Rail track and ravines

Station House owners Steve and Barbara Hargreaves with son Jon. 133517a
Station House owners Steve and Barbara Hargreaves with son Jon. 133517a

by Maureen Robinson

Burniston village is about five miles north of Scarborough on the edge of the North York Moors. This attractive country and coastal walk includes the exhilarating coastline along the Cleveland Way to Cloughton Wyke, and the dismantled railtrack where you must call at the highly popular Station Tearoom. Take binoculars to identify birds along the way.

Access to the starting point in Burniston is by private or public transport either along the A171 Scarborough to Whitby road, or the A165 Burniston Road (ie Coastal Road) to find the Three Jolly Sailors near the road junction.

Leaving the Three Jolly Sailors, take the adjacent Rocks Lane that winds pleasantly to the railway bridge. [NB. The railtrack above will provide your return.]

Walk under the bridge and keep straight ahead up Field Lane towards Cliff Top House, with its boarding kennels, swinging right at the bend to a small car park. [Those with private transport may prefer to park here.]

Just beyond the car park is a superb information board. Even the supporting posts are beautifully engraved and should be examined in detail to discover local wildlife portrayed.

Ignore the path that descends to the beach. Instead, bear left along the edge of a field which leads to the cliff top. Proceed in a northerly direction along the Cleveland Way.

Take time to admire spectacular views, especially southwards towards Scarborough Castle. Wild flowers bloom in profusion on the crumbling cliffs in season, but don’t venture off the path, as the boulder clay is always slip-sliding away!

Walking towards Long Nab, you’ll discover a remarkably fine memorial seat where one may relax and gaze seawards.

Just ahead is the Coastguard Station, and then the rugged cliffs of the Hundales are reached.

Shortly, steps provide easy access across a small ravine, and as you regain the cliff edge, a viewpoint provides vistas northwards to Hayburn Wyke. Another small ravine is crossed by boarding before a view of Cloughton Wyke is revealed from the heights.

Ahead is a steeply-stepped ravine which you may choose to take, and follow a track turning inland to join a tarmac lane above Cloughton Wyke.

Alternatively, stop at the gully, and avoiding the descent turn left as arrowed, and then go right along the edge of a field. A finger-post directs you up a grassy slope to veer right as way-marked, on the field edge. The next arrow indicates going left through a gap in the hedge and then straight forward with tall hedges laden in sloes to your right. Descend a few steps and keep to the path as requested.

Meeting a cross-path from the Wyke, turn left inland to find a seat for a welcome cuppa. Then step up to the car park. The lane beyond is known as Salt Pans Road, owing to the Salt Pans just north of Cloughton Wyke. For many years salt was obtained by evaporating salt from sea water, by running sea water into pans and boiling it until a deposit of salt was left.

Follow the tarmac lane from the car park to the bridge spanning the old railway track.

Here, access the disused track and head south towards Burniston. The cinder track is well-drained and leads directly to a gate opening into Station Lane and Station Tearoom - a highlight of your day out!

This country station at Cloughton has been extensively renovated to provide B&B accommodation as well as an extremely popular tearoom. Cloughton Station was built in 1885 and was one of the busiest on the 21 mile line between Scarborough and Whitby, having a cattle-dock, goods shed, passing-line and coal weighbridge. It won many prizes in the annual ‘Best Kept Station’ competition between 1932 and 1964.

The railway was originally opened on July 16, 1885, taking travellers through beautiful countryside and coastal scenery until its closure in 1965, on March 5.

However, all was not lost, as the dismantled track is enjoyed as a bridleway, footpath and popular cycle track.

Open throughout the year, and set in over half an acre of garden, the tearoom is a must. Visit from Saturday to Wednesday and opening hours are 10.30am-5pm.

Leaving the tearoom, and renovated Old Goods Shed to your left, continue along the railtrack for about a further mile midst fields and brambled verges to reach the railway bridge spanning the Rocks Lane/Field Lane route taken earlier.

Re-trace your steps along this pretty lane to return to the A171 and the Three Jolly Sailors.

Distance: 5.25 miles approximately.

Refreshments: The Three Jolly Sailors (Burniston High Street) and Station Tearoom (on the track at Cloughton).

Remember opening times: Saturday to Wednesday inclusive from 10.30am-5pm.