Your Day Out: Walk of great contrasts

Enter through the wonderful lych gate at St Laurence's Church and walk around the church yard to the church entrance.
Enter through the wonderful lych gate at St Laurence's Church and walk around the church yard to the church entrance.

Scalby is a pleasantly situated village about three miles north-west of Scarborough. It’s on the cut running from the River Derwent to the sea, and has attractive gardens and trees, and a stream winding down a narrow glen. Naturalists seek rare flowers, and geologists study glacial moraine. Scalby provides an excellent starting point for this superb walk of great contrasts.

Access is by private transport or bus (number 15 Cloughton) to the High Street, or to St Laurence’s Church, with street parking below, outside the Church Rooms dated 1861 [the Church Rooms car park is private].

Start from the Church Rooms on Church Lane. Follow the stone wall to Carr Lane off right, near the Victorian post box. To the left is Scalby’s attractive village green and the road bridge ahead.

Turn right along Carr Lane, with a public footpath sign beside the fenced Church Beck. Pass lovely residences, and Church Beck babbling by Toad Cottage. The lane becomes a rough track from Church Beck Cottage. Ascend the shady track for approximately 40 paces, seeking a public footpath sign directing walkers along a narrow, elevated path running parallel with the lane and much safer.

The path gently ascends with plastic-covered wire netting to your right. Shortly, the footpath levels beside a field to your right. Descend three steps to re-join the main track, and ignore a bold sign indicating a cricket field off right, as this will be an extension to your first route later.

Continue up the shady track of Carr Lane, passing Glen Cottage and Foxglove Cottage along the way. Observe the deep descent off left which is private land, and quite haunting. Your track winds through a variety of habitats for wildlife and wild flowers in season, soon threading its way between fields and vegetation. Walk silently and you’ll probably see a deer.

Reaching Prospect House Farm, on this walk we retrace our steps down the bridleway to the sign seen previously regarding the cricket field. Here, turn off left as boldly signed, along the well-used track. Remain on this obvious track as it passes the cricket pavilion and cricket field to the left. Trees frame your track to the right.

Then keep the sporting area to your left and follow the right post and metal rail fencing up the side of the field along a belt of grass and buttercups. Reaching the top of the field, find a metal farmgate in the right corner. Enter the gate into a field with six or seven mature trees. Keep beside metal and wire fencing, veering right by a handsome hawthorn bush, with cherry and beech trees beyond.

Reach a kissing gate and continue veering right, beside a grassed verge resplendent with a variety of trees including hawthorn, beech, horse chestnut, oak and holly. To your left, sheep graze peacefully in rich pastures.

Beech hedging to your right then leads to a drive of rhododendrons. Don’t go left, as it’s a private driveway to Wrea Head Hotel. Instead, go right beside the beech hedge, and you’ll observe a tremendous colony of Wild Arum at the foot of the hedge and well beyond too! You may know it by one of several names, such as Cuckoo Pint, Jack-in-the-Pulpit, or Lords and Ladies. It’s a most interesting plant, cross-pollinated by insects attracted to its foul smell when the pistil is ripe.

Keep straight ahead and the drive becomes enclosed by wooden fencing, with sheep pasture and a horse paddock either side. The metalled drive overlooks meadow land golden with buttercups as you approach a stone-built house and enter the road opposite Foulsyke Stables. Here, turn right down Barmoor Lane to the ford and maybe feed the ducks on the pond.

Next, leaving the ford, turn right along North Street, with bungalows to the left, and woodland and fields opposite.

At the far junction is a grassy island, with seat beneath a horse-chestnut tree. Here, go right by terraced cottages to Scalby’s Methodist Church.

Reaching the next road junction, you’ll see the popular Yew Tree Cafe on the corner of High Street for refreshment.

Opposite, is the Nags Head with other facilities for refreshment in the High Street.

From The Yew Tree, turn right by the bus shelter and stroll down Church Hill, admiring the line of stately lime trees named the Twelve Apostles. Reaching the church’s lovely lych gate, enter and walk round the church yard to St Laurence’s Church entrance. You’ll appreciate that the church stands on a knoll from where there’s a fine view of the valley and moors beyond.

Much was rebuilt in the 17th century and has since been enlarged. However, the chancel arch and pillars of the nave arcade have stood since the close of the 12th century.

Leaving the church, descend well-defined steps to meet Church Hill once more, and turn right to the Church Rooms and your roadside parking area.

Public transport: Cloughton bus number 15 to Scalby High Street.

Distance: Almost four miles. Allow two hours plus for viewing etc.

Refreshment: The Yew Tree, High Street, Scalby. Other dining options and shops along the High Street.

The map is a rough guide only and public footpath/bridleway signs are inadequate/missing. Please follow the route details.

Use Explorer Map OL27 Ordnance Survey, North York Moors Eastern Area. Scale 2.5 inches to one mile.