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Part One

The Wolds Way

The eastern side of England is not usually thought of as good walking country but there are many long distance trails to be found and they reward those that walk them with peace and quiet. The Yorkshire Wolds are the most northerly range of chalk hills in England. For the most part they are gentle rolling hills but there are steep-sided valleys too. they run in an arc from between Brough and North Ferriby on the north bank of the Humber to the coast at Filey. The National trail that follows them is called The Wolds Way.

It starts almost under the Humber Bridge at Hessle following the river for a short way before turning inland at North Ferriby to then pass through the villages of Goodmanham, Fridaythorpe, Thixendale, Wintringham and Sherburn before ending at Filey where the Cleveland Way starts. I did the walk as seven day walks as my brother lived in Hessle and he gave me a lift to and from the start and finish of each day's walk. The first couple of days and the last we did together, but for the rest of the week I went alone.


A typical finger post marking the route
 


Near Millington
 


Harvesting in progress
 

Much of the area was once given over to sheepfarming resulting in vast swathes of rolling downland called sheepwalks. There were few fences and the grazing rights were controlled with each shepherd having a set number of 'gaits' or 'gates' each supporting six sheep or four sheep plus two lambs. Today most of the old sheepwalks have been ploughed and crops such as barley, wheat and oilseed-rape predominate with pasture being confined for the most part to the steep sided valleys.

Many of the churches were funded with the profits from the wool trade and frequently the church seems all out of proportion to the vilage it stands in, but we should remember that the population of rural England was much larger before the industrial revolution. Indeed the area has several abandoned villages. The villages that remain are increasingly losing their local shops and schools as the rural population continues to dwindle and those that remain find a car a necessity as the railways are closed and only a few buses run.


St. Andrews Church at Fridaythorpe
 


Horsedale near Huggate

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Part Two