Unspoilt scenic beauty

The view from Estell Lane looking towards Troutsdale...
The view from Estell Lane looking towards Troutsdale...

Written by Maureen Robinson

There’s no denying that North Yorkshire is now renowned as the Garden of England! One of our most treasured routes for sheer unspoilt scenic beauty is found between Hackness and through Troutsdale to Snainton.

Whether you choose to walk, cycle or drive along this route, you can’t fail to be deeply moved by its special appeal.

Troutsdale is a treasure lying roughly south-west of Langdale End. Both Troutsdale and Rosekirk Dale Fens were given the status of SSSI (Site of Special Scientific Interest) in 1984. These two fen systems lie in the narrow upper reaches of Troutsdale. They show examples of spring and flush fen flora where springs emanate from the Corallian Limestone. Such fen systems are restricted to areas in Norfolk, Oxfordshire, Anglesy and the North Yorkshire Moors, therefore are nationally rare!

In addition to interesting plant life, calcareous fens also support distinctive insect communities. Flush systems are particularly important for soldier flies, and a crane fly named Limonia occidua. This is one of the very few English locations for the latter species.

Access to the suggested starting point, if you’re travelling from Scarborough, is along Scalby Road (A171) to Newby, and turn left at the Rosette Inn to Scalby. Ascend Hay Lane to Suffield and descend into Hackness village. Pass St Peter’s Church, go over the bridge and turn left to a road junction near the village hall. Turn right towards Hackness Grange Hotel, passing it on your left. Before reaching Langdale End, seek a sign to your left off Broxa Lane. This is Estell Lane leading to Troutsdale and Snainton.

Start. Leaving Broxa Lane, your walk or cycle ride etc goes off left along Estell Lane. Savour a country scene of colour, charm and simplicity. If walking, keep to the right verge of this peaceful, single-track lane as new vistas are revealed around every corner.

Fields and forest, moors and marshes, sheep and cattle are punctuated only by the occasional farm-stead, lodge, road-bridge or cattle grid. Look out for a ruined chapel to your left and then Troutsdale Lodge to your right.

Watch out for pheasants, as you negotiate bends and a roller-coaster of a road towards Rock House Farm and Troutsdale Moor. At the foot of the hill is the old mill, followed by a steep ascent to a cattle grid.

Meeting a road junction, turn left as signed to Snainton 3.5 miles. Just ahead you reach Cockmoor Hall car park. Maybe time for a picnic?

Beyond the next cattle grid, a fabulous view extends over fields as your walk continues along Snainton Lane. It’s straight and direct, facing the Yorkshire Wolds to the southern horizon.

Passing several farms, Nettledale Lane leads past a dis-used quarry and drops down into Snainton village. The Peacock Hotel is sited conveniently at the corner.

Your single linear route provides easy walking. It requires no map or concentration, and no special footwear or equipment.

It’s special, and you’ll love it, but unless you’re prepared to walk all the way back, you should consider options.

a) Get non-walker pals to drive you to the start at Estell Lane, and then meet you at the end of the walk in Snainton.

b) Take public transport from Snainton, but do check bus times with care. Don’t be left stranded!

c) Finally, desert your partner (if you both drive), and each share a stretch of walking or driving, with a flask of tea or coffee etc at joining points. You can’t lose each other along this route. Keep to the tarmacadam and you can’t go wrong.

Distant: Linear route from Broxa Lane to The Peacock in Snainton is approximately eight miles.

Refreshment: The Peacock Hotel etc in Snainton village. I suggest you take a flask and snacks to enjoy along the way, have fun!

NB Binoculars and a camera may prove useful assets.