Walks: Scarborough Mere and Oliver’s Mount

Aerial view of Oliver's Mount, Scarborough.

We are in danger of losing our local public footpaths! Owing to lack of maintenance, countless footpaths are overgrown; stiles rotting away; old steps eroded or slipping, and any used by motorcycles deeply rutted and mud-filled!

In an attempt to update our walks of decades past, we’ve been quite disheartened.

Scarborough Mere This mere omce ranked as one of the lakes of Yorkshire, and covered about 40 acres.

This lovely walk around Oliver’s Mount had to be diverted due to a dangerous footpath – detailed later. However, it remains a grand route with superlative views, and a perfect resting place at Oliver’s Mount cafe and Bar for refreshment, and a car park opposite for anyone travelling by a motorised vehicle.

Access to the starting point, by private, or public transport, is along the A64 Seamer Road from Scarborough. Pass Lidl (right) and Curry’s; MKM, and Sainsburys to turn left onto the B1427 Queen Margaret’s Road. Cross the railway bridge, and at the ‘island’ of trees go right on Mere Lane and immediately right to enter the car park at Mere Cafe.

Start from the Mere Cafe, after a cuppa to set you on your way.

A variety of ducks, geese and swans gather near the jetty to feed. Follow Mere Lane alongside attractive properties overlooking the mere to your right. This mere once ranked as one of the lakes of Yorkshire, and covered about 40 acres. In 1844 the railway was constructed, and by 1897 the lake was reduced to 10 acres. Trees and shrubs were planted in 1900, but efforts to create an attractive park ceased until after the 1914-18 war.

When the lane forks, leave the lake side and go left past a brick shelter – ‘Welcome Centre’. A donkey field lies beyond.

Ascend the tree-lined road, making a sharp bend around the ‘paddock’, to take the lane beyond Weapponness Lane. Continue up the steep hill and beneath the bridge, admiring the artistry of exposed tree roots on the right embankment.

Nearing the top, new fencing is to your left, and mature trees, with hedging to the right.

The lane swings sharply right, still ascending to a view of the TV masthead. Good level walking leads to the War Memorial, which dominated the horizon by 1923. It was erected to commemorate those who gave their lives in the First World War. Standing 75ft in height on the imposing Oliver’s Mount, 500ft above sea level, it forms a most impressive landmark for miles around! Panoramic views extend to the west of the town, and over to the North York Moors National Park. Admire the lawned areas, relax on a seat, or gaze at the scenes from this great view point.

Just beyond the war memorial is the white painted, floral-adorned Oliver’s Mount Cafe and Bar. Dine here, and you must surely have the finest outlook from the farthest window in Scarborough!

All too soon it’s time to return, and retrace your steps towards the war memorial. Follow the low wooden fence to your right, and just a few paces from the cafe, stop where fencing ends. [Seek the old public footpath, steep, slippery and overgrown which leads via woodland, across a field and down about 40 steps to the road, but don’t use it.] Instead, retrace your steps by pine trees and take the lane leading off to the right. Descend the steep hill, with a dramatic drop to the left!

Pass under the bridge and keep descending as you wind round bends on Oliver’s Mount Road. Keep to the roadside as you head east, passing Weapponness Drive off right, and follow Mountside to meet Filey Road – the A165.

Turn left along Filey Road, and beyond traffic lights turn left again to follow Queen Margaret’s Road all the way down to the tree island, and Mere Lane once more. There’s always time to fit in more refreshment at Mere Cafe to replace those lost calories!

Distance: 3.5 miles approximately.

Terrain: Very good, firm surfaces in all weathers, but some steep ascents and descents. Easy walking.

Refreshment: The Mere Cafe near the mere’s jetty, and Oliver’s Mount Cafe and Bar – at the top of Oliver’s Mount.

Public Transport: Along Seamer Road – no.17 and no.128 etc.

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