Country Diary: The perils of facing up to a ‘busking’ swan

His breath like silver arrows pierced the air,

A view back along Wykeham Lane.

Your Day Out: Ever-changing scenery

Wykeham is a village about six miles south west of Scarborough along the A170 Scarborough to Pickering road. Now here’s a great walk for the new year, with mostly level ground and ever-changing scenery. Walk, cycle or motor along quiet rural lanes, and go slowly to see more wildlife.

A nuthatch was seen at the bird feeding tables in Forge Valley.

Country Diary: Attractive bird resembles the woodpecker

...fallen leaves,

St Nicholas Church, Grindale.

Your day out: Walk to hail the new year

Here’s another walk to hail the New Year 2017. When it’s wet, windy and weary weather, keep to pleasant country lanes uniting interesting villages.

The tiny church of St Leonard's, Speeton.

Your Day Out: Hard-working community

It’s many years since we were first introduced to Speeton. Our ascent from Speeton Sands up the lofty cliffs resulted in our discovering the tiny, ancient church of St Leonard’s.

Spindle tree revealing its shocking-pink berries.

Country Diary: Discovering a tree of beauty in Yedmandale

No mist, no wind, above, below,

The market cross in Hunmanby, the head of the cross fell in 1860 and destroyed nearby stocks.

Your Day Out: Highlights of historic Hunmanby

Hunmanby is a large, pleasant village just south of Filey, and two miles from the sea. It was once a market town, and part of the old market cross stands near the coaching inn, The White Swan. The name Hunmanby is Danish, said to mean, ‘The Farmstead of the Houndsmen’. Maybe hounds hunted the wolves which infested the Wolds! From Castle Hill, standing beside the headless market cross, imagine days when the market place bustled with activity. The head of the cross fell in 1860, and destroyed nearby stocks. Market fairs were held annually on May 6 and October 29. Close by stands the war memorial over-looking what was once the village green.


Country Diary: Subterranean streamlined earth mover

Bleak winter’s in the wood, The birds have flown,

St John the Baptist Church, Cayton, was built in the 12th century and the squat tower and chancel were added in the 15th century.

Your Day Out: Tour of Cayton’s gems

Cayton lies midway between Scarborough and Filey. It’s about a mile from the A165 coastal road at Cayton Bay. In the late 1830s Cayton had a closely knit community of just under 800 residents. What a contrast to 2016!

Alexanders, or Macedonian Parsley.

Country Diary: Thriving plant was introduced by the Romans

Only the gulls’ cry, and breaking waves disturb the silence of the bay.

Outdoors 1
Rudston Monolith  said to be the tallest standing stone in Britain.

Your Day Out: Village lies on old Roman way

About six miles west of Bridlington in a cleft of the Yorkshire Wolds lies the village of Rudston, on an old Roman way from Bridlington to York.

A kingfisher on willow is just one of the amazing wildlife paintings on display at Robert Fullers Gallery in Thixendale.

Country Diary: Thixendale – a hidden gem on the Wolds

...mist is steeping,

The beautifully restored Howsham Mill.

Your Day Out: Village of Howsham is full of history

The little village of Howsham is situated in a lovely wooded stretch of the Derwent Valley, about six miles south of Malton. The river curves from Howsham Hall to a corner of the beautiful parkland, where it’s crossed by a four-arched bridge. The stone from Kirkham Abbey was used for the fine old bridge.

Country Diary: Sit, watch and wait patiently to observe wildlife

Country Diary: Sit, watch and wait patiently to observe wildlife

Thus wears the month along in chequered moods,

St Nicholas Church, Wetwang.

Your Day Out: Wander round Wetwang

Our trip out to Wetwang happily coincided with a glorious, sunny day mid-November. Carpets of golden leaves lay deep beneath the trees, yet many retained their foliage beyond bonfire night this year.

A male wigeon.

Country Diary: Bare branches now reveal the witches broom

The warm sun is failing, the bleak wind is wailing,


Your Day Out: Peaceful and tranquil Settrington

Settrington is a quiet, peaceful village about four miles south-east of Malton, sheltering under the Wolds. If approached from the A64, turn off at the prominently-sited public house, The Ham and Cheese, to pass through Scagglethorpe, with its green verges and cottages. The winding lane over flat agricultural land enters Settrington with its more modern houses between the beck and the road.

Walnut tree

Country Diary: Walnut trees are highly prized for nuts and timber

The mellow year is hastening to its close;

Stone-built houses in the village of Cropton.

Your Day Out: Plenty to do in Cropton

This feature really focuses on Cropton, but depending on your energy levels, you may choose to walk the six-mile circular before exploring Cropton village, or drive via Wrelton to Cropton. The choice is yours, but leave plenty of time for Cropton.

As Bonfire Night approaches check that no hedgehogs are hibernating beneath the pile of debris.

Country Diary: Bonfire Night danger for hedgehogs

And dead leaves wrap the fruits that summer planted,

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