Forge Valley

Route: Forge Valley

Area: North Yorkshire

Date of walk: 30th January 2018

Walkers: Andrew

Distance: 5.4 miles

Weather: Sunny at first but soon clouded over

I parked in the attractive village of West Ayton and after walking along the Yedmandale Road for a few yards turned off at Castle Rise to follow the sign to Forge Valley. A path through Castle Field took me past Ayton Castle. All that remains of the castle now is the atmospheric ruin of the stone tower, built around 1400

I followed a path uphill to join the high level path above Forge Valley Woods. The next 2 miles or so were along the edge of the woodland with open countryside to my left. Beyond Spikers Hill the path descends to valley level, at which point the return journey commences. The terrain around here is extremely boggy at the best of times thanks to some nearby springs. Today was no exception and is was a squelchy walk into Forge Valley Woods

On entering the woods I joined the boardwalk path, which I followed to the end of the valley. The walk through Forge Valley offers good prospects for bird watchers, and here may be seen kingfishers, grey wagtail, redpoll and a wide variety of woodland birds. I had some good sightings as I went along, but none of the elusive kingfisher

At the end of the woods I continued through the fields, passing by Ayton Castle again and from here I retraced my steps back into West Ayton to end an enjoyable walk

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