Your Day Out: Tour of Cayton’s gems

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

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!

Houses and cottages were built mainly to each side of the main street, and many can still be seen today. Scarborough was four miles away, and the bus service was infrequent. The villagers were fortunate in having two butchers, a fish and chip shop, two small general stores, and Gerry Agar’s shop and post office. The latter was known to sell everything. If he didn’t have it in stock, he’d get it for you. The village shops did good business.

The village has more than trebled in size since the late 1950s. Many people chose to retire to Cayton, especially from the West Riding of Yorkshire. The golden sands, cliffs, and woodlands attracted holiday makers. Caravan parks were established on the outskirts of the village, and decisions made to live here.

An industrial estate was built nearby, bringing much needed employment. Naturally, young couples bought houses on new estates to be near their work. Cayton continued to grow.

I lived there in the early 1970s and loved it. The people were so friendly; a village hall on North Lane proved very popular, and the old village school became the Jubilee Hall for village exhibitions, and a welcoming community centre. There were two inns at that time, the Blacksmith Arms and The Star Inn, but the former recently closed.

The beautiful Norman church of St John the Baptist was built in the 12th century, and is just off the Main Street next to where the Blacksmith Arms pub is being converted. The squat tower and the chancel were added in the 15th century.

“Inside the tiny porch is a charmingly Norman doorway with shafts and cushion capitals and a captivating arch.”

“Through the low windows in the walls, you gaze out onto the countryside. From the close of Norman days comes the north arcade with its two huge arches resting on a low pillar with a great capital. The font has a Norman bowl on a pedestal.” Can you find an old chest and an old handbell?

Leaving Cayton village, keep to the road heading east to Killerby. Just beyond The Hall to your left, seek The Stained Glass Centre sign off right. Turn down this short, hedged lane to enjoy an Aladdin’s Cave of gorgeous gifts in stained glass. It’s completely free and you may browse at leisure. The exhibition charts the history of the art and craft from medieval times to present day. The showroom displays beautiful handmade lampshades, mirrors, jewellery and gifts. With Christmas in mind you may get ideas!

If refreshment is your priority, enjoy delicious freshly baked cakes, scones and home-cooked food in warm, friendly surroundings. The tearoom overlooks delightful gardens for summer dining.

Courses take place in a purpose-built classroom set in lovely surroundings. Learn about stained glass and fused glass on a short course starting from just £15.

Commissions are also undertaken, and both church and domestic windows my be repaired or restored.

Finally, have you heard of Scarborough Footgolf, suitable for all ages, and proclaimed the greatest game ever invented?

Just phone 07519189411 for more details. Note the closed season.

Returning to Cayton village, seek Russell’s Mini Mart on your right. Here go immediately left along Station Road. Cross the railway track into Carr Lane and follow the good signage to Playdale Farm Park. Come rain or shine, you’ll have a great time. We’ve been there too, and believe this is an attraction for everyone. With a huge indoor play area as well as outdoor recreation, it’s a must! Make new friends with the animals and the rare breeds. See and feed the animals, including sheep, pigs, small animals, poultry and goats.

When the children have bounced off their energy in the straw barn, pedalled the go-karts, and played frisbee golf you must relax in the cafe and gift shop. Enjoy morning coffee, a light lunch or afternoon tea, before admiring a range of quality souvenirs and gifts.

Please not that Playdale closes for the season from October 31 so wait until it reopens at Easter.

Returning to Cayton for your transport, you may wish to take home with you this thought.

Cayton is one of only 31 ‘Thankful Villages in England’.

They were so-named after the First World War because all of their 43 men came back safely from that horrific conflict. This is more than any other of the thankful villages.

Refreshment: Stained Glass Centre, Killerby Lane - open daily 10am-5pm; Star Inn, Main Street; fish and chip shop, Main Street.

Toilets: Stained Glass Centre and Star Inn.

Transport: East Yorkshire Buses, numbers 121 and 1.