Your Day Out: Rural charm of Ganton

A view down the 14th fairway of Ganton Golf Club with St Nicholas Church in the distance.
A view down the 14th fairway of Ganton Golf Club with St Nicholas Church in the distance.

Ganton lies between Malton and Filey. From the foot of the Wolds one can look beyond the Vale of Pickering to the northern moors. Perhaps Ganton is best known for its golf course, which ranks as one of the finest in the country. Ryder Cup matches have been played there. The turf is of such fine quality that it has been used to re-turf Wembley Stadium. There are tumuli on Ganton Wold to the south of the village, and an ancient earthwork in Ganton Dale, between Ganton and Foxholes.

This pretty walk of about three miles is easy, level walking. Visiting the villages of Ganton and Potter Brompton, it encompasses a variety of scenery, and skirts Ganton’s golf course. The return is made along Station Lane, with its rural charm, and somewhat continental flavour.

Start from the Ganton Greyhound, nine miles south-west of Scarborough. Access is by private or public transport along the A64 from the Staxton roundabout. The bus stop is almost opposite the hotel. It stands prominently in the main street, with ample parking in the adjacent lay-by.

Start by leaving the Ganton Greyhound and turning briefly left as far as Duck Lane. Cross the busy A64 with care to enter Main Street. On the right corner once stood the village shop. Number 3 opposite used to be the post office.

Pretty, white cottages are dotted along the lane, and a little roadside stream transport you into another world and lead to St Nicholas Church off left. Make a brief deviation to visit this church, which stands beside the vicarage garden. Most of it is 15th century. A spire crowns the handsome tower, which has quaint little faces under battlements. In this church sleep the Legards, who have known this place for over two centuries.

Admire the relatively recent transformation of the garden, thanks to help from willing volunteers.

Inside the porch are details of where you may obtain a key. Leaflets are available providing information regarding the church and its similarities with St Mary’s, Scarborough.

The Wrigley family came to Ganton in 1906 and then bought the estate in 1911. They continued to help wherever possible.

Continue to the top of Main Street, and a Wolds Way/Centenary Way sign.

Turn right towards Sherburn, passing white-painted properties, to reach the road junction. Here, turn left up Woodside Road, with Ganton’s village hall behind you.

Parkland, belonging to Ganton Hall is to the left. Ganton Hall itself is a red-bricked mansion, with many tall chimneys. Built in the Victorian era, it reminds one of a French chateau.

Just past a sign near the driveway to Hall Cottages, turn right at the Wolds/Centenary Way sign along a bridleway. This pleasant, broad track is level and direct and features blackthorn hedging and pheasants. When the track meets the village of Potter Brompton, turn right along Main Street, ignoring the Wolds Way when it wanders off left.

Dawnay Lodge is behind you, as you stroll through this pleasant, unspoilt village with traditional chalk cottages mingling with more modern properties.

Reaching the A64, halt! On the right corner is Glebe Farm, which contains a fine farm bakery and tea room. Open daily, serving a wide variety of hot and cold drinks, scones, and lunches, you’ll be most welcome. Your well-behaved dogs are welcome too in the garden room.

Feeling invigorated, cross the A64 with great care, to the right of a bus shelter. Some 50m or so ahead, seek a public footpath in between hedging to your left. Your exit from the main road is opposite the Potter Brompton sign board.

Here, turn off left and take a stile leading to Ganton Golf Club. From the board, go left to follow any waymark arrows along short-turf paths skirting the golf course. The route is obvious if they are no longer visible.

Stands of pine trees, gorse bushes, silver birch and cherry trees enhance the scene.

From a seat, you may see the shelter, or Half-Way House. At a forking of ways, continue straight ahead and you soon enter a car park. Carry on to walk in front of the club-house, with flower beds and stands of pine trees. White posts and chain-link fencing features as you turn right up Station Lane. Handsome properties off left are named Furze, The Gorse and The Whins, referring to the spiny shrub with yellow flowers.

Keep to the left footpath, and at Sands Cottage you may wish to purchase any local honey or vegetables when in season.

Beyond, conifers screen the old village school which has been converted into a private house. Nearing the main road, you’ll see what was the old blacksmith’s shop is now an attractive bungalow.

Reaching the A64 once more, turn left to the Ganton Greyhound to complete your walk with welcome refreshment.

Distance: 3 miles approximately of easy walking.

Refreshment: Glebe Farm Bakery and Tea Room, open Mon-Sat, 9am-5.30pm; Sundays and Bank Holidays, 11am-4pm. Also, the Ganton Greyhound beside the A64, Ganton.

Transport: Coastliner Leeds to Scarborough every hour.

Map ref: Howardian Hills and Malton (east sheet) OS Explorer 300, scale 2.5 inches to 1 mile.