Saturday, 15 July 2017

Cloughton and Hayburn Wyke

Cloughton Station
The last of our walks from the North Yorkshire Moors and another chance to explore some of the old Whitby to Scarborough railway line courtesy of this Pathfinder Guide walk from vol 28 North York Moors (walk number 4).  We decided that after an earlier trip to Scarborough we weren't quite ready to go home and so stopped off to complete this 4.5 mile walk on the way back.
Cinder Track
We did not park in the suggested place in the middle of Cloughton village but instead by the old railway station that has happily been preserved as a tea room and holiday accommodation.  One day I would like to stay here - it looks lovely!  Sadly the place doesn't  open for tea on a Friday so we couldn't try it out.  We did have a little look though - a more picturesque place it would be hard to imagine.

Cloughton Wyke
We headed north along the old railway line for a short distance before finding the bridge that took the official route over the old line.  We corkscrewed around to join the road and headed towards the sea, about half a mile further on.  There was a small car park at  the end of the road and it looked like this spot was a favourite haunt for dog walkers.  I am basing this on the fact that we saw one coming back from her walk with a very satisfied looking dog.  Actually if I owned a dog and lived locally I would probably come here a lot.

Heading Up Through the Woods
We reached the coast at Cloughton Wyke.  In this part of Yorkshire the name Wyke has a special meaning.  It refers to a beach where you can land a boat and access the interior by means of a path leading from the beach - I guess what I would normally call a cove.  It was a pretty little place almost devoid of people on this rather grey looking late afternoon.  I wonder of more come out when the sun is shining?  I guess most stick to Scarborough a few miles to the south...

Rodger Trod View
We turned left on to the Cleveland Way.  This has long been on my shopping list of walks that I want to complete so this would prove to be a nice taster.  As with all coastal walks there was quite a lot of ups and downs and to the annoyance of my children we had a bit of a workout to get to the top of Rodger Trod.  In truth though we only climbed about 200 feet - not exactly mountain climbing...

Painted Lady
All along teh route there was a profusion of wild flowers.  The last hardy bluebell was still in evidence but mostly we saw campion, buttercups and various types of hogweed/ cow parsley/ wild carrot that I can never quite distinguish.  There were also lots of butterflies, mostly Hedge and Meadow Browns but also Red Admirals and the rather more elusive Painted Ladys.  When we got to the top of the hill on the narrow path between high vegetation growth and then via some wooden steps in a wood we took a little breather.  Our view back now took in the bay to the north of Scarborough and the brooding castle that we had visited earlier in the day.  It was quite the view but better was soon to come as we headed slightly downhill to the north.

Red Admiral
Very soon Hayburn Wyke came into view and for my money this was the undoubted highlight of the walk.  We could see quite a way along the coast but it was down to the beach in the Wyke that it was particularly special.  Even the sun was trying its best to come out from behind the thick cloud now, raising hopes that we would finally see some after a steely grey day.  As we slowly descende into the Wyke the unmistakeable roar of a Spitfire came from some way away and before we knew it passed by just overhead.  I think there must have been an airshow nearby for we had heard it a couple of other times during the week without actually managing to see it.

Soon we reached aother wood and our gentle descent suddenly became quite a steep one as the path dropped almost down to sea level once again.  In fact I peeled off from the girls to take a little look at the beach itself.  The stream that had done its best to carve a valley down to the bottom finally gave up just before the beach and tumbled over a small waterfall to reach the sea.  I didn't hang around too long for fear of getting left behind but I needn't have worried for I caught them all up about halfway up the hill.  We had left the Cleveland Way at this point and headed back towards the old railway.

Hayburn Wyke
As we got to the top we could see the old station of Hayburn Wyke in the trees ahead.  I wonder how many people would use the station now if it were still functioning?  I imagine that the hotel that we passed nearby would welcome it for it would be another source of revenue.  It looked a lovely spot and had some activity about it; heartening to see for a fairly out of the way place.  We soon rejoined the railway line.  This would be our companion for the remaining part of the walk.  I reckon we followed it for nigh on 2 miles and it made for much easier walking than the path through the woods where we had come from.  Looking at the map it looked as if there were a lot of opportunities for these out and back walks using a combination of the Cleveland Way and the Cinder Track.  I think if I were to live locally I would be trying out all the permutations for this one was a delight.

The walk back along the railway line was quite relaxing although we did have a slightly scary moment when we found a car coming up the track.  I soon realised that it was an access road for a cottage that we soon passed.  It begged the question of how the residents got to it when the railway was functioning?  Eventually we got back to the station but before we did we took a moment to admire a fairy den that had been created under the roots of a fallen tree.  Now there is an awful lot of stuff there but it did make me wonder how it started?

View From the Cinder Track
This was rather modest walk but  packed a lot into the short distance.  A couple of stiff climbs, some expansive views of the coast, two of the old stations on the Cinder Track and plenty of nature in the form of flowers, butterflies and seabirds.  Not bad for an hour and a half walk!

Fairy Station

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