Posted by: brendaintheboro | August 23, 2020

Solo cycle-camping the Yorkshire Wolds

Sorry this is a long post with lots of photos.

As you all know its been a different year and cycle camping as I know it just hasn’t happened. No Easter trip, or Bank holiday escapes and then no month long visit to places near or far. Last Sunday, I was thinking about it and as I was only working 2 days thought well why not a 4 day trip.

I initially thought about the Yorkshire dales but the weather forecast didn’t look too good but it wasn’t so bad in the Wolds. This is an area to the east of the city of York so not too far from home. There was a chance of rain but I was willing to take it. On the other hand DH didn’t fancy it because of 1. his injured ankle and sore hip 2. we have done it before and 3. the weather forecast.

Well, I have soloed before , so why not. DS1 agreed to take me down to Malton and I phoned to try and make campsite bookings. Well, I managed to get a night in Market Weighton and then looked further north but where I wanted – no campsites open. Not to be put off, I booked 2 nights near Driffield at the Yorkshire Wolds campsite.

Essentially, this is a pop-up campsite on the showground that has had all its events cancelled for the year and they have to try to bring in some revenue. It only opened because the council wants to help keep it viable and so I was lucky to find it on the net.

Wednesday August 19th 2020

DS1 dropped me off in Malton about 10am and I had made the decision to ride the route anticlockwise so make it different. I had planned the route on Komoot and used the map to plot the places it route goes through. This was supposed to make it easier as I could hear the directions in my Vertix headset. So I set off through Norton and down towards Kirkham. I saw my fi first sign.

Signage for route

So I had confirmation I was on the route as expected but then at Westow I was turned onto a byway by the komoot app. I should have checked the map!! This took me to Burythorpe and though towards Birdall but turned to south with a stonking awful climb up to Leavening. This was made worse by a terrible road surface and I was surprised by an old lady driving down it. I couldn’t manage even in the highest assist mode so got off and used walk assist to get to the top. Phew!!

View from near Leavening

I was thankfully back on route and thoroughly enjoyed the ride down to Thixendale.

As I rode along , I noticed the U-shaped valley but no stream. This took me back to school geology lessons about the land formations. The Wolds are chalk made from the shells of tiny sea creatures eons ago. After the ice age, huge volumes of melt water would have come pelting down and scouring these valleys into the shape we see.

riding down to Thixendale

I didn’t stop in the tiny village , as there were a lot of people about but carried on. The climb up came to a chance meeting with someone who called out my name. I stopped and it was Martin one of the chaps who has been to my talks at the Cycle Touring Festival and he and his son were on the way to Bridlington, hoping to keep ahead of the rain.

Martin a fellow CTF participant

The route goes towards Huggate but stops and turns westerly just outside the village. The app tried to take me on an off road route but I just ignored it and got to Millington on the road and into Pocklington where I finally stopped at 1pm for 2nd breakfast.

view on the Wolds looking south
a resting place

Its about 5 miles to the campsite passing through Burnby and turning at Londesborough to Shiptonthorpe where the lovely little campsite is.

camping at The Hollies Shiptonthorpe.

I was very fortunate to get a hook up to charge the bike battery and get all set up before the rain set in for the evening. Madge the owner also gave me three fresh eggs from her hens.

Day 2 Thursday 20th August 2020

The birds woke me up at 5.30 am and it was still overcast but the weather forecast said it would brighten which it did half an hour later. I was in a sheltered position on the field so didn’t get the sun so it was a wet pack after my eggy breakfast. I was glad I was carrying the tent on the rear carrier.

Coming out of the site, I stayed on the pavement for 100 yds until it changed into a cycle/pedestrian shared route all the way into Market Weighton. I was expecting to get onto a quite road but ended up on the A1079 which was busy with people driving to work. I was so pleased when the route took me small roads. There were a couple of lads on road bikes who came up the hill and caught me up. They told me they should have been in Canada doing an iron man event but it wasn’t to be so they were keeping up with the training. Part way they went back down and then reappeared later passing me again.

Then I came down into Walkington to stop to take a phone call. It was from Barclaycard to tell me they had detected a fraud the previous day and checking which transactions were genuine. This pleased me as they did not let it go through. I now have a new card.

While waiting near the village pond , I talked to a few people . The pond has some huge goldfish and even terrapins that have been put in by people who no longer wanted them.

Walkington Pond
terrapin in the pond.

I did see another but couldn’t get a photo before it slipped back into the water.

There is a good surfaced cycleway that switches sides but goes all the way into Beverley

Black Mill

On the pastures outside the town, I was interested in this black tower. It turns out to be one of two surviving mills. Originally , there had been five.

Then I saw the minster.

Beverley Minster.
My rig outside the minister.

A service was just starting so I didnt go in. I told the lady I had seen an embroidery exhibition there some years ago and another lady came out wishing there was more time to chat.

So it was off up through Molescroft and into Cherry Burton to stop for 2nd breakfast.

The route took me up through Elton and South Dalton, turning right at St Mary’s church and up through Bracken to Hutton Cranswick. I thought my gears werent behaving well and out it down to a new chain stretching. mmmmmm!

Road to Hutton Cranswick

Suddenly , as I entered the village , I had a bang and the trailer shot off ahead of me EEEEEEEKKKKK!!!!!

The nut holding skewer on the back wheel had come loose and this meant the hitch came off too. I can tell you I panicked a bit but a lovely lady called Vicky Svensen came to my aid. She found the black nut in the grass. I took off the tent and panniers and between us we were able to get it back on. It has never happened before but then DH usually checks it before each ride. I hadn’t DUH!!

