Friday, 21 September 2012

'Sea' how they run

Summer rush is now well and truly over. The nights draw in, and temp’s drop more and more. Time, we thought, to have a last breath of sea air while we still have some fair weather. So, instead of a walk in Derbyshire, today I’m taking you to the seaside – Whitby, to be precise. It’s a three hour drive, but I always feel it’s well worth it, especially as you catch sight of this view when crossing the moors.

The vast expanse of moorland. We had only just missed the ‘purple haze’ that the heather gives when it flowers. If you’ve never seen it, it really is a fantastic sight. This view reminds me of when I did the coast to coast walk. This is the penultimate day for walkers on the trip.

Another reason I wanted the long drive – our new car. It’s lovely to drive, but I wanted to see what sort of mileage it gave on a long run (I know, I know – any excuse) :-)

The abbey sits proudly on top of the cliffs of Whitby, with the church close by to the left.

The farmers have mostly gathered all their silage etc in by now, and it’s safely wrapped up against any bad weather, waiting to be collected

In no time at all, we were in the town. Our first stop was the harbour, with this iconic view across to the church, (the abbey is just behind it, hidden by the horizon). The 199 steps that lead up to the church are famous, also the beach below them, which is where the coffin containing Count Dracula is supposed to have landed, according to legend. 

The tide was well in today, and lots of ‘white horses’ made the sea interesting. The sky was beautiful too, with the blue and white contrast of cloud and sky. We were intending to walk along the apron of the beach later, so we wanted to tide to go out a bit to expose more sand (and allow us to walk around land that the sea was, at the moment, lapping against).

A walk out to the end of the pier is a MUST for us. It’s always a nice start to any break in Whitby. It’s something we never tire of doing. Today, we were well rewarded with fine views. This is looking south, across the other pier (which ends halfway at the lighthouse – you can walk along it too, but the one we were on goes right to the end).

Looking back. You can see both lighthouses, plus the abbey is now visible behind the church. In that small row of cottages below the church is the Fortune kipper smoke house and shop. This is a very old (over 100 years)Whitby tradition, and makes a very interesting visit. If you ever go, ask to look into the smoke house. You can read about Fortunes here;

The Royal hotel dominates the north cliffs. The famous Whity whalebones are just on the edge of that cliff, and we’ll be seeing those later on too.

But first, one of the reasons we love Whitby – the Magpie cafe. The food here is awesome, and we always have lunch here when we visit the town. This isn’t a good picture (backlit), but I can’t blame the waitress for that! Look at the lovely magpies in the ironwork against the window. The Magpie is full of little touches like this, that make it special.

So, after our ripost, it was time to walk it off! We disturbed the seagulls as we set off along the south beach on our way to Sandsend. We mostly walk from Robin Hood’s bay to Whitby, but as it had been a while since we’d done this side, we decided to do it today. 

The tide had now receded nicely, and the apron was exposed for us to walk along. The cliff headland, on the right in the distance, was where we wanted to go today. The only other time I’ve walked over them was when I walked the Cleveland way with my brother. You can read about that here;

Sunshine and sea always makes for happy, where we’re concerned.

Looking back to the pavilion of Whitby. The lighthouses on the twin piers can also be seen.

A stone displays the patterns of the tide.

These old breakwaters intrigue me. They always make for such good subjects for photographs. They have a bit of an ‘Easter island statue’ property about them.

We reached Sandsend, where we normally stop for a coffee, but today we pressed on towards the cliffs. We could see rain falling out at sea, and wondered if we’d get caught. This rainbow was spectacular, but I wasn’t keen to search for this particular crock of gold at the end of it!

The skies darkened noticeably as we topped out on the cliffs. This is the view looking back to Sandsend. If you look carefully, you can see surfers riding the (small) waves in the bay below.

It did rain a little, but only a shower and it soon passed to leave clear skies again – that was our cue for a long paddle back to Whitby.

At Whitby, we left the north beach to climb up to the cliffs above. This is where the statue of Captain Cook (sadly, covered in seagull poo) and the whalebones are. I love the way they frame the church and abbey.

One more picture, then it was time to set off home. It had been a lovely day, good for the soul. One more shot in the bones, and it was; ‘Bakewell – here we come’

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