Yorkshire Wolds Walk - Hunmanby, Centenary Way and Wolds Way
PUBLISHED: 00:00 15 July 2015 | UPDATED: 19:57 13 June 2016
Terry Fletcher heads for a walk through the wide open spaces on the eastern fringes of the Yorkshire Wolds bordering the North Sea
The national parks of the Dales and Moors may have bagged the lion’s share of Yorkshire’s most spectacular scenery but the rest of the county still has plenty to shout about and nowhere is that more true than on the boundless Wolds.
The Broad Acres are at their broadest on these chalky hills where the landscape rolls away in all directions under vast empty skies. In deep cut valleys such Swaledale, the enfolding hills block out the distant views but here they seem to go on for ever, stirring a feeling of near unbridled freedom strengthened by the emptiness of the landscape. Even when the coast is teeming with visitors you are quite likely to have these paths to yourself.
This walk sets off from the pretty village of Hunmanby, almost within sniffing distance of the tang of the North Sea and just a couple of miles inland from the resort of Filey. From here it climbs gently up onto the open Wolds before giving views of the coastline up to Scarborough’s thrusting castle headland and the North York Moors beyond.
From the car park turn left up the hill past the church, parts of which date back to the 12th century, and at the roundabout carry straight on up the Malton road. The village also boasted a mediaeval castle but that was destroyed during the 13th century. At the top of the hill take a metalled farm track on the left signed to Windmill Farm and Field House Farm. This is part of the Centenary Way, which together with the Wolds Way, makes up the bulk of this route. Carry on past Windmill House and after about three quarters of a mile (1km) when the path reaches Field House Farm, take the discreetly-signed way down the left hand side of the buildings. Just beyond them turn right for a few yards before turning left on a cart track leading away from the farm and resuming your original course across the huge, prairie-like fields away from Hunmanby. Keep your eyes peeled here and you may spot hares in the fields while skylarks fill the air with their song.
Stay on the track to its end where it meets another farm road at a T-junction and turn right downhill. At the bottom of this short lane carry straight on along a field edge keeping the fence to your right to enter Camp Dale, named after a prehistoric settlement that once existed here and the former site of one of the Wolds’ deserted villages. The route continues pleasantly along the dale bottom to a gate and a little further on comes to a junction where the valley forks. Camp Dale and the Centenary Way take the left hand fork but we head rightwards into Stockingdale and along the Wolds Way national trail.
The track climbs gradually through straggly woodland and then traverses along the bottom edge of a field to reach the narrow band of Long Plantation strung along in front of you. Here turn right up the slope, still following the Wolds Way along the edge of the trees and then a field boundary to come to Stockendale Farm quickly followed by a road. Cross straight over, still on the Wolds Way and heading for Muston.
As the track tops the brow the views change to take in the coastline, Scarborough and Filey. After crossing the crest, look out for a gap in the hedge on the right where a signpost indicates the Wolds Way turning off to cross diagonally over a field. At the far fence the route carries on downhill following field boundaries until it reaches the A1039, where it turns right into Muston. Take care with the traffic on this road, especially on the first short section where there is no path.
The road leads through the village, passing the village green, pub and church to come to the A165 Scarborough to Bridlington road. Here turn right for a brief but busy couple of hundred yards to the next roundabout where it turns gratefully rightwards onto a farm track, now once again on the Centenary Way.
This path runs arrow-straight along the field edges until it reaches North Moor Farm, where it jinks to the left of the buildings before heading onwards to Hunmanby. When it reaches the houses carry on directly ahead back to the village centre and the church.
Time: 3 hours
Terrain: Farm tracks and a brief but busy road section
Parking: Main car park opposite the church
Refreshments: Pubs in Hunmanby and Muston
Map: OS Explorer 301 Scarborough, Bridlington and Flamborough Head