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The boardwalk by the river Derwent

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Route No. 221 - Saturday 7 July 2007
Forge Valley, Ayton Castle,
River Derwent circuit - 9km
North York Moors . . .

Map: OS Explorer OL27 North York Moors Eastern area at 1:25000
Route Map on 'Landranger' base
from OS Open Space service
Open this route in Google Earth


Leaving the car park by the river Derwent
Leaving the car park by the river Derwent

From the car park there is a footbridge over the River Derwent to a boardwalk on the west side of the river. On the boardwalk we headed downstream (south) beside the river for about 1.5km to the end of the boardwalk.

Today we met some friends at 10.30am in the little car park in Forge Valley north of East Ayton at map ref. SE 985870. The weather forecast was a bit mixed but we were hoping for the best.

The boardwalk by the river Derwent
The boardwalk by the river Derwent


The boardwalk by the river Derwent

The boardwalk by the river Derwent


The boardwalk by the river Derwent

There were punnets of black currants for sale by one of the front doors and a few were purchased to give a summer feel to this evening's meal.

Beyond the end of the boardwalk the fields were very wet and flooded in a few places. We managed to pick our way through and as the path turned towards West Ayton it climbed up above the flooded fields on our left. On our right we approached the ruins of Ayton Castle and just past the castle the path came out on to an access road in front of a row of cottages.

Ruins of Ayton Castle
Ruins of Ayton Castle

Flooded fields by the river Derwent at East Ayton
Flooded fields by the river Derwent at East Ayton

Seat with a view on the edge of West Ayton
Seat with a view on the edge of West Ayton

After our break we walked along the lane to Low Yedmandale farm and then on to High Yedmandale farm where there is a camping and touring caravan site.

At the end of the cottage access road we turned right and walked up to the junction at map ref. SE 985850. There is a seat with a view to the Yorkshire Wolds at the junction and we sat there for a drink and a break.

Scabius
Scabious ( it's a false colour from the camera - much more purple in reality)

Yarrow
Yarrow

Here we turned right and followed the track to the junction at map ref. SE 978870. At the junction we turned left to Spiker Hill farm and joined the public footpath at map ref. SE 981871.

From the camping site we followed the bridleway to a farm track at map ref. SE 971877.

Cranesbill (wild geraniums)
Cranesbill (wild geraniums)

Bend in the track at map ref. SE 969870
Bend in the track at map ref. SE 969870 (looking west)
Farm track beyond High Yedmandale farm
Farm track beyond High Yedmandale farm
Wild marjoramby the path
Wild matjoram by the path
Popies and daisies in a clover field
Poppies and daisies in a clover field
Wheat field still green
Wheat field still green
Looking towards the coast from the path above Scarwell Wood
Looking towards the coast from the path above Scarwell Wood

Caught in a thundery downpour
Caught in a thundery downpour

I haven't seen such intense rain for a long time. We walked along the top edge of the woods in the pouring rain and then as suddenly as it had blow up the rain stopped and the sun came out as we descended the bank to a field gate at map ref. SE 977877.

So far the weather had been quite kind to us with broken cloud and patched of sunshine. Just after we joined the public footpath at Spiker Hill farm a thundery downpour suddenly blew up from nowhere. Even with our waterproofs on we seemed to be soaked in the first minute.

Path down the hillside in Scarwell Wood
Path down the hillside in Scarwell Wood

Looking up the river Derwent valley to Wrench Green
Looking up the river Derwent valley to Wrench Green
Herd of cows with young calves
Herd of cows with young calves. The path goes through this field but we managed to skirt round the edge.
(We have had three incidents in the last year with aggressive cows protecting their calves)
Start of the boardwalk by the river Derwent at the upstream end
Start of the boardwalk by the river Derwent at the upstream end

Horsetails - a primitive but very successful plant
Horsetails - a primitive but very successful plant

We decided to cut down the hillside across the sheep pasture to the public footpath at the bottom. We followed the path back to the start of the boardwalk at map ref. SE 982875.

By this time I was feeling pretty tired (my health hasn't improved, but I'm hoping that various treatments will have had their effect by the end of September)

A young toad in the wet grass
A young toad in the wet grass

A dilapidated section of the boardwalk
A dilapidated section of the boardwalk

We followed the boardwalk for the last 500m back to the car park. We had walked less than 9km at a very slow pace. Thanks to everyone who came for gearing the whole day to my capabilities. Just as we reached the car park another torrential downpour started and we all made a dash for our cars and for several miles on the way to Pickering the road was awash and the wipers at full speed were struggling to clear the windscreen.

The boardwalk almost back at the car park - I'm lagging even further behind!
The boardwalk almost back at the car park - I'm lagging even further behind!