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Dales Trails - Walking in Northern England

From East Yorkshire's Wolds and Derbyshire's Peak District to the North Yorkshire Moors and Pennines, you will find the valleys among the rolling hills, the limestone scars, the gritstone ridges universally known as 'Dales'. This vast area provides some of the best & most varied walking opportunities in the country.

Dales Trails gives you some ideas how to explore Yorkshire and other parts of Northern England on foot, and find hidden delights off the beaten track. You can follow one of my medium distance Trans-Dales Trails, try one of my day walks as featured in 'Walking with Underwood' , or join one of the two Walking Clubs featured below.


View down Deep Dale towards Wharram Percy/Photo © Arnold Underwood 4th Jan 2015

To see all my walks photos and more
click on 'Dales Trails Picasa Photo Albums'


UPDATED - 2nd July 2015

Leven Walking Club
Programme Change

Sunday 18th October 2015
The October walk will now be from Lockton and will include visiting Levisham Station (masquarading as Le Visham) to see activities staged for NYMR Wartime Weekend.
From the station, walkers will face a steep climb up to Dundale Pond on the return to Lockton!
See Calendar for the full programme


Hornsea District Walking Club
Wednesday Evening Walks

The next Evening Walk is on Wednesday 8th July
Meet outside the Ferguson Fawcitt at Walkington in time to set off at 7pm on a 5 mile walk via Risby Park (Leader: Graham Hadfield).
Please park cars considerately in Walkington
See Calendar for the full programme, every Wednesday evening until 12th August.



See: Eyam & Abney

This route has been selected by Go Outdoors to feature in their '10 Great Peak District Walks'
Click on the logo
Go Outdoors
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EYMS Moors Explorer at the Lion Inn/Photo © Arnold Underwood 29th June 2014

The EYMS Moors Explorer (ME1) operates on Sundays and Bank Holidays until 27th Sept 2015
2015 Timetables are now available

For ideas for walks using the Moors Explorer service go to Moors Explorer


Trans-Dales Trails

Booklets for my three Trans-Dales Trials are now out of print, but it is intended to make these routes available as free PDF file downloads.
Trans-Dales Trail 2 and Trans-Dales Trail 3 are now available to download. Go to Trans-Dales Trail 2 or Trans-Dales Trail 3 and follow the links.
Trans Dale Trail 1 will be available in this format in due course


Hornsea District Walking Club & Leven Walking Club

Details of the Walks Programme, including Evening Walks, for the remainder of the year are now listed on the Calendar.

Hornsea District Walking Club - Social Events
Brief details of proposed Social Events are now shown on the Calendar. Contact Stuart Kemp for more information.




A 5-week month, two Bank Holidays and Evening Walks meant that I logged more than 80 miles this month. The weather was generally rather cool and showery so some juggling of days was necessary to avoid the worst of the weather.

Saturday, May 2nd.
This was the day the 'Tour de Yorkshire' cycle race came to East Yorkshire. So the plan was to find a good location for photographs rather than do a walk. The hill climb for the cyclists out of North Newbald to the 'Cote de Newbald' seemed a good spot, but would be popular with spectators. Caroline came too, rather than just get a glimpse of the cyclists flash through Beverley. We arrived at 11 and although the race wasn't scheduled to pass until 12.30 the crowds were gathering. Parking the car near the top of the hill we walked down the road, past the 'summit' line where the biggest crowd was forming and on down the hill to a bend and higher bank. This gave us a good vantage point. So we waited, and waited, then police bikes started to come up the hill - seemingly dozens of them. Then about on time the lead group of about 8 riders appeared and swept past up the hill followed by their support cars. Then there was a big gap - about 5mins - before the 'peloton' appeared. I think there were over 100 riders in this group, followed by a stream of vehicles, and that was it! We now had to walk back up the hill to the car, but it was impossible because almost everyone else was coming down - on foot, on bikes, motorbikes, and in cars! So we escaped down a field path to join the Wolds Way up Swindale to meet the road at the top of the hill. When we got there, everyone had gone and my car was parked there all alone. Our little circuit from car back to car was about 4 miles.

