Written by Maureen Robinson
This exhilarating walk of approximately 5.5 miles lies just south-east of Cranswick’s railway station. The level route is easy-going, direct, and seldom far from water. Tophill Low Nature Reserve provides a possible extension to your day’s outing.
Following public footpaths and bridleways by farms and drainage channels extensive fields are noted. Arable land of the carrs produces crops of beans, rape, cereals and potatoes etc.
Hutton Cranswick is about four miles south of Driffield. From Cranswick’s village pond, access to the starting point is along Main Street, over the level crossing into Station Lane. Continue into Stockbridge Lane and turn first right into Cross Lane. Remaining on this lane for a good mile takes you to Scurf Dyke Farm. Park as convenient beside the road, avoiding any farm access please.
From the bridge between Scurf Dyke Farm and Whinnyforth Farm, turn left along the raised, grassed embankment. This runs parallel with the lane as far as the bend, then heads due east, accompanying Scurf Dyke for almost two miles to the New Cut of the River Hull. Along this exposed, breezy stretch, note the massive, level fields, and look out for ducks, moorhen and other waterfowl. You may even be lucky enough to see signs of water voles near the embankment.
The public footpath becomes a bridleway as you head towards a bridge. Passing a sluice, you quickly reach a two-finger post beside the River Hull.
Brigham is signed 2.25 miles due north, but here you should turn right and head due south beside the River Hull (New Cut) along a bridleway. In less than half a mile, before a lock is reached, enter a gate on the right. A board reads: “You are now entering a Nature Reserve”, etc. A bridleway arrow may be observed to the left.
Keeping alongside posts you’ll see the river intake pump house to the left, and meet a footbridge and sign.
Cross the footbridge spanning the ditch and leave by a stile or gate. Go straight forward beside the right field boundary.
Standingholme Farm is to the left elevation. At the far end of the field, proceed across the next field, aiming for the right corner of a wood, in line with electricity posts. In the corner near the wood, follow the arrow beside a farm gate and go immediately left to continue beside a short stretch of woodland to the right. You’ll meet a metalled access drive to farms.
Turning right, a good stretch of about 1.5 miles of firm public footpath follows across arable land which yield crops of beans etc. One of Yorkshire’s finest nature reserves, Tophill Low, lies behind you.
Rounding the tip of Decoy Wood to your left, Decoy House Farm comes into view. Leaving Decoy House and meeting a junction, veer right with the lane. Crops feature as you approach Decoy Drain and a footpath leading to Tophill Low Nature Reserve. Around Watton Carrs, skylarks may be observed winging high above.
Passing Angram Farm, just ahead is Angram Bridge. Turn right and head due north up the quiet lane to Throstle Nest Farm. There you’ll discover the office of Blue Keld Springs Ltd. Can you find a house dated 1899?
About half a mile beyond is your starting point at Scurf Dyke. With no refreshment stops guaranteed, I suggest a picnic along the route. However, upon return to Cranswick there are inns and shops where you may purchase a variety of snacks.
Distance: 5.5 miles approximately.
Refreshment: In Cranswick’s main street are inns and shops etc.
NB Binoculars are recommended for viewing wildlife.
Please note: Details are accurate at the time of visiting, but changes may occur from time to time. Please bear this in mind regarding stiles, gates, signs etc. Happy walking!