Little gems off the A170

Picturesque Brompton, with All Saints' Church ' where poet William Wordsworth married Mary Hutchinson ' in the distance.
Picturesque Brompton, with All Saints' Church ' where poet William Wordsworth married Mary Hutchinson ' in the distance.

written by Maureen Robinson

This week, by way of a change, why not enjoy a glorious scenic drive through Dalby Forest, returning via Bickley, Langdale End and Hackness?

Although the outward-going route is along the A170 to Thornton-le-Dale, you have several options to avoid traffic.

The A170 provides a means of linking several village gems along the way, each of which is a jewel when you deviate north or south off the main road. Blink and you’ll miss them!

From Scarborough, the A170 to Pickering and Thirsk passes through East and West Ayton, with Hutton Buscel just beyond, worth a detour to view the rural scene and hill-top church. At the far end, return to the main road and prepare to go briefly off right at Wykeham Church. Park in the lane adjacent to the Cayley Arms, and a path signed off right leads to a restored Ice House – the predecessor of modern freezers!

Back on track for Brompton and the Cayley Arms, well-named after Cayley, whose “octagonal” workshop is sited to the left of the road. Here he designed his “flights of fancy”, and you may obtain keys from Brompton Hall School to view the interesting interior. The turn-off left reveals a village full of charm as well as history. Visit the church where William Wordsworth was married.

Walk by the lake which it overlooks; feed the ducks in the stream, and admire the mill pond near the village hall. So much to see, you’ll wish to stay!

Reaching Ebberston, watch out for deer to your right near Ebberston Hall, before continuing through Allerston and Wilton to enter Thornton-le-Dale, with the church dominating the right elevation and the hall to your left. The thatched cottage is always a popular subject for photographers.

At the far end of Thornton-le-Dale turn right as signed: Whitby A169. Ascend the hill and follow a level section to a road junction. Here, turn right as signed to Dalby, the Great Yorkshire Forest. Follow the winding road to Dalby Forest and fork right to pass by the toll booth. It’s £4 per vehicle. The forest is open from 8am to 8.30pm and is well signed.

Now a surprise awaits you about a quarter of a mile ahead. Reaching the 30mph sign, seek to your right (opposite a ‘deliveries’ sign board), an open parking area and broad grassed site where, between two seats, stand a couple of Lumber Jills felling trees! Blending beautifully with the sylvan setting, this handsome sculpture is a national tribute to about 9,000 young women who formed the Women’s Timber Corps during the Second World War. Coinciding with Remembrance Sunday, the Lumber Jills were unveiled and remembered for the major role they played in Britain’s forests, producing much needed timber vital in the war effort. This sculpture, created by Ray Lonsdale of County Durham, is a lasting legacy to their achievement.

Continue downhill through mixed woodland, followed by more open sheep pasture to discover in the valley – Low Dalby. Cross a ramp and turn left to the Visitor Centre.

I suggest you park here to discover more about Dalby Forest’s 8,000 and more acres of woodland to explore and enjoy.

Learn about sustainable living, and have fun with the hands-on interactive displays. You’ll find a restaurant here, with large indoor and outdoor seating area. Whilst dining you can really appreciate the views over the forest.

Feeling refreshed and 
energetic? Why not hire a bike from the Bike Centre in Dalby Courtyard? Burn off some energy using cycle trails to 
explore the forest.

For the really young at heart, you can join the Tree Apes to your right as you proceed along the drive.

There’s always a quiet corner to watch the wildlife and take in the scenery and fresh air.

What’s more, wheelchairs and electric buggies are free to hire if you book one. Contact (01751) 460295.

Your return route homewards is pure magic. Entering Seive Dale follow the main drive, with stream to your left. High Staindale features on a sharp bend, followed by Adderstone Field and Dixon’s Hollow.

Reaching a road junction, turn left towards Crosscliff, and leave Dalby Forest Trail at Bickley Gate.

Wind your way to Bickley, and your next call is just two miles away at Langdale End. To your right, seek the Coptic Orthodox Monastery, and just ahead is The Moorcock Inn – a very popular refreshment stop!

Passing a chapel, and St 
Peter’s Church you meet a road junction. Turn left from Hackness Village Hall and view Hackness Hall and lake beyond right fencing. Cross the road-bridge to the school and St Peter’s Church, and note the guttered spring 
water. Pass beneath the bridge and glimpse an ice house to the left.

Climb up to Suffield via farmsteads, and at the hilltop fork right and descend to Scalby. Go straight forward over the bridge, and at the road junction veer left along Hackness Drive to The Rosette.

Turn right along Scalby Road to return to Scarborough.

Distance: 38 miles or so return.

Refreshment: Plenty of village inns and cafes plus the visitor centre in Dalby Forest.