Burythorpe (Bay Horse)
Thursday 14th. February 2019
Route Wold Farm (Gatehowe Road), Beck Leys, Sleights Lane, Acklam, Kirk Balk, Leavening, Boundales Pond, Nursery Cottage, Manor Farm, Burythorpe (Bay Horse), Fox Covert Plantation, Leavening Brow, Acklam Wold, Hanging Grimston, Wold Farm (8.5 miles).
Members Paul, Chris, Keith, John Kendrew, Ray, Col.
As we drove out of Hull the day looked set fair with the weather forecast promising unseasonably warm weather, well warm for February at least. Mind you there are those among our wayward group who avidly watch the TV weather reports but strangely appear to have no knowledge of the actual forecast but can give a detailed description of what the presenter was wearing.
We met up on the Beverley by-pass although Chris and his passenger Keith had been caught up in the aftermath of a five car excuse me. But it only caused minimal delay and we were soon on our way Yorkshire Wolds bound. We picked up Col in downtown Wetwang and headed off towards Garrowby Hill although before we got to Fridaythorpe we found ourselves driving through thick fog. None of our weather watchers had predicted this although BBC weather girl Carol Kirkwood was apparently wearing a nice red top. No mention of fog though.
We left the A166 at the top of Garrowby Hill and drove along the Leavening road peering through the fog looking for the lane that would lead us to our start point near Wold Farm. Eventually the narrow lane loomed out of the mist on our left and in what seemed like a quarter of an hour, but was probably nearer 15 minutes, we were parked up on the wide grass verge and ready for a days walking on the Wolds. It was a tad chilly in the swirling fog but the sun was already breaking through the gloom and before too long the murky start to the day was but a memory.
We walked down a narrow winding lane gradually losing our height while simultaneously warming up. We stood aside to allow an oncoming cement mixer to pass by safely although some did speculate on the possibility of it carrying some of Sue’s scone mix. Wisely John just smiled and said nothing. Opposite Mount Pleasant Farm we struck off due west along a farm track which quickly deteriorated into a deeply rutted and very muddy farm track. It was a relief to reach tarmac at Sleights Lane as each of us had acquired almost a fields worth of claggy mud on each boot.
The quiet and undulating Sleights Lane eventually leads to the village of Acklam. We convinced Col that this was the home of Acklam’s Coaches and he seemed somewhat disappointed at not seeing any of their vehicles. Just north of Acklam at Kirk Balk we stopped for a brew and a butty. As we were unpacking our rucksacks we spied a dog heading our way at speed along an adjoining farm track with its owner in hot pursuit shouting “Biscuit! biscuit!”. Was this the name of the dog or was the owner promising the mutt a tasty treat if only it would desist from running off? We never found out as the dog and its harassed owner disappeared into a nearby field.
By now the sun had burnt off any remaining mist and it had turned out to be a most pleasant morning, almost spring like in fact. Once suitably fed and watered we headed off tramping uphill and down dale along Kirk Balk and through the village of Leavening heading for our half way point and/or pint at The Bay Horse in Burythorpe. This is our second visit to The Bay Horse since it re-opened last year and it has quickly become a favourite among the FAC slurpers.
We arrived at the pub at 11.25 and as the sign outside the said open at 11.30 it would have been rude not to. We were going to walk to the small but perfectly formed All Saints Church up on the hill outside the village but it all came down to a choice between an ecclesiastical visit or supporting the local economy. Who’s round is it? We’ve enthused about The Bay Horse on our previous visit but for rustic ambiance, friendly atmosphere, subdued lighting, roaring fires, nooks & crannies, well kept ales and wobbly tables it just cannot be beaten. Keep it quiet though, we don’t want everyone knowing about this little gem of a pub.
As we stood at the bar ordering our drinks Ray asked us all to pose as he wanted to take our picture. We were a little taken aback by this request from Ray as in all the years we’d known him he’s never showed any inclination to become a happy snapper but we stood and posed anyway. It has to be said that Ray’s camera bore an uncanny resemblance to one that Keith has and on enquiring as to how long he’d had the camera he replied “Since I found it outside the pub”. Enough said.
Much as we’d have liked to we couldn’t spend all day enjoying ourselves in The Bay Horse so reluctantly we dragged ourselves outside into the spring like afternoon. Retracing our steps through the village we joined a muddy farm track which got progressively muddier the higher we climbed.
As we began our ascent out of Burythorpe we met a dog walker who gleefully informed us the mud was much worse further along the track. She then proceeded to climb a fence and head off along an adjacent field while we stoically ploughed our way through the muck and the mire. Of course she could have said follow my route as it’s much drier but maybe she considered we’d be reluctant to trespass through the nearby pasture preferring the muddy experience instead. The FAC’s ancient scribe Jacko once proclaimed that a walk without trespassing was like a dinner without salt. Given the opportunity this part of the walk could have been very salty indeed.
The afternoon portion of our walk was marginally shorter than the morning session but from Burythorpe to finish it was mostly upward in direction, a fact not lost on Ray or his knees. We stopped for a brew atop the intriguingly named Hanging Grimston Wold but with only a mile or so to go we were soon on our way again.
For February the weather was great and all agreed it had been an excellent day out. Don’t you wish you could have been there? Form a disorderly queue.