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Forge Valley photo courtesy of Scarborough Borough Council

Forge Valley Woods

Take to the boards on this easy-going 2-mile linear route through the strikingly beautiful woods of Forge Valley. It’s a joy to walk at any time of year. In spring you’ll find yourself overwhelmed with great swathes of pungent wild garlic and delightful wood anemone; in autumn, the woodland colours are magnificent.

Walk info

Great for:
easy access, family walks, woodland wanders, nature nuts
2 miles (3.2km)
1 hour
Old Man’s Mouth car park and picnic area, 1½ miles (2.4km) north of East Ayton (A170)
Grid Ref:
SE 985 871
OS Map:
Ordnance Survey OL27
Ayton (1½ miles/2.4km) and Scarborough (6 miles/9.6km)
Scalby village and Scarborough (6 miles/9.6km)

About this walk

footprintThe route follows a fairly level, wooden boardwalk for its entire length. There are plenty of passing places, which double up as viewing platforms. There are numerous seats along the way.

paw printHelp prevent disturbance to the wildlife in Forge Valley, including river wildlife, by keeping your dog under control at all times.

Forged by nature

It may not especially feel like it but your journey through Forge Valley is a geological voyage, which can only be explained by looking back 10,000 years into the distant past. During the last Ice Age a large lake formed in the Hackness Valley, just to the north of Forge Valley. In time the lake overflowed, and flowing water cut the steep-sided valley in a relatively short time.

It's a wild wood

The woods of Forge Valley form a link with the ancient wildwoods of yesteryear. At one time, thousands of years ago, most of England was hidden beneath a mantle of broadleaved woodland. Today only fragments remain to remind us of their former splendour. The place teems with plants and animals of all shapes and sizes – from nuthatch in the trees and crayfish in the river to wild garlic on the woodland floor and elusive deer skulking in the undergrowth.

Forge Valley has been named as a National Nature Reserve in recognition of its importance and value as a home for wildlife.