Discover secret art and a poetry bench near Huggate

  • Stretch out on a poetry bench near Huggate
After a walk around the Huggate landscape, rest up and watch the world go by on the Huggate Poetry Bench, north of Huggate village and listen to one of our ‘Secret Art’ poems by famous Yorkshire poet Ian McMillan.

The Huggate Poetry Bench is located close to the point where three dry valleys meet (Horse Dale, Holm Dale and Harper Dale), which are amongst the finest in the Wolds. Relaxing on the bench offers opportunity to experience the tranquillity of the landscape whilst enjoying wonderful views over the three valleys. Find out how it inspires you!

Yorkshire Wolds Secret Art is a new initiative, with paintings and poetry in the landscape just waiting to be discovered using your mobile phone or tablet. This walk takes you to a very special Secret Art point, where the famous Yorkshire Poet Ian McMillan has recorded a poem unique to the superb location. You can listen to this on site when you open up the Secret art logo on your phone. You will need the Love Exploring  app to discover this and other Secret Art trails along the Yorkshire Wolds Way. All the details you need for this are on

The Huggate Poetry Bench is one of six sculpted benches created as part of the WANDER art project, which was set up to install a variety of inspirational artworks along the Yorkshire Wolds Way. The bench near Huggate was designed by artist Angus Ross, with the wood springing out of the ground to represent the curves of the dales (or dry valleys) and the springs along the Yorkshire Wolds Way. The bench is carved with a poem by John Clark, which reads:

We have rippled the earth with our desire to be here not there. We have driven the dale’s wedge of hush home between us. But you move, as we moved, in the ghost of water. A hare rips away from the dead, Thuds down the dyke and out into everywhere the grasses foam.

Once you have relaxed at the bench turn back then head west along the length of Horse Dale over Open Access land, before turning left to return to Huggate.

A walk around Huggate and the three dales also takes in the Huggate earthworks. These form part of a widespread system of Bronze Age earthworks, or ‘dykes’, which have provided archaeologists with much debate as to their purpose. They may have provided boundaries between different tribes, defence against invasion, a barrier to livestock or routes between different villages. Take a look for yourself and suggest your own theory!

There is also opportunity along the walk to stop off at the village of Huggate, the highest village on the Yorkshire Wolds. Here you can enjoy refreshments at the Wolds Inn or the Tea Rooms, visit one of the deepest wells in England or admire the beautiful Grade I listed church.

Please note: be mindful to avoid causing an obstruction for other people when parking your car

Location map

© Crown copyright and database rights 2013. Ordnance Survey 100021930.
Huggate Village
5.8 km (3.6 miles)
2 hours
OS Map: 
Map: OS 294