Your Day Out: Brisk country lane walk

Cottages lend a homely feeling in the village of Silpho.
Cottages lend a homely feeling in the village of Silpho.

Step outdoors, and enjoy a good, brisk walk around country lanes linking the villages of Suffield, Silpho and Hackness. It’s a five and a half mile circular, keeping your feet dry during wet, wintry conditions, and providing stunning scenery.

Using private transport to Scalby village, just north of Scarborough, descend Church Lane to St Laurence’s Church, and from the village green bear right up Hay Lane, rising all the way to Suffield.

Park near the top of Hay Lane, at its signed ‘island’ by the road junction.

Starting from the junction, turn right along a hedged lane and veer left with the bend into Swang Road. Woodland lies to either side. Pass a turning along Cumboots Brow. Keep straight ahead on a great marching route beside Reasty Road, with grassed verges and woodland to your right. Thirlsey Farm and Cottage are signed by open fields on your left. Sheep grazing and an abundance of mole hills are local attractions.

Seek a turning left at Turkey Carpet, as signed to Silpho. The narrow lane skirts woodland at first, becoming hedged beyond. Shortly, fields feature to the left, then from the ‘bend’ sign you enter the lovely little hamlet of Silpho. Stone walling, farms and cottages lend a homely feeling. Passing ‘Stylish Stays’ off left may tempt you to a luxury holiday! Beyond cottages you’ll observe a water tower near a post box and public telephone. A converted chapel mingles with farms and a row of cottages as you leave Silpho.

Descend a narrow, rural lane with far reaching views in all directions. Smart hedging to the left, is banked and wire-fenced opposite, as it zig-zags along to Bell Head car park seen to your right. Next follows a very steep, winding lane by Hilda Wood to enter the charming village of Hackness, about six miles from Scarborough.

At the foot of the ‘windings’ you’ll see to your right the imposing Old Vicarage. Turn left along the road by Low Hall.

Hackness village school, Church Cottages, and St Peter’s Church, form a handsome group of stone buildings. A guttered stream flows to the left verge providing a constant flow of water.

The church is built in the Norman and Early English styles. Do step inside. You’ll be amazed by the detailed information boards regarding St Peter’s Church. There are no remains of a convent founded here by St Hilda. Continue beside the road to the lovely three-arched bridge. Immediately beyond, and to your left you’ll observe the raised mound of an ice-house. It was the predecessor of modern freezers! Ice would be cut from the Hall’s lake, stored and insulated in the dark ice house, and used to keep food cool.

Follow beautiful beech hedging on your right, to the gates of Hackness Hall, then glorious scenery follows along the enchanting dale. Molehills erupt from grass verges; meadows; woods, and Crossdale Beck are admired, leading to a lonely stone cottage off right. Proceed up the hill out of the valley. Reaching a cart with produce to sell, don’t turn right, just keep to the lane through Suffield.

Rounding the bend, you’ll admire stone cottages, farms and a small pond beyond right walling. Open views extend to the north-west.

Just before reaching your original starting point, don’t miss a great opportunity to call at a cottage which displays on the walling an obvious sign: “Cider and Farm Shop.” You’ll be delighted by their sales of home-made wines, cordials and mouth-watering purchases. This will happily complete your walk with memories to savour in 2017.

Distance: 5.5 miles approximately. Easy walking throughout.

Refreshment: Suffield ‘Cider and Farm Shop’. Scalby village after walk: Yew Tree Cafe, the Nag’s Head, Scalby Stores, the Plough Inn. Take a flask for en route!

Map: Explorer OL27 North York Moors.