Some of the most wonderful walks are inaccessible to those without private transport, alas. However, this short route from Scalby village gives those travelling by bus a glimpse into paradise. You may even be tempted beyond. It’s one of our favourite cross-country walks to a pretty hamlet, a bridleway to Keld Runnels, with sparkling waters racing towards the valley and distant Sea Cut, and amazing views.
Access is by bus to Scalby village, just north of Scarborough and neighbouring Newby. Take the A171 Scalby Road by bus, as far as Scalby’s crossroads, near the High Street and Station Road opposite. Follow the High Street past shops, pubs and cafe, and keep straight ahead down Church Hill towards St Laurence’s Church which dates back to Norman times.
Below the church is the old school near Carr Lane. Re-built in 1861 it now functions as a social centre for several organisations. Close by is the village green.
Cross the stone bridge near the Victorian letter box. Reaching the crossroads, turn right up Hay Lane, passing Low Hall off to the left. Gently ascend by pleasant properties until reaching two pairs of flats at Hay Brow. Just beyond is a sharp bend, and small parking area. Here, leave the road and turn left near the National Park boundary stone. Your bridleway now leads to Scalby Nabs. Glorious views unfold as you ascend, and marvel at the peace and tranquillity surrounding you. To your right is Scalby Bottom Reservoir, with East Farm and pretty East Farm Cottages beyond.
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. Limestone chippings on the lane’s surface lead through a vale surrounded by tree-clad hillsides. The lane swings left, and then swinging right you discover Keld Runnels Farm nestled in the valley.
Walking in front of the farm, do ensure any dogs are leashed please, as sheep, horses and other livestock may be nearby. Water, gushing from the right, into a culvert, provides a welcome and refreshing drink for dogs.
Our Tigga delighted in a cooling foot-bath on a hot day.
Enter a metal gate bearing a blue bridleway arrow. This is about a quarter of a mile past the farm, and may prove very muddy after rain.
About 50m ahead you reach another metal gate where a sign warns, ‘Bull in field’. This may well prove to be a good turning point, unless you’re familiar with the area and wish to access Mowthorp Farm near the road bridge, and return along the Sea Cut embankment.
I suggest if you have travelled by bus, you turn around and enjoy the return route in reverse. It looks quite different!
Re-tracing your steps, observe hazel nuts on any trees which have been left to reach maturity. A plum tree recently bore a fine crop of Victoria plums. Imagine the embankments in springtime, when primroses and violets bloom again, and bluebells ‘flow’ down the hillside like a glacial stream from the distant woodland.
All too soon you’re descending Hay Lane to re-enter Scalby village with its many amenities. Visit St Laurence’s Church; take a well-earned meal in The Nag’s Head, or light refreshment in The Yew Tree. The local shop sells delicious ice creams, and you’ll be surprised to find public toilets!
The villages have fought long and hard to maintain their public toilets. To help finance the project, they’ve produced a Sweet Pea calendar, priced only £4. Why not purchase one as a memento of your day out, or as a Christmas gift for a friend? I believe they’re available from most outlets in Scalby. It’s certainly an appropriate name for such a good cause!
Distance: 3.5 miles approximately to bull field and return to Scalby. Extend if you wish.
Terrain: Easy walking and no problems whatever.
Refreshment: Inns and cafe and shop in Scalby.
Toilets: Scalby village.
Access: Bus numbers 15 and 115 Cloughton bus service, and Arriva number 93.