FEBRUARY’S walk from Nunnington was decidedly flat and not much more than a gentle stroll. March, and the onset of Spring, invites a more challenging environment and this eight-mile circular walk, starting in the village of Fylingthorpe, is an exhilarating exploration of Ramsdale and Kirk Moor.

There is plenty of climbing, but the rewards are well worth the effort with stunning views of Robin Hood’s Bay, Ravenscar and the intervening coastline.

On the first day of March, I walked this route with a group of 12 regular walkers; almost without exception, this was unfamiliar territory and an extremely pleasant surprise. I would strongly recommend binoculars, and a map is essential as there are quite a few twists and turns.

Walking in a clockwise direction the first stretch is through Fylingthorpe village and along the disused railway line south of Robin Hood’s Bay.

After this we start a long, slow climb past Demesne Farm. Don’t forget to keep looking back and take in the views.

We 12 seasoned campaigners from Ryedale Walking Group had another reason to stop and look back; we were climbing while battling against a strong head wind. At times it was hard to breathe.

At the top we stopped for an unscheduled coffee/tea break under the shelter of a wall with Robin Hood’s Bay in full view, in front of an almost translucent sea basking in late winter sunshine; no one complained.

At this point you will see a wood on the other side of a field; this comes into play later after a three-mile loop round the bottom of Swallow Head.

Following a descent through trees into the bottom of Ramsdale, a beautifully-restored water mill suddenly appears. It is now a private house, but you can enjoy the view of the large water wheel from the bridge.

The water from Ramsdale Beck runs eventually into Boggle Hole and then out to sea.

The surrounding woods are dominated by wild garlic, otherwise known as Ramsons and it seems likely that the tiny hamlet derived its name from this plant.

The homeward section of the walk starts with yet another climb on a wide vehicle track through steep sided woods.

On higher ground there are some fine views of Ravenscar and the Raven Hall Hotel in the distance.

The track ends at Fyling Hall School, a small but somewhat unique private school located in the most beautiful of settings.

The school was created almost accidentally when a brilliant young teacher, named Mab Bradley, brought a sickly young London boy to experience bracing Yorkshire air. With just three other boys Miss Bradley founded the school in 1923. Don’t blink as you pass through the hamlet of Park Gate or you will miss it and its picturesque smallholding that would not have been out of place when Mab first came to the area.

Cross one more field and you are back in Fylingthorpe.

There is an opportunity to wash muddy boots in the ford before returning to the starting point, the conveniently placed Fylingdales Inn, a fine place to have a drink and feel just a little smug at having experienced one of North Yorkshire’s hidden treasures. You will not be disappointed.

The route

A Map Ordnance Survey – Explorer OL27 is strongly recommended for this walk, which starts at grid reference NZ 943050.

Start by the Fylingdales Inn, in the heart of Fylingthorpe village. Walk in the direction of Robin Hood’s Bay, turning right on the disused railway track.

After a further mile, turn right by the first overhead road bridge and up the steps to a field path.

At the road, turn right and then quickly left on to a farm track. Passing Demesne Farm, continue uphill for one mile.

Drop down to Swallow Head Farm and then to the road. Turn right and after 100 yards, cross a stile through a garden and down into a hollow.

Climb the stone steps to a quiet road, turning right and continue for almost a mile. Leave the road at Kettle Well Cottage and follow farm tracks and fields to St Ives Farm.

Turn right towards the woods and follow a clear footpath sign down into Ramsdale and the Water Mill.

Leave the mill by the wide woodland track for one mile up to Fyling Hall School.

Cross the road, walk through Park Gate, over a ladder stile, crossing the last field back into Fylingthorpe.