Walk: The Wilberforce Way

in Beverley in Bishop Burton in Cherry Burton in Goodmanham in Hull in Londesborough in Market Weighton in Pocklington in Sutton upon Derwent

The Wilberforce Way is a scenic long-distance walking route in East Yorkshire, named in honour of William Wilberforce, the famous abolitionist who campaigned tirelessly to end the transatlantic slave trade. This trail stretches for approximately 60 miles, winding through picturesque countryside, charming villages, and significant historical sites, offering walkers a journey through both natural beauty and rich heritage.

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The Route

GPX Route Map

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Walk Description

The Wilberforce Way begins in the historic city of Hull, where William Wilberforce was born. The starting point is at the Wilberforce House Museum, which provides an insightful introduction to Wilberforce’s life and work. From here, the route heads northwest, leaving the urban environment behind and entering the peaceful East Yorkshire countryside.

Hull to Beverley

Beverley Minster
Beverley Minster
  • Distance: About 10 miles
  • Highlights: As you leave Hull, the path follows a network of footpaths and bridleways, taking you through farmland and small villages. This section concludes in the historic market town of Beverley, renowned for its beautiful Minster, cobbled streets, and traditional architecture.

Beverley to Pocklington

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  • Distance: Approximately 20 miles
  • Highlights: Leaving Beverley, the route meanders through the rolling hills of the Yorkshire Wolds. Walkers will pass through idyllic villages such as Cherry Burton and Bishop Burton, each offering picturesque views and a chance to experience local rural life. The path eventually reaches Pocklington, a charming town with a rich history and a vibrant community.

Pocklington to Market Weighton

  • Distance: Around 10 miles
  • Highlights: This section of the Wilberforce Way takes you along peaceful country lanes and footpaths, with the dramatic backdrop of the Yorkshire Wolds’ chalk hills. Market Weighton, known for its Giant Bradley heritage, is a delightful market town perfect for a rest stop.

Market Weighton to Londesborough and Goodmanham

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  • Distance: Approximately 10 miles
  • Highlights: From Market Weighton, the route continues through the scenic village of Londesborough, with its historic estate and parkland. Walkers then pass through Goodmanham, a village steeped in history, before reaching the final stretch of the journey.

Goodmanham to Pocklington Canal

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  • Distance: About 10 miles
  • Highlights: The final leg of the Wilberforce Way leads walkers along the peaceful Pocklington Canal, offering serene waterside views and abundant wildlife. The canal path provides a gentle interlude to the journey.

Pocklington to York

World famous York minster

The route begins by following the Pocklington Canal until it intersects with the B1228 road. From there, it continues through Sutton-Upon-Derwent. The trail crosses the River Derwent just outside Elvington, skirting the village and joining the Jorvic Way towards Wheldrake. Exiting Wheldrake to the north, the route crosses the A64 and enters the Heslington suburb of York near the University of York.

Continuing west, the path traverses Walmgate Stray and crosses the A19 (Fulford Road) to reach the east bank of the River Ouse. The final leg follows the river, concluding at Lendal Bridge before turning towards its terminus at York Minster.

Practical Information

  • Total Distance: Approximately 60 miles (97 kilometers)
  • Difficulty: Moderate, with some gentle inclines and varied terrain
  • Terrain: A mix of urban paths, rural footpaths, bridleways, and canal towpaths
  • Access: The route is accessible year-round, with spring and summer offering the most favorable walking conditions.

Tips for Walkers

  • Footwear: Sturdy walking boots are recommended, especially in wetter conditions.
  • Supplies: Carry sufficient water, snacks, and a packed lunch, as amenities can be sparse in some rural sections.
  • Navigation: While the route is signposted, a detailed map or GPS device is advisable for ensuring you stay on track.
  • Accommodation: There are numerous options for overnight stays along the route, including bed and breakfasts, inns, and campsites.

The Wilberforce Way offers a unique blend of historical significance and natural beauty, making it a rewarding experience for both avid walkers and those interested in England’s rich cultural heritage. Walking this route not only honours the legacy of William Wilberforce but also allows you to immerse yourself in the stunning landscapes of East Yorkshire.

Related Accommodation

The accommodation below is nearby - and has been updated recently.

Picture of The Embassy Hotel

The Embassy Hotel

367 Hedon Road, Hull, HU9 1RA, United Kingdom
Picture of PLATFORM Port Area Apartment 1

PLATFORM Port Area Apartment 1

59 Brazil Street Apartment 1, Hull, HU9 1JR, United Kingdom
Picture of Loaf 1 at The Old Granary

Loaf 1 at The Old Granary, Centre of Beverley

The Old Granary, Vicar Lane, Beverley, HU17 8DF, United Kingdom

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