Swanland Wolds Loop
 Sooo Peeps, on Wednesday we did the Hanging Stone walk, today, Thursday, we’re going for a ramble around the Wolds.
Jayne welcomes me to their wonderful house in Swanlands and instantly puts on the kettle, she knows how to treat a man!
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Derek makes the first move to the garage to don his boots and I join him.
The weather has been variable to damp and Derek has some highly effective rubber-wear that will protect him on this excursion.
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I’m busy putting on my boots and as I tie the laces I look up to see Derek struggling with an impressive pair of wellies. He’s already wearing an imposing rubber outfit in the brightest yellow you’ve ever seen. The addition of his wellies draws a definite line across his knees so he looks like a dipstick and this gives me cause for concern, if he’s wearing wellies and a yellow rubber suit, and it’s not his birthday, just how much mud is there out there?
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Initially, we walk down a gently sloping road with great views over the Wolds. A quick left and a right and we’re devoid of traffic but do have to suffer two crossbreed dogs who make the mistake of jumping up. Jayne rips the head off one and the other sees sense as we pass the owner who thinks that jumping up with muddy paws is cute!
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We make our way past a couple of farms, there is a gentle ascent which keeps the heart rate up without having to gasp for breath whilst we talk. The track is dry and firm so we’re able to walk at a brisk rate. The sun has made a welcome appearance and Derek is starting to regret the rubber outfit especially when it’s nowhere near his birthday.
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We arrive at a crossroads, or more accurately a cross-ways, Welton to our left, Brantingham straight on and Skidby to our right. We won’t be going there as my lovely hosts have planned a bite to eat at Raywell Park.
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The sun is reflected off the small lake to our left and there are a couple of marsh birds lurking in the reads but I don’t recognise them and I’m sure they don’t recognise me, we’ve never been introduced! There’s a laurel hedge and Derek is showing a lot of interest in it. Apparently, there should be a house behind it and if so, then it designates where we should turn right. After a little bit of scurrying about it’s decided that we should take the right-hand route and off we go.
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We’ve tackled a bit of mud on the way to this point but now it becomes challenging as we adopt a kind of speed skating stance by leaning forward and swinging our arms as we drag our feet out of the boggy mud. Derek assures us that it’ll get drier as we take a slightly modified route but it’s a bit disconcerting as I see him looking for his snorkel.
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Apparently, we pass Wouldby Dam but that must be when I blink and before we know it we’re on a delightful little lane that’s dry and easy to negotiate. There are two interesting dead trees that look like they came second in a lightning strike. We then huddle into a ‘layby’ to allow a tractor and plough to go by. The traffic’s horrendous on the Wolds Way!
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We turn right at Turtle Hill and walk between Braffords Clump and Fox Covert, then pass along a track that is a cross between a ditch and, errr, a ditch. The mud is approaching the tops of Jaynes thigh length boots and she has to stuff padding into the whip pocket to avoid being dragged under.
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At Wouldby Scrogs (I’m not making these names up, although there may be a hint of embellishment elsewhere) there is a minor ‘discussion’ as to whether to turn right up through the edge of Nut Wood or take the lower route that would require aqualung and flippers. We take the lower route…
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By now the mud is approaching our armpits but Derek, ever prepared, has a grappling iron and rope that he casts into the woods every 20 yards and we pull ourselves through the clay to the sounds that one would normally associate with a honeymoon!
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This part of the walk is tough but Jayne assures us that it gets easier at the other end of Nut Wood. We exit this stretch at Raywell House a week on Thursday.
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A quick hose down and remove our boots and we’re presentable for the wonderful ploughman’s lunch and prawn salad that’s on offer at the restaurant at Raywell. It’s excellent quality and the price is even better as Derek pays.
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The return journey is via the top of Nut Wood and the ascent to join that path, in relative terms, is easy(ish).
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The sun is low on the horizon now shadows are lengthening so more photographs are created, these moments are extra special and, at this time of year I would urge you to watch out for them and take the time to appreciate the beauty that surrounds us.
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This route is much more navigable and there’s time to listen to the birds calling in the wood. There’s an occasional bang from a bird scarer or someone shooting, I’m not sure which. Each time we hear the report there is a flurry of avian activity and we get to see who it was making all chirps and squawks.
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The paths are very easy now and the views just beautiful. This is a great walk and I look forward to it in spring when the ground is a little less soggy.
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This walk is 10.5 km (about 6.5 miles) and will be easy in drier conditions. It’s not suitable for wheelchair or disabled but scuba people and ex SAS may enjoy the challenge.
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Thanks, Derek and Jayne, you’re wonderful sports and great friends…G…x
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As always. if you like the fun and photographs please ‘like’ the YR Page and you’ll get updates when new posts are added.
 

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