Saturday, 21 July 2012

Past Trips, UK 2009 Whitby

Whitby March 26th to 31st

I said I liked Whitby and would be back soon, well it took five month but that was over the winter, Dot had a week off work so I phoned last min and booked the site we were going to use last year but bad weather had prevented that visit.

Sandfield House Farm Caravan Park 
Sandfield House, Sandsend Road, Whitby, YO21 3SR 

Day one,  March 26th

Didn't get a very good pitch (not very close to the front where the sea views were better) but apparently the site was fully booked (this did not appear to be the case though).

It was very cold and windy but we set off the walk the one mile into the centre of Whitby anyway. I thought it would be more out of the wind and warmer, if we walk along the shore line in the shade of the cliffs, it wasn't. To get to the sea front, from outside the site we crossed over the road, turned left and went a few yards in the wrong direction to find the path through the golf course, down to the sea.

Golf Bridge

At the base of the cliffs is a promenade that leads all the way to the theatre, where we took the ramp up to the top and then back down into the centre, it was a very cold walk.


In town (where it was warmer), after a quick look in the shops, I needed the toilets, so as we were passing the George Hotel bar, opposite the bus station, we popped in to use theirs.   How lucky was this, their house beer, George Bitter was £1.25/pint and it was not too bad.

After our beer we crossed over the river and of course, had another beer in the Duke of York but at twice the price as the George Hotel. So we crossed back over the river to the George, for another cheap beer before walking back for supper. We walked back to the site via the road way, only we took a longer route than we needed to, as we didn't really know the way.

Day two, March 27th

Sunny but cold day, so we got wrapped up and set off towards Sandsend, we turned left out of the site and followed the road passed the golf course, to the village. It is now you realise you are following the line of an old railway, the old Whitby Redcar and Middlesbrough Union Railway.

The road goes down into the village where we cross over East Row Beck, then back to the front where you walk along the road or the beach (depending on the tide). There is a pub next to East Row Beck and it looked like a good place for a beer after the walk. After a short walk, at Sandsend Beck its back on the road over the beck.


After a short walk, at Sandsend Beck its back on the road over the beck.

Sandsend Beck

Then through the car park, to a set of steps to join the path of the disused railway just north of the old station building.

Sandsend Railway Station

We hadn't intended to walk along the old railway (we didn't even know it was there) but it seemed like a good idea and I wanted to see where it went. So off we went, the path climbed from here up the incline and there are very good views back towards Sandsend and Whitby.


The path follows the coast and is very bleak but strangely beautiful in places, we sat for a while at the top of the incline for a rest and admired the view back to Sandsend and Whitby.


The path continues to snake along the coast, through a very interesting landscape, passed Deep Grove quarries, until it comes to a steep hill at Over Dale.

Old Railway Path

 Here a tunnel took the railway under the hill to Kettleness, unfortunately the entrance is sealed and to continue the walk you must go over the hill.


As we had not intended this walk and didn't know where it went or how far it was, after exploring the immediate area, we turned back the same way we came, towards Sandsend.

Old Railway Path

The views are best on the way back and we where looking forward to a beer in the pub in Sandsend. Back down in Sandsend, we passed one pub on the seafront but it didn't look very good, so kept going to the one we picked out on the way but as has happened to us many times in Yorkshire, it was closed. We were not the only ones let down, two other groups of people tried to get in while we were deciding what to do next. What we did decided was to walk back to the site. Luckily there are public toilets on the front, just before the road starts its steep climb, back up towards the campsite.

Back outside the site, its too early to go back to the van, so we walk to the pub you can see from the campsite, the Whitehouse. The beer is expensive and I ask if they have tomorrows England game but they don't, anyway I do not like it in there that much and even though we have already walked miles, I persuade Dot to continue on into town. So we walked along the cliff top and then down to the to the pubs for some beers and a rest before eventually heading back the way we came. We looked in the Unicorn, another Sam Smiths pub that we had just discovered, it was very busy but not very clean and a bit smelly, we just had the one in there. then we moved on to the Jolly Sailor, the other Sam Smiths pub that we had used before and it was a lot better.

By the time we got back to the campsite we had walked about eight miles and we were ready for bed.

