Abbey Plantation to Crowsdale Wood
The previous section of the walk came to Abbey Plantation from Settrington Beacon. This short three and a half-mile section of the walk goes along the West and East Heslerton escarpments. Most of the walk is through arable fields and the occasional woodland plantation. Being high up on the escarpment, which is the northern edge of the Wolds, there are spectacular views across the Vale of Pickering and beyond to the North Yorkshire Moors.
Much of the Centenary Way is covered by the Ordnance Survey Map of Howardian Hills & Malton (Yorkshire Wolds North) The OS Explorer Map 300 is centred around Malton and contains parts of the Howardian Hills and The Yorkshire Wolds. With this map you also get a code for use on your iOS or Android smartphone or tablet. The OS Explorer map for Howardian Hills & Malton is available in both the standard paper version and weatherproof ‘Active’ version.
Abbey Plantation to Crowsdale Wood
Leave Abbey Plantation behind you and continue straight with the fence and a wood on your left. Once you arrive at a fingerpost in a field corner turn right and walk up the field boundary. On your left is a large hedge and a road. When you arrive at a kissing gate, pass through and cross the road. The track on the opposite side of the road is obvious, continue along the side of a small plantation. After about 150 yards turn left and follow the track between the wood and open fields down to a field corner.
At this point, the views really open up as you walk along the escarpment edge. Below you can clearly see the route of the main coast road, the A64, the villages of West Heslerton, East Heslerton and Sherburn. Across the Vale of Pickering, you can see the North Yorkshire Moors. Along the next few miles, I think I spent more time admiring the views than I actually did walking.
From the field corner turn right and follow the boundary on the left. The track now is well marked and generally heads East without much deviation. It runs along a field boundary with arable fields on your right and the escarpment edge on your left. The best views are when you reach Wold Manor Farm (where there are some camping pods). Immediately below is the village of East Heslerton with its tall, church steeple. I think I have a soft spot for the village. As a child I used to visit the village often, my grandparents lived there for a lot of years and are buried in the churchyard.
Follow the track along East Heslerton Brow past a seat, or is it an art installation? This is engraved with a poem which I presume has something to do with the Neolithic barrows which are on the top of East Heslerton Brow. It’s tempting to sit on the seat for a while and enjoy the view.
The path shortly drops down a bit to a plantation. As the plantation reverts back to open grassland there are a couple of graves. Past these and the path drops down a bit more before turning right towards Crowsdale Wood. Once the wood is reached the path turns right and back uphill to meet a minor road. The next section of the walk goes from Crowsdale Wood to Staxton Wold Farm.
I’m very grateful to the guide “The Centenary Way” written by North Yorkshire County Council which was referenced whilst writing this post.
Day’s Walk along the Escarpment
The villages along the A64 are on the Coastliner bus route which means you can make a nice linear walk of about 10 miles along the chalk escarpment returning by bus to where you started.
Add a short walk at the start of this section from the bus stop in West Heslerton and continue to walk the next part of the Centenary / Yorkshire Wolds Way from Crowsdale Wood to Staxton Wold Farm and then a short walk to the bus stop in Staxton and you have the perfect day’s walk on the northern chalk escarpment of the Yorkshire Wolds.
From the bus stop at the crossroads on the A64 in West Heslerton, cross the road and head into the village. Turn left along the High Street. Pass the school and shortly before Rectory Farm cross the stile and head up the field. After the next stile go diagonally across the fields to the top of the escarpment where you reach the Centenary / Yorkshire Wolds Way. This joins the Centenary / Yorkshire Wolds Way just before Wolds Manor Farm.
Once you have reached Crowsdale Wood continue by following the Crowsdale Wood to Staxton Wold Farm section.
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