Yorkshire Wolds Circular (Sort of)

As it’s a touristy place I’ve ‘started’ this suggested road trip in the City of York. But if wish to avoid York and are coming from the South or West, just join at the A64/A1079 interchange I will describe in a moment. From the town centre then you head out on the A1079 road in the direction of Hull. On leaving the built up area, the road becomes dual carriageway and shortly you encounter an interchange with the A64 trunk road. Go straight over this interchange with the A64 below you, keep to the left and then take the next left which is the A166, signposted Stamford Bridge and Bridlington. Follow this route to the village of Stamford Bridge itself, you enter the main village over a narrow humpbacked bridge over the River Derwent controlled by traffic lights. You can stop for a coffee or Ice cream (if the weather’s nice) in the village square or continue on Eastwards towards Garrowby hill and the beginning of the Yorkshire Wolds themselves. The road thus far is a single carriageway 60 mph national speed limit route apart from through the villages of course. In reality it’s quite a fast route with open bends, if traffic is light you can make progress quite rapidly.I should also say the A166 is quite a busy route in summertime with holiday traffic heading to the coast, being an agricultural area, be on the lookout for tractors turing in/out of fields anywhere along the route and (if it’s been wet) obviously you can come round a bend and find half the adjacent field deposited on the tarmac by aforementioned Jethro’s steed if you know what I mean.Leaving Stamford Bridge, still on the A166, a few miles to the East you will encounter Garrowby Hill. The road climbs steeply up the Western slopes of the Wolds here and there are a few laybys at the top where you can stop and look back over the Vale of York itself. A clear day will reward the visitor with excellent views back West towards York Minster and further to the South you can see the cooling towers of 3 large power stations, Drax, Eggborough and Ferrybridge.Once on top of the wolds, the road remains quite a fast route with sweeping bends all the way to the village of Fridaythorpe, here the main road splits into two and right on the junction of the A166 and the B1251 is a well known haunt of local bikers, Seaways cafe. A good place to stop off and break up the trip if you wish. We will keep on the A166 itself for now as we will come back via the B1251 later, although you can reverse the route if you prefer.Dropping down the hill from Fridaythorpe the road is dead straight (read fast if you like), but be warned, especially at weekends, the place is very popular with bikers so the local police are quite often in attendance on unmarked bikes. They used to have a Viffer 800 but I believe they now use a Black Hayabusa.A few miles further on you reach the village of Wetwang, (if you remember the late Richard Whiteley, he of Ferret bites and Countdown fame, was honorary mayor of the village. Lol).Continue straight through the village (unless you fancy a pint or fish and chips, the chippy is next door to the pub on the main street!) the road remains open and quite quick on through the next village of Garton on the Wolds until you reach a roundabout on the outskirts of the small Market town of Driffield. Take the first exit at the roundabout, joining the A614 signposted Bridlington until you reach another roundabout less than a mile further on. Take the first left here onto the B1249 (signposted Scarborough). This road climbs up to a high point above Driffield and then drops down into the small village of Langtoft, climbing up the hill again out of Langtoft, a couple of miles further on you reach another roundabout. To the right the road heads towards Bridlington again, to the left it is signposted Sledmere and York but we will continue straight over continuing towards Scarborough and the road has great views at either side as we drop down a steepish hill towards the village of Foxholes. At the bottom of the hill and just before entering the village itself, there is a crossroads, we turn left here onto an unclassified road which I believe is signposted Malton and Weaverthorpe. The route now is on much narrower roads for the next few miles so take care and watch your speed. Follow this road through the small villages of Butterwick, Weaverthorpe itself and then Helperthorpe. Just through the village there is a turn off to the left, signposted York. Take this narrow lane which twists and turns for a mile or so before reaching another crossroads, go straight over here and follow the road all the way until you reach the village of Sledmere. Sledmere is a very picturesque place and Sledmere house is open to the public in the summer months.The road ends at a T junction directly opposite a pub, who’s name escapes me, turn right here and follow the B1251 out of the village back towards York. Yet another roundabout is joined about 3 miles further on. We are going straight across up to the village of Fimber, but just to the left is a small cafe hidden in the trees, also a biker haunt at weekends. Well worth stopping and having a brew.Continuing up the hill we pass through the village of Fimber itself and then its just a couple of miles back to Fridaythorpe where we can join the A166 and head back to York.I’m guessing, but I’d say the entire trip to York and Back will be about 80 or 90 miles and could be done in a couple of hours non-stop, but taking time out for a few stops it would be a nice trip to pass a sunny afternoon.This of course is just my suggestion for a route around the Yorkshire Wolds, there are many, many other equally pretty routes you can adopt in the area, with the advent of Sat Nav you can pretty much make it up as you go along, but for a first trip around the area, the route I’ve described will take in some interesting and challenging riding roads and some very nice views over open countryside.

coolonthecoast2012-07-31 10:14:56

I know that area well. Used to go through all those country lanes to get to Bridlington avoiding the A166.Happy times !