Tatton Sykes Monument and Cottam Medieval Village

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The Sir Tatton Sykes Monument dominates this part of the Yorkshire Wolds from its lofty position high above Driffield. However, this means that (because it marks the start of our walk) we will finish with an uphill stretch! Don't despair, the few ups on this walk are very forgiving. The monument itself was erected in 1865. It is 37m (120 feet) high. and was built in honour of Sir Tatton Sykes, the 4th Baronet, following his death. The inscription reads that it was constructed by 'those who loved him as a friend and honoured him as a landlord'.

The walk takes us along the old Roman road of Woldgate (or York Road) over typical Yorkshire Wolds landscape; wide-open vistas dotted with the dry chalk valleys that characterise this beautiful corner of Yorkshire. Listen carefully and all you will hear is birdsong. The tranquillity is absolute.

Before too long, you will find yourself walking on concrete tracks. This is all that remains of the little-used and almost forgotten WWII Cottam Airfield. Due to poor local flying conditions, this was used as little more than storage and then decommissioned after the war.

With Cottam Airfield behind us, we quickly stumble upon our next historical ruin, Cottam Medieval Village. All that remains today is a small, derelict church, though this is a 19th Century building. It’s all quite eerie!

The last half of the walk takes us along Cottam Well Dale. This is a classic Yorkshire Wolds dry chalk valley – grassy and steep-sided. It's an SSSI and the lower part leads into access land.

The last stretch is back along the chalky track up to the monument.

Dog-walkers, please note the presence of livestock all along Cottam Well Dale.

England - North England - Yorkshire - Yorkshire Wolds


Ancient Monument, Birds, Butterflies, Church, Great Views, Hills or Fells, Mostly Flat, Wildlife
12/13/2011 - Christopher Baxendale

Fantastic walk. Uphill section at the end is a little stiff but very invigorating.

2/4/2010 - Sean Diver

Great walk, two interesting historical buildings,great open wolds views and a great sense of space and tranquility...would recommend to anyone.

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