The following Ordnance Survey Explorer maps (1:25,000) cover the Wolds Way and are listed in order of coverage as one would use them walking from Hessle Haven to Filey.
|Start:||Thixendale village||Estimated Time:||6 hours|
|Start (OS ref):||SE841611||Difficulty:||Moderate|
|Finish:||West Heslerton||Total Climbing:||538 metres|
|Finish (OS ref):||SE911748||Longest Climb:||108 metres|
|Maps:||OS Explorer 300, 301
(see above for details)
|Longest Descent:||153 metres|
|Hazards:||Care needed crossing the B1248 & B1253|
|Distance:||14.2 miles (22.9 km)||Refreshments:||Thixendale|
| Part 4 - Thixendale to West Heslerton (14.2 miles)
After the last stage and its rollercoaster ride of dale upon dale this stage is more 'open land' that provides more opportunities to view areas some appreciable distance away. It is a subtle but distinct change that takes place giving the walker the feel that they are leaving the inland dales of the wolds and heading out into more open terrain and the coastal goal. However there are still fantastic dales to be enjoyed, just not so many. Indeed the next dale is not too away from today's start in Thixendale village. I left the village on another fine sunny spring day although the cloud had just begun to build up. It is a stiff climb out of Thixendale following a bridle until you level off at just over 200 metres at Cow Wold Barn. Cross a field and climb a stile that leads you to the descent of Vessey Hill into Vessey Pasture Dale (pictured). Enjoy a quiet walk through this lovely little dale until climbing out onto the open wolds.
The next two miles are now spent on the tops as you cross huge pasture fields looking to your left at Wharram Percy Farm that is open to your view only. Its other three sides are surrounded by the farm plantation. Once you have past the level of the farm it will no longer attract your attention. This will be now focused on the opening dale directly in your path. This is Deep Dale which you skirt round to its right. As you reach the head of the dale look to its far end. On a clear day you will see a church and large house. These are the heart of the deserted village of Wharram Percy (pictured) which has evidence of Iron Age origins, a medieval history and a recent past. The village was abandoned in the 1960's but the church (partly) and the railway house (fully) stand as a ghostly reminder to the village's past. I always stop for a while to contemplate at the village, I'm sure you will too.
After the village walk along the little beck to follow a bridleway past a disused quarry until you reach railway house. Here rejoin the road and walk into Wharram le Street. Beyond Wharram le Street, which stands on the busy B1248 (take care crossing the road) the Broad Balk bridleway is followed to the crossing of High Street. This is a nondescript section so keep a steady pace up to High Street. Once the road is crossed you are stood on a hilltop and you will see Nine Spring Dale directly ahead. The western fringe of the dale is your goal so follow the signs that lead you past a barn to The Peak. Drop down from The Peak to Whitestone Beck (pictured) and cross to climb to Wood House and onto Settrington Wood and Settrington Beacon. Cross the road and continue into Beacon Wood passing a Trig Point (pictured) on your left. As you leave the wood there is a descent on to a road that you follow for over a mile until cutting left to the village of Wintringham.
At the village skirt it and follow a bridleway towards the villages distinct church spire and then climb steadily into Deep Dale Plantation. Then make a much stiffer but thankfully shorter climb out of the plantation (pictured) and cross some high farmland to the edge of Knapton Plantation. You walk just inside the plantation on the edge of the escarpment. My walk was done at the best time as it was now wonderfully sunny and the daffodils were out in full bloom (pictured) to brighten my walk even more. From here it was a simple level walk of less than a mile to day's end at West Heslerton. A lovely days walking with a number of lovely dales, some lovely sights and just a couple of 'head down' tracks particularly after Wharram le Street and before Wintrington. I am now looking forward to the final stage and my walk into Filey to complete my 'Wolds Way'.
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