To the north of Wykeham and Ruston villages lies the extensive Wykeham Forest. Pretty country lanes head towards such forestry, and this easy walk with gentle gradients, can be enjoyed in all weathers.
Access: Take the A170 Scarborough to Pickering road as far as Wkeham village, and park as convenient close by the Downe Arms, from where your route begins.
Start: From the Downe Arms, continue for a short distance south-west in the direction of Brompton and Pickering, but only as far as the first turn-off right to Ruston.
This pretty little village lies about seven miles west of Scarborough. Descend into Ruston by a row of cottages, and Ruston Methodist Chapel, to reach a fine stone bridge.
Don’t cross the bridge, but turn immediately right just before it. Cottage Farm Stables lie to your left.
Ruston is a delightful blending of old stone cottages and babbling beck – a rural community that still retains an olde, worlde charm.
Gently ascending Ruston Lane, which is banked and quite narrow, you reach the brow of the hill. Pastoral views are revealed over undulating sheep pasture and arable land. The lane rises and falls pleasantly across the countryside. A variety of birds are usually found in this locality, and wild flowers according to season.
Passing a quarry off right, remain on Ruston Lane as it swings to the left and continues directly ahead. Look forward to summertime, when dog roses bloom in the hedgerow, and scarlet poppies form a strong contrast of colour with yellow rape.
Meeting a junction with a bridle-track to Sawdon, turn right and continue for a short distance, until the next road junction is reached at Rowhowe House.
Here, turn right along Wykeham Lane, unless you wish to extend your walk from this point beyond Wykeham Grange. Remember you must return down Wykeham Lane immediately.
A variety of wildlife may be glimpsed in Wykeham Forest if you walk quietly. Roe deer may cross this lane, even in daylight hours.
Returning down Wykeham Lane along the grassed verge, it’s a gentle descent all the way.
Crossing over the railway bridge you arrive at the Downe Arms to quench your thirst. But wait! Did you spot a sign off left indicating an ice house? Do take time to view the restored ice house just off Wykeham Lane and to the rear of the church. It was restored as a community project for the millennium, and is a credit to Wykeham and Ruston villagers and volunteers for their fine achievement.
Distance: 3.5 miles approximately.
Refreshment: The Downe Arms, and also Wykeham Tea Rooms beside the A170.