Firby to Malton
The previous section of the walk came from Coneysthorpe to Firby. Leaving the hamlet of Firby, this is an easy walk on quiet country roads and riverside paths with a total distance walked of 5.6 miles. Along the way, it passes through Jeffry Bog nature reserve and past a hundred-year-old suspension bridge.
Much of the Centenary Way is covered by the Ordnance Survey Map of Howardian Hills & Malton (Yorkshire Wolds North) The OS Explorer Map 300 is centred around Malton and contains parts of the Howardian Hills and The Yorkshire Wolds. With this map you also get a code for use on your iOS or Android smartphone or tablet. The OS Explorer map for Howardian Hills & Malton is available in both the standard paper version and weatherproof ‘Active’ version.
Firby to Low Hutton
Head east from the small hamlet of Firby on a lane which then becomes a good track for about 0.4 miles. Eventually, you’ll reach a field boundary, passing the Yorkshire Water small treatment works on the right. Turn left to walk along the east side of a belt of woodland. As you reach a field corner you should see a way-marker and a path to the left through the woods. Follow this path through the wood, down to a gate which leads into an uncultivated field. Head towards the river and turn right to follow the path along the bank of the River Derwent.
Follow this riverside path for about a mile. If it has rained recently this section can be quite muddy and a bit of an obstacle course with several fallen trees to negotiate. Eventually, you reach Jeffry Bog, a Yorkshire Wildlife Nature Reserve.
Continue along the riverside path and cross a small wooden footbridge. At this point turn right to follow the path to the reserve exit and a small lane leading up to a minor road.
Now for a bit more road walking. Head left along the road and then turn left at the road junction. There is a large Centenary Way fingerpost here. Follow the road now for about 0.7 miles keeping the river on your left. Where the road turns sharp right away from the river, turn left onto a surfaced path. This leads to a suspension bridge over the River Derwent.
Although it’s only a small reserve, Jeffry Bog has several different habitats. The best time to visit is in spring when the grasslands are full of cowslip, primrose and marsh marigolds or in summer when betony, salad burnet and common spotted orchids can be seen.
On a warm day, damselflies and day-flying moths are abundant. Keep an eye on the sky as buzzards have been seen here and otters have occasionally been spotted on the riverbanks. Kingfishers can sometimes be spotted along the river banks.
The reserve is grazed with cattle in summer (Cow alert!). See Yorkshire Wildlife Trust for more information.
Low Hutton to Malton
The route continues along the banks of the River Derwent. Don’t cross the bridge but continue on the riverside path under the railway bridge. Follow this path for about 3 miles, crossing mostly uncultivated and arable fields. Eventually, you arrive in Malton at the play area close to Malton Station. You are only a short walk from Malton town centre where there are plenty of pubs, cafes and shops.
Where to now
As a starting point for a walk, Firby is quite difficult as car parking is limited and there is no public transport. Kirkham Abbey is probably the nearest place with car parking (charge levied). To reach Firby from Kirkham walk up the hill from the Abbey and turn left just before the Stone Trough pub. Walk along this road for about a mile and follow the signposted turning on the left towards Firby.
It’s possible to get a Coastliner bus from Malton towards York which stops on the A64 about a mile from Kirkham Abbey (Whitwell on the Hill) if you want to return after your walk.
If you do the walk in the other direction Malton to Firby, there is plenty of car parking in Malton near the start of the walk (Riverside View, YO17 9RB).
From Malton the Centenary Way continues towards North Grimston.
I’m very grateful to the guide “The Centenary Way” written by North Yorkshire County Council which was referenced whilst writing this post.
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