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St Nicholas Church, Ganton.
St Nicholas Church, Ganton.

Written by Maureen Robinson

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 is of such fine quality that it has been used to re-turf Wembley Stadium.

This pretty walk of about three miles is easy, level walking. It encompasses a variety of scenery as it visits the villages of Ganton and Potter Brompton, linked by the Wolds Way/Centenary Way and skirting Ganton’s golf course. The return is made along Station Lane with its rural charm and continental flavour.

The starting point is The Ganton Greyhound, nine miles south-west of Scarborough. Accessible by private or public transport along the A64 from the Staxton roundabout, the bus stop is almost opposite the 
hotel. It stands prominently in the main street with ample parking in the adjacent lay-by, and a telephone kiosk nearby.

Start. Leaving the Ganton Greyhound, turn briefly left as far as Duck Lane. Cross the busy A64 with care to enter Main Street. On the right corner once stood the village shop, and number three opposite used to be the post office. White-washed chalk cottages and a little roadside stream transport you into another world away from the hustle and bustle of daily life.

Passing number 18, The Old Post Office, continue up the Main Street and make a brief deviation left to visit St Nicholas Church with its impressive steeple. This place was for hundreds of years the residence of the Legards. The present church probably dates from the 14th and 15th century.

Do spend time admiring the recently re-developed garden with its lawns, pools, bridge and seating. Volunteers have transformed this area beyond all recognition. It was officially opened by the Bishop of Hull earlier this year.

Inside the porch are details of where you may obtain a key, should you wish to enter. Leaflets are available providing information regarding the church and its similarities with St Mary’s, Scarborough. Notice “the striking character of the roof, being of stone, ribbed within, exactly like the roofs of the chantry chapels attached to the south aisle of St Mary’s”.

The Wrigley family came to Ganton in 1906 and then bought the estate in 1911, and continued to help wherever possible.

Continue to the top of Main Street, where stands a Wolds Way/Centenary Way sign.

Turn right towards Sherburn, passing white-painted houses to reach the road junction.

Here turn left up Woodside Road, with Ganton’s village hall behind you. Parkland, belonging to Ganton Hall, is to the left with hills beyond. Ganton Hall itself is a red-bricked mansion with many tall chimneys. Built in the Victorian era, it reminds one of a French château set in a beautiful valley.

Just past a sign on an old millstone near the driveway to Hall Cottages, turn right at the Wolds Way/Centenary Way sign along a bridle way.

This pleasant, broad track is level and direct. Pheasants may startle you by their outbursts! Enjoy the quiet countryside as you remain on this track with fine blackthorn hedging soon featuring to the right. A superb harvest of sloes can be found in autumn, following the snowy-white blossom of springtime.

When the track meets the village of Potter Brompton, turn right along Main Street, ignoring the Wolds Way when it wanders off left.

Dawnay Lodge is behind you, as you stroll through this pleasant unspoilt village with traditional chalk cottages mingling with more modern properties.

Reaching the A64, halt! On the right corner is Glebe Farm which contains not only a fine farm bakery but Sally Middlewood’s Tea Room. The tea room is open every day serving a wide variety of teas, coffees, hot chocolate, cappuccinos and cold drinks too.

Whether you call in for a buttered scone or a three-course lunch, you’ll be most welcome. As for the desserts, they are legendary! Well behaved dogs are welcome in the garden room, and on a sunny day you could enjoy your refreshment in the garden. See opening hours at the end.

Feeling invigorated, cross the A64 with great care, to the right of a bus shelter. Some 50m or so ahead, seek a public footpath in between hedging to your left. Your exit from the main road is opposite the Potter Brompton sign board.

Here, turn off left and take a stile leading to Ganton Golf Club. From the board go left as indicated, to follow waymark arrows which guide you along short-turf paths skirting the golf course. [These were not discovered on this occasion, but were not essential – the route was obvious.]

Stands of pine trees, gorse bushes, silver birch and cherry trees enhance the scene. From a seat near a dried-up pond to the right, one can see the shelter, or Half-Way House as it’s known to locals.

At a forking of ways continue straight ahead and you soon enter a gravelled car park. Keep on to walk in front of the club-house.

Admire the attractive flower beds and stands of pine trees. White posts and chain-link fencing features as you turn right up Station Lane. Handsome properties off left are aptly named Furze, The Gorse and The Whins. All three names refer to the spiny shrub along the golf course, which in summertime is ablaze with golden-yellow flowers.

Keep to the left footpath and just beyond The Whins you should call at 1, Sands Cottage in Station Lane if you wish to purchase honey and wax products from a local beekeeper. Vegetables may also be for sale.

Continuing along the footpath, conifers screen the old village school which has been converted into a private house. Nearing the road, see what was the old blacksmith’s shop. It’s now a most attractive white 

Reaching the A64 once more, turn left to the Ganton Greyhound to complete your walk with welcome refreshment.

Distance: 3 miles approximately

Refreshment: Glebe Farm Bakery and Tea Room at the junction of Potter Brompton’s Main Street and the A64. Monday to Saturday – 9am to 5.30pm (in winter they close at 5pm); Sunday and Bank Holidays 11am to 4pm. Also, the Ganton Greyhound beside the A64, Ganton.