by Maureen Robinson
The twin villages of East and West Ayton sit either side of the River Derwent, where it emerges from Forge Valley. Situated alongside the A170 Scarborough to Pickering road, they are easily accessed by private transport or bus.
Just to the north is Yedmandale, a place of secluded tranquillity, and a haven of peace in any season.
In springtime it’s magical, with a profusion of sweet-scented violets; primroses; wood anemones and bluebells. Don’t miss this enchanting five-mile walk starting from Ayton’s Public Library.
Start. From the library turn left towards Pickering, and near Ye Olde Forge Valley Hotel and Garth End Road, cross the A170 with care to enter Cockrah Road. Keep straight ahead to the crossroads. Here, turn left to Low and High Yedmandale. Follow the metalled lane to Low Yedmandale Farm with attractive woodland opposite. Go through a metal farm gate, and just before the track ascends towards High Yedmandale Farm, you’ll observe a large stone slab and public footpath sign off right. This will be your return route, so continue to climb out of the wooded area to reach the brow of the hill, which is usually much cooler.
Now surrounded by arable land, your track swings sharply left between stone walling, on the approach to High Yedmandale Farm. Listen to skylarks. Notice a dried pond to the left before entering a gateway and then keep directly ahead between farm buildings, noting a date-stone 1847 in the walling. Keep to track marks across the lawned areas, with caravans nearby.
The steep valley of Kimlin Slack is screened by trees to your left. Do take a look before reaching walling. Beyond the wall, turn right as indicated, ‘Public Bridleway’. This follows a field boundary to Kimlin Hole on the left, with Coverdale Moor beyond.
Your grassed track becomes hedged either side, and when golden gorse features to your left, a gentle ascent meets a handgate. Bearing left to an obvious track, follow right hedging with arable land and a silo to your left. Pass through a wide, open gap between hedging to meet a cross-track.
Here turn right across open agricultural land.
Keep straight ahead along the obvious route in a south-easterly direction. You’ll observe Spiker’s Hill Farm to the distant left. Go through an open farm gate, and a gentle descent between a line of trees and hedging leads to a handsome property off right!
The walled lane continues across arable land, as you seek a public footpath sign close beside the road and just before the quarry.
Leave Cockrah Road and turn right along the public footpath. [An alternative route is to return down Cockrah Road, but it’s not of great interest.] The public footpath goes between walling and descends between trees, leaving the quarry and vehicles etc over to the left.
Keep to the grassy path and turn left as indicated on an arrowed post. A short, steep descent follows, with post and wire fencing to the right. Turn right as arrowed near the quarry, and enjoy a delightful stroll along the woodland path, emerging by the huge stone slab to access Low Yedmandale.
Turning left returns you to West Ayton, and left again to your departure point. Now how about refreshment in Ayton with its inns and fish and chip shop? Ye Olde Forge Valley Hotel is close at hand and Walkers Fish and Chip Restaurant is hugely popular too!
Distance: 5 miles of easy walking.
Allow: 2.5 hours leisurely walking.
Refreshment en route: Ye Olde Forge Valley Hotel.
Transport: 128 Pickering bus service.
Note: Go quietly to view roe deer, hare, brimstone butterflies and peacock butterflies etc in season.
Copies of Rural Rambles Volume 15 are now available following a re-print. The booklet contains 17 walks plus larger maps and some illustrations, for £2.50. Entire profits to charities. For a copy send a cheque for £2.50 payable to EM Robinson and enclose an A5 sized stamped addressed envelope (a 53p stamp will cover cost). Send to Mrs M Robinson, 14 Malvern Crescent, Scarborough YO12 5QW.