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Awesome Places to Connect with Nature (...and you can bring your dog!) Part 3 - Yorkshire Wolds

nature, well beingCharlotte BrownComment

Beautiful Walks in the Yorkshire Wolds - glacier-carved landscapes, history, archaeology, hills, dales, art, and big infinity skies...

A soft spot for me as one of my local awesome places to connect with nature - as one of the most rural and least built-up parts of England, the Yorkshire Wolds really is a hidden treasure just waiting to be explored!

 Beautiful gentle hills and wallowing dales in the Yorkshire Wolds

Beautiful gentle hills and wallowing dales in the Yorkshire Wolds

It's really nice just to wend your way slowly through the tiny back roads across the top of the Wolds, admiring the magnificent views and discovering the pretty little villages for yourself - but here are a couple of walks that we've recently enjoyed...

I'll also pop in a couple more recommendations for where to visit at the end...

Wharram Percy Deserted Medieval Village

 A Wolds Walk to Wharram Percy

A Wolds Walk to Wharram Percy

This is a lovely walk to explore the remains of the deserted medieval village of Wharram Percy and continues up into the Wolds for a circular walk to admire the landscape.

The best place to start your walk is at the Wharram Percy car park where the path to Wharram Percy is well signposted.

The path descends down quite steeply, it's stony and uneven and can be quite treacherous if it's muddy (as it was when we went) so wear appropriate footwear and go carefully. It's about three-quarters of a mile to reach the village...

English Heritage caretakes the village and has provided information boards to help you navigate the village and understand what you're seeing.

Much of the village is now reduced to lumps and bumps in the field, but there are the remains of a newer farm building still standing, and as you explore further, the remains of the lovely medieval parish church to discover...

yorkshire_wolds_wharram_percy_walk_5.jpg

We found a lovely quiet spot to sit and rest overlooking the medieval fish pond - it's a place that feels far from the modern world, nestled, as it is, in a small dale with the hills rising up around the village on all sides.

 Time to sit and rest in a tranquil location

Time to sit and rest in a tranquil location

You can quite imagine that the people here in medieval times could've been quite isolated in their little community, which could've contributed to the eventual abandonment of the village...

Actually, archaeologists have recently suggested the theory that people in this village burnt and dismembered their dead for fear of them coming back to life to terrorise the village (this was not an uncommon fear in medieval times, it seems). Eerie thought, but somehow it doesn't take away from the feeling of peacefulness that's here now...

 The medieval church at the deserted medieval village of Wharram Percy

The medieval church at the deserted medieval village of Wharram Percy

We left the site past the pond with a steep (and again, very slippery and muddy) path rising up into the hills. There are cattle in these fields here so if you take your dog, as we did, exercise some caution if passing close.

Once up onto the crest of the hill, the path continues along the top of the hill, looking down into Deep Dale. ..

 Glaciers carved out these dales in the Yorkshire Wolds near Wharram Percy

Glaciers carved out these dales in the Yorkshire Wolds near Wharram Percy

The impressive hills and dales here were created by glaciers millions of years ago - and it gives them an interesting swoop and curve as you can see where the glaciers carved their way through the landscape.

Continue to follow the path at the top of the hill, looking down into the dale, until you reach a footpath on your left that takes you into the flatter fields on the top of the Wolds where you can see for miles and you feel very close to the huge skies...

(In fact, the big skies are one of the things I like best about living in East Yorkshire - they're amazing!)

 Exploring a little off the main footpath - on top of the Wolds you can see for miles

Exploring a little off the main footpath - on top of the Wolds you can see for miles

Here the footpath is flat and easy, following the line of the hedge on your right until you pass a small copse of trees and return to a small country road. Here, go left and continue along this road (remembering to listen out for traffic) and you will soon return to the Wharram Percy car park on your left.

 Spotting wildflowers on the walk!

Spotting wildflowers on the walk!

The walk takes approximately one-and-a-half to two hours allowing time to explore in the village.

English Heritage info for Wharram Percy deserted medieval village

 

Spiral Walk at Thixendale

This is a short circular walk from the pretty Wolds village of Thixendale to visit the artwork 'Waves and Time' by Chris Drury, nestled in the landscape...

 'Waves and Time' (previously 'Time and Flow') spiral landscape art by Chris Drury near Thixendale

'Waves and Time' (previously 'Time and Flow') spiral landscape art by Chris Drury near Thixendale

Here we started our walk in the village of Thixendale - park considerately on the roadside. There is a pub which serves food in the evenings and weekend lunchtimes (The Cross Keys). There is also a small village shop for sweets and snacks and the village hall is open most Sundays to serve refreshments to weary walkers.

We left the village with the pub on our left and turned right on the road to follow the lower fork of the lane to the start of the footpath which you will be able to see on your left after some short distance...

This is the walk along the bottom of Thixen Dale itself... one of the long narrow dales carved out by glaciers...

 Walking along Thixen Dale

Walking along Thixen Dale

The footpath here is wide and flat and the hills rise up either side....

There may be cattle in these fields.

 An interesting line of trees along Thixen Dale

An interesting line of trees along Thixen Dale

Follow along the dale bottom until you reach the meeting point of two glaciers where you will be able to find the 'Waves and Time' artwork seemingly growing in a spiral out of the earth...

 'Waves and Time' by Chris Drury

'Waves and Time' by Chris Drury

Here, the footpath splits three ways - we turn almost completely back on ourselves to take the chalk path up the hill...

 Spiral earthwork with the footpath back up the hill

Spiral earthwork with the footpath back up the hill

There's always someone to stop and say 'hello' to...

 Yorkshire sheep

Yorkshire sheep

Look back down onto the 'Wave and Form' artwork as you ascend the hill...

 Land art at Thixendale in the Yorkshire Wolds

Land art at Thixendale in the Yorkshire Wolds

It's amazing to think of the forming of this dramatic landscape, millions of years ago, with glaciers forcing their way through the land.

The land here seems so old and solid now - and rises steeply from the dale bottoms to the tops of the hillsides where the earth touches the light and limitless skies that seem in complete contrast to the solidity of the earth, but still joined together, one clinging to the other...

As you reach the top of the hill, look out for the footpath on the right that leads to the road. Turn left back down Huggate Hill to return to Thixendale. The road is a quiet country lane, but do listen out carefully for traffic.

More Wolds Art

Are you a fan of artist David Hockney? He has painted many works near here! A really useful site if you'd like to know where, is this unofficial Hockney Trail which has tracked down many of the exact locations. You can also get info on David Hockney in Yorkshire here and get the Hockney Pocket Guide locations pdf here

You might also like the Yorkshire Wolds Secret Art App (new in 2018) to give you artistic inspiration on your journey across the Yorkshire Wolds

Also nearby to Thixendale is the gallery of local wildlife artist Robert E Fuller - an interesting visit with wildlife cameras and lots of wildlife information as well as his studio and wildlife artworks (no dogs)

My own artwork is also inspired by the wildlife of this local area (although I live in one of the flat parts)...

 Ferny Fox

Ferny Fox

 Summer Hare

Summer Hare

Explore my wildlife art in my online gallery or in my store

Useful links

Wolds Way National Trail

Walking the Riding - interactive map

Walking the Riding home page

Thixendale Village site

English Heritage Wharram Percy

I also recommend nearby:

Sledmere House and Gardens (dogs in gardens only)

Burton Agnes House and Gardens (dogs in gardens only)

Wolds Village, Bainton - Restaurant/Tea Rooms with beautiful accommodation, gift shop and art gallery all on site (dogs in courtyard only)