This attractive route of 4.5 to 5 miles maximum, follows minor roads through Wykeham Forest, north of Sawdon. It provides excellent walking, being direct, and with firm footing throughout.
Access is by following the A170 Scarborough to Pickering road to Brompton-by-Sawdon. Here, turn off the main road to head northwards up Kirk Gate, as directed – Sawdon 1¾ miles.
Follow Kirk Gate, and reaching Sawdon village, continue up Yederick Road to Granary Farm, at the junction of Cockmoor Road and Moor Lane, with Sawdon Park to your right.
Start. From Granary Farm, your way is directly ahead up Cockmoor Road, with its wide verges and abundant hedgerows.
Arable land soon features, followed by handsome beech trees, conifers, and later gorse. Remain on the road as you pass Wellspring Farm, and look out for pheasants. Wykeham Nursery Forest Enterprises soon features, which is the Forestry Commission’s plant and seed supply branch.
The Forestry Commission was formed by the government shortly after the First World War. In 1919 its task was to establish a standing reserve of timber, and to replace large amounts of woodland felled during the war when timber imports stopped.
From Brompton Moor House, you quickly reach a possible diversion indicated left, to the Raptor Viewpoint. You may wish to extend your walk by visiting the Raptor Viewpoint, which is less than a quarter mile each way. Take your binoculars, or telescope, and patience may be rewarded by the sighting of interesting birds.
Returning to the road, proceed to the popular view point over Bakers Warren, from where a public footpath continues via Highwood Brow etc, but not on this trail.
Admire the splendid views, enjoy packed refreshment, or rest a while before turning right, away from the track, to resume your walk. Keep to the tarmac road and you can’t go astray.
From the lofty pine trees at Bakers Warren Viewpoint, your route through Wykeham Forest traverses plantations composed predominantly of larch and pine.
Although larch is a cone-bearing tree, unlike most conifers it sheds its yellow, needle-like leaves in late autumn, whereas pine trees retain their dark-green colouration throughout winter.
At the road junction, turn right along Moor Lane. This is a straight, direct lane furnished with heather, bilberries and blackberries in season. Gorse and silver birch are seen as you approach Park Farm, and gently descend to Granary Farm.
Distance: 4.5 miles approximately.
To include the Raptor Viewpoint, allow an extra half mile.
The route can be extended by starting from Sawdon village, which adds about 1.5 miles to the distance.
Refreshment may be obtained from The Anvil Inn, Sawdon.
Transport: Private transport to Granary Farm.
Public transport: Bus service 128 Pickering/Helsmley, dismount at Brompton-by-Sawdon.
Map: OS North York Moors Eastern Area, Explorer Map OL27. Scale 2.5 inches to 1 mile.