Allerthorpe Common Nature Reserve.
Distance: 4¾ miles / 7½ kilometers
Time: 2 hours 30 minutes
Map: OS Explorer - 294 Market Weighton & Yorkshire Wolds Central
This is a flat, easy and unchallenging 4.75 mile stroll around the tranquil Allerthorpe Common and Nature Reserve with towering pine trees which Forestry England owns and cultivates for logging. The Yorkshire Wildlife Trust lease part of the area as a nature reserve who manage the rare lowland heath to protect its special biodiversity. This is a haven if you are interested in wildlife.
Getting here - At the Jet service station, if coming from the south turn left or turn right if coming from the north, turning on Sutton lane signed ‘Sutton upon Derwent’. After 1 mile turn left onto Common Lane. Follow the road for ½ a miles to Allerthorpe Woods Car Park on the left next to the picnic area (barbecues not permitted). There is other off road parking places along Common Lane with ease of access to the wood.
The actual walk is a couple of hours long making it ideal for a short morning or afternoon or an early evening summer peaceful woodland stroll. It would be an injustice not to spend time exploring the area. The area is very popular with dog walkers, and a great place to take the kids with plenty to see and do.
The walk starts with a short taster of the wood as it follows the right hand edge boundary fence, before passing through a gate to follow the hedgerow across farmland, then turns right along the farm track passing Waplington Hall, until it meets Main Street then turns left to skirt the western edge of Allerthorpe village.
The trail passes the Plough Inn, and early 18th century inn which is worth a visit. Then keeping left follow the road and farm track over a small bridge, and enters Tank Plantation. The path passes a pond to a wooden gate before re-entering Allerthorpe Common through the majestic pine trees. Taking the track that forks off to the right, for 500 yards to a track on the left to follow the path for ¾ of a mile back to the car park.
The nature reserve is very peaceful with ancient heathland areas, the woodland has mixed trees, though many are conifers. The different areas support a wide variety of habitats for a range of birdlife, reptiles such as the common lizard, snakes - it is reputed to be one of the best places to find the Adder (which are very elusive, you will be lucky to see one), dragonflies and butterflies. The interweaving pathways make it easy to explore the 31 acres.
All the tracks are well defined, some of which are vehicle wide, and easy to follow which can be muddy in places when wet. There are plenty of places to sit and have a picnic. Take care when exploring some of the smaller tracks as it is easy to lose your orientation if unfamiliar with the area.
Allerthorpe was mentioned in the Domesday Book AD 1086 as "Aluuarstorp", a name meaning a "thorpe" or small village belonging to a man called Alfard. The K6 telephone box in the village is a Grade II listed building, the designed of which commemorated the Silver Jubilee of King George V. The village church of St. Botolph, was rebuilt in 1876, by the late admiral, the Hon. A. Duncombe of Kilnwick Percy on the site of the old church which dated back to the 12th century. The now Plough Inn premises was owned by the admiral about 100 years before it became a licensed premises in 1829.