Planning your Yorkshire Wolds Way walk

Published 26 May 2019. Last updated 15 November 2023

A wooden acorn sign roughly marking the half way point on the Yorkshire Wolds Way
A wooden acorn marks the half way point on the Yorkshire Wolds Way

Go up to someone and ask them what the Yorkshire Wolds are, and chances are you’ll get an answer not much more detailed than “something in Yorkshire.” But there are many things, and the four counties with “Yorkshire” in their name cover a huge area. North Yorkshire alone is the biggest county by area, and there’s three others to consider too.

Whilst it may not be well known, the Yorkshire Wolds deserve to be. It’s an area of attractive chalkland hills, straddling North Yorkshire and the East Riding of Yorkshire. There are delightful dales, wonderful woodlands, and an array of agriculture. And it’s this that the Yorkshire Wolds Way takes you though. It is one of the lesser known National Trails, but it’s well worth walking.

In this guide

  1. What is the walk like?
  2. The route
  3. Planning an itinerary
  4. Finding and booking accommodation
  5. Getting to/from the Yorkshire Wolds Way
  6. Guide Books and Maps
  7. And finally

What is the walk like?

A gate in front of a view of the Vale of Pickering
One of the finest views on the whole of the Yorkshire Wolds Way

Although it starts at the Humber Estuary, and ends at the seaside resort of Filey, the Yorkshire Wolds Way spends most of its time inland. The walk will take you through woods, dales, tranquil villages and tree lined valleys. Although without a doubt, it’s farmland that will dominate your walk. This is an area where wheat and barley is grown on a large scale, and if you walk in summer, you’ll become very familiar with spotting crops at different stages of their growth. And, of identifying the dizzying array of wild flowers growing on the field boundaries.

The Yorkshire Wolds is a relatively flat area. There’s no steep climbs, and no mountains to get up to. That’s not to say there aren’t hills, but they’re gentle ones. And when you get up one, you’ll get some great views for miles around. The paths are good, and there’s plenty of signposts pointing you in the right direction.

The paths and conditions of the trail mean it can be walked all year around. However due to the amount of farmland on the trail, it’s undoubtedly going to look its best during spring and summer when the crops are growing.

The route

You can see the route of the Yorkshire Wolds Way using the map above. Using the controls you can scroll around, zoom in and explore the route. Note that this map is a guide only, and should not be used for navigation.

Planning an itinerary

The ruined church of St Martin's Church, Wharram Percy
The ruined church of St Martin’s Church, Wharram Percy

The Wolds Way is easy to do in between five and seven days, although a five or six day walk would involve some longer distances.  However as the walk is not particularly difficult, longer distances are still possible for most people to do during a day.

The other challenge is that there’s limited accommodation on the trail.  This can make planning a walk more difficult. There are, however, many places on the route you can stop.  Because of that, we haven’t provided a definitive five or six day itinerary, but have listed the main possible stopping off points so you can build your own.

Note, if you are not staying in Market Weighton, there is the option to bypass the town and walk from North Newbald to Millington, through Goodmanham instead. This is 1.5 miles shorter

Unless otherwise noted, each place listed has a pub and accommodation. Locations with a National Rail station are marked with a 🚂 symbol.

Stage From To Distance
Miles Km
1 Hessle 🚂 South Cave 12 19¼
2 South Cave High Hunsley Beacon 1 3 5
3 High Hunsley Beacon 1 North Newbald 2 4
4 North Newbald 2 Market Weighton 3 10½
5 Market Weighton 3 Millington 15¼
6 Millington Thixendale 13 21
7 Thixendale Wharram-le-Street 4
8 Wharram-le-Street 4 Sherburn 13½ 21¾
9 Sherburn Ganton 2
10 Ganton Filey 🚂 12½ 20


  1. there are no facilities near the beacon (besides a beacon) but it is a handy pick-up or drop off point if staying elsewhere.
  2. North Newbald village is an additional mile walk off the route.
  3. Note, if you are not staying in Market Weighton, there is the option to bypass the town and walk fron North Newbald to Millington, through Goodmanham instead. This is 1.5 miles shorter.
  4. Note that there are no facilities here, but it is a handy pick-up or drop off point if staying elsewhere.

Finding and booking accommodation

The Gait Inn pub, Millington
A good pub. When open.

Unfortunately the Yorkshire Wolds Way is not exactly overloaded with accommodation on or close to the trail.  This means you may, at times, need to travel to or from the trail by motor transport in order to get to your accommodation.  This will generally be by car as there are few buses en-route. Some B&Bs offer a pick-up service, or you could book a taxi.

As with all National Trails, an extensive accommodation guide is available on the official Yorkshire Wolds Way website.

Due to the limited amount of accommodation in some areas it’s advisable to book in advance.

Accommodation Booking Services and Baggage Transfer

A number of companies will arrange your walk for you.  Generally this includes baggage transfer as well. You can find a list of companies who will book accommodation for you, on the official Yorkshire Wolds Way website.

The official website also has a list of companies who provide baggage transfer if you only want that service.

Hostels and bunkbarns

There are no hostels, nor bunkbarns on the Yorkshire Wolds Way itself. The only one close by is YHA Beverley Friary, Beverley.  This is a mile or so from High Hunsley Beacon.


There are a number of campsites on the trail, however almost all north of Market Weighton.  This means you will have difficulties camping before starting the trail, and after the end of your first day.

As the Yorkshire Wolds Way goes through many fields, there are limited sites suitable for wild camping, and even fewer water sources.  Under English law you are not legally allowed to wild camp without permission of the landowner.

Getting to/from the Yorkshire Wolds Way

Filey's impressive railway station
The impressive railway shed at Filey station

The Yorkshire Wolds Way has good rail links at each end of the the walk.  Both Hessle and Filey have train stations, with hourly services. From them you can get to other stations for connections across the country.

