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Mowthorpe Bridge over the Sea Cut near Forge Valley
Mowthorpe Bridge over the Sea Cut near Forge Valley

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Route No 42 - 7 March 2002
Forge Valley, Hutton Buscel, Wykeham Forest, Sea Cut, Raincliffe Woods circuit - 11 miles
Scarborough, North York Moors . . .

Route map from Ordnance Survey Open Space service.

Map: OS Explorer OL27 North York Moors Eastern area. 1:25000


Boardwalk beside the River Derwent in Forge Valley To-day we drove to Forge Valley on the River Derwent near Scarborough. It was a lovely bright morning with a strong wind. We stopped in a small car park by the river where there is a wooden footbridge over the river to a boardwalk that runs for about a mile along the river bank making it easily accessible for people in wheelchairs or pushchairs. We headed downstream towards the village of West Ayton. At the end of the boardwalk the path is very muddy and runs around the edge of a field passing the ruins of Ayton Castle. Ruins of Ayton CastleWe came out passed some cottages onto a lane where we turned right to head north west for a few hundred yards before turning left onto a bridleway that brought us into the village of Hutton Buscel. We walked along the village street for almost half a mile and just beyond the village church we turned right on to a lane called Great Moor Road on the map. The lane becomes a stone forest track and after a couple of miles we stopped for a drink. There was an ash tree covered in moss which was dry and soft and very comfortable to lean against and enjoy the warmth of the spring sunshine. About three and a half miles from Hutton Buscel we came to a five way junction of stone forest tracks. Moss covered Ash tree where we stopped for a breakHere we turned right on to a track leading steeply downhill to a hamlet called Wrench Green. From Wrench Green we followed the road to Mowthorp Bridge over the Sea Cut. The Sea Cut is an overflow arrangement on the River Derwent where high river flows are diverted into a canal called the Sea Cut that takes the water five miles to the coast at Scalby Mills on the northern edge of Scarborough. At this point there is no public right of way along the Sea Cut upstream of Mowthorp Bridge but there is a footpath for anglers to get access to the water. As we reached the bridge three herons flew up from the angler's path and glided into the damp field between the Sea Cut and the river, to join six other herons standing in the field. I must admit I have not seen so many herons all together before. Mowthorpe Bridge over the Sea Cut near Forge ValleyWe turned off the road at Mowthorp Bridge and walked downstream along the Sea Cut until we reached the edge of the Scarborough built up area. We turned right on to the road that skirted the housing for about half a mile to Throxenby Mere. We turned into Raincliffe Woods and climbed up to a track called Lady Mildred's Ride and continued around the hill until we were at a point just above the car park. There is a small stream flowing down the hill side here. It passes under the path in a pipe which extends out beyond the path for a foot or so allowing the water to cascade down. This is a landmark to look out for. A few yards passed this stream there is a path straight down the hill to the road opposite the car park. The path is not well defined to start with but gets clearer as you descend. It emerges onto the road beside the stream dowm some stone steps next to a stone water trough. The whole route is about 13 miles but it's all easy going with little climbing and including our stops the route took us about five and a half hours. You could make a very pleasant route of about 8 miles by setting off from the car park upsteam on the boardwalk and continuing across the fields past the Sea Cut to Wrench Green and then completing the final part of our walk along the road and the Sea Cut and then back through Raincliffe Woods.

Hackness seen from the hill above Wrench Green
Hackness seen from the hill above Wrench Green

Raincliffe Woods near Scarborough
Raincliffe Woods near Scarborough