Sunday, May 3rd
It was wet, very wet for this short walk from Kilnwick Percy. Just 7 of us turned out and we decided to delay the start by having coffee in the World Peace Cafe. So it was 11am before we set off in full waterproof gear, and followed the Wolds Way towards Nunburnholme. The short route would have turned at Bratt Wood, but the wood had a fantastic display of bluebells and wild garlic. We took a narrow path that twisted and turned through the bluebells and then continued down to Nunburnholme to take advantage of the village bus/information shelter for our lunch. Then it was back up the hill to the road above Warter. By now the rain had stopped and the sun was out as we headed up the road towards Huggate. Then we took the track to Warren Farm and rejoined the Wolds Way back down to Kilnwick Percy. Our short walk had stretched to nearly 9 miles!

Sunday, May 10th.
Just 8 of us made the long trip to Hawsker near Whitby. From the playing field car park we headed into the village and took to field paths to Stainsacre. Here we encountered the only major obstacle - the missing footbridge over a beck. Beyond Stainsacre it's a delightful walk through woods by the beck as far as the road at Larpool. Here we joined the railway path that crosses the impressive viaduct across the Esk Valley. Our timing was just right to see a steam train from Grosmont pass underneath. Then across the school field and down into Whitby where some of us waited to see the train depart back to Grosmont. Whitby was pretty busy as we crossed the swing bridge to the old town. Then up the 199 steps to St Mary's Church and the ruins of the Abbey. After lunch we headed east along the cliff path as far as Oakham Wood where turned up to the caravan park, where there is an excellent tearoom. After tea and cakes we were left with an easy stroll along the old railway back to Hawsker (9¼miles).

Tuesday, May 12th.
Today me and Suzie did make it to Millington Wood. It was a bright, breezy day as we set off into Sylvan Dale and followed a zig-zag route to the top and onto the Wolds Way. Here we passed a lone walker with a heavy pack who was struggling somewhat - he seemed surprised by the steep ups and downs of the Wolds Way. Above Nettle Dale he looked at the next down and up with dismay, and asked if there was a way of getting to Huggate with no more hills. I said if he followed us round the top of Nettle Dale he would be able to join the road to Huggate, which I assume he did. We walked right round Nettle Dale to rejoin the Wolds Way. Our route avoided Huggate and headed towards Huggate Dikes, where we sheltered from the wind for lunch among the hills and hollows. Being so windy we opted to take the lower path through Frendal Dale and back down Millington Dale. Back at the wood we did loop up to the viewpoint and back - which is technically closed because of the condition of the steps! (8½ miles). On the way home, we stopped off at the World Peace Cafe for tea and scones.

Wednesday May 13th.
Lovely weather for first evening walk of the summer. Fifteen walkers met in Hornsea for the traditional walk along the Hornsea Rail Trail to Goxhill. After a break by the church we headed towards Wassand and back past the Mere into Hornsea. (5½ miles). Most adjourned to the Stackhouse Bar afterwards.

Sunday May 17th.
It's bluebell time, and that usually means a walk into Riccal Dale near Helmsley. So it was for this month's Leven Club walk. Sixteen walkers, led by Bob, headed from Helmsley via Regarth Farm (where the footpath has been diverted) into Riccal Dale. We were not disappointed by the display of bluebells - it was superb. After a leisurely stroll up the dale there is an incredibly steep climb out of the valley up through the woods. We took a lunch break near Carlton Grange before heading back to Helmsley down the delightful Ash Dale (9½ miles). With such a big group we split to two different tearooms on Helmsley Market Square.

Wednesday May 20th. Heavy showers may have put people off this evening walk, but there was no rain in Hotham where just 6 of us gathered. This is a delightful short walk through Hotham Park, where the low evening sun showed off the copper beech trees at their best, and around the Millennium Path in North Cave. (4½ miles). Afterwards we went into the Hotham Arms, only to be greeted by an unfriendly "How did you get in - we're closed" from the landlord, although there were diners in the pub! So we won't be going there again.

