Walks: Ganton - a remote and peaceful place to walk

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The village of Ganton is about nine miles south-west of Scarborough. It’s accessible by private or public transport along the A64 from Staxton roundabout. The bus stop is almost opposite the Ganton Greyhound, from where this walk starts. It stands prominently by the A64, with ample parking in the adjacent lay-by.

Ganton is perhaps best known for its golf course, which ranks as one of the finest in the country. Ryder Cup matches have been played there, and the turf has been used to re-turf Wembley Stadium.

This remote, level, and peaceful walk provides several options.

a) Use the linear walk as far as desired, and return retracing your footsteps.

b) Use the linear walk as far as designed, and return by a diversion around the golf course’s perimeter, and back along the A64.

c) Use the linear walk, retrace steps to the Ganton Greyhound, and then cross the A64 to explore Ganton village to the south.

d) Follow the linear walk to Staplegate Bridge, and extend your trek to Wykeham, on a good bus route from there.

Start. From the Ganton Greyhound, take the adjacent Sands Lane, which passes the fine golf course. You’ll see the war memorial to your right, and the old school just beyond.

You feel you could be abroad as you glimpse Sands Cottages set amongst gorse bushes and pine trees. Call and buy local honey or vegetables in season upon your return.

Just ahead are fine properties, recalling in their names the prickly bushes with golden yellow flowers – gorse, whin or furze.

The long, direct lane, is marked by white posts alongside the golf course. You’ll see the golf club to your left, and may decide to deviate here upon your return. Meanwhile, continue along the narrowing lane with grass verges and trees.

Fairway House is to your right, as you approach the level crossing. Beyond the railway line, Bogg Hall is an obvious feature, as your track follows the edge of a maize crop to your left. Cross a drainage ditch with willows in the vicinity.

The track angles right towards a metal barrier. Here, cross the railed bridge, and passing a metal barrier turn almost immediately left along a green, and possibly muddy public footpath. [It is not signed in any way.] To your right is Haybridge Farm, where a new red-bricked house has been built. Your route follows a drainage ditch and hedge to your immediate right. Pass remains of an old barrier and continue. You’ll see Haybridge Farm’s barn and fields beyond hedging.

Open fields extend either side. Follow two ruts as you wander on, and admire prickly teasels to your right, and on the skyline oak woodland. Trees and hawthorn bushes lead to a cross path. A fine hay meadow is to your left, and then broken hedging to your right.

Where a path swings left, keep straight forward through the grass towards bushes. Reaching a low, metal barrier, take a rest, and maybe plan your optional return.

Proceed through longer grass, and between overgrown hedges each side. It isn’t too bad, so push ahead saying, “We must use it or lose it!” Not far now to Head Dike and Staplegate Bridge. This, being the northern end of one map, has to be decision time. Do you return from this point, or continue in a northerly direction on good, firm terrain or lane to Wykeham? [If you haven’t left private transport in Ganton, why not press on to explore Wykeham?] Otherwise, return by the out-going route, and consider options in Ganton. Whatever your decision, I’m sure you’ll have enjoyed this walk, and will introduce it to friends.

Refreshment: Take a snack and flask. The Ganton Greyhound at the start and finish, for more refreshment.

Distance: a) Ganton Greyhound-Staplegate Bridge linear route return: 3.5 miles; b) Ganton Greyhound-Staplegate Bridge, return via golf course: 4.5 miles; c) Free exploration of village to south of A64, add half mile or so; d) Ganton Greyhound-Staplebeck Bridge-Wykeham: (one way only) 4 miles.

Map ref: OS Explorer 300 Howardian Hills and Malton (Yorkshire Wolds North). Also OS Explorer OL27 North York Moors Eastern Area. Scale: 2.5 inches to 1 mile.