YWW Day 7
Wolds Way Campsite to Staxton (12 miles)
Peeking out the tent after waking up I found the morning was cloudy. The sort of grey black stuff that looked a little threatening, rain a real possibility. Still, it was dry so we swiftly packed the tent up and started an ad hoc breakfast of beans, bacon and cheese, plus a little porridge on the benches outside the utility block. As we tucked into our al fresco grub we were presented with the sight of a very large range rover depositing its very large driver into the toilet block. He must have driven no more than around 100m from his caravan to the toilet block. Words fail me.
The walk to Staxton would be different from the previous days, more along the line of a ridge with views out towards the North York Moors. Leaving the campsite we dropped down the hill to rejoin the main route, passing along the edge of a large mixed plantation, again with a plethora of “private” and “keep out” signs. There was even one warning dog owners of Fox snares located in the wood. All in all it was a very pleasant woodland walk to start the day, and the temperature was perfect.
At the edge of the wood the views suddenly opened out north and we were walking through fields again. A rather novel warning sign appeared. “Rabbits at Work”. It was needed – without it I would imagine there would be a queue of people at A&E with various broken bones in their feet and legs. The critters seemed to be engaging in some sort of civil engineering project judging by the size of some of the (well hidden) potholes adorning the path!
The only downside was the lingering cloud. On a better day we would have been able to see the sea! This was a great ridge walk which meandered its way along field edges, hedgerows and woodland, all the while the world spread out on our left shoulders. Another Wolds Way bench appeared and we spent a little time conjecturing on the unusual layout of the church and spire in East Heslerton.
A large pig farm was passed, hidden in the trees, the noise and smell incredible. I’m fairly sure I can still smell it now!
This was open country with big views, arguably one of the best sections of the trail. Suddenly we were back on road again, dropping steeply towards Sherburn, and here for once is a nice bonus, the path having been routed through an adjacent field to avoid the road. Much nicer. It was still a bit early to stop, so we stayed with the trail (which bypasses the village) cutting along a sandy farm track before a short road walk led to a steep, but mercifully brief climb. This section was a bit of a roller coaster, up and down the hill on a bridleway and through woodland complete with shooting butts.
The guidebook mentioned another tea room at Potter Brompton, and once again we diverted off on the assumption it would be open. Fortunately this one was, and although a little expensive, the fare was superb. We even managed to eat outside in their pretty gardens as the sun began to make an appearance.
As we walked back up the lane to the trail an old chap caught us up, he had seen us pass on the way down. He joined us for the walk and we chatted all the way up to Staxton Wold where he left us to walk back. It seems he loves walking in the area, but there are so few people that he can walk with he takes to ambushing walkers and tags along with them for a while. He could fair shift for his age though (he was carrying a bit less than us).
From there we walked up to the RAF base, a station that was one of the places where radar was pioneered in the early stages of the second world war. We left the trail here, turning left to walk down a green lane to the village of Staxton itself, a steep drop that we would have to revisit in the morning. Our campsite for the night was a big field (campsite apparently) next to a pretty little camping and caravanning club site, part of a larger complex which included a carvery pub and an antiques centre.
To be honest the carvery was average at best and the beer not particularly great (their Theakstons was ok), but it was food and drink and hot, which is all that really matters. The facilities on the campsite were pretty decent, but the big problem was the noise from the busy A64 which didn’t let up until well after midnight. In retrospect we could have pushed on and wild camped somewhere better, but that’s never really a good idea near a military installation!
Day Rating 9/10
The Wolds Way campsite was great (if a little breezy) and at least had a small shop meaning we could cobble together stuff for an evening meal and breakfast. A really enjoyable and varied walk with constantly changing wide open views. A great lunch stop as well not too far off route. Just a pity about the campsite – ok for one night – I wouldn’t want to holiday there!