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The Wild Yorkshire Way

A 526 Mile Yorkshire Walk

Full Route Map

Intro You've stumbled across, or (if I'm being optimistic) you've searched for, the Wild Yorkshire Way website, the culmination of a 4 year outdoor project. The Wild Yorkshire Way is a 'hop on, hop off' circular long distance hike of about 526 miles, taking in some of Yorkshire's finest and wildest scenery, including parts of the Pennine Way, Yorkshire Three Peaks, Coast to Coast Walk, Cleveland Way, Yorkshire Wolds Way and Trans Pennine Trail. Use the interactive map to explore the route, and read detailed route information showing recommended daily stages, stopping points and of course pubs. Very few people will attempt the entire route in one go, but you can enjoy sections of the route, or even single day walks, and slowly complete the walk by filling in the missing sections.

The route prefers high and wild terrain wherever possible, although the wildest and hardest sections usually have easier alternatives. You will notice that several day walks start and end at pubs, which is of course entirely coincidental. I completed the entire route by walking sections at a time over 4 years, but in April/May 2019 I completed the entire route anticlockwise in 43 days, mostly for fun, but also to raise funds for my local mountain rescue team Woodhead MRT. Please see the next section for more details.

Whoever designed Yorkshire did not get it perfectly right. The designer forgot to include high level sections in places, so a circular walk in Yorkshire is forced down into valleys at times. This is true in the Vale of York, where we have to cross from the Yorkshire Dales to the North York Moors, the brief interlude in the Aire Gap on the Pennine Way, and also along the East Yorkshire plain where we follow the Trans Pennine Trail along several major rivers and contours are almost non-existent. Apart from these two interludes, the route prefers high ground, even along the coast where the path follows the cliff tops most of the time.

The Wild Yorkshire Way starts and finishes at Stainborough Cricket Club, but of course as it's a circular walk you can start and finish wherever you like, and you can walk either Clockwise or Anticlockwise. Anticlockwise is an easier start, as it is largely flat for the first 80 miles. By the time you get to your first climb, approaching Welton, you'll be nicely toned up and ready to tackle the ups and downs of the Yorkshire Wolds and Cleveland Way. How long will it take? The answer depends so much on your fitness and the weather, but if you follow my suggested stops it will be about 38 days, averaging about 13.5 miles a day. Strong walkers can combine stages, walkers like me can split stages. Campers have more flexibility and can extend stages, catching up a day or two here and there.

If you want to know how your data is used on this site, along with other legal information, please refer to the Legal section of the site. All information on this website is given in good faith, and I can't accept any responsibility for any errors or omissions, nor can I accept responsibility for accidents or injuries sustained while following my route. All content on this site, including all photographs, is Copyright © 2013 - 2019 Ian Fletcher unless otherwise stated. All photographs are my own taken on the route. If you wish to use any photo(s), please send me a high resolution photograph of a tenner. It used to be a fiver, but inflation takes its toll everywhere.

The end at SCC

I Did It! I'm delighted to say that I finished the entire walk, in 43 days, on Bank Holiday Monday 27th May 2019 in front of a large crowd at Stainborough Cricket Club where the walk starts and finishes. A brass band, live news TV cameras, open top bus with champagne civic reception, a helicopter demonstration and a Red Arrows fly past all failed to appear, but about 50 friends and family turned up to welcome me. I originally set off on Monday 15th April, walking in an easterly direction along the Trans Pennine Trail towards Hull, then following the Wolds Way to Filey, the Cleveland Way to Kilburn, across country to Masham and the Yorkshire Dales beyond, part of the Coast to Coast Walk from Reeth to Nine Standards Rigg, the 3 famous Yorkshire 3 Peaks (Whernside, Ingleborough and Penyghent), then the Pennine Way to Black Hill, followed by the majestic Derwent and Stanage Edges and finally the Trans Pennine Trail back home. I did it for fun, and it was a once in a lifetime experience, but I also did it to help out the Woodhead Mountain Rescue Team who exist purely on voluntary donations. If you want to help, whatever amount, please click on the link below to make a donation.

You can see the route I took here, and on a map here. I've met dozens of fantastic people on the route, and I'm still in touch with quite a few of you. If you want to get in touch, please use my feedback form and I'll get back to you, especially those who made anonymous donations, so I can thank you personally. I promise I won't put your name on here without your permission.

