The unspoilt Yorkshire Wolds village of Warter is starting point for several good walks which show off the beauty of the area’s dry chalk valleys and expansive fields.
It stands at the centre of the landscape loved by David Hockney, and his “Bigger Trees near Warter” was painted at Middleton Road Plantation. Measuring 40ft by 15ft, it is the largest work Hockney has completed. Sadly, the trees he painted have now been felled. The painting is owned by Tate Britain. Early in the walk there is a superb view across the Vale of York on a clear day. Areas of Access Land, designated by the Countryside and Rights of Way Act 2000, allow walkers to deviate from footpaths and bridleways in Lavender Dale, Brig Dale, and Great Dug Dale. Look out for red kites, and listen for skylarks.
1. Begin from Warter’s village pond opposite the junction of the B1246 and Bailey Lane. Walk east a short distance and fork left uphill on the road signposted to Huggate. Pass a junction on the right to arrive at a small parking area on a bend.
2. Continue along the track ahead. Further on, the route turns left along a field edge and then sharp right. Follow it down to Lavender Dale, which is now Access Land. Turn left to walk up the dry valley, then fork right to walk through shorter Brig Dale. At the top go right to rejoin the bridleway then turn left to reach Blanch Farm.
3. Turn right to follow a concrete track which carries part of the Minster Way. When that turns left further on keep straight ahead to arrive at the B1246. Cross with care to follow a grassy path to a back lane. Go straight on to pass Middleton Road Plantation, where David Hockney painted “Bigger Trees Near Warter”. Continuing ahead, at a long plantation turn right to join another back lane.
4. Noting a dew pond on the left, continue ahead for a short distance to find an Access Land gate on the right. Walk down into beautiful Great Dug Dale and follow the clear route to pass Townend Wood on the right. Leave the area of Access Land and turn left on the B1246 for the short walk back into Warter.
Difficulty rating: 3 stars
Distance: 8 miles
Time: 4 hours
Map: OS Explorer (1:25000) 294 Market Weighton & Yorkshire Wolds Central.
Parking: Responsible roadside parking, Warter.
Public transport: Warter has a very limited bus service, being on the 45A York-Bridlington route operated by EYMS. Tel 01482 222222.
Refreshments & toilets: None on route. Nearest at Pocklington and Driffield.