Your Day Out: A hint of Christmas turkey!

Boynton hall, near Bridlington.
Boynton hall, near Bridlington.

As Christmas approaches, our minds turn to Eastfield Garden Centre near Bridlington, and to Boynton’s church with its hint of Christmas turkey! This easy, level walk of about five miles is lovely in all seasons.

The Eastfield Garden Centre is extremely popular, and makes a great starting point, with a spacious car park, and amazing Christmas displays! Whether it’s glittering decorations, Christmas trees, bon-bons, tempting gifts or bird food – it’s all here, along with wonderful meals!

Access to the starting point is from Bridlington’s Old Town along the A165. Turn off onto the B1253 Easton Road as signed to Rudston. Just a short distance ahead, to the right is Eastfield Garden Centre.

Here’s an Aladdin’s Cave of treasures, but I suggest you curb your enthusiasm until after the walk, unless you dine here first!

Start. Leaving the centre, turn right beside the B1253, heading due west towards Rudston. I suggest you cross to the left verge along a footpath. Shortly, barns and white properties feature before you reach a road bend. As the road sweeps right, halt at a white-painted house. Here, at Easton Lodge, once lived my husband’s uncle, Mr Jack Robinson. He was Boynton Hall’s gardener, and died at the age of about 98! Just past this home, turn immediately left off the road along a pretty, leafy public footpath enclosed between fencing. Be prepared for a little mud in places, where little tributaries cross the path, towards the Gypsey Race.

The well-vegetated path heads directly west, passing Dicky Wood off right, and leading to St Andrew’s Church, Boynton. Nearing the church walling, you’ll admire Boynton Hall to the left, just south-east of the church. It was built by a William Strickland who died in 1598. It has been the home of many generations of the Stricklands. As your path skirts the churchyard wall you can admire the handsome late 14th to 15th century tower of St Andrew’s Church. It’s contrasting nave and chancel were rebuilt in brick in 1768 by John Carr of York. Enter the church to see some of the Strickland’s monuments. One has the family crest of a turkey cock, and a portrait plaque on a sarcophagus. Why a turkey? Well, the 1st William Strickland of Boynton sailed from Bristol with Cabot to America, hoping to find gold in the New World. His adventure was somewhat disappointing. He returned with nothing better than a few turkeys! However, these were the first ever seen in England! These he continued to breed and even had them served at meals in the hall. This was the first introduction of turkey into our meals, and became a popular festive tradition at Christmas. Don’t miss the fine carving of a turkey on the church’s lectern, and seek this bird in the stained-glass windows.

Leaving the church gate, turn briefly right to the fine, old brick house. Here, turn off left along a signed bridleway and footpath. Keep to the good, broad bridleway (blue arrow) passing through woodland to cross the Gypsey Race. This is an elusive stream which flows intermittently from Duggleby along the Great Wold Valley, to lose itself in the waters of Bridlington Bay. Here at Boynton is the most enchanting section of the Gypsey Race. Its clear, tranquil waters flow across peaceful meadow land grazed by sheep. You may see herons in the locality. From the bridge continue past Home Farm along a wide track into a wooded area. Rising gently out of the valley, round a bend and ascend alongside walnut trees to meet the Roman Road. Here, turn left to follow the straight direct route in an easterly direction.

You pass through Hallowkiln Wood, and then march along to meet the road junction of the A165 and A614. Turn left along the A165, and about half a mile ahead go left along the B125 Easton Road to return to Eastfield Garden Centre with the prospect of last minute Christmas shopping or welcome refreshment!

Happy Christmas everyone and a joyful New Year 2016.

Distance: Approximately five miles. Allow 2.5 hours.

Refreshment: Eastfield Garden Centre or Bridlington’s Old Town.

Map reference: Ordnance Survey Explorer 301 Scarborough, Bridlington, Flamborough Head, scale 2.5 inches to one mile.