Sunday May 24th.
Today saw eleven of us venture across the Humber Bridge for a 10 mile walk on the Lincolnshire Wolds. Rain was forecast for the morning, and this proved to be correct. Not long after leaving Nettleton as we climbed onto an exposed section of the Lincolnshire Wolds the rain started - not heavy, but persistent. This continued as we dropped down to the village of Rothwell. It was then a steady climb out of the village past ponds and woods onto the Wolds again, close to highest point in Lincolnshire on Nettleton Top. The rain had now stopped, but there was a cold wind. After lunch we crossed the top and, with the sun now shining, turned down a pretty valley back towards Nettleton. Amazingly, until the 1960's, this was an area of industrial activity for the mining of ironstone. Nature has reclaimed its landscape now, but half-way down the valley there are several bricked-up tunnels where the mines burrowed into the hillsides. Afterwards we visited the Caistor Arts & Heritage Centre, where we were joined by Josie, for our tea and cake.

Monday May 25th.
A Monday walk, because this was a Bank Holiday. Betty suggested we could walk from Leven to Wassand Hall where there was a Classic Car event. We were joined by Stuart and Caroline for this pleasant 6 mile walk via Catwick and Sigglesthorne (although crossing Leven bypass was a bit hazardous!). Wassand was busy with visitors on this sunny afternoon. We checked out the classic cars, then made our way to the Walled Garden, paused for a moment on Mike Lusby's bench, then had a cup of tea in the conservatory. Then it was a brisk walk to Seaton to catch buses either to Hornsea for Stuart, or back to Leven for the rest of us. Caroline, not being old enough (!) was not impressed with paying £2.95 for the 10min bus ride to Leven!

Wednesday May 27th.
The forecast was terrible for tonight's evening walk - heavy rain! With Betty down as leader, she had to go so I offered to pick her up and drive to Brandesburton and hope that no-one else would bother. Alas when we got there, there were six others waiting! So kitted out in full waterproof gear we set off in the rain through the village towards Burshill. If it was still raining at Burshill we could always cut the walk short. But by Burshill the rain had stopped and the sun was breaking through below the clouds. So the walk continued for the full 5¼miles via Heigholme and back across the golf course into Brandesburton. The evening rounded off with an enjoyable pint or two in the Black Swan.

Sunday May 31st.
The fifth Sunday, and no scheduled walk. I had always earmarked today for a walk using the EYMS 'Moors Explorer' bus. We would go whatever the weather, and the weather wasn't good - more rain and strong winds. So just four us joined the bus in Beverley (making about 20 passengers in all) for the 2hour ride to the Lion Inn. By Pickering, the rain had stopped, so half an hour later we alighted at the Lion in overcast, windy but dry conditions. Our walk headed north-east over the Moors to Danby so the wind would be behind us all the way. The first part followed the Coast-to-Coast as far as 'Fat Betty' where we posed for photos - our Betty next to 'Fat Betty'. Then on across the moors by way of reasonably clear and dry paths to find shelter for lunch on the slopes of Danby Dale. We then dropped down into the dale and passed through the settlement of Botton which is run as a community for people with disabilities and their volunteer carers, although there seemed to be no-one about and signs of neglect. A steep climb out of the dale brought us onto Danby Rigg which we crossed down towards Ainthorpe. Then the most tedious part of the walk - picking our way across fields to the Moors Centre at Danby Lodge. We completed our 8 miles with plenty of time in hand for tea and cakes, before joining our bus at 4.05pm for the scenic journey home.

