How you ever travelled the A171 to Whitby and ‘sailed’ past Scaling Dam without a second glance…
As with everything on our doorstep, we are so used to seeing it that we no longer ‘see it’.
Next time you set out for Whitby, by car or the hourly X93 bus from Middlesbrough bus station or Guisborough High Street, perhaps try this route.
Pass Guisborough roundabout, climb Birkbrow, drive a further five minutes and indicate right to Scaling Dam.
This four-mile circular walk starts at the car park and has plenty of signposting.
A few strides through woodland leads you onto the North Yorks moors.
Cross a pretty pond with a boardwalk for ease of crossing and drink in the sights and sounds of nature.
A slight but easy climb with terrific views of the dam follows. This area can be boggy, but is usually firm at this time of year.
The rest of the path is easily followed with twists and turns through trees, heather and bracken.
You will pass several accessible sandbanks and can look across the dam to the dinghies parked outside The Scaling Dam Sailing Club – listen to the gabbling geese, or lay a blanket on the verges for your egg sandwiches or pork pie.
From here, the walk is dotted with benches and picnic tables.
Walk through a meadow scattered with wild flowers like buttercups and daisies, and you arrive at a second car park. If you start at the second car park, you could cross to this point with a pushchair as the path is mainly boarded. Here, there are more picnic tables and occasionally a van that sells breakfast buns.
The walk ends along the grass-topped wall of the dam. It can be noisy with passing traffic, but don’t let this put you off this terrific walk.
Here, you can look out across the water or watch the fishermen. There are also some shallow waters for fly and bait fishing, but a permit is required to do so.
The fishing lodge sells sweets, ice creams and bait. Bordering onto the water there are benches and tables where you can enjoy a Cornetto and take in the view.
Next, you pass the dinghies on the bank and the clubhouse, which is open to members only. For members, there is dinghy-sailing, canoeing, and paddle-boarding, as well as sailing courses for children. For adults, there are opportunities to explore dinghy-sailing with tuition and open water swimming once a week. At the moment, this is suspended due to algal blooms.
Pre-covid, the club had regular open days for people who are considering taking out a membership with them but unfortunately, nothing is planned for this year however, the club is open Wednesday and Friday 4pm until 8pm and Saturday and Sunday 10am until 5pm where they are happy to give you information.
Across the road, you can visit The Snooty Fox licensed tearooms for breakfast, light lunches and afternoon tea. Try the waffles with a variety of sweet toppings at £4.95 -delicious! There is wheelchair access, a children’s play area, adventure golf, £3 each or £10 for 4 and free table tennis with a refundable deposit.