The route is highlighted on the map below. Measured using the tool at https://wtp2.appspot.com/wheresthepath.htm, this route is approximately 6.7 km (4.2 miles) with 145 m (475 ft) elevation (the cumulative height climbed). There are some short moderately steep sections. There are some quite wet, rough areas and you may have to jump a stream at one point. I haven’t noted the particularly muddy bits as in previous routes because a lot of the gates and fields can be muddy.
I have described this route as starting from the car park of Kirby Underdale village hall. However, I walked it starting from Bugthorpe, using Route 1 to get to point 17 on this route. That qualifies it for inclusion in the Bugthorpe walks, and saved me defrosting my car windscreen!e gates and fields can be muddy.
Visitors to Kirby Underdale are encouraged to park in the village hall car park rather than on the road or verges.
1. Leave the village hall car park through the vehicle entrance and follow the track between the village hall and the cottages. Continue up the track and straight on through a farm gate into an unusually narrow field. Where the narrow field opens up, walk up the hill bearing left to follow the track between a hedge and a row of hawthorn trees. Continue up this track until you get to a combined farm gate and kissing gate on your left, opposite a gap in the hawthorn trees to your right.
Walk up this narrow field and bear left to walk up the hill.
2. Go through the kissing gate and follow the fence on your left downhill. There isn’t a clear path so make your way down however you can, until you get to the kissing gate on your left, by a large oak tree at the bottom of the field.
3. Go through the gate by the oak tree (or the gap in the fence!) and continue straight on, parallel to the stream, for a short distance. You will soon see a footbridge over the stream on your right.
4. Cross over the bridge. Continue straight up the hill to a farm gate into a wooded area. Go through the gate and follow the track for a short distance until you see a small gate on your left. If you get to a house then you’ve gone too far.
Walking down the hill at point 2 there are nice views of South Wold Dale.
Walking along the wooded track at point 4, this is the small gate you leave through.
5. Go through the small gate and cross the field, heading for a kissing gate on the far side of the field near the pond.
6. Go through that gate onto the road and turn left. Follow the road around the bend to Kirby Underdale church.
7. Enter the church yard. Follow the path worn in the grass which runs parallel to the stream. This takes you to a footbridge over the stream in the corner of the churchyard.
8. Cross the footbridge. Head across the field at an angle of roughly “11 o’clock”. Once you get to the brow of the hill you will see a gate and another footbridge at the bottom of the hill in the corner of the field. Continue down to the gate.
Looking across to Kirby Underdale, the low sun highlights the frosty ridges and furrows.
A characterful crab apple tree after point 12.
9. Cross the footbridge. Walk at an angle of roughly “10 o’clock”. Once you gain a bit of height you will see a small gate ahead. Go through that gate and walk straight across the field to the road.
10. At the road, turn left and walk downhill until you reach the track signed Woodley Farmhouse on your right.
11. Follow the track with the Woodley Farmhouse sign. After crossing several cattle grids, the track takes a ninety degree turn uphill. At this point, leave the gravel track and go through the gate straight ahead, signed with a footpath marker. Before you go through the gate, take a minute to look at the round barrow to the right of the track as it turns. This is indicated with an ancient monument sign.
12. Having left the track through the gate, continue straight across the field. Go through a farm gate into the next field. Two footpaths are signed from this gate, one going uphill and one straight ahead. Continue straight ahead towards the far bottom corner of the field.
13. The gate to leave this field is behind a panel of solid fencing by a large willow tree and you can’t see it as you are crossing the field. It is to your left, before you reach the fence running parallel to the gate you have just been through. You may have to jump a stream to get to it! Go through the gate and turn right. Walk parallel to the stream for a short distance and go though the farm gate. Turn left and follow the hedge up the hill.
Above. This is the first gate to look for at point 13.
Top right. This nice ash tree is just beyond the farm gate before you walk uphill in point 13. At the time of writing it was hosting the fungus (bottom right).
Left: As you walk up the hill, turn back to take in the view of the edge of the Wolds.
14. Near the top of the field there is a short section where there is a steep slope to your right. Keep walking with the hedge on your left and you will get to a farm gate on your left. According to my OS map, the footpath should then be on the uphill side of the hedge beyond the gate but I go through that gate and walk on the downhill side of the hedge. Having gone through the gate, continue straight on with the hedge on your right. Go through a small gate next to a farm gate and continue straight on. There is no longer a hedge to your right but you can see the buildings of Mount Pleasant farm up the hill. Continue straight ahead, heading slightly uphill towards a gate near the farm buildings.
Half-way across this field you are enter an area scheduled as an ancient monument due to the remains of the medieval village of Hanging Grimston described here: https://historicengland.org.uk/listing/the-list/list-entry/1019093.
Go through the gate by the farm and cross the next field, heading slightly downhill to exit at a gate near the edge of the paddock in front of the house downhill from the farm.
15. When you go through this gate you can see a footpath sign near the road pointing in the direction you just came. This is some reassurance that the path is there despite the absence of markers since point 13. Continue straight on until you reach the road. Turn right up the road. Walk for a short distance until a farm track crosses the road and take the left track away from the farm. Just before you get to the wood you could leave the track to your left and find the Sounding Well marked on the Historic England map.
A slight detour from the road provides a great view across the Vale of York on a clear day!).
16. Go through the combined farm and small gate by the wood. Follow the track downhill and round the bottom of the wood to the farm gate.
17. Go through the gate and walk straight across the field with the hedge on your left until you reach the farm gate on the far side.
Frost and shadows.
18. Go through the gate. You leave the field by a small gate on the other side of the field, directly opposite. However, the footpath goes to your left, round the top of the field and back down the other side.
19. Go through the small gate by the large tree and almost immediately turn right through another small gate. Turn left and walk downhill with the hedge on your left. Continue until you reach the gravel farm track.
20. Turn left along the farm track, crossing the stream. Continue until you get to the road.
21. Cross over the road and walk up the farm track opposite. Just beyond the hedge there is a small gate on your left. Go through this gate and walk along the edge of the field with the hedge on your left until you reach the far side.
22. At the far side of the field, go through the gate into the next field. The kissing gate you leave this field by is at an angle of roughly “2 o’clock” up the hill but the footpath runs around the bottom edge of the field and up the far side.
23. Go through the kissing gate and continue straight ahead with the hedge on your left. Cross two fields. In the third field you will see the chimneys of the village hall behind the brow of the hill. Head towards those and go through the small gate into the car park.
Route 5 Map
For a printable pdf of the map, click here.