December 2015 will certainly be remembered as the month when the rains came down! A tragic time for many families and farmers with severe flooding.
Our New Year walks have inevitably been restricted to country lanes or well-drained localities. It was a report in The Scarborough News on December 31 that prompted us to visit the Sneatonthorpe area. Headed, “Potash gets ready for start of a new chapter,” we read on.
It seems that Scarborough-based Sirius Minerals, parent company to York Potash which is behind the £1.7 billion mine being built at Sneatonthorpe, is likely to start construction this year. It is looking forward to the start of an “exciting chapter”.
May I suggest you follow this easy, country walk to view the proposed site and imagine the outcome? The route is 4.75 miles in all, and may be extended northwards via Rig Mill Wood when conditions prove favourable.
The North York Moors can proudly boast some magnificent scenery. Enchanting names to the south of Sneaton, almost beckon one to explore the environs of Sneatonthorpe.
This route of approximately five miles is ideal for wet weather, when moorland cross-country walking may be inhospitable and even hazardous. Following minor lanes, this pleasant walk takes advantage of spectacular scenery – especially to the north and north-east towards Whitby and Hawsker.
Crossing agricultural land; passing farm-steads; skirting moorland, and plantations, it’s a grand marching route.
Take the A171 Whitby road as far as Sneaton Corner, where you branch off along the B1416 towards Ruswarp, but only for about a mile. Seek a minor lane turning first right, and park as convenient near this junction with Raikes Lane. Your walk starts from here.
The pleasant rural lane, with low hedges surrounding sheep pasture is relatively devoid of traffic.
Passing Soulsgrave Farm off left, Raikes Lane gently ascends White Moor Hill to reach a fine viewpoint across the desolate moors towards the twin villages of High and Low Hawsker, and the prominent landmark of Whitby Abbey.
As you gently descend, you’ll meet a roadsign indicating a right turning to Robin Hood’s Bay (five miles) and Hawsker (two miles). Keep straight ahead over a ford, and passing Beckside Farm swing left along Sneaton Thorpe Lane.
Arable land surrounds you, as you head north-west to pass Mortar Hall Farm with magnificent views to the cliff top. You quickly reach the B1416 Ruswarp Road. At this junction turn left towards Scarborough (17.5 miles). Remain beside this road as it skirts Windmill Hill Plantation and heads its breezy stretch southwards to Ugglebarnby Moor.
Straight and direct, your way lies between a Scots Pine plantation and Ugglebarnby Moor. An access drive to Dove’s Nest Farm is noted before the road junction is reached.
Sweeping left beside Belt Plantations, a good half-mile ahead is the junction with Raikes Lane, and your departure point.
Distance: Approximately five miles.
Refreshment: I suggest you take your own as there are no facilities en route.
NB Seek to the east of the B1416 in the vicinity of Dove’s Nest Farm, any signs of the potash development. Watch this space!