Tuesday 26 March 2013

Forge Valley.

Foot bridge in Forge Valley at SE985870

A short morning walk with Rafe along the lovely River Derwent in Forge Valley, near East and West Ayton. It was very cold, with a thin layer of snow underfoot which had fallen in the night. We crossed over the footbridge and onto the all access duckboards beside the river. 

Rafe contemplates a paddle in the River Derwent

I had the usual tussle to keep Rafe out of the water, which today, I lost. He wasn't in there long though, it must have been freezing ! 

The River Derwent in Forge Valley, looking south

The walking was easy, the duckboards wide and flat, for just over a kilometre, then we were on the slightly muddy riverbank, passing the weir and then along a field boundary. 

Weir on the River Derwent near Ayton Castle

The path leaves the river, a slight incline and a gate, and Ayton Castle comes into view. 

Ayton Castle appears

Ayton Castle

I lived for some years in East Ayton as a child and the castle was a regular walking destination. At the time it was accessible and we spent many happy hours playing in the ruins. 

Ayton Castle

It is fenced off at the moment and there is some stabalisation work going on by the look of it....

Ayton Castle

Hopefully, the children (and everybody else !) will be able to explore this little corner of history again soon.

Ayton Castle

After a bit of an explore around the medieval pile we returned to our original path and headed back up Forge Valley, this time sticking to the edge of the woods rather than the riverbank, back to the duckboards. 

East Ayton over the River Derwent from Ayton Castle

The River Derwent in Forge Valley, looking north

At the footbridge I chose to walk a short while further to the northern limit of Forge Valley, where it opens up into the wide expanse of Hackness Dale. 

After taking in the views I headed back to the footbridge and the start point. Fresh air (very fresh !) and a bit of a leg stretch in these lovely surroundings - wonderful.... 

Marigolds in the River Derwent, despite the snow

Route:  Car park in Forge Valley (SE985870), cross over the footbridge and follow the Rover Derwent downstream (south), continue on the footpath until Ayton Castle, return along footpath to footbridge, but continue north until the end of the woods. Return to start.

Statistics:  Distance: 5.8km  Ascent: 180m  Time: 1.15hrs

The River Derwent in Forge Valley, looking north

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