So panic over, I was back under way and rode on through Skerne and into the outskirts of Driffield. Another cyclist had recommended a cafe near Bradshaw’s big flour mill and as it was so hot, I had an ice cream treat.

Komoot didn’t take me to the site as expected and so I asked directions. People always think of car routes so I ended up on the A614 for a mile or so. A bit scary with lorries thundering past until I got to Kellythorpe where the campsite on the show ground is. I got such a lovely reception and they really have the safety of everyone in mind. They have toilets ad have brought in showers in these mobile units. Mandy and Glen the site managers usually organise festivals so this wasn’t exactly new to them and I was able to charge my bike battery in the office. No hook ups are available so it keeps the caravanners away.

Friday , 21 August 2020

There had been a weather warning for wind issued and so this scuppered my plans for riding to the coast. However, I didn’t want to have a completely wasted day and decided to have a ride to see the monolith at Rudston. So I decided to use the map and plan a route on Komoot.

So first it was down into Driffield, the market town of the Wolds with lots of little individual shops, and I notice a quilt shop as I passed by. Then it was out to Nafferton and along to a level crossing at Lowthorpe which has been shut to cars. The wind was strong but behind me and I switched off any assist and was easily going along at 20mph! Of course, it didnt last long as I turned right up to the pretty village of Burton Agnes.

pond at Burton Agnes
Burton Agnes War Memorial

The only difficulty here is crossing the A614 as the route to Rudston climbs up past Burton Agnes Hall. A cycle crossing would be a help but a slow moving tractor was a help to me.

In Rudston, I went to the churchyard to see this standing stone.

Rudston Monolith

It is estimated that the stone is about 4000 years old and is the largest in England. Made of gritstone, it must have been brought here from the coast. The top was broken but now has a lead cap to protect it.

lead cap on the Rudston Monolith

I sat in the church yard for a bit to eat and saw this interesting roof.

interesting roof

Now , it was into the wind along to Kilham on a byway and then on towards Ruston Parva. I rode half a mile or so on the A614 before heading into Nafferton again and on to Driffield. I couldn’t resist the lure of quilt shop so called to the door. They had only opened that day so not a lot of stock so I bought a fat quarter of blue batik to help them out. They must have thought “what a crazy cyclist”.

So back to the site which was filling up with many attempting to put up tents. The wind was about 45mph at this time and I spent some of the afternoon helping those who were in trouble.

Yorkshire Wolds campsite on the show ground

Saturday, 22 August 2020

I didnt have a very good nights sleep because of the wind howling and so got up at first light around 5am.

view from inside the tent

I had my strategy for getting the tarp and tent down safely but fortunately as the sun rose , the wind dropped a little. Still strong but manageable.

One good thing about wind and no rain, makes the packing drier. I was away just before 7am getting a wave as I passed the managers caravan. I headed down on the cycleway into Driffield and through the market place and I was able to pick up a byway through the Wolds. Again I noticed the U-shaped valley.

good arable land on the Wolds

It felt magically riding these high Wolds in the early sunshine alothough I was into the wind a lot of the time and it was a bit chilly. In Sledmere, I had thought of using the cafe but being so early it wasn’t open.

Waggoners memorial

I found this fascinating as it shows country life and soldiers as this company was raised from local men in WW1. I had also been listening to a BBC programme about Assyrian tablets that depict war just the night before.

From Sledmere , I turned north again to Kirby Grindaythe and along to Duggleby

Duggleby rest
the notice

it was lovely to come across this on my route and I had a nice little short break here. Not a full breakfast stop but a rest all the same. Then it was climbing what they call High Street which goes north and then turns west again.

I was surprised to see this beacon here.

Beacon on the hill

It made me think about how the Romans would have used such beacons to signal to each other but of course this has been used in much more recent times.

The ride down into Setterington was down the escarpment with a 17% sign, Glad I wasn’t coming up it although I must have done at some time in the past according to my map that I marked out years ago. This was all in brilliant sunshine although I could see clouds gathering fast. By the time I got down into Norton the sky was clouded over and DS1 had sent to say where to find him. He quickly loaded up while I went to the loo and just as we started to pull away, the rain came down. I was so grateful that I had taken notice of the forecast and got away early.

So this weeks total cycling was 140 miles and YTD 4296 miles


  1. What a lovely idea to put that shelter there!

    • it was great to see and I can imagine what a blessing in wet weather

  2. Sounds like a fab tour. Cheers. Chris

  3. on my to do list and its only a stones throw from where we live now 🙂 .. cheers for the write up

  4. What a lovely read! Great blog post and pictures – I’m slightly familiar with some of the places and it’s nice remembering what I can of them and putting it together in my mind with your descriptions. I like your trailer set-up too.

  5. Your enterprise puts me to shame. Well done.

  6. Wonderful solo adventure! I intend to go on a short tour soon as our weather is more pleasant in the past week. Thanks for the reminder that I must check on camping availability.

    • yes its a bit different to previous years when I would just turn up and get a pitch

  7. Amazing. You’re making me feel like a wimp with my car camping.

    • You are definitely not a wimp .Its just I love cycle camping and don’t forget I do use assistance from the e-bike these days.

  8. Wonderful Brenda. As soon as I’ve finished helping my daughters family get into their house ( tgere is now light at the end of the tunnel), I’ll be off on an adventure- you’re such an inspiration! Xx

    • hope you can get away before winter sets in Jonsesy

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