Your Day Out: Circular tour in the Wolds

A view of Wold Newton village green and pond.
A view of Wold Newton village green and pond.

The villages of Fordon and Wold Newton lie about five miles south-east of Hunmanby. Fordon is a tiny hamlet just a mile north of Wold Newton, accessed along the A1039 as far as Flixton, from where it is signed.

As you drop into the hamlet of Fordon, from where this five mile walk begins, seek a solitary bungalow on your right as you reach the crossroads.

Start from the crossroads and turn left as signed to Burton Fleming and Bridlington. Your single-track lane follows the level floor between rolling hillsides of chalk, with patches of gorse-bushes. Vast sky-scapes meet distant horizons over agricultural land, with scattered hawthorn scrub on thin soils.

Reaching crossroads, turn right to Wold Newton, two miles ahead. Grassed verges and hedging continue to a narrow belt of roadside trees before you round the bend and keep straight ahead along Burton Fleming Road into Wold Newton.

(See l ) Entering Wold Newton you’ll find the Anvil Arms to your left, and then the railed village green. Wold Newton is built on what is believed to be an old Anglian settlement, and there are two round burial mounds in the area named Ball Hill and Willy Howe. Take time to admire the lovely village green and the pond. It is most attractive, and was restored in 1977 to celebrate the Queen’s Silver Jubilee.

Apparently everyone in the village was welcome to help restore the site, from puddling in tons of clay for the base of the pond, to planting trees and bulbs on the village green. It has provided a home for a variety of ducks etc. Near the village green is a fine bus shelter built in 1998.

Being situated in the valley of the Gypsey Race, the village is mainly agricultural and is enhanced by mature trees including ash, sycamore, beech and chestnut.

Turn right by the site of the Old Post Office as signed to Fordon, with its 11th century church. Ascending Church Row you’ll spot All Saints’ Church tucked away in the centre of the village. It has a round, Norman font and carved Norman doorway. The first vicar appointed here was on February 20, 1312.

To the left of Church Row features the Old School. The Wesleyan Chapel dated 1839 was converted into a community centre catering for most of the village’s activities.

Passing Boulton Cottages, and nearing the hilltop, veer right by attractive properties and continue up a long straight lane. Ignore North Cotes Road off left to enjoy half a mile of extensive views en route to Fordon.

Descending a 10 per cent gradient, re-enter Fordon and seek to your left the humble, unobtrusive St James’ Church with its ancient paving stones etc ‘framed’ by mature trees. This little stone-built church in the valley is said to be the smallest in Yorkshire.

Return to the crossroads for further exploration of this heavenly hamlet.

lIn 1795 a meteorite weighing 56lbs hit the ground with such force that it penetrated a foot (ie 30cm) into the earth. The meteorite now rests in South Kensington Museum, London. This, in view of its arrival coinciding with a strong flow of the Gypsey Race, supported the locals’ convictions that the waters were supernatural and foretold a calamity or disaster. A monument was erected to mark its landing. This is about three-quarters-of-a-mile south-west of Wold Newton. From Westfield Farm you can gaze due south towards distant trees to see it with binoculars. It means a diversion west from the Anvil Inn, if of interest. [See map for rough site.]

Distance: Five miles of easy walking even in winter along remote country lanes.

Refreshment: The Anvil Arms in Wold Newton. Telephone: (01262) 470279 for details.

Map reference: Ordnance Survey - Scarborough and Bridlington, sheet 101. Scale: 2.5 inches to one mile.