I hope you will consider donating to fund these guys, who turn out in all weathers to help those who fall ill or get injured outdoors. If you're reading this you're probably a walker yourself, and you never know, you may need their help one day. Thank you to all the guys at Woodhead Mountain Rescue Team, and indeed to all the mountain rescue teams in the country, and of course to Yorkshire Air Ambulance who work together with the Team on the more serious jobs. Thanks lads and lasses, those of us who enjoy the outdoors really appreciate what you do.

Thanks to the following for JustGiving and cash donations: -
Mark Crawshaw: Steven Cullabine: Steve Hargreaves: Ali: Timothy Crowther: Marlon (BBS): Plobby (BBS): Tim Gledhill: Ian Harris: Fran and Mick: Lynn and Paul Brown: Brian Armstrong: Sarah and Ian Whittle: Rosco (BBS): Mike Rimmington: William Taylor (Distant Red, BBS): Martin and Angela, with Ginny the dog: Goodmanham Arms: Elaine Dutton: Andy Lloyd (Cudworth Dental Surgery): Florian Sauer: Michael Ross: Alistair Brown: Jean McIntosh: Gordon Irvine: Willian Santos (ABI Electronics): Thelma and Roger Nelson: Hannah, Adrian, Louis and Nick: Harry Worthington: John and Janet Gledhill: Carol Greaves: Richard and Melanie Galvin, with Betty the dog: Kevin and Dawn: Wirral Red (BBS): Isabel Crosby: Andrew Hardy (Metatarsal BBS): Eddie (Scotland): David Addy: Emma Labedzki: Kathryn and Heather (Lister Arms, Malham): Barrie Knowles: Dave Beaumont: Sarah Ullyott: Gary Camplin: Graft Agency (Daydream Believers): Emma and Richard Hurst and family: Luke Selwood: James Jowett: Gilroyd ladies: Shaun Keighley: Sharon Dawson: Giash Uddin, Curry Mahal (Dodworth, Barnsley): Lucy Thorpe: Jonathan Pepper: Patricia Hall: Phil Rowbottom: Elspeth Gilfillan: Stainborough Cricket Club: John Speakman (Connor, BBS): Shenk1 (BBS): Simon Hall: Barnsley Freemasons: Ray Cooper

Thanks also to the following for help, pick up/drop off and support on the Way: -
ABI Electronics: Ali Fletcher: Sarah Ullyott: Angels Taxi (Barnby Dun): Boots Chemist (Selby): Jim's Taxi (Selby): Bill Ward Taxis (Howden): Northern Rail: Langdale Travel (Market Weighton): Manor Farm, Goodmanham Arms (Goodmanham): Ken Hobson (Huggate): Maude Smith (village shop, Thixendale): Lindsey Ritchie: Ravenscar Visitor Centre: Jean McIntosh (Robin Hood's Bay): Arriva Buses: Skelton Pantry Café: Royal Oak (Great Ayton): Thelma and Roger Nelson: The owner, Castle House (Kildale): Stokesley Taxis: Wayne (Queen Catherine, Osmotherley): Liz Dunning: Bull Inn (West Tanfield): Bordar House Teas (Masham): Bentley's Outdoor (Masham): Ladybird Taxis (Masham): Orchard Caravan Park (Reeth): Rachel and Rory Ffoulkes: Kings Arms (Reeth): Jet Taxis (Richmond): Little White Bus Swaledale: Neave and Charlie (Moorcock Inn, Garsdale): Country Private Hire (Garsdale): Angela, Claire and Nicky (Old Hill Inn): Golden Lion (Horton-in-Ribblesdale): Settle-Carlisle Railway: Kathryn and Heather (Lister Arms, Malham): Central Taxis (Skipton): Old Silent Inn (Stanbury, Haworth): Brontë Private Hire (Haworth): Laurel End (Hebden Bridge): The White House (Blackstone Edge): My wife Susi (Woodhead Pass): Langsett Moors Gamekeepers: Alistair Brown: Gareth Wilkes (ABI Electronics): Fiona and Mike Hall (Snake Pass and Oughtibridge): Pheasant Inn (Oughtibridge): City Taxis (Sheffield): Fiona, Elspeth and Lucy (last day walking companions): Woodhead Mountain Rescue Team: Kirsty Abson (Stainborough Cricket Club): Dodworth Lads and Lasses: Curry Mahal (Dodworth, Barnsley)

Latest News 09/07/2018 - Filling In The Gaps:Even though I've now completed the entire walk on the main route, there still remain a few of the alternatives that I've got to tackle. One of these was the easy 21 mile stretch from West Burton to Masham, via the racehorse training capital of Yorkshire - Middleham. This is a pleasant climb out of West Burton on the flank of the last remaining Dales hills, then we leave the Dales and head across Middleham gallops where the horses are in training. After a pleasant stay in the lovely village of Middleham the walk takes you along the banks of the Rive Cover, then the Ure, to the beer lovers paradise town of Masham. A lovely walk which a strong walker could complete in a day, with many opportunities for liquid rewards in Masham.

