East and West Ayton are conveniently divided by the River Derwent.
Written by Maureen Robinson
Most of the river is capable of supporting species of salmon such as trout, grayling and whitefish. Fishing rights seem to be shared by herons, much to the annoyance of anglers!
Whilst most people may have visited Ayton’s late 14th century castle with its crumbling remains of the keep, few seem to have explored nearby lanes.
From Ayton, the River Derwent’s character changes and it becomes a river for coarse fishing. Flowing southwards towards the Wolds, it meanders to beyond Binnington Carr – an area rather featureless and prone to flooding.
I suggest you access East Ayton by bus or private transport, to the road junction beside St John the Baptist Church. From the foot of Racecourse Road, go briefly right towards the church, and immediately left along Carr Lane.
Passing bungalows built by Glaves Builders, you’ll see a sports ground to your right, and then a white house named Derwent Crossing. Halt here to admire the fine, clipped hedgerow designed as a train!
Turning left down Long Lane, you’ll find fields to the right and tall hedging to your left. Riverside Park camping and caravans are screened by trees just beyond. [Seek to the right, a public footpath sign which leads to a handgate and footbridge. You may choose to use this alternative route on your return.]
Meanwhile, continue along the hedged lane to pass Riverside Farm and then Foxes Fields where sheep and horses graze. Acres of arable land at Carr Fields were badly flooded this winter, but thankfully they dried out well and were ploughed over when we viewed them.
Long Lane into Carr Fields Lane leads to Derwentdale Farm, should you be doing the direct linear walk. However, turn-about to return and retrace your steps. Looking north-east you may discern Irton’s Waterworks, and Seamer Church in the distance.
Either a) proceed into East Ayton by the outward route taken, or b) decide to explore the public footpath off left of Long Lane as indicated.
This footpath leads through a handgate and crosses a footbridge spanning the River Derwent. Keep to the path as it curves left and then cuts straight across in a westerly direction to open into Ings Road.
Heading north-west (ie right) you’ll find Garth End Farm just ahead.
Near a 30mph limit sign is a sports field. Bear right and enjoy the attractive properties in West Ayton. Pass Candler Avenue (left) and shortly Hall Garth Lane leading off to the right should you wish to discover the rushing weir.
Otherwise, off to the the left you’ll meet Hewley Drive and then Station Close before re-joining the A170 in West Ayton.
Turn right along the A170 and you’re greeted by the Forge Valley Inn, almost immediately.
Crossing the road bridge to re-enter East Ayton, it’s interesting to note that this stone bridge dividing East and West Ayton, has had stones from the ruined castle incorporated in its construction during 1775.
Near the bridge in West Ayton, is a pleasant area of grassland near the mill-stream where you can sit and feed the ducks.
With cafes, inns and shops in Ayton, you can’t fail to find one of your choice. Enjoy your day out, and if time permits, visit Ayton Castle which sits in lonely vigil amid grassland and grazing cattle, whilst the Derwent, clear and shallow, slips peacefully by.
Distance: a) Linear Route – 4 miles (approximately); b) Diversion via West Ayton – 4.75 miles (approximately) if completing all Carr Fields Lane return to footpath and bridge etc.
Refreshment: The Forge Valley Inn, Denison Arms, Walkers Fish Restaurant, Spar supermarket and Fish and Chip Shop etc.
NB The walk may be reduced by taking Long Lane only as far as the public footpath over the footbridge, and returning via West Ayton.