Could there be a better spot for a dog walk? A windmill and the remains of an 18th century estate provide novelty on this flexible route between two villages in East Riding, which is popular with dog walkers.

Great British Life: Skidby Mill.Skidby Mill. (Image: Paul Kirkwood)

1. Head down the narrow lane towards Skidby Mill. Just before the mill fork left then turn right through a kissing gate to pass to the right of the mill. Follow path across Gallows Hill. Bear right to reach the road. Turn right onto Main St then second left up Little Wheaton Rd.

2. As it bears left follow the second fingerpost on the right. Pass below two lines of electricity cables. At the road turn left then right through a gate next to a sign for Routh Farming Ltd onto a bridleway.

3. Just before Risby Park Farm at a telegraph pole turn right onto footpath (not marked on map).

For the Walkington extension: Continue past Risby Park Farm and Halfpenny Gate Cottages to follow long straight lane. Turn right at t-junction onto road (point E1 on map). At the end of the road beside the church turn left through gates and down Church Walk. Turn right along the B1230 to view the mere (E2). Just beyond turn right down Autherd Garth. Take the second left down Beech View. As the road bears right turn left down a passage to the playing fields. Turn right at the car park and walk along path. After a small wood turn left at a fingerpost (E3). Follow path between a farm and plantation. Pass through kissing gate onto a track and turn left at t-junction with road. Repeat short stretch of earlier route. Pass Risby Park Farm and, at telegraph pole turn left to cross Risby Park.

4 Immediately before the road turn right, keeping hedge on your left. Follow path as it winds its way past a wood. At a road turn left and immediately right onto a bridleway which bears right then left.

To visit the Risby Park Fishing Lakes, turn right onto the road. The entrance to the lakes is 200m on the right.

5 After a sunken stretch of path pass through metal gate and, after 30m, fork right down an initially grassy track (easy to miss) near to a pylon. Pass through a bridlegate that leads into Church Rise. At the end turn left onto Main St (B1233) and at a roundabout turn right back to Skidby Mill.



Ghostly vestiges

Great British Life: Remains of Risby House and gardens Remains of Risby House and gardens (Image: Paul Kirkwood)

You can cut your cloth to suit on this route. Choose the lengthy full hike or abbreviate it by excluding Walkington. Either way it's well worth the minor diversion to the Risby Park Fishing Ponds with their Gothic tower folly and café. Note that the site is open only between 10am and 4pm and walking around the ponds is prohibited. There's another café at Skidby windmill (see below) and a wide selection of pubs in Skidby and Walkington.

The first record of a mill at Skidby appeared in 1764. In 1878 the mill was converted to the production of animal feed. New buildings were built around the mill to house the machinery and the tower was raised so that the sails would not be obstructed. The extra section can be seen as a pronounced waist about two thirds of the way up the tower. The mill ceased to operate commercially in 1966. Its sails were removed in 2020 following the discovery of wet rot and are due to be refitted soon.

Great British Life: Risby Folly. Risby Folly. (Image: Paul Kirkwood)

Risby Park includes Cellar Heads, the indistinct earthwork remains of a 16th century detached lodge or banqueting house built by estate owner Sir Ralph Ellerker to impress and accommodate Henry VIII when he visited. You can also just discern the ghostly impression of the Italianate terraced gardens of a country house at Risby built in the 17th century. The fishing ponds and folly are all that remains of a subsequent but abandoned plan to develop the estate.

Great British Life: Panel about Risby House and gardens. Panel about Risby House and gardens. (Image: Paul Kirkwood)

For more history look out for panels at the west end of Walkington Mere, Cellar Heads, the site of Risby Hall (two panels) and the ponds. Also visit the Museum of East Riding Rural Life at Skidby Mill. See


Great British Life: The Ferguson Fawsitt, Walkington.The Ferguson Fawsitt, Walkington. (Image: Paul Kirkwood)

The Ferguson Fawsitt, Walkington. Afternoon teas. Dog friendly. Named after the brother of the village rector and the heiress he married. Closed Mon and Tues. Open for breakfast Wed to Sat 9-11.45am and other meals thereafter all day. Open Sun noon to 6.30pm.

Great British Life: Sails Cafe, Skidby.Sails Cafe, Skidby. (Image: Paul Kirkwood)

Sails Cafe in the Courtyard, Skidby. Modern cafe set around the windmill courtyard with tables outside. Serves children's dishes, soups, paninis and seven different types of breakfast. Takeaways also available. Open daily except Mon, 10am-4pm.


Start/finish: Skidby, HU16 5TF. Grid ref TA 022333

Time/distance: 9 miles/4 hours. Or 5¾ miles/2.5 hours without the Walkington extension.

Accessibility: Easy, flat navigation on well trodden footpaths.

Maps: OS Explorer 203 Kingston upon Hull & Beverley.

Parking: On Mill Rd in Skidby, at the junction with Beverley Rd.

Map link: