one day.
Note about transfers: There are few towns and villages along the trail and it is not always possible for us to book accommodation close to the route. If you are considering this itinerary you need to be prepared to be transferred to and from your accommodation on several nights of your holiday.
The locations below are locations along the trail where you will either stay or be collected for your transfer to your accommodation. Distances are typical walking distances between your accommodations and/or your pick up points.
|Day 1||Travel to Hessle for your first nights accommodation|
|Day 2||Hessle to South Cave||14||23|
|Day 3||South Cave to Market Weighton/Goodmanham||13||21|
|Day 4||Market Weighton/Goodmanham to Millington||10||16|
|Day 5||Millington to Thixendale||12||19|
|Day 6||Thixendale to Wharram le Street||6||10|
|Day 7||Wharram le Street to East Heslerton||12||19|
|Day 8||East Heslerton to Staxton||9||14|
|Day 9||Staxton to Filey||11||18|
|Day 10||Depart from Filey after breakfast|
Hessle to Market Weighton/Goodmanham
Starting in Hessle, the route passes under the impressive Humber Bridge and along the Humber Estuary for a short way before heading inland. The estuary is a great place to see wading birds at all times of year, so it’s a good idea to have your binoculars to hand!
Heading away from the river you soon get into the Wolds countryside with Welton Dale being the first taste of some of the wooded landscape to come. The pretty Wolds village of Welton is worth a short detour, as is its pub, the George and Dragon, with connections to the infamous Dick Turpin.
The route continues gently through fields and woodland bypassing the villages of Brantingham and South Cave, which both require a short detour from the official path. Beyond South Cave the Wolds gradually increase in height with views back to the Humber Estuary. Swin Dale is a typical example of a grassy dry valley, offering a pleasant change of scenery before ending your day at North Newbald, just off the route, or continuing onto higher ground above Market Weighton before a choice of paths presents itself.
Your decision may be determined by the location of your accommodation but otherwise you can opt for the only town of any size on the route, Market Weighton, birthplace of the Yorkshire Giant, William Bradley – look out for the plaque with his boot print – or, take the route through the smaller village of Goodmanham with its attractive church and village pub.
Market Weighton/Goodmanham to Thixendale
Whether you are walking from Market Weighton or Goodmanham the two paths converge at Londesborough. Large private estates are common in the Wolds and this is a lovely example right on the trail, with the path passing through parkland before reaching the pretty estate village.
You are now in the heart of the Wolds with extensive views over the Vale of York. As the trail passes above Millington village you can see the distant Pennines and North York Moors (on a clear day, of course!). There are a few ups and downs to come next, some of the steepest so far, but nothing too strenuous, as you dip in and out of the dales which make up this lovely landscape.
If you are in need of refreshment, the village of Huggate is just off the trail, whilst the path continues on to deliver more classic Wolds countryside. The gentle valleys of Horse Dale and Holm Dale lead you to Fridaythorpe, the half way point of the walk, before you head on to Thixen Dale, a delightful valley, wending its way to the tiny and remote village of Thixendale. At times you may only have the birds and the sheep for company but also look out for sculptures from the Wander project as you go.
Thixendale to East Heslerton
After leaving Thixendale you’ll soon reach the highest point on the Yorkshire Wolds Way, so expect lovely views as you continue to Wharram Percy, a village deserted in the late 1400s after the Black Death and a change in farming methods. The remains of the church and some earthworks can still be seen and it’s a lovely spot to linger, maybe over a flask of coffee or a picnic lunch, but come prepared, as with so many parts of this trail, there are no services on the route.
The next few miles are a mixture of farm tracks and woodland through pleasant countryside, culminating in some lovely views from the escarpment just above the village of Wintringham. The Vale of Pickering extends before you with the North York Moors beyond, a fine sight as you descend to lower ground for a short way. Beyond Winteringham be ready for a short sharp climb back on to the escarpment and a change of direction as the path starts to head east towards the coast. Take time to appreciate the views from this higher ground for a couple of miles before leaving the path for East Heslerton, about a mile off route.
