Yorkshire Wolds Walk - Settrington
PUBLISHED: 22:16 13 August 2012 | UPDATED: 20:13 13 June 2016
Enjoy classic Wolds views on this delightful and relatively easy walk. Terry Fletcher is your guide Photography by Mike Kipling
In high summer, when everyone feels the urge to get outside and enjoy the fresh air, even rural paths can be crowded and tranquillity hard to come by.
But the Yorkshire Wolds remain an oasis of calm, a throwback
to the days when life moved more slowly and the countryside was an altogether quieter place. Even at the height of the holidays it is possible to wander for miles among some of the county’s least trodden byways without encountering another walker.
Of course there is a price for all this seclusion. The result is that at certain times of the year some paths can almost disappear under exuberant undergrowth while others may be indistinct and hard to follow. A confident approach to navigation, and occasionally even bushwhacking, can pay dividends. This delightful and relatively easy walk makes use of the well-signposted Wolds Way national trail for part of the route but also includes one or two less obvious sections.
It begins in Settrington, a now peaceful village that once had a walk-on part in English history when in 1537 a local gentleman, the appropriately-named Sir Francis Bygod, raised a rebellion against Henry VIII’s attacks on the Catholic Church and the king’s reneging on promises that had ended the previous year’s Pilgrimage of Grace when large parts of the North had rebelled.
It was an ill-fated uprising which saw Bygod suffering the agonizing traitor’s death of being hanged, drawn and quartered at Tyburn.
There is no formal parking in the village so park tidily at the roadside and leave on the road to North Grimston (opposite the village school). A couple of hundred yards after the speed de-restriction signs turn left down a lane signed to Settrington House and Lutton.
Over the wall to the right the lake of Settrington House can be seen, guarded by an extremely polite no trespassing sign, while to the left is the house itself. Ignore the first path on the left, signed to Low Bellmanear House and carry on up the hill for another three hundred yards.
Just as the gradient begins to ease take a farm access track on the right. At first there is little evidence that this is a right of way but a search will reveal a signpost lurking amid the foliage of the tree.
Walking along the track the views open up to reveal classic Wolds countryside of huge stony fields, rolling hills and vast skies. When the track turns left to Wardale Farm carry on straight ahead through the gate and drop down to another gate and then head half left following the waymark sign aiming for a pond in the far lower corner where arrows point through a muddy gate.
Climb the hill to another waymarked gate at the top of the field and then follow the path diagonally left up the hillside and pass to the left of the buildings of Wold House Farm. Cross the stile and make a pointless diversion rightwards for a few yards to reach the access rack which is followed leftwards to the road.
Cross over and follow a path half right across the field. At the far side carry straight on along the edge of the next field. At the bottom follow the arrows leftwards for a few steps before cutting back on an indistinct track rightwards to pass behind the ruins of Many Thorns Farm and enter the woods.
At the far side the track, now a bridleway, drops down the hillside of Basset Brow to pass Rowgate Farm away to the left. Just after a disused quarry the bridleway meets the Wolds and Centenary Ways. Turn right back up a broad track heading towards the trees. Climb a stile to enter the woods and after a hundred yards turn right along the hardened forest road, still following the Wolds Way. Just before a road is reached a trig point in the undergrowth on the right marks the summit of Settrington Beacon.
Cross the road and head away along the broad farm access track, still following the Wolds Way. The track weaves through the buildings of High Bellmanear before reaching a three way signpost. Here we leave the Wolds Way and take the public footpath along the edge of the field to the right.
At the bottom continue through a band of trees and on down the charmingly-named Fizgig Hill. A broad clear track leads across fields to Low Bellmanear. Turn right along its access road and follow it through a series of pastures to the road from which we started. Turn left back to Settrington.
Distance: 6 miles/9km
Time: 3-4 hours
Terrain: Field paths, farm tracks and woodland
Map: OS Explorer 300 Howardian Hills and Malton
Refreshments: None on route, pub at Scagglethorpe, full services in Malton (four miles away)