Open all year round
Explore the wooded valley of Hayburn Wyke, which reaches down to a magnificent rocky cove complete with tumbling waterfall and giant boulders.
This 5-mile circular walk follows an exhilarating stretch of the Cleveland Way National Trail footpath above the cliffs to Hayburn Wyke, before returning along the track-bed of the old Scarborough to Whitby railway line.
The woods of Hayburn Wyke
The valley woods of Hayburn Wyke seem timeless, and the apt name certainly goes back centuries – Hayburn from the Anglo-Saxon for 'a hunting enclosure by a stream' and Wyke from the Norse word 'vik' (sea inlet or creek). But during the 1940s the mostly oak, ash and beech trees here were felled for the war effort and the Forestry Commission later replanted the area with conifers. In 1981, when the woods were purchased by the National Trust, work started to restore the woodland to its earlier state – by thinning out the conifers and encouraging native species.
Wildlife in the Wyke
Hayburn Wyke's mixed woodland is visited by roe deer, fox and badger. Over 30 species of breeding birds have been recorded, and in spring and summer you may well catch a glimpse of redstart, blackcap and spotted flycatcher. Great spotted woodpecker and green woodpecker are resident throughout the year.
Exploring the shore
Down on the shore, marine creatures, left stranded by the receding tide, find refuge in shallow rock pools. Darting blennies and butterfish share their temporary home with dog whelks, periwinkles, limpets, topshells, mussels and the occasional crab. Further out, beyond the waves, huge kelp forests provide a tangled habitat that adds to the prolific biodiversity of this enchanting coastline.
About this walk
The old railway line is level and easy to follow but is also used by cyclists and horse-riders. There's also a short section of the walk that follows a quiet country lane. The outward coastal part of the walk follows the Cleveland Way National Trail – keep clear of the cliff edges which may be unstable. The route at Hayburn Wyke involves a steep descent and ascent, often on rough steps which are muddy and slippery after rain.
Dogs at Hayburn Wyke
Most of the clifftop path is unfenced – it is advisable to keep your dog on a short lead for safety on this part of the walk. It is also safer if you put your dog on a lead on the old railway line path when cyclists or horse-riders pass.
Open all year round