by Maureen Robinson
Cold, grey skies, leafless trees, flowerless hedgerows and deserted lanes – it’s winter! But wait, and look again for compensations. A golden ray of sunshine penetrates the clouds, skeletal trees are silhouetted against the skyline, hours of daylight are increasing, the views are more extensive, country lanes are more deserted, and snowdrops are well in bloom – symbols of hope to greet the promised spring.
Keep your spirits high, dress warmly and take a good brisk walk along country lanes, keeping dry-shod and availing yourself of all the highlights of a winter walk.
This circular route of about four and a half miles can be enjoyed in all seasons. It can be accessed by private or public transport from Scarborough, along the A171 Scalby Road. The number 15 Cloughton bus should be taken into Scalby village to the starting point from the Nag’s Head or Yew Tree Restaurant.
Start. From the Yew Tree, follow the lane between this restaurant and the Wesleyan Methodist Chapel, and keep straight ahead to a beautiful island dominated by a mature tree, new flower beds and handsome seat.
From the island continue along North Street with attractive bungalows and large residential properties to admire. A copse to the left is one of the spots to discover sheets of snowdrops. Just beyond, North Lane meets a road junction at a ford and attractive pond, where folk like to sit and watch the waterfowl.
Here, turn left to pass Foulsyke Farm off right, and Foulsyke Cottages to the left. Gently ascending by Wrea Head Cottages to the brow of the hill you’ll observe Wrea Head Country Cottages off left, and open fields. Passing Barmoor House, you’ll find a seat near a road junction, and a notice announcing Thompson’s. It reads: ‘Welcome to Beacon Works’ – Thompson Homes, Fencing, Property etc’. Here turn left to pass a post box and enter the North York Moors National Park.
Still gaining height, admire Cumboots Old Farmhouse, and Hollym beyond. What fantastic views present themselves from the banked woodland to your right and across the valley below to your left. A seat provides relaxation before a steep rise to a road junction.
Now leaving Cumboots Brow you reach a road junction. Here, turn left as to Silpho, Suffield and Scalby. Keep to Swang Road through Swang Plantation. In winter, the naked boughs permit extensive views to the coast, and Castle Hill with its prominent landmark.
Negotiate bends as you head towards Suffield, and don’t miss a cottage to your right, highly recommended for its sale of cordials, juices, marmalade, jam and cakes etc. Just the place to replenish stocks before your final trek! Then go sharp left to return to Newby and Scalby.
The tree-lined lane is banked to the right verge as you keep descending, with fields and forests unfolding to the left, and multitudes of mole hills erupting like miniature volcanoes from green meadows! The lane swings left to Hay Brow and its rookery near the 30mph zone.
Passing apartments and local properties, you’ll observe at the foot of Hay Lane to your right, Low Hall – a convalescent home for miners. Here, go left by Scalby’s lovely fenced green and beck, to continue alongside Scalby’s Church Rooms, and possibly visit St Laurence’s Church and handsome lychgate on Church Lane. The graveyard is a sheet of gleaming white snow- drops in January and February. Follow the line of lime trees to return to the village with its Yew Tree Restaurant, telephone kiosk and bus stop all convenient.
Distance: 4.5 miles of country lanes.
Refreshment: The Yew Tree Restaurant, The Nag’s Head in Scalby village. The cottage of cordials and cakes at the Suffield junction.
l Rural Rambles Volume 15 is now available – 17 super walks plus maps and illustrations, for £2.50. Entire profits to charities; the Scarborough Maritime Heritage Centre have been given £50,000 from past sales. For a copy send a cheque for £2.50 payable to EM Robinson and enclose an A5 sized stamped addressed envelope (a 53p stamp will cover cost). Send to Mrs M Robinson, 14 Malvern Crescent, Scarborough YO12 5QW.