Written by Maureen Robinson
This glorious scenic route of almost five miles is a top favourite of ours. It’s cross-country all the way. From a heavenly hamlet, follows Keld Runnels with sparkling springs racing towards the valley and distant Sea Cut.
Farms and woodlands, cornfields, and enchanting leafy tunnels lead to amazing viewpoints.
It’s really essential to have your own private transport to Hay Lane in Scalby village, or to have someone take you there and collect you later.
Scalby village lies just north of Scarborough, off the A171 Scarborough to Whitby road. From Scalby’s village green, you’ll see the road junction and a sign to Hackness. Take this Hackness road up Hay Lane, passing Low Hall to your left. Gently ascend by splendid properties until you reach two pairs of flats at Hay Brow. Meet a sharp bend just beyond, and park to the left verge near an obvious turn off. You’ll later return to this small parking area.
Start. Leave the road and turn left along the lane/bridleway leading to Scalby Nabs. Glorious views unfold as you ascend to the hamlet of Scalby Nabs. To your immediate right is Scalby Bottom Reservoir, prior to East Farm and East Farm Cottages.
Dropping down the lane, to The Barn, continue along a rough track and remain on the obvious lane, as any deviation is to a private property.
Pass a ‘Private Road’ sign to your left, and limestone chippings on the lane’s surface lead through a vale surrounded by tree-clad hillsides. The lane swings left between high-banked hedges. Then, swinging right you discover Keld Runnels farm nestled in the valley.
Walk in front of the farm, ensuring any dogs are leashed please. Livestock, and spring water gushing from the right stone walling, create a rural England scene. Enter a metal gate ‘wearing’ a blue bridleway arrow. Keep to the good, level track and enter the next metal gate to the right of a wooden fence. A sign warns of, ‘Bull in Field’. Cross with caution. [If cows or bull are seen, just climb the bank to your right and follow edge of wood.]
Beyond the field, your path leads into Holly Wood (ie bluebell wood in spring). Walk through the wood and meet a wooden, waymarked gate. Exit the wood, and follow the edge of Holly Wood to your left. Meeting a field gate, stop! Your route veers right across a meadow to the corner of Hawthorn Wood. Enter the waymarked gate and a footpath leads to the top of woodland. Keep to the grassy path beside arable land hedged to the right.
Approaching Suffield Ings Farm, turn right at the blue bridleway arrow and follow fencing around a horse paddock. The farm is to your left. Then cross the green to a gate set in the wall. Continue straight ahead along Limestone Road.
Cornfields surround you in summertime. A water tower is seen ahead, to the right. Turn off right on the bend at a track, and go to a yellow arrowed gate. Keep straight ahead on a grassy path with stone walking to the right, and then post and wire fencing. Pass two sycamore trees and then more to the left. Enter a gate to your right and meet a footpath. Go left by a cornfield (in summer), with hedged perimeter.
Cross a stile into the next field and follow the track, and passing through an open gate, cross the field likewise. Hedging is on the left.
Reaching a three-fingered post, all indicate, ‘footpath’. For the more attractive walk turn right and cross the field to find a yellow-arrowed stile. Crossing the stile descend the edge of a wood flaunting ferns, foxgloves, gorse and brambles in season. A lovely open view is revealed to your right. Do you recognise it?
A shady tunnel of trees carpeted with beech leaves, continues to a steeper descent. The steeply-banked footpath becomes fenced to the right with barbed wire. Don’t get hooked! [Health and Safety?]
Another enchanting leafy tunnel descends towards Scalby Nabs. Stone walling appears from a neighbouring farm as you re-access the lane.
Turn left and walk by holiday cottages to re-trace your steps past the Reservoir at Scalby Bottom. Enjoy extensive rural views as you return to your starting point on Hay Lane.
Distance: Almost 5 miles. Allow 2½ hours to include a cuppa en route.
Refreshments: There is none at all (apart from spring water) until you return to Scalby village.