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PLAP Route 17 - Broxa Forest

Distance: approximately 12 miles.
Map: Ordnance Survey Explorer Map Number OL 27 (Map 1:25000)


Broxa Forest viewsThe North York Moors offer numerous opportunities for driving and riding.  All levels of skill, expertise and experience can be catered for, ranging from the more adventurous person seeking a challenge, to those wanting shorter less arduous routes. The scenery is breathtaking, the historic landscape fascinating, and the surrounding areas offer people not interested in horses or carriage driving a variety of other activities and places to visit.

The identified route of approximately 12 miles is not for the fainthearted, but offers a combination of distance (if driven/ridden in full) or individual shorter routes. It also indirectly reflects the degree of commitment dedicated by Paralympic competitors to their individual sports. Basic map reading skills are a distinct advantage, especially as gradients need to be noted, and ‘becks’ and ‘gills’ possibly crossed.
LaneThe countryside around Silpho and Hackness is not open moorland, but offers the opportunity to drive or ride within Broxa Forest and its perimeters.  Surfaces are mainly hard, and wide enough to drive a pair of horses comfortably. Note that the track in the forest can sometimes be rough in places and that the hills are steep. A four-wheeled carriage with brakes is advisable, and essential if option two is chosen. Driving surfaces on this route vary considerably and range from sand and gravel to newly laid Forestry Commission imported stone. Some clay and damp patches can be found on cultivated land to the north of the forest. Away from the forest, gradients can be steep, especially on some roads.  

Route kindly suggested and researched by Catriona Cook, BHS Regional Bridleways Access Officer.

Route Description

It's suggested that this route is driven in a clockwise direction as this will be less demanding for a carriage horse/pony. As described, three options are available when leaving Reasty Hill Top car park (grid ref. 965944).

Option 1
Forest track1. Turn right out of the car park and follow the road down Reasty Hill (16%), past Breckenhurst Farm and continue until you reach the purple way marker sign.  
2. Turn right here and ride/drive down the field headland, across the bridges.  
3. Turn right at the stone bridge, follow the cart track and again turn right at the tarmac road in front of the second lime kiln turn right once more. 
4. Go through the field gate along an ancient embanked ride across two fields until you enter the forest through a gate on your left. 
5. Continue along the pathway on the side of the hill (Clocks Road) until you reach the road-crossing. 
6. Cross straight over and continue to Surgate Brow Farm which will be on your left. 
Continue from point 5 described below in Option 2.

Option 2
Forest track1. Turn left out of the car park and continue along the long straight road for just over half a mile.  At the first junction turn left.  
2. This leads to a steep (20%) decline (a four wheeled carriage with brakes is essential here).  
3. After a short distance you will reach a junction.
4. Turn right here, down the tarmac road to reach Surgate Brow Farm. 
5. Having reached Surgate Brow Farm, options 1 and 2 continue past Silpho Brow Farm where the road becomes a track, and reverts back to a tarmac surface near to Beacon Farm (on your left). 
6. On reaching the cross-roads, turn right just past Beacon Cottage Farm, continuing along the road and up a steep hill of approximately one mile. Note the sea views on your left.
7. You will join the identified Route at the Swang Road/Cumboots Brow ‘T’ junction. 
8. Continue straight ahead along Swang Road.

Option 3
1. Turn left out of the car park (similar to option 2) but continue along the road passing both the left hand turn mentioned in option 2, and a right hand turn to Silpho.
2. This option obviously both shortens the drive/ride as well as missing some off-road riding/driving.
3. At the next junction all Options unite and lead to the hamlet of Suffield which can be 
seen from the Swang Rd./Cumboots junction.
The thieves dykes marked on your map will be on your right.  They are a series of earth works believed to have been constructed during the Bronze Age and are thought to have had either a defensive role or one identifying a territorial boundary.
4. From here continue along the road to Hackness (approximately two miles) passing through parkland setting on your way.  Note the relatively steep decline and bridge height restriction of 10’3”.
5. In Hackness, the hall and Cotswold type stone church and school will be on your left.   Don’t be tempted to turn right to Silpho as this road is very steep and has several sharp bends.
The hall is an 18th Century restored and listed building and is owned by Lord Derwent.  The suggested sites of the old manor house, fishponds and religious foundation are reputedly in the southwest of the grounds.
6. A short distance after the church follow the sharp left hand bend, passing a right hand turning signed Low Dales and High Dales only.  
7. Continue along the same road to Broxa keeping the war memorial and The Grange Hotel on your left.
8. After approximately one mile you reach a forked junction signed ‘Broxa ½ mile’. Turn right (don’t be tempted to turn left before this as it leads past Hilla Green Farm down to the River Derwent).
9. Continue through the hamlet of Broxa and follow the road to the edge of the forest where it becomes a wide rugged track which is very uneven in places. (Not suitable for two wheeled carriages).
10. The track then improves and continues for approximately 2.5 miles around the edge of the forest (being joined on the way by several smaller tracks) and returns to Reasty Hill Top car park.

Please note that you will need to bring water for your own horses.

General Information

Livery: The following BHS Approved Establishments are close by and may be able to offer livery and accommodation, or recommend other suitable places.
Friars Hill Riding Stables
Granary Manor Farm
MBF Liveries
Newbiggin Hall Cottages
Snainton Riding Centre (with an indoor school with a surface suitable for carriage driving)

Reasty Hill Top car parkParking: Several places in the immediate vicinity offer long stay parking facilities with accommodation. All need to be contacted in advance. 

Burgate Farm, Harwood Dale, Scarborough, North Yorkshire YO13 0DS. 01723 870333 or email
Grange Farm, Harwood Dale, Scarborough, North Yorkshire YO13 0DS. 01723 870325.
The Granary, Harwood Dale, Scarborough YO13 0DT. 01723 870026 or email Tea Rooms open 11am-5pm daily.
Hackness Grange Hotel, Broxa Lane, Scarborough, North Yorkshire YO13 0JW. 01723 882037.

Public short stay parking is also available at Reasty Hill Top (pictured above; grid reference SE 964 943), but space is limited and can become very crowded during holidays and at weekends. There is a small amount of verge side parking on the edge of tarmac roads in the forest but this is very limited.  The car park shown on the OS map in the southern area of the route is realistically inaccessible by lorry and small in size.

Insurance: The BHS recommends that before undertaking any part of this route, both horse and rider should be adequately insured against public liability. The British Horse Society can provide public liability and personal accident insurance cover as well as many benefits if you join as a member (terms and conditions and territorial limits apply). For more information or to join, visit our Membership section

Feedback: These routes are kept to the standard that the local authority can afford. They were all accessible at the lime of launch and are on definitive public rights of way. If you experience any problems with the routes or wish to raise any concerns, please contact the local authority, your local BHS Access Officer or the Access Team at BHS HQ via

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