Scenic villages abound

Sleights
Sleights
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by Maureen Robinson

Each year, with increasing volumes of traffic, it becomes more difficult to discover those peaceful secluded villages.

This drive, totalling 43 miles, includes some hidden gems off the A171, along with possible refreshment stops, and the interesting Victoria Garden Centre with its plants, antiques and cafe.

Leaving Scarborough, take the A171 via Falsgrave and Scalby Road to enjoy a scenic drive through Burniston and Cloughton where the road swings left towards Whitby. The Flask is passed to your left, before Pond Farm at the brow of the hill.

Passing a sign to Boggle Hole off right, continue for about a mile seeking a turning left, ie the B1416 towards Ruswarp. Moorland surrounds you, and warnings of deer for four miles. Please drive with care.

Leaving behind signs to May Beck and Falling Foss, proceed down a long steep descent with views to Whitby. Follow a sign towards Littlebeck, and a gentle rise by Lound House Farm with a caravan site off right brings you to a lane to your right. Follow this lane all downhill to discover upon entry to a village, a sign, ‘Ugglebarnby 2,000 AD’ surmounted by an owl.

The hedged lane winds its way by stone-built cottages and photogenic All Saints Church elevated to your right.

Leaving Ugglebarnby, view Sleights in the valley bottom, and enter the next pretty village named Iburndale. A similar village of stone-built properties and conifers. Passing Mill Lane to your left, a bridge is crossed prior to a steep ascent to Sleights.

Although the word ‘Sleights’ actually means, ‘flat land near water’, the majority of the village is situated on surrounding hillsides. The river flows through the village and beneath a vast railway bridge. The stone and steel structure is so huge it towers over the entire village. But first, observe the hill-top church of St John the Evangelist to your left. Opposite is Eskdale Fisheries, selling excellent fish and chips in the cafe or take away.

Turn right along the A169, and Eskdale Antiques may attract you! Featuring in Sleights midst stone-built properties, you’ll find a Spar shop, post office, baker’s, and Esk Hall to your left. As you descend, the Salmon Leap features on the right. Cross the River Esk, and ascending to a roundabout, turn right on the A171 towards Scarborough, but only briefly. Seek here, on the outskirts of Whitby, the Victoria Garden Centre off left. Housing a nursery as well as interesting antiques, and a lovely cafe with open views, it’s extremely popular.

Return to the A171 and turn left to Scarborough 22 miles. At the roundabout go straight on to pass Whitby Community College. Reaching traffic lights turn right to pass Caedmon School and cross New Bridge with its glorious views over the harbour towards the 
Abbey.

Next – it’s Sainsbury’s and Botham’s Bakery beyond, for a bit of shopping. Observe the disused railtrack to your right as you enter Hawsker. Moorland envelopes your route as you pass The Flask off right, and a turn off to Harwood Dale, but continue ahead to The Falcon Inn and prepare to leave the A171 here. Turn sharp left by the inn as signed: Staintondale 2 miles. A steep hill ahead, and turning right along Brown Rigg Road towards Tofta Farm, superlative views unfold towards the coast.

In Staintondale approach you’ll spot the Cats’ Whiskers Cattery and village post office before meeting the road junction. Here, turn right past the old village school and Windy Ridge. Shortly, The Shire Horse Farm is signed to the left, but keep straight on over the road bridge, and Wyke Lodge, on your left, overlooks an amazing bank gay with rhododendrons in season.

Up the hill, to pass Hayburn Wyke’s entrance drive, and Scarborough Castle and distant view to Flamborough Head are revealed.

The Bryherstones Inn is admired as you drop down into Cloughton village with Cober Hill to the left as you approach a road junction. Entering Burniston, The Three Jolly Sailors welcome your return!

Keep to the A171 as you make your way back into sunny Scarborough!

Total distance: 43 miles approximately.

Refreshment: All along the way!

Rural Rambles 
– a sell-out!

Sorry I can’t contact each individual enquiry, but I’m afraid not a single copy of the Rural Rambles booklet remains. A limited edition of 200 copies sold by Christmas, with £300 profits having been donated to the Scarborough RNLI Lifeboat Launcher Appeal.

Thank you for your interest, and apologies for any disappointment.