This lovely route is easy to follow, and is suitable for all ages. Having refreshment stops too is always an advantage.
Starting in the village of Wykeham, which is about six miles south west of Scarborough, you should depart from the Downe Arms on the A170 Scarborough to Pickering road.
From the Downe Arms, turn left along the main A170 towards Scarborough. After about 200 yards, leave the road and go left to follow footpath signs along the access road to St Helen’s Caravan Park. It’s a magnificent sight in springtime, when the pink and white blossom of cherry trees is in their crowning glory.
Quickly reaching a left hand bend, turn right and follow the footpath sign diagonally left up the field between fences. Look out for the park’s alpacas, which are seen in the field to your left. At the end of the fence, keep following the track across what was a field. It’s now named Revenge Wood, as young trees were planted here in 2005. This was to commemorate the Battle of Trafalgar in 1805. Go past the gate, or over the wall stile which leads into the west corner of Hutton Buscel.
Continue into the long and straggling village of Hutton Buscel, where the cottages are mostly built of stone. What a lovely hilltop location, with extensive views to the Wolds.
A family named Bushell lived in Hutton, and gave it their name. Afterwards they moved to Whitby, and their successors, the Aytons, probably built the peel tower known as Ayton Castle.
We recently had the pleasure of visiting their open gardens, and what a revelation it proved to be. This village has not only some excellent gardeners, but talented artists and workers in ceramics and crafts.
Walk along the main street by St Matthew’s Church, and almost opposite is Great Moor Road, a long, almost straight road that eventually enters Wykeham Forest, but your route passes The Holt Retirement Home on the corner. Continue through the village until you reach Middle Lane, with a telephone kiosk at the end.
Turn left up Middle Lane. Climbing gradually, the lane becomes more of a grass track. Continue for about one mile and eventually hedges are on both sides. Where the track emerges onto a road, keep straight forward for about 50 yards, turning left before the access road to Ancat Farm.
Admire distant views to your left of the Vale of Pickering and the Yorkshire Wolds. Then on your right is the edge of Wykeham Forest.
After 400 yards follow this road round to the left, and continue down the Great Moor Road for about a mile before you reach the outskirts of Hutton Buscel once more.
On the right you’ll see an 18th century manorial pinfold. It was restored by the parish council in 1981. Such enclosures were to impound any stray animals until claimed by their owners. They were released upon payment of a fine.
Next, you’ll observe the old walled garden of the estate. Reaching the T-junction, turn right along the village’s High Street, and retrace your steps towards Wykeham. Pass the field of alpacas, and return to the Downe Arms for possible refreshment.
Distance: 3 miles. Allow 1.5 hours average walking.
Refreshment: The Downe Arms, Wykeham Tearooms and St Helen’s Caravan Park (in season).