This is a lovely 5km walk from the pretty village of Bishop Wilton, 15 miles to the East of York. As the start is from the village pub, this is a perfect way to walk off the calories after a pub lunch or to build up a thirst on a summer's evening.

With your back to the pub, cross the main road and follow one of the two lanes at either side of the stream. At the top of the loop bear slightly left after the houses and then turn right up the hill onto Worsendale Road.

Bishop Wilton Hill

This is a steep hill - the infamous "Bishop Wilton Hill" from the York and District Summer Road Race League. It is a quiet road and, if you like wild flowers, you can take it at leisure and admire the many varieties in the grass verges. When we walked it, the pyramidal orchids were in full bloom.

On your left as you proceed up the hill there is a disused quarry. It is well worth a detour in here to look at the flora and fauna. We did this walk in early July and I was delighted that this quarry was full of marbled white butterflies.

This was the first time I have ever seen this lovely insect butterfly which has only extended its range into Yorkshire in the last twenty years.

You can read more about the marbled white butterfly here.

Re-join Worsendale Road and keep going up the hill, the road is now verged by woodland.

On your right you need to take the narrow public footpath through the woods and up onto the Wold. Follow the path along the contour line and enjoy the views across the Vale of York and out towards the Humber. In early summer keep a look out for orchids beside the path - I spotted some when we ran this path as part of a 10k race and I was hoping that we would find more species when we came back. We didn't, but I feel that this chalky upland really should be home to more orchids, so maybe our timing wasn't right.

Views of Bishop Wilton

Keep along the contour until you come to a wood and then turn left up hill. Go through the gate and, ignoring the wider track straight ahead. follow the sign post along the side of the wood. Keep the wood on your right until you come to a gate and then take a left and then a right to follow the contour along the field on an obvious path. This gives you some lovely views of Bishop Wilton and a couple of benches you can sit on to make the most of the view.

As you leave this field there are a number of waymarked routes, but follow the one downhill and to the right towards the village. This will take you through some more trees and then into a lovely meadow with more orchids.

Keep right on the path until a gate in the corner of the field brings you out at the top of Bishop Wilton village and follow the lane beside the stream back to to the Pub.

This is a fairly easy walk, but the first hill is steep, so you will feel like you have done some exercise!

spotted orchid
Spotted orchid (white variety)
pyramidal orchids
Pyramidal orchids in the verge
view of Bishop wilton
View of Bishop Wilton across the Wold
Bishop Wilton walk map



Distance:    5 km

Climb:        150m

Difficulty:    Medium (due to steep hill at start)


  • marbled white butterflies
  • spotted orchids
  • pyramidal orchids
  • ragged robin