West Ayton - Wykeham Forest - Spiker Hill - West Ayton

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Here is a picturesque and interesting walk up the south-facing slope of the North Yorkshire Moors. Walking up the quiet lane, skylarks can be heard and lapwings can be seen flapping about in the adjacent fields. When we did the walk, only the very early spring flowers were about, but there was plenty of evidence of future floral displays – hawthorn and blackthorn that will give the local gatherers good crops of sloes for their winter drinks.

Wykeham Forest is a good mix of deciduous and coniferous and the ground is covered in places with bilberry plants. There are nice glades which would provide good places to stop and picnic, but don’t be tempted, continue to Waymark 10 and turn away from the route to the top of the valley. Here is one of the best views in the area, where down in the bottom can be seen the River Derwent and the Sea Cut, taking potential floodwater out to the sea at Scalby Mills. Through the gap can be seen the sea and Scarborough Castle up on its headland. The small village of Hackness is to the left, dominated by Hackness Hall and surrounding, very fine buildings. Down below is the Everley, a hotel and restaurant, which sadly is closed at the moment. Between the hotel and village is the hamlet of Wrench Green and everything against a lovely backdrop of hills, woods and meadows. I used this scene for the introductory photo.

After leaving this delightful spot, the walk continues along the top edge of Forge valley to emerge alongside a field. I have seen deer and hares along here. The walk continues along the edge of the next field, but I would like to mention that there is a slightly tricky drop down into a lane and further along, a stile. It is possible to take the track to the right to meet Cockrah Road and rejoin the route at Waymark 15. Then it is an easy stroll down the road with views of the Yorkshire Wolds in the distance. The Caravan Club site is situated on the left of Cockrah Road and this would make a perfect walk for anyone with a few hours to spare.

England - North England - Yorkshire - North York Moors

Features

Birds, Butterflies, Castle, Flowers, Good for Kids, Great Views, Hills or Fells, Mostly Flat, Public Transport, River, Wildlife, Woodland

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