Stroll With Stu through giant territory beats a path to Whitby area country pub
When a country pub reopens its doors after several years as a restaurant (or just plain closed), it would be rude not to find a path through the surrounding fields and adjourn for a pint.
The Fox and Hounds is an attractive stone-built pub in the tiny hamlet of Goldsborough.
Quaint and characterful, it has a lovely beer garden, served me a decent pint of Tim Taylor’s Landlord, is a venue for some excellent local musicians and has a growing reputation for quality food.
For an off the beaten track option for your Christmas party, you could do a lot worse.
I started this five-mile walk from the bus stop on the A174 at the junction with the East Barnby crossroads near Lythe.
Walk down the road towards the coast and keep a lookout for the triangulation point in a field on your left after 100 yards.
These concrete posts were erected across the UK by the Ordnance Survey from the mid 1930s, usually on high points (this is imperceptibly on the top of Potato Hill) and on a line of site with at least two other trig points.
By attaching an expensive optical device and homing in on the other trig points, then doing the same from that one to more points further afield, a complex grid of triangles was built up.
By referring back to an accurately measured baseline, all that was then needed was for some school swots to
listen to the teacher in trigonometry lessons at High School, instead of staring out of the window at the sixth form girls playing hockey.
Hey presto, we have the precise and detailed maps of Britain that became the envy of the world.
A little further down the road, head left on a footpath into a field and turn right ahead of the next field boundary. Cross the next stile, now to the left of a hedge, and after a stand of trees on your right the path curves left towards Brockrigg Farm, ahead of which a gate takes you onto a wide gravel track which you should follow to the right.
There are some lovely sea views developing as the track winds sharp right.
As it bends left again you will see Wade’s Stone standing all defiant in the middle of the field. I assumed this related to General Wade, the 18th Century Field Marshal who spent much of his time building roads through peat bogs in the Cairngorms after helping suppress the Jacobite uprising.
Turns out this particular Wade was more based in myth and legend, one story being that the stone marked the Eastern end of the grave of a giant who lived in these parts.
The other end was at East Barnby, so he was a big lad.
Head left along the road, and then right at the junction in pretty Goldsborough to soon reach the Fox and Hounds (if it is open, it is compulsory to pop in by the way).
Further along the road after a sharp right turn, take a stony bridleway left.
Undershoot Overdale Farm with the field boundary on your left. At an obvious path junction, turn right and head for the trees.
Access them via a stile and enjoy the contrast in scenery in this lovely old wood, following the path as it snakes over a footbridge and back up to emerge close to Deepgrove Farm.
Go to the left of the farm, and down the hill to your left is a gate after which a further waymarked gate points the way.
Essentially, bear slightly right heading towards bushes. After a gate, keep the shrubs on your left and soak up the stunning views over Sandsend Bay to Whitby.
Down below (don’t be tempted by any paths – you’ll get a nosebleed) is the old railway and some abandoned quarries.
The quarries produced alum, which was used from the 17th Century as a dye fixative in the textile industry.
Quite how anyone realised that by hacking out the shale rock then doing interesting things to it involving fire and human urine, it could produce something that would help brighten up your wardrobe, is a matter of considerable amazement.
Follow the path – can’t stress how fabulous these views are – through another gate.
Keep those bushes on your left but as they edge further left you can begin to head across the field where you should see a waymark on a post in the trees opposite.
A steep path drops down to a kissing gate onto the footpath halfway up Lythe Bank.
At the bottom is Sandsend which to me (and it seems lots of others) has become increasingly cute over the last 20 or so years.
If you are feeling energetic, the beach route to Whitby beckons.
If not, so do the bus stops.