Walks: Cherish wild daffodils on Cloughton route

Wild daffodils bloom in profusion in Sycraham wood at Cloughton Wyke.
Wild daffodils bloom in profusion in Sycraham wood at Cloughton Wyke.

Cloughton’s truly wild daffodils in a secluded wood setting just alongside the Cleveland Way are a treasure to cherish. Many travel to Farndale near Castleton, and north of Kirkbymoorside to appreciate such a rare sight. Here they bloom in Sycarham Wood devoid of crowds.

This short, pretty walk of about three miles, is a must for all the family in springtime.

Access: With easy access by private or public transport along the A171 Scarborough to Whitby road as far as Cloughton, halt. Where the A171 swings left, you keep straight ahead as signed to Staintondale, to start your walk near the bus stop on Newlands Road, alongside Cober Hill Guest House, Office and Reservations.

Walk northwards up Newlands Road, with countryside to your left where rabbits used to abound. Pass a small wood on your right and several fine elevated properties. Hillsides are clad with the blazing gold of gorse as Hood Lane is approached.

Turn right up Hood Lane, and at the brow is a bungalow named ‘Little Pastures’ where my dear parents lived in the 1960s until 1976. As you descend the lane, you’ll see the woodland floor at the foot of what was their field, wild daffodils which are private. However, enjoy the pleasant walk down Hood Lane, and pass beneath the railway bridge ahead.

Gently ascend the lane, keeping the large property of Sycarham Lodge to your right as you continue up the adjacent track. The glorious impact of Cloughton Wyke is entrancing, and blackthorn blossom of snowy whiteness bursts from pink-tinged buds in April to create a spectacular sight.

Your obvious route along the well-used public footpath leads towards the cliff top and Roger Trod. You’ll find a welcome seat for wayfarers as you meet the Cleveland Way, to turn right. This seat was, “In memory of Ann M Hazel, President of Scarborough Rambling Club, 1978-1993.”

Continue by turning right in a south-easterly direction along the Cleveland Way. Skylarks carol high above, and trees are bowed inland by the force of the prevailing winds. Your well-used path follows the field edge, before dipping down towards Cloughton Wyke’s glistening sea and mighty rocks.

Well-constructed steps wind down to Sycarham Wood with a golden heart of wild daffodils and pale primroses. Please do not pick these protected flowers. Leave for all to appreciate.

Follow the winding course of steps to the level, and glance back at the nodding daffodils before leaving the spectacle.

Your route follows the cliff edge alongside a field, entering a small blackthorn thicket to cross a babbling ‘beck’ and revealing stunning scenery throughout.

At a forking of ways, go right up a steeper hillside to find a seat and car park at the top of the cliff.

Ascend Newlands Lane ahead and you may observe a lime kiln to the far right horizon, from a 20mph sign.

Cross the stone bridge ahead, which spans the disused railway line. It’s now a popular cinder-track for many people. Court Green Farm features to your right, with Court Green beyond.

Keep beside the high stone walling, which is banked on the opposite side, to meet the road junction. By turning right, you return to Cober Hill and the bus stop.

Distance: 3 miles approximately. Allow 1.5 hours steady walking.

Refreshment: None along the route. The Red Lion in Cloughton village.

There are several steep ascents and descents on this route.

The best flowering time is usually the second week in April but depends upon the weather.