Page 3: railway path

We didn't return the way we'd come, but instead walked back to Cloughton via a path that runs along the course of the old Yorkshire Coast Railway.

Gated boundary to Hayburn Wyke – route to railway path

As we ascended from Hayburn Wyke, along the path previously travelled, this gate into a field showed the alternative route back.

For more information, and maps, see the foot of the page.

Stile and gate, Hayburn Wyke

There are so many carefully-crafted gates and stiles, but this one is particularly handsome, with a beautifully shaped vertical piece that was just the right height to grab hold of (for me, anyway), to assist with climbing over the stile. This, as the sign indicates, marks the other boundary to Hayburn Wyke.

From here, we cross a field, to emerge near the Hayburn Wyke Hotel. There's an access road then, to the left, which takes us to the Yorkshire Coast Railway track.

Milepost, designed by Andrew Rowe

The track is marked here by a milepost in a striking design, by Andrew Rowe. The milepost indicates that we are 15 miles from Whitby and three and a half miles from Ravenscar. It also tells us that it is one of 1,000 mileposts funded by the Royal Bank of Scotland to mark the creation of the Sustrans National Cycle Network.

'Milepost, designed by Andrew Rowe

This side of the milepost indicates that we are eight and a half miles from Scarborough. (Thankfully, as it's been a long and arduous walk, we are returning to Cloughton, much nearer than Scarborough.)

Information on the mileposts on the cycle network can be found at – Hadrian's Cycleway

Cycle path/footpath on former railway line

It's difficult to lose your way from this point, as the path is clearly carved into the landscape, being the route of an old railway line. No trains along here now of course, but a few friendly cyclists and horse riders, and one car, presumably travelling to the solitary residence we passed alongside the track.

View from the path: fields in evening sunlight

The path begins under a dense canopy of leaves, but later there are views of open countryside, between the shrubs and trees on either side of the track. Here, the evening sunlight on a late spring day, over green fields.

View from the path, over fields, towards the sea

And here, on the other side of the track, looking across the fields of the bright yellow rape seed crop, with the sea visible on the horizon.

Sculpture, from beachcombing debris.

The railway line cycle path meets a road, and here we rejoined the farm road on which we started our walk, around three hours earlier. This narrow road takes us back to the crossroads at Cloughton.

Earlier, in my eagerness to see the sea, I hadn't noticed this dry stone wall, and the bright lichens growing on it. In the foreground, our common countryside weed, cow parsley. Taken for granted, but beautiful in May. As so many things are. Even lichens.