Thixen Dale, Fridaythorpe

Fridaythorpe

Route: Fridaythorpe Circular

Area: East and North Yorkshire

Date of walk: 22nd December 2020

Walkers: Andrew

Distance: 8.4 miles

Ascent: 900 feet

Weather: Sunny at first, gradually clouding over

Fridaythorpe is the highest village on the Yorkshire Wolds, standing at 561 feet above sea level. Its history can be traced back to Viking times. The oldest building in the village is St Mary’s, a 12th century Norman Church. The church is close to the village green, which was the starting point for today’s walk. There is some roadside parking opposite the green and the village pond, which was renovated in 2008 thanks to a grant from the National Lottery Fund

After a quick visit to the lovely small church I walked north west for a short distance and left the road at a large industrial grain mill to join the Yorkshire Wolds Way. I’d followed this path in April 2015 as one of the legs of the Wolds Way, a long distance walk which I can highly recommend (follow this link for stage 1 which in turn links to the other stages)

I walked across Brubberdale Hill and then descended into Brubber Dale. There followed a climb back up onto the wold and after passing by  Gill’s Farm, I arrived above Thixen Dale. I stopped here to admire the view, and also one of the Yorkshire Wolds Dew Ponds. These are historic artificial ponds traditionally created by farmers to water their livestock, but which now provide an oasis for wildlife

After walking along Thixen Dale, Bradeham Dale and Wayrham Dale I climbed out of the valley and crossed the A166 to start the return leg to Fridaythorpe. Part of this is along tarmac, but it’s a country lane and there is very little traffic. Along the way there are a number of stone bollards with Latin inscriptions. At first glance they appear to be ancient, but were placed by a local farmer in the 1960s to mark entrances to his fields. After a mile or two I left the road to follow the track through Wold House Farm. This took me across the top of Huggate Wold, and from here I descended into Holm Dale for a short distance before joining a track which took me back into Fridaythorpe

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