English Wolds Way

As winter loses it’s grip and the birds start to sing, we who love inn-to-inn hiking begin to look afar to green pastures, baby lambs and the long-distance trail.  One of the best places to look is England.  For the newly addicted walker, the English countryside offers hundreds of  routes that end in a quaint village with a B&B or local pub.  There the celebration begins with a wall-papered room, a pint at the pub, a hot shower and a dinner of fish and chips and mushy peas.

The Yorkshire Wolds Way is the least visited National Trail in England. However, if what you like is an easy-to-follow trail, few people and lots of rolling green, this trail is for you.

The trail begins outside the little town of Hessle on the Humber estuary. The first section is rather flat, but after a day or so the path rises and falls with regularity as it makes its way to the North Sea at Filey.

The word wolds refers to raised dry chalkland used mainly for harvesting wheat and rape seed. Tiny green dales are plentiful as well as large tracks of farmland. Towns are small and not particularly tourist-oriented making lodging sparce. Booking ahead, especially during the peak walking season of summer, is a good idea.

The trail is well-organized and you can obtain an accommodation guide from most larger towns in the area. Way-marking is excellent.

The fact that this route is somewhat low-key may be its biggest draw. Its non-commercial nature makes the visitor feel as if they’ve slipped into a secret; like a foreigner coming to the US and walking across parts of the mid-west. And what it lacks in thrills and chills it makes up for in quiet and solitude.

]How It Stacks UpI am a big fan of “mindless hiking” especially when I’m tired. This doesn’t mean the hiking is easy or lacking in adventure. It does mean that the hiking is easy to follow, tends to have less drama (and less people) and is easy on the eyes. These are trails where I can pull back a ways from David, relax and walk. It’s therapeutic. The Wolds Way does not dazzle like the Coast to Coast, but it’s serene and quiet and if that’s what you need, it delivers.