At the weekend the sun was out and we decided to make the most of…
A couple of weeks ago we stayed overnight at Ox Pasture Hall Hotel near Scarborough. We drove there from Newcastle and on the way we stopped to take in a few places along the Yorkshire coast. To get there we had to pass though the North Yorkshire Moors National Park, a place of bleak beauty. Miles of scrubby moors and hills with high gradients. You can imagine the hardship of life out here in the Winter when snow covers the hills. Desolate and uninhabited, you could walk for miles without seeing a soul. The coast is another matter, picturesque towns overlooking the North sea. Fishing boats anchored in the harbours and castles and abbeys sitting on the top of vast looming cliffs. It is not a friendly sea, the mood can change from mild to lashing waves, sweeping people from the shore.
We stopped at Whitby and ate sandwiches, Whitby Abbey looming over us. The shore below was where the boat carrying Dracula was washed ashore in a wild storm, the crew all dead. A large black dog was seen to ascend the steps of Whitby abbey, one of the forms of a vampire. It is easy to see how the Gothic splendour of the abbey inspired the work of Bram Stoker, the ruined Benedictine abbey is stark against the sky.
When I visited years ago with some friends from school we took pictures of ourselves rising from the stone dips that resembled graves inside the abbey. We did not visit this time, we just ate our lunch watched by ponies and looked at the view.
We drove along the harbour, enjoying looking at the fishing boats and the old buildings set along the side of the road. The greyness of the day added to the atmosphere, you could sense the history in the stones.
Robin Hoods Bay is a small fishing village located between Scarbough and Whitby. I had visited years ago but my husband had never been. I wanted to revisit and we stopped on our way back home. My son was mystified as to why it was called Robin Hoods Bay, he knew Robin Hood was from Nottingham. The place is well worth a visit, it is like stepping back in time. Brooding cliffs hover over a steep hill where fishing cottages spill down to the sea.
Leave your car at the top of the hill and walk down the twisting descent, past cobbled alleyways and picturesque dwellings. You can imagine smugglers at work here, easily hiding from the customs.
The ascent is steep, take it slowly and look at the range of shops as you pass. It is well worth lingering as you never know what is round the next corner.
Scarborough is a busy seaside town with two bays overlooking the sea. We visited the north bay and drove along the seafront. Large cliffs loomed overhead and the castle was visible in the distance. Golden sands stretched out as far as the eye could see, glowing in the morning light. The last time we visited my son was four and rode on a donkey along the sand. There were no donkeys visible, it was too early in the season.
We found an interesting statue contemplating the sea. It was flat and calm today, but sand covered the road speaking of storm battered shores. I can imagine the waves crashing onto the road when it is rough.
Nearer to the town there are more buildings and signs of fishing. Fishing boats anchored in the harbour and stacks of lobster pots. The Grand Hotel stands proudly on the hill, watching over the shore. There are echoes of the past here, you can imagine the Victorians wandering along the shore taking in the sea air and taking the tram back up to the hotel.
We were surprised to see a mention of home as we drove along the shoreline. A packet is apparently a small boat that used to carry mail and this one has been immortalised as a pub.