East Heslerton to Filey
There’s a short climb back on to the trail from your overnight destination before the trail rolls along, down towards the village of Sherburn before rising and falling to Ganton, a pretty little village where the path skirts around the grounds of Ganton Hall, before climbing back up to Staxton Wold where you’ll reach the RAF radar station.
The final stretch to Filey takes in more dry valleys, the last of which is Stocking Dale, a lovely wooded section before you start to descend towards the quiet seaside town. If you can drag yourself past the ice cream stands along the seafront, the official end of the path is on Filey Brigg, where you will find a stone marking the finishing point of both The Yorkshire Wolds Way and The Cleveland Way.
Looking back across Filey Bay you will get a great view of the chalk cliffs at Bempton which you have been walking towards all week and if you do have the time, it’s worth adding an extra day to your holiday to visit the RSPB reserve at Bempton, as well as Flamborough Head with its dramatic cliffs and the impressive lighthouse.
Easy to Moderate
Of the National Trails we cover, this is one of the easiest. With a few short exceptions there are no ‘serious’ hills along the Way. This is a gentle, subtle route suitable for almost all abilities and a great introduction to long-distance walking.
Terrain: Varied. Easy roads, tracks and paths over rolling countryside. A few ascents and descents with some short steep sections before the final descent into Muston and on to the coast at Filey.
What’s it like underfoot? Pretty good. Well maintained paths throughout, although sections can get a bit muddy in wet weather.
How much up & down? Not too much! Mostly low-level through rolling countryside with some gentle ups and downs and a few short steep climbs.
Signposting: Good. The route is a National Trail and signposts displaying an acorn (which is the symbol of the National Trails) are to be found at regular intervals.
Navigation: Pretty straightforward. Well defined paths, and good signposting.
|Accommodation||Overnight Bed and Breakfast accommodation in selected hotels, farmhouses, village inns, guest houses and family B&Bs. Full English or Continental breakfast.|
|Guidebook||A detailed guidebook with route information, maps, photos and background information.|
|Information of Services Along the Route||A comprehensive Service Info sheet, including services such as cash points, banks, post offices, village shops, inns, cafes and taxis.|
|Maps||A waterproof 1:40000 map from Harvey Maps covering the whole route.|
|Personal Itinerary||A personal itinerary setting out each overnight stop, including large scale maps of each accommodation, to ensure you find it easily.|
|Emergency Telephone Support||If you get in to difficulties during your holiday, we are always available to help, even out of office hours.|
|15% discount at Cotswold Outdoors||We will issue you with a 15% Discount Card valid at all Cotswold Outdoor stores, and online, for the whole year on confirmation of your booking.|
|Luggage Transport||We will transfer your luggage between each overnight stop – if you leave your luggage at the accommodation when you set off in the morning, it will be moved on to your next B&B. You only need to carry a small day sack with the clothes and provisions you require during the day’s walk.|
||Provided for each day’s walking and recommended on this holiday as there will not always be a handy shop or cafe on the route.|
|Off Road Parking||If you are travelling by car we may be able to arrange off road parking for the duration of your trip. (There may be a small charge for this).|
|Arrangement of return transport||We can also arrange your transfer back to your car, (or advise you when public transport is a better option)!|
What’s not Included
|Evening Meals||Your evening meal isn’t included in the package, but we include full details and recommendations for each evening meal in your itinerary. You will normally be within walking distance of a pub and/or restaurant, or where there is good food available at the accommodation, we’ll book that for you. Allow about £20.00 per night.|
|Transport to the Start & Away from the Finish||Have a look at the “Travel Info” tab above for suggestions. If you’re still struggling, get in touch and we’ll help you sort it out.|
|Travel Insurance||Even if you are based in the UK travel insurance is worth having.|
Good accommodation and friendly hosts are an essential part of any holiday. We understand this and go out of our way to find the best. We put a great deal of effort into hand picking our accommodation and matching it to individual customer requirements. In selecting the accommodation we look for helpful, friendly hosts with good quality, characterful accommodation close to the trail. For example, over the course of your trip you might stay in a village inn, a bed and breakfast in a converted barn, a Victorian guest house, and on a working farm.