10/12/2017 - Walk Completed!526 miles, 4 years in planning and execution, feet up and beer time. Finally finished the walk, but in lots of different stages, not all in one go, that's still on my list. Loved every minute of it!

01/12/2017 - Just Over 1 Mile To Go!Right, I'm almost there now! In freezing cold weather, I completed a 3 day 46 mile plod along the Trans Pennine Trail from Barmby on the Marsh to Denaby Ings in late November 2017. I had intended to camp, and indeed I did camp at Barmby Barrage on the first night, courtesy of the lock keeper Mr Taylor who allowed me to pitch for the night. However, a full bladder (the after effects of a few pints in the lovely Kings Head at Barmby) meant I need to get up out of my tent a couple of times in the night, in temperatures below zero. So I wasn't looking forward to a second night in my tent, and succumbed to temptation at the George Inn in Selby, where I stayed for two pleasant nights. So I've now completed 525 out of 526 miles of the route. Thank you to Sarah for giving me a lift to Barmby, to Mr Taylor for allowing me to camp at Barmby Barrage, to the lady in The Kitchen in Snaith for a free mince pie, and to Angels Taxi in Barnby Dun for ferrying me around and looking after my unused camping equipment while I was staying at the George Inn. Just over a mile to go, the short climb from Kilburn to the famous White Horse, then it's finally over and the walk is complete!

28/11/2017 - Nearly There!Despite setting myself the target of finishing the walk this summer, I've still got 3 days and a bit left to do. Poor performance, I know, but that's what happens when you choose the same summer to move house and spend some time overseas with one's German wife! Anyway, I still want to finish it this year, even though I end up walking in snow (I love snow, did you know that?). I've got 3 easy flat sections to do, starting at the Kings Head in Barmby on the Marsh, heading through Selby to Hirst Courtney, then on through pleasant countryside to Thorpe in Balne, then the last of the 3 days to Denaby Ings. And that's it....or is it? Well no it isn't. Not quite. Despite all my advice here about wearing in new boots, I suffered badly with blisters on my 4 day trek in June from West Burton to the White Horse at Kilburn. I decided against posting pictures on here, but trust me they hurt. The official end point of my walk was the White Horse, above Kilburn village, but it didn't work out that way. On arriving at the Forresters Arms in Kilburn on a hot and sunny Friday afternoon, tired, sweaty, pain-ridden and exhausted after battling through farmland on non-existent paths, the multiple attractions of the pub soon took their toll. I could remove my boots, get a nice cold pint, have a shower, eat a nice meal and enjoy probably the best pub on the entire walk. It was no contest, and I had a most delightful evening chatting in the bar with one of the nicest people out of the hundreds I've met on the Wild Yorkshire Way. So in short, I missed out a bit of the walk. So after I've made it to Denaby Ings, it's back to the Forresters Arms for a couple of nights to enjoy more superb hospitality and a short climb of about 150m in 1.5 miles (yes I know, mixed units!) to the famous White Horse. I've challenged Ellie from the pub to a race to the top, but with a handicap. I just have to walk up. She has to run up, run back down, and run back up again. She's about 40 years younger than me, so she'll win easily. Unless I cheat.......

02/08/2017 - Walking in Flatland:Another 2 days on the Way completed, this time from Welton to Barmby on the Marsh, along the banks of the Humber and Ouse. With no contours to contend with, the walking is easy, but sometimes dreary as the lack of long distance views gives you a feeling of not getting anywhere. Another issue which is new to me is the lack of definite objectives on a walk - on most walks you have a fixed aim, like a summit, where you can have a rest, eat a sandwich, admire the view (or the fog) and generally feel a sense of achievement. This just doesn't happen in flatland, as every step is the same. The best I can manage is to regard a pub as a major objective, but it's a poor second to a high isolated peak. Nope, once I've finished I doubt if I'll be walking here again, if you're not a purist I'd take the bus/train from Welton to Barnsley and call it a day. Fortunately, I'm a purist.

