Near Scarborough there is a really interesting walk in Harwood Dale. The dale itself has plenty of open countryside, a beautiful church and a bikers park in the trees, It is a hidden gem.
I only ‘discovered’ Harwood Dale whilst visiting some holiday cottages as part of my previous life in a cottage rental company. Being honest, I am not convinced I would have discovered it otherwise. It is a lovely spot. Close enough to the coast that it is easily visited, but quiet enough to be able to escape the crowds. It is one of those areas where you will barely see another person all day. It is really this peace and tranquility which I associate with the area. The walking is on faint or non existent paths which has the added benefit of offering the wildlife every chance of making themselves known. The imposing Dalby Forest is close by to the south but a walk in Harwood Dale has views which are both open and impressive.
There are some attractions which make the walk more unusual. The beautiful churches of St Margarets (both new and old) and the unusual Mill Inn pub are striking but it is the mountain biking part to the west of the dale that will be memorable. It is great that the young are able to get out in to the countryside and enjoy it there way. However for the walker watch out!
As Harwood Dale covers a reasonably small area the route outlined is really just a guide. Pick your own paths when you are there. However do include a visit to both churches, the adventure park and the escarpment.
The bike park has a public right of way on its southern and western boundaries. Stick to it or get run down by bikers.
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