We always try to arrange en suite accommodation, i.e. rooms with their own bathrooms for each night of your stay. However, in some of the more remote locations accommodation is limited and occasionally we may have to book rooms with shared bathrooms for one or two nights of your holiday, (especially if the booking is made at short notice), but we will always let you know if this is likely to be the case.
Single Rooms We are happy to book single rooms on this walk but cannot normally book more than 2 for any one group. Single room bookings include a supplement.
General travel information on the Yorkshire Wolds area will be in your holiday pack including train and bus timetables where available.
Detailed instructions on getting to your first night’s accommodation by car, or on foot from the nearest train or bus station, will also be included in the holiday pack on individual accommodation maps.
If you require secure car parking whilst walking this route, please contact us for information.
By Air: The nearest International Airports are Leeds Bradford (LBA) or Manchester (MAN) – from either of these airports you can take a train to Hessle via Hull
By Public Transport: There is a railway station at Hessle with frequent connections to Hull and Doncaster (for East Coast Mainline).
By Road: Hessle is located on the northern side of the Humber Bridge, just off the roundabout where the A63 meets the A15.
Returning from Filey:
By Public Transport: Regular train services operate from Filey to London Kings Cross via Scarborough and York and North to Edinburgh on the East Coast mainline. Trains also run direct to Hull (for Hessle).
By Road: Filey is located on the A1039, just off the A165 Scarborough to Bridlington road.
Add an extra day at Hessle to visit Hull. Its 10 minutes by train or 20 minutes on the bus.
Hull is a port city in East Yorkshire where the River Hull meets the Humber Estuary. It was awarded the UK City of Culture in 2017 so take some time to explore its historic old town heart and cultural venues. All of the city’s museums and galleries are free to enter so spend some time in the Ferens gallery or immerse yourself in Hull’s maritime history at the Maritime Museum. Take a city tour or explore at your own pace following the famous Fish Trail, an impressive piece of public art comprising 41 pieces of sculpture set into the pavements, made from traditional materials and creating a tour of the historic Old Town. All the pieces are life size fish, from a tiny anchovy to a 10ft ray.
There are few towns and villages on the route – Millington itself is quite a remote village, however the nearby historic market town of Pocklington has plenty to entertain you.
The church dates back to before the 15th century and there are lovely independent shops and boutiques. The renowned gardens at Burnby Hall offer peace and tranquillity with many different gardens and lakes set in 9 acres of woodland, as well as a museum dedicated to the travels of the former owner of the estate, Major Percy Stewart, and the exhibits he collected from remote and unexplored regions, some of which have been recognised by UNESCO as being of international importance.
It is also possible to take a bus to the historic city of York from Pocklington. It’s about an hour each way if you feel like travelling further afield and exploring more of what Yorkshire has to offer.
If you would like a rest day at this point in your walk, please let us know and we will book your accommodation in Pocklington rather than in Millington and transfer you to and from the route.
A small, attractive seaside town with a long history of fishing, Filey has a magnificent beach with dramatic views of the long black finger of Filey Brigg in one direction and the chalk headland of Flamborough Head and Bempton Cliffs in the other. It is well worth taking an extra day here to visit the RSPB Reserve at Bempton Cliffs. The Reserve is home to around 200,000 nesting birds including gannets, guillemots and kittiwakes during the breeding season. Just a short distance further along the coast is the magnificent Flamborough Head, one of the best–preserved chalk headlands in Britain and home to the oldest complete surviving lighthouse in the UK.