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Forge Valley Boardwalks

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Forge Valley Boardwalks
Author: Claire, Published: 21 May 2017 Walk Rating:star1 Forge Valley Boardwalks Walking Guide star1 Forge Valley Boardwalks Walking Guide star1 Forge Valley Boardwalks Walking Guide star1 Forge Valley Boardwalks Walking Guide star0 Forge Valley Boardwalks Walking Guide
North Yorkshire, Scarborough
Walk Type: Woodland
Forge Valley Boardwalks
Length: 2 miles,  Difficulty: boot Forge Valley Boardwalks Walking Guide
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0018_cloudy_with_heavy_rain Forge Valley Boardwalks Walking Guide Today's weather
7 °C, Moderate rain, Wind: 14 mph SW
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A 1.8 mile ‘there and back’ easy-access walk (which can be extended) through the Forge Valley nature reserve, near Scarborough in North Yorkshire. This beautiful shaded woodland valley has a magical feel, with the River Derwent running through its length, a rich variety of woodland plants and chance to spot a kingfisher or otter.

The walk follows an easy-access boardwalk for its full length, purpose built for wheelchairs, pushchairs and disability buggies. There are a few benches plus several passing places along the boardwalk. There are no obstacles to contend with (no stiles, no steps and no gates) and there is no livestock. The valley makes a good dog walking spot for well-behaved and sociable dogs. You will meet plenty of other people and dogs and there is a road always visible on the far side of the river, so if you dog is prone to wander or is not keen on ‘meet and greet’ then this walk probably isn’t for you. There are several places along the boardwalk where your canine pal can access the river for a quick paddle, but please don’t allow your dog to foul the boardwalk or to disturb the wildlife and ensure they respect other people’s space. Allow 1 hour.

Forge Valley Woods is located about 4 miles west of Scarborough. Leave the A170 at East Ayton, heading north and following signs to Forge Valley. After 1.5 miles, turn left into the Old Man’s Mouth Picnic Site car park. This is a free, stone-covered car park, accessed down a ramp, with space for about 10 cars. The nearest post code, YO13 9EJ, will only take you as far as East Ayton.

Walk Sections

Start to Bert Hall Bench
Start to Bert Hall Bench

Start point: 54.2698 lat, -0.4899 long
End point: 54.2665 lat, -0.4893 long

From the parking area, follow the stone path through the fence gap and pass the stone plinth with a large nature information board on your left. Keep ahead long the stone path and then turn left across the river footbridge to join the boardwalk. At the fork, keep left and follow this boardwalk ahead, with woodland slopes up to your right and the River Derwent running on your left. Soon you will pass the first bench, on your right.

This over-sized valley was cut long ago by glacial melt-water after the Ice Age. The area is now covered with woodlands which are thought to be 6000 years old. The valley has been designated as a National Nature Reserve due to its importance to wildlife. The river is home to crayfish and brown trout, whilst the woodland floor is rich with wild garlic and flag iris. If you walk quietly, you may be lucky enough to see the flash of a kingfisher, the streak of an otter, or hear the plop as a water vole drops into the river.

Keep ahead along the boardwalk, winding along the valley bottom. Further along, you will come to a second bench, this time on your left and dedicated to the memory of Bert Hall.

Bert Hall Bench to Turning Point
Bert Hall Bench to Turning Point

Start point: 54.2665 lat, -0.4893 long
End point: 54.2597 lat, -0.4873 long

Continue along the boardwalk passing a third bench (on your right) and, later, a fourth seat (also on your right). In case you were wondering, the valley is named after 14th century iron forges which were fuelled by charcoal made in these woods.

Continue until you reach the fifth bench (on your right), which sits within an arch of trees, just before you reach a grass clearing on your right. This patch of riverbank is rich with flag irises. If you want to stick to the 1.8 mile easy-access route, now is the time to turn around. However, if you want a longer walk, you can continue to the end of the boardwalk and then keep ahead along the footpath which leads you through several riverside meadows towards East Ayton.

Turning Point to End
Turning Point to End

Start point: 54.2597 lat, -0.4873 long
End point: 54.2701 lat, -0.4899 long

For the main route, turn around and retrace your steps back along the boardwalk, now with the river running on your right. After just less than a mile, you will reach the river bridge that takes you back to the car park where the walk began.

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Text and images for this walk are Copyright © 2017 by iFootpath and the author clairesharpuk and may not be reproduced without permission.

3 Comments for: "Forge Valley Boardwalks"

I enjoyed this walk. Can't say that I really trust the elevation map - I honestly can't recall the walk's elevation substantially changing along the route.

ADMIN RESPONSE: Glad you enjoyed the walk. We've checked our elevation chart (which is fed by Google data) and it shows a height change of around 12 metres along the route. We've double-checked a few other sources for elevation survey data along this path and they all show the same result. We suspect that this is due to the fact that the elevation data relates to the surrounding land itself (perhaps stream, pond or riverbeds in some cases) rather than the raised boardwalks that the walk actually follows. From our memory of the walk when we wrote the guide, we agree that an elevation change of around 6 metres seems more likely.

By OldBasilBear on 09 Sep 2018

A lovely and very accessible walk

By Karalma on 30 Apr 2018

A pleasant walk along the Derwent river

By plattyfc54 on 14 Sep 2017

The information in this guide has been provided in good faith and is intended only as a guide, not a statement of fact. You are advised to check the accuracy of the information provided and should not use this guide for navigational directions nor should you rely on the accuracy of the weather forecast. You are advised to take appropriate clothing, footwear, equipment and navigational materials with you according to the current and possible weather and nature of the terrain. Always follow the country code and follow any additional warnings or instructions that may be available. Some walks may be very strenuous and you are advised to seek medical advice if you have any doubts as to your capability to complete the walk.

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