Day three, March 28th

The weather was very bad so we stopped in the van all day and read books, we only went out at tea time to watch the Friendly International football match, England v Slovakia. We had to walk all the way to George Hotel bar, right down in the town, as the match was only on Setanta Sport (the station has since gone bust), it was the closest pub we knew it was on, but it did stop raining and we did win 4 - 0.

We shared a table with a couple who worked on the buses and they told us what bus to get back to the campsite, they also explained about the day tickets, with one, we could use the bus all day. The beer was not the on the same offer on a Saturday night (it was still relatively cheap), so after the football we walked round to the Jolly Sailor, where the Sam Smiths is always cheap but it was very mad in there.

It was still early when we got the bus back to the site, the bus was late and the driver didn't have any change and he wasn't very pleased with us, he said he would have to make up the difference from his own pocket, all very miserable but better than walking in the cold.

Day four, March 29th

Beautiful day a total contrast from yesterday, so we walked into town along the top, being a Sunday and sunny (although very cold), the beach, piers and town were very busy indeed.


 We made our way through the crowds and over the swing bridge to the south side of the river. Then along to the end of Henrietta Street, where we sat overlooking the town and pier and had a picnic and took photos.

Red Boat

Then we took the ramp down to the pier, where there is a seat behind a wall, that it looked like it would be sheltered and warm, it wasn't much warmer than where we had been sat up the hill.


We came down off the pier and walked along the beach to the next pier in from the sea, the views of the piers and town look very different from down there at sea level. We sat on the pier for a while people watching.


The incoming tide refloated fishing boats, that were beached when we sat down, now the fishermen returned to their boats and took them out to sea.

Waiting for the tide

As we where just down from the Duke of York, we popped in for a couple of hand pulled beers and a warm. After that we crossed back over the river and went to the George Hotel for Sunday Dinner, well the beer may be cheap but would not recommend eating in there.

After a disappointing meal we set off back to the campsite via the cliff top route, and spent some time watching people getting drenched by the rough sea hitting the promenade and splashing right over them. Something I used to like doing during my teens,

Day five. March 30th

After breakfast we went to get the bus into town on a day ticket and from there another bus to Scarborough. Of course we had just missed a bus in town and had to wait for the next one, also the next bus was the bus that wanders its way to Scarborough and not the express. When the bus did arrive there was no driver and we had to wait even longer while one was found, when one was eventually found, it was the miserable driver from two nights previous.

There were two rules on the bus, written in large letters in plane view, no eating and no drinking. The man sat adjacent to us, drank beer all the way there and the family behind us, ate a small banquette on the journey, I do not like buss travel.

As soon as we got off the bus we made our way down to the South Bay seafront area, under the spa footbridge and then walked south along the beach until we came to the Spa Complex, theatre and a funicular railway up he cliff.

Scarborough's Spa Footbridge

 I needed the toilet and followed the signs to the far side of the complex, only to fine them locked and looking very rundown. So we had to go into the Spa bar to use theirs, it was also an excuse for a beer.

Funicular 1 Scarborough

Even though it was March we had our beers sat outside, we very nearly had food in there as well but after the beer, we moved on back north along the beach.

Beer in Scarborough

As we walked, we passed two more funicular railways up he cliffs, we did get food further along, fish and chips from Harry Ramsden's and had them, sat on a bench watching the Donkeys taking people on beach rides. After the chips we walked on to the harbour area and pier.


After the chips we walked on to the harbour area and pier.

Scarborough Lighthouse

As there was a pier, we had to walk to the end (as you probably know already, we usually do that whenever we can). It was quite interesting at the end, there's a lighthouse, a statue (The Diving Belle), a recovered naval gun and a lifting bridge, not bad for one pier.

 Scarborough Harbour Bridge

There are also some very good views back to the town and across the bay from the end, although it was getting very cold out there by now.

Vickers and Me

Back on shore we had a look round some of the gift gift shops before making our way back up hill towards the bus station. The bus back to Whitby was very full compared to the bus coming, I do not like travelling with the masses and it will be a long time before we do a bus ride again.

After what seemed like forever, we arrived back in Whitby and had couple of beers there, before using our day pass for the last time to take the bus back to the campsite.

Day six, March 31st

Even though we had to be home to get the girls from school, we left the site and parked up free on the cliff top and walked down into town, for a final walk and lunch.

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