I parked outside the Old Forge Valley Inn in West Ayton; crossed the bridge and turned left up Castlegate past a hotel. Then right up through the woods past Osborne Lodge and down to Green Gate. NNW up Mowthorpe Rd then right after the farm, up through Hawthorn Wood and onto the high fields by Suffield Ings. It is very beautiful up here; for me the high point of the walk. NNW a bit more then a very overgrown path leads steeply down through Greengate Wood. I then followed another path SW skirting the woods above Hackness Hall and Mill Farm. The map shows this path describing a bit of a zipgzag in descending back to the road: on the ground this corner is eminently cuttable.
Now a narrow bridge led off towards Wrench Green, which is reached after crossing a big field full of slightly worryingly large and not very timid rams with big horns. But I made it through their midst without them killing me. From here a short road walk leads to Cokrah Foot then the River Derwent is followed all the way back. These last few miles are a bit tedious underfoot as they begin with a long riverside stretch that is - or was today - unpleasantly squelchy, Then, after entering the woods, there is a long stretch on raised duckboard that is not much of a joy to walk on in the sort of wet conditions prevailing today. After that a short walk across a field and up past the ruined Ayton Castle soon took me home.
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