Hessle, is on the railway line to Hull.  Stopping services run between Sheffield and Hull, and Hull is well served by routes from London, Manchester, and York.  Travelling to Hull, then travelling the one stop back to Hessle, will be the easiest thing to do for most people.

Filey’s small, but impressive looking railway station, is also served by trains to Hull.  Travel one stop north, on the way to Scarborough, and you’ll arrive at Seamer. Seamer has rail links to Manchester, York, Leeds and Liverpool.

All this means that most rail travellers in the UK will find getting to and from the Yorkshire Wolds Way, relatively straightforward.

Hessle, Hull and Filey are also served by intercity coach services.

On the other hand, once you’re walking, there are only a handful of public transport services.  The only railway station en-route is at Ferriby, a couple of miles into the walk. Local bus services are extremely limited.

Guide Books and Maps

Directional sign on the Yorkshire Wolds Way
Over the stile and follow the waymarks!

Yorkshire Wolds Way: National Trail Guideby Tony Gowers and Roger Ratcliffe

Published by Aurum Press, the official Yorkshire Wolds Way National Trail Guide was written by Tony Gowers and Roger Ratcliffe.  It was last updated in 2016

It includes high scale Ordnance Survey mapping of the trail, at their 1:25,000 scale.  The quality of the maps in the book mean you don’t really need to take maps with you. There’s also a host of historical and background information as well.  Definitely worth taking with you.

Yorkshire Wolds Way Adventure Atlasby A-Z

Just after a map? Well there’s two useful options. First is the A-Z Adventure Atlas for the Yorkshire Wolds Way. We’re big fans of the A-Z Adventure Atlas series here at Rambling Man towers. Why? Because they contain Ordnance Survey 1:25,000 scale mapping in a handy book format that you can easily carry about with you. And they have a comprehensive index of places in there too. They’re so much easier to carry than separate maps, and much easier too

Yorkshire Wolds Way XT40 Mapby Harvey's

Another option is the Harvey’s Yorkshire Wolds Way XT40 map. This is at Harvey’s own 1:40,000 scale. Given the Yorkshire Wolds Way goes along lots of fields and things, it has to be said that our preference would be a map at a higher scale, but the Harvey’s map is still a good choice.

Finally, if you fancy filling your rucksacks with paper maps containing the fine work of the Ordnance Survey, then these are the ones you need:

  • Landranger: 100, 101, 106
  • Explorer: 293, 294, 300, 301

And finally

A photograph of a thistle with Pasture Dale in the background
Pasture Dale

Hopefully you’ve read all this and are now rearing to go off on an exciting Wolds Way walk.  Especially if you like fields. But don’t let the huge amount of barley and wheat that is growing on the trail put you off.  It’s a lovely little route in a part of Yorkshire that’s not massively well known. I hope you enjoy it.


Linda Newland

22 September 2020 at 7:35 pm

Hi there hubby myself and a friend would love to walk the acorn trail just some general information please we have 3 dogs in all wondered if they could come along thank you this being next year 😊

Angela Powell

20 March 2021 at 7:48 am

We are thinking of doing the walk, please can you advise if the trail is well way marked.
Thank you.

Andrew Bowden (Rambling Man editor)

21 March 2021 at 8:37 pm

Hello Angela – yes the trail is well waymarked.

Des O Dowd

22 March 2021 at 11:01 pm

Hi planning to do this wonderful trail when things reopen. (?). Only tricky part is Thixendale to Sherburn. 18 miles. I think 15 is the best I could manage?? I would usually do about 12 in a day?

Danny Iveson

7 July 2021 at 12:12 pm

Just done it in 4 days, Sherburn to Filey is fairly overgrown so anyone walking this time of year watch out for ankle breakers

Simon Edwards

27 October 2021 at 2:19 pm

Can this route be cycled

Andrew Bowden (Rambling Man editor)

27 October 2021 at 6:46 pm

Hello Simon. Afraid much of the route is not suitable for cycling.


28 February 2023 at 3:00 pm

Enjoy reading where you’ve been. Any suggestions for luggage transfer on Yorkshire Wolds Way please?.

Andrew Bowden (Rambling Man editor)

28 February 2023 at 3:39 pm

Hello Jean. The official Yorkshire Wolds Way website has an up to date list of companies who provide baggage transfer.

Anna Corbett

4 June 2023 at 6:28 pm

A very useful guide to the Yorkshire Wolds Way, but you say that there is an accommodation guide on their website. I can’t see one, perhaps they have deleted it?

Andrew Bowden (Rambling Man editor)

5 June 2023 at 9:06 am

Hi Anna – it’s not massively obvious in the latest design of the website, but if you go to the “Trail Information & Map” section, it’s on that page. Scroll down to the map and there’s a box marked “Map Filters”. Hit the yellow arrow and you can tell it to show different types of accommodation.


23 July 2023 at 12:52 pm

With a friend, both of us being 60+, we are thinking about walking the Yorkshire Wolds in 5 or 6 days next April or May. We are reasonably fit and active. Do you know of any training plans/advice?

Stephen Hempsall

15 October 2023 at 9:21 pm

Walked the Wolds Way back in 1983 with a work colleague of mine not to long after it had been officially recognised as a long distance footpath. Hardly saw a soul. We stayed at several pubs along the way but I think they are no longer. The Goodmanham Arms being one. What I do remember was the US Air force using the area for low level flying in their tank busters. In the HMSO guide book there was plenty of references to ‘Bulls may be running with herds’ in these fields. Was very fortunate with the weather. Thoroughly enjoyable walk. Would love to do it again some day.

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