To view Photo records of all the above, and the Walking Year Albums
click on 'Dales Trails Picasa Photo Albums'


Dales Trails Photo Galleries

See Dales Trails 'Picasa' Photo Albums for a photo record of all walks by Hornsea and Leven Walking Clubs and more

click on 'Dales Trails Picasa Photo Albums'

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For specially Selected Photos, visit
Dales Trails Photo Gallery


Dales Trails Featured Walk

New walks will be added regularly to give a selection of walks for you to experience England's Landscape at its finest.
See Walking with Underwood.


East Yorkshire - Driffield Canal

A Waterside Walk - 7 miles.
A summer stroll from Driffield alongside the canal to Wansford. Continuing by Nafferton Beck to Nafferton with its Mere, and back across fields to Driffield

Click on this link for details: Driffield Canal


Please do not print the route maps - purchase the relevant OS Map (Explorer 295) or subscribe to the OS Maps website 'OS Maps Online'


Welcome to the Trans-Dales Trails

These Trails, Trans-Dales Trail 1, Trans-Dales Trail 2 and Trans-Dales Trail 3, are each about sixty miles in length and can be comfortably completed by anyone that is reasonably fit in five days, with four nights Bed & Breakfast accommodation.
The routes establish links across the Yorkshire Dales using some of the public rights of way that are less frequently walked.
There are three booklets in the Trans-Dale Trail series, each giving a detailed description of the route.

The booklets are now out of print, but it is intended that the routes will be downloadable for FREE as PDF files.
Currently Trans-Dales Trail 2 and Trans-Dales Trail 3 are available as PDF files.

Arnold Underwood (Dales Trails)
41 The Orchard
East Yorkshire
HU17 5QA
e-mail: arnold.underwood@dalestrails.freeserve.co.uk

Me, near Sleights/ from a photo by Sheila Button/Aug 2008

The Author

Arnold Underwood is an experienced walker and a leader of his local walking club. He lives near Beverley and is the East Yorkshire correspondent for Country Walking magazine. He has walked the Ridgeway (1983), the Pennine Way (1990), the Dales Way (1993), and A Bowland - Dales Traverse (1994), the latter two with Peter Tomkinson. He has walked much in the Yorkshire Dales, Moors, and Wolds, including completing the Three Peaks, Lyke Wake, and Saltergate challenge walks - the last two again with PeterTomkinson.

Arnold devised the three Trails with the help of Peter Tomkinson, and together they walked each of the routes - Trail 1 in 1995, Trail 2 in 1996, and Trail 3 in 1997.
Peter Tomkinson is a former Scout Leader, and as such has done much walking in all terrains and in all conditions. In addition to those walks mentioned above he has also completed the Cleveland Way, Minster Way and the Ebor Way.

Heading back to Keswick through Brunholme Woods/from a photo by Arnold Underwood/8th Aug 2008

Leven Walking Club

Leven Walking Club on Knapton Brow (Yorkshire Wolds)/from a photo by Arnold Underwood/Mar 16th 2014

Leven Walking Club is a long-established club. Members suggestions result in a varied programme of walks on the Yorkshire Wolds, North York Moors and elsewhere.
Go to Calendar for walking programme.

For further information contact Arnold Underwood on 01964 543883 or 07989 292522,
or Dave Fox on 01964 542564

Read Nomad's report in each issue of Leven Life.

Leven Walking Club logo

Stuart snaps the view of Grasmere from Tarn Crag/from a photo by Arnold Underwood/13th Aug 2009

Crossing Arnagill Moor/from a photo by Arnold Underwood/23rd Aug 2009

Heading down Howl Dale/from a photo by Arnold Underwood/20th Sept 2009

Hornsea District Walking Club

Hornsea District Walking Club/Dale Head Farm, Rosedale/photo by Arnold Underwood/23rd Sept 2012

Hornsea District Walking Club is an independent club relying on its members for suggesting and leading the variety of walks. Go to Calendar for walking programme.

For further information contact Club Chairman Graham Hadfield or Walks Secretary Arnold Underwood (07989 292522)

Hornsea Walking Club logo

Visitors to Dales Trails since August 1st 2007


This page was created by
Arnold Underwood