Thursday 13th January 2022
WELTON DALE & ELLOUGHTON DALE
Welton, Welton Mill, Mill Pond, Welton Dale, Raikes Mausoleum, Lane, Wauldby Manor Farm, Turtle Hill, Bottom Plantation, Long Plantation, Wandhills Plantation, South Wold Plantation, Scarbro Wold Plantation, Elloughton Hill, Welton (Green Dragon) (6.5 miles).
Members; Paul, Chris, Paul ‘Sherlock’ Holmes & Stu.
First walk of the year, so a quick 6 plus miles around the southern end of the Wolds followed by a visit to the pub. What’s not to like? It’s not a long drive out to Welton by any stretch and by 8 o’clock we were ready for the off. The sun was just about coming up as we set off and although a tad nippy it certainly looked like it was going to be a decent day weatherwise.
We headed off up Welton Dale and as we passed Mill Pond there seemed to have been a bit of recent tree felling in the area. Unfortunately, a number of the trees had fallen towards the pond with quite a few actually in the water. We hoped that the jumble of trees and branches in the pond would be removed at some point as it looked a bit of a mess the way it’d been left.
The track up Welton Dale got muddier the further up the valley we trod. It’s a very popular walking route, particularly at weekends, but fencing off a good portion of the route up the valley has meant that the footpath has become a lot narrower and as a consequence the remaining part of the footpath has deteriorated and was in pretty poor condition.
The landowner has certainly gone to town with the barbed wire, you could be quite easily fooled into thinking they were fencing off a top-secret military base such is the amount of wire they’ve used. As we reached the top of the dale we discovered that there is no longer any access to Raikes Mausoleum as that’s also been fenced off, again complete with barbed wire and notices proclaiming its private land. Get oorf my laaand!!
As we reached Turtle Hill and headed off west along the Beverley 20 route the icy wind had a bit of a bite to it. But the sun was up and the skies were clear so for early January it’s as good as it gets. After a couple of miles or so we took the High Hunsley Circuit route through Wandhills Plantation, found a suitable fallen tree, parked ourselves upon it and had a welcome brew. There was a hint of mist in and around the trees which was highlighted by shafts of sunlight and all seemed well in the world, unless you’re a grouse.
As we sat enjoying our grub, we could hear an advancing commotion of whistles and shouts and other loud noises intended to startle the wildlife. Watch out grouse, the beaters are about. Inevitably this was followed by the sounds of shotguns being fired and no doubt game birds being blasted out of the sky. And some people claim this is a sport.
By 1130 we were at the top of Elloughton Hill and not far from our start point. So, we just took a gentle stroll down the lane taking in the view from our vantage point of the surrounding countryside on this lovely sunny day, albeit a chilly one. By the time we got back into Welton and changed out of our walking gear it was opening time at The Green Dragon just across the road. Perfect timing.
It was just as well we’d got there at opening time as within half an hour the pub was quickly filling up with mostly hungry diners. It did appear de rigueur that you had to either have a baby in a buggy or a dog or three to gain entry into the pub as nearly everyone appeared to be sporting such accessories, or combinations of both.
Three out of four of us decided to have a bite to eat although the two Paul’s choices from the menu had to be changed when they were informed that the Wiltshire ham, eggs & chips might be a problem being as they didn’t have any ham. Was it still enroute from Wiltshire we wondered? So, it was the old standby, sausage, eggs & chips while Stu tucked into tasty Cajun chicken. It would appear it’s easier to get chicken with its origins in the U.S. state of Louisiana than it is to get ham from Wiltshire in England. C’est la vie.
Some photos taken by Sherlock can be found here: