The Yorkshire Wolds form one of the most beautiful landscapes in the north but an historic shortage of public footpaths makes it hard to construct circular routes without resorting to road walking.
This route is a classic example, but the reward for having to tramp several miles of tarmac are fine views and a chance to visit two tranquil villages. The first one, Warter, nestles in a lovely fold of these chalk hills and was the site of an Augustinian monastery, Warter Priory, now occupied by the prominent landmark of St. James’s Church. The second village is Nunburnholme, where a Victorian ornithologist, the Rev. Francis Orpen Morris, lived in the cream-washed rectory while vicar of the local church. The approach to Nunburnholme on a stretch of the Yorkshire Wolds Way is especially beautiful. Look out for yellowhammers on the high Wolds and spotted flycatchers on the fringes of Great Dug Dale.
1. From Warter village pond walk eastwards away from the village. When Townend Wood appears on the right take a footpath into the wood which rises along the top of Great Dug Dale. The path swings left beyond the dale and goes right to reach a tarmac lane.
2. Turn right and walk with care along the usually quiet and mostly straight road leading over Nunburnholme Wold. Compensation for the tarmac surface is provided by fine views over the woods of Londesborough Park and across the Vale of York. Continue ahead at a crossroads and walk down hill to a Yorkshire Wolds Way sign on the right.
3. Follow the Yorkshire Wolds through Partridge Hall farm and continue ahead through fields and past Thorns Wood. Further on the path goes left to cross Nunburnholme Beck and arrive on Nunburnholme’s peaceful village street.
4. Turn right to walk through the village. Continue round a right-hand bend further on and past Manor Farm take a lane on the left which leads back to Warter. On the village outskirts go right along Addlekeld to return to the centre.
Difficulty rating: 2 stars
Distance: 7 miles
Time: 3 hours
Map: OS Explorer (1:25000) sheet 294, Market Weighton & Yorkshire Wolds Central.
Parking: Informal roadside parking in Warter.
Public transport: East Yorks Motor Service York-Bridlington buses run through Warter. For information call 01482 222222.
Refreshments & toilets: Pocklington, Market Weighton (off route).