20/06/2017 - Let's Get Going!After several skiing trips in the winter, one curtailed by a broken wrist after a failed attempt to fly on some steps in Innsbruck railway station, it was finally time to get back to the serious business of completing the Wild Yorkshire Way. I've got 125 miles to go, so I set off on Tuesday 20th June to tackle the 62 mile section from West Burton to Kilburn with its famous White Horse. This walk includes the low level crossing from the Dales to the North York Moors - a high, wild and boggy traverse over Buckden Pike and Great Whernside, where I camped wild for the night, then a tough featureless moorland crossing to Healey, just about the toughest section of the entire Way. A low level ramble followed until Kilburn, lovely to start with but with some unavoidable road walking and paths blocked by farmers later, before a well earned pint, delicious food and good conversation in the Foresters Arms in Kilburn.

18/06/2017 - Navigation Exercise:As a warm up for the summer season, I recently headed out with Sarah and Rebel from Holme Moss to join the original Pennine Way on Black Hill, as part of navigation and map reading training for Sarah who is doing the Pennine Way this summer. I last did this walk in 1982, and it's tough, some of the hardest walking there is. Deep peat bogs, critical direction finding problems in bad weather, and endless detours to avoid water and black oozing liquid goo that looks like it just came out of the oil sump on a 50 year old tractor having its first service. Fortunately, the weather was kind to us, but my advice is to use the current Pennine Way from Black Hill to Black Moss Reservoir if the weather, or your navigation ability, is dodgy. After the Saddleworth Road A635 there's a paved path which greatly improves this section, so don't give up while trudging along the flanks of Dean Head Hill.

16/10/2016 - Winter Shutdown:I didn't manage to complete my walk in 2016, which was my aim, and I've still got 125 miles to go. This was mainly due to mechanical problems, especially with my knees and ankles, but after my winter shutdown I'll be back in the spring of 2017 to finish off the Wild Yorkshire Way. I'll be visiting my second home this winter, the high Austrian Alps, where I'll be doing my winter training to get fit and raring to go next spring to finish off my walk. Of course, much of the training will take place in après ski bars and mountain huts, but it still counts, obviously.

19/07/2016 - Elevation Profile:New on the Route page is a complete elevation profile for the entire route, showing the summits, valleys, end points and other landmarks on the walk. You can click or tap tags on the profile to see where you are.

07/07/2016 - GPX Data:Several walkers have asked about GPX files for the route, so they can use their sat nav devices. I've done some work on this, and GPX files are now available for download for each stage on the main route. These are as accurate as possible, but I can't accept any responsibility for any mistakes - in particular the elevation data can be suspect, especially on coastal routes where the path follows the cliff top with a sheer drop only feet away. Any feedback on the files and their usability will be most welcome.

20/06/2016 - The Northern Dales:Starting on Monday 21st June, I completed a 6 day section of the Wild Yorkshire Way from Horton-in-Ribblesdale to West Burton, in great weather and with fantastic views as I hope my photos will show. I met some lovely people along the way and had a great time researching the route. As a result, there will be some changes coming up. One annoying issue is that while many paths are well marked on maps, they are not always obvious on the ground. This is particularly true away from the well-known sections of the Coast to Coast and Three Peaks walks, as for example on Mallerstang Edge, and climbing up from Reeth on the crossing to Wensleydale. Also, the 2 day 25 mile section from Walden Head to Healey, via Buckden Pike, Great Whernside and Little Whernside, is extremely tough and boggy, so I've decided to find an easier alternative for this section. As ever, work is in progress......

29/05/2016 - Wembley Play-Off Final:Congratulations to Barnsley FC on a convincing victory over Millwall in the League One Play-Off Final at Wembley. Goals early on from Fletcher and a worldy from Hammill gave Barnsley a 2-0 lead, before another Barnsley lad Beevers pulled one back. A towering header from Isgrove, the smallest player on the field, made the last few minutes safe. With the victory, Barnsley return to the Championship at the second attempt, to join Sheffield Wednesday who secured their Championship place the day before against Hull City. Congratulations to Barnsley FC!

30/04/2016 - New Routes from Back Tor:After considerable research, I've now suggested new routes from Back Tor to Holme Moss. The main route is wild, at times pathless and boggy, and should not be attempted in bad weather. The first alternative drops down to easy walking in the Derwent Valley, but does require a climb back up to Shepherds Meeting Stones to rejoin the main route. The second alternative heads for Midhopestones and the Waggon and Horses at Langsett, then the Dog and Partridge on the Woodhead Pass. It's a long day, so I would advise you split it into 2 so you can enjoy the pubs, and since it's near my home I may even join you for a pint!

