AFTER all the excitement of the Tour de Yorkshire in the last two issues, I decided on a nice quiet ride for a change this month.

Outwards, along the northern edge of the Wolds, taking in Beacon Wold, one of the highest points at 199 metres. Returning along the course of the River Derwent, so probably the lowest lying and flattest road in the area. Apart from the last three miles back into Malton at the end of this route, the day was, by and large, traffic free.

Start from the free long-stay car park in St Nicholas Street, Norton-on-Derwent. Left out of car park, then left again at T-junction before immediate right onto Wood Street. Follow this as it curves first right and then left.

Meeting Mill Street, watch for Barney’s Sarnies on the right where you can pick up a take away coffee to start the day. Keep straight on, with Barnies and the Post Office on your right. This is the B1253 out of town. Half a mile beyond the houses, take the first left signed Settrington. In another mile, take a left, again signed for Settrington. Also note the blue Sustrans sign, Yorkshire Wolds, route No 166.

Apparently, Settrington suffered more than most villages at the time of the Black Death sitting as it does on a main medieval trade route north from Hull. Very pretty now, though.

At Settrington village school, keep straight on, signed Scagglethorpe, cross the stream and then take a right, signed for Settrington Church. This is indicated as being a dead end, but regular readers will know that such signs often indicate the most interesting routes.

Follow the lane to a green with view of the church, but note the turn to the right marked by the Sustrans sign. We’ll come back to that. After viewing the green and church, retrace to the last Sustrans sign, where now left and left again at T-junction.

There’s a ford here. Too deep today to cross by bike, so take the footbridge off to the left. Follow the rough lane away from the ford, then left at T-junction and quickly left again, now signed Lutton, seven miles.

A 17 per cent climb follows up Cinquefoil Hill. The road then splits, so keep right, signed for West Lutton. The climb eases, and you’ll know you are at the top when you pass Settrington Beacon, on the left.

A mile past the beacon, ignore right turn to Duggleby, but keep straight on, now signed for High Mowthorpe. A long gentle descent follows. At the T-junction, bear left for West Lutton (3/4 mile).

At West Lutton, bear left to pass St Mary’s church, with its elaborate lychgate. Across the road on the right is an interesting water pump, by Fletcher Bros. of Pickering (1866). Beyond the pump, take the first left onto Back Lane, and follow this as it curves right through some newer housing.

Finally, at the end of the village, pass the village school on your left and then left at T-junction (unsigned, but you should then be heading north with the sun on your back).

Climb gently for a mile to reach a farmhouse on the left. A sign opposite indicates straight on towards Wintringham. Soon after, the Wintringham road curves left. Here, take the minor road right, signed West Heslerton, three miles. Keep left at the next bend and continue to climb gently. Approaching the northern edge of the Wolds, the road eventually starts to fall again.

Watch out for the broken road surface here as you descend into West Heslerton village. Watch for the churchyard to the right and take the first right here, signed for village only. Past the church the road curves left, and brings you to the Dawnay Arms pub. About 15 and a half miles covered.

Leaving the pub, keep left to emerge at a cross road on the main A64, Malton to Scarborough road. Cross with care, and continue north towards Yedingham. Over a railway crossing at the disused Heslerton station, and into Yedingham village to arrive at T-junction with the B1258, where right, direction Scarborough. Pass The Providence pub and cross the river Derwent, to take the next left, signed for Marishes. Keep left here to avoid a turning for Pickering. This single track road is a cyclists delight. I encountered only two tractors (and no cars) in the five and a half mile run to the junction with the A169.

I enjoyed an unstressed meander, and took time to notice the sights along the way. First is the old gate keepers cottage on the route of the Malton to Pickering railway (closed 1966). In the back garden is what appears to be an old ticket office, but perhaps not originally from this location. The old trackbed can still be seen heading north towards Pickering. A little further along in the hamlet of Low Marishes is the Grade II listed St Francis church with its unusual wooden spire.

At T-junction with A169, go left towards Malton. It will be busy along here, but gets quieter when you cross the A64 on an elevated roundabout, and pick up the B1257, continuing in direction of Malton. Pass 40mph signs, then at subsequent 30mph sign, look straight ahead to see a church spire above the roof tops.

We will be heading for this, and when you see traffic lights ahead, take the next left to pass St Leonard’s church on a short, one way street.

At T-junction go left again to cross both the river Derwent and railway. Immediately over the railway go right and then next left back onto St Nicholas street, to return to car park.


Date of ride: Thursday, May 5, 2016

The map: Ordnance Survey Explorer, number 300, Howardian Hills and Malton

The pub: Dawnay Arms, West Heslerton, YO17 8RQ, 01944 728365. Closed Mondays

The bike: Classic 1976 Jack Taylor, Tour of Britain model

Distance: 29 miles

Car parking: St Nicholas Street, Norton on Derwent, YO17 9AQ. Free