Walks: Ever-changing scenery on a delightful route

Ayton Castle viewed from Castle Lane.
Ayton Castle viewed from Castle Lane.

This is a delightful and easy to follow route, with ever-changing scenery. It’s just four miles south-west of Scarborough.

Take private or public transport along the A170 Scarborough to Pickering road as far as the road junction near St John’s Church in East Ayton. The Church of St John the Baptist is the starting point of your 3.75 mile walk.

From the church, go towards the road junction of the Scarborough and Seamer routes, and turn left along Castle Lane. At the road junction turn right up the Forge Valley Road, with the remains of Ayton Castle overlooking the River Derwent.

East Ayton Lodge is noted for possible refreshment, and just beyond is a house named Woodend. From here, cross to the opposite kerb to view the River Derwent and its wooded slopes.

Reaching the first fenced car park re-cross the road and walk to the tree trunk barrier at the top of the parking area. Keep straight ahead up a well-used bridleway amidst the peaceful woodland of Seave Gill. It was cut, or gouged out by torrential waters that drained from the melting ice fields. These were on the high ground to the north-east.

We witnessed a weird experience here, following the morning’s thunderstorm. As the afternoon brightened, we parked the car, and were about to enjoy a walk, when a surge of water flowed down the hillside, like a creeping serpent approaching us!

The waters cut a wavy channel through the bedrock of Hambleton oolite, to form a miniature canyon, which you will see is flanked by cliffs composed of solid rock.

Upon leaving the wood, approach a cross-track. Turn left along a grassy, rising track banked to the left and hedged on the right. This narrow path follows between an open field and scattered hawthorn hedging.

Shortly, Whin Covert lies to your right as you keep by its fenced boundary to meet a cross-track at the top. With the driveway to Osborne Lodge before you, turn right to continue alongside Whin Covert. Keep to the driveway. You may observe a deviation to the right, but I suggest that on this occasion you remain on the driveway to the far end.

Meeting the lane, turn right, heading south with views to the distant, chalky Wolds. Stroll down Moor Lane, with agricultural land producing cereals and rape for miles around.

Nearing the foot of Moor Lane, pass Seavegate Close, and then East Ayton Lodge Country Hotel beckons. This may be just the place for refreshment, before returning to the road junction and your starting point.

Distance: 3.75 miles. Allow about 1.5 hours or so.

Map ref: Ordnance Survey Explorer Map OL27, North York Moors Eastern Area. Scale: 2.5 inches to 1 mile.

Rereshment: East Ayton Lodge, Moor Lane. There are plenty of inns, restaurants, fish and chips and shops in Ayton too.

Village Rambles

A new booklet has been produced in time for Christmas. Village Rambles by Maureen Robinson features 16 interesting villages visited by Michael and herself this year. It is suitable for all ages and abilities, as the villages may be explored on foot, by cycle, or any private transport.

The booklets are now available from Scarborough Library on Vernon Road; Newby and Scalby Library on Scalby Road, and The Blind Society charity shop at Falsgrave near the post box.

They’re priced at £3 per copy and contain colour and black and white illustrations.

Copies may also be obtained by sending an A5 stamped addressed envelope (for 56p second class mail) plus cheque for £3 made payable to EM Robinson please.

The address: Mrs EM Robinson, 14 Malvern Crescent, Scarborough YO12 5QW.

Thank you for your kind support.