22/04/2016 - Ringinglow to Holme Moss:Having completed a 2 day walk from Ringinglow, it has become apparent that day 4 needs a bit of a re-think. Day 3 is a magnificent edge walk, ending with a wild camp at Back Tor, but the route from Back Tor is a hard slog over wild moorland, initially with no path, waist deep peat bogs and tussocks of ankle-breaking grass. It's not suitable for many walkers and could be dangerous in bad visibility. Not only that - it doesn't end at a pub. Because of this I'm going to re-design this bit of the walk, probably via Langsett, and I'll update the route on here when finished.

14/04/2016 - Photo Uploads:Following many requests you can now upload photos up to 10M in size by using the Contact page on the website. Thanks to Gareth at ABI for help with this. Please can you resize any large images below 10M before attempting to upload.

03/04/2016 - Barnsley 3 Oxford United 2:Barnsley came out on top against an impressive Oxford side in a thrilling match at Wembley in the 2016 Johnstone's Paint Trophy Final, which is like the FA Cup Final only for more tinpot clubs. Congratulations to all connected with Barnsley Football Club and commiserations to Oxford, who despite playing in the league below scared the life out of Barnsley in the first half. Well done lads!

27/02/2016 - Route MappingI've now added 1:50000 and 1:25000 scale maps to the route description for each stage, courtesy of the excellent Ordnance Survey OpenSpace API service and Streetmap.co.uk. To access the maps, go to the Route page and select a stage by clicking on the picture, then click the map buttons on either the start or end places to display the map around this point. The 1:50000 summary maps show the route, and the 1:25000 detail maps are ideal for navigation. You can zoom and pan to any point in the UK, but of course you'll not want to pan away from Yorkshire!

14/02/2016 - Feedback and Photos:You can now send feedback and upload photos via the Contact page on the website. I'll try and use your photos if any are suitable, but please let me know where they are on the route, so I know where to put them.

10/02/2016 - Route Summary Complete:I've now completed the entire route in summary form, with start/stop points each day and distances, so you can get an idea of the complete journey. Full descriptions, transport connections, pubs and photographs will be slowly filled in as work progresses. All information subject to change as I research more of the proposed route.

14/12/2015 - Website Launch:The Wild Yorkshire Way long distance circular walk is a personal project. This site is under development, and in time I hope to get contributions, photos, route and accommodation tips and comments from fellow walkers. If any of the links don't work, it's my fault, do not adjust your browser.

Fellow Walkers It seems several fellow walkers enjoy combining their love of the countryside, especially Yorkshire, with web design. Here's some links to some other websites you will surely find interesting: -

v-g Backpacking in Britain - A good account of backpacking trips in Britain, with some useful info on wild camping.

Yorkshire Walks - A great collection of Yorkshire routes to try.

The Walking Englishman - A site covering the whole of the UK but with great coverage of Yorkshire.

The Long Distance Walkers Association - An association of people who enjoy long-distance walking in wild areas.

My Pennines - A log of walks in the Pennines, including many areas on the Wild Yorkshire Way.

Please use my Feedback Form if you want a link to your site on here. If you're a pub, you'll have to promise me a free pint first.

Thank You I've had a lot of help with this project, both technically and out in the field on the route. Many thanks and acknowledgements to the following: -

ABI Electronics Ltd of Dodworth, Barnsley for providing free web hosting and expert help and advice, especially from Gareth and Shaun. Thanks to all at ABI.

Ordnance Survey for their wonderful OpenSpace APImapping system, allowing me to include their 1:50000 maps on my site with my route overlaid.

Streetmap.co.uk for allowing links to the detailed 1:25000 maps on their site free of charge.

Alistair, for his expert help on web design and software for many projects over the years, culminating in this one, and for making changes to the site to keep it running while I was on the walk in May 2019.

Sarah (and Rebel) for her help on researching the initial stages of the walk in my home territory, particularly the pubs on the route, and also for carrying my rucksack (with hers inside it) when my plastic knee ligament got a bit fed up.

Lindsay, for her help in internet research, for being my emergency contact when I'm out on my own, for booking hotels and taxis, checking pub menus and opening times, and dishing out strict dietary advice while I'm on the Way.

Lastly, and of course most importantly, my German wife Susi, for her help in researching the Yorkshire Wolds Way section, again paying particular attention to the pubs on the route! Ta luv x

Zuletzt, aber natürlich auch am wichtigsten, meine deutsche Frau Susi, für ihre Hilfe beim Forschen auf dem Yorkshire Wolds Way, schon wieder mit besonderer Aufmerksamkeit bei den Pubs auf dem Weg! Danke Schatzi x