***Note - have kept the pics small as there are a lot but all should be clickable if you want a better look***
It's a long time since we have been away from home for a holiday and i had waited all summer for Monday 26th September to arrive. DH and i set off nice and early for the seaside and headed the 150 miles northwards to the North East coastal town of Scarborough for our 5 day little break away.
Scarborough has strong links with the Vikings. Its name is believed to mean the 'burh' or fortress of the Norwegian Viking Thorgils 'Skarthi'-Thorgils 'the Hare-lipped'-and in 1066 the castle was the first landing place of King Harald Hardrada, during his ill-fated attempt to seize the English throne from Harold Godwinson.
A fabulous sight greeted us when we arrived at lunchtime and we settled on the beach to eat our lunch and had a wander around.
Scarborough is a lovely place, very hilly but full of character
Late afternoon we headed off to the caravan site to unpack after a trip to the supermarket to collect provisions for the week
A walk along the harbour and fish and chips watching the sun set was wonderful. The harbour looks amazing at night. I was not impressed with the seagull that decided to give me a present on the head, although DH thought it was highly amusing!
Tuesday we drove north 23 miles for a day trip to Whitby.
Oh look there's me at Whitby Abbey. I'm listening to the audio guide of the Abbey by English Heritage telling about the first monastery founded in AD 657 by King Oswy of Northumbria. An Anglo-Saxon style 'double monastery' for men and women, its first ruler was the formidable royal princess Abbess Hild. Celia Imrie was the voice of Abbess Hild on the audio (i'm sure you all know her from the film Calendar Girls - she needed the 'bigger buns' LOL)
A very beautiful place and so serene and calming. Even DH commented on the atmosphere here and enjoyed his visit. It's easy to see how Bram Stoker was inspired by its gothic splendour when writing Dracula.
Just round the corner down the cliffs is the actual town of Whitby, beautiful beach and harbour.
A visit to the lifeboat station, they were launching a new lifeboat the day we were there. Full of information of rescues but the highlight for DH being a family history fan was to see a model of the hospital warship Rohilla as one of his ancestors was transported back to the UK during World War I on this ship.
The famous shark bones of Whitby and the swing bridge across the main street that opens to let tall boats into the harbour, you have to wait while they sail by.
Whitby is a super place with lots of little steets selling all sorts of things. Lots of shops sell the famous Whitby Jet.
On the way back we stopped off at Robin Hood's Bay, a tiny little place.
A very quaint place, with VERY steep hill down to the sea. As you reach the bottom of the street you can't go any further as the sea laps at your feet. The going down wasn't a problem but coming back up to the carpark was a killer! Every so often up the street you would see a little entry up to tiny fishermans cottages, so pretty and lovely.
Wednesday we decided to stay local and explore Scarborough a little. It is split into 2 bays, the North Bay and the South Bay.
North Bay Railway was superb, a tiny steam train ride took us to the very north of the bay where we could alight and spend some time wandering along the beach. Not such a nice beach as South Bay, very rocky and pebbles but a great view of the castle high on the hill.
We headed back on the steam train and into town. South Bay is stunning and with the weather being so nice families were there enjoying the sunshine and having fun.
The castle beckoned us and we headed up the hill to view it.
On the way we came across St Marys Church, the burial place of one of the Bronte Sisters.
Anne Bronte moved to Scarborough for the sea air when she was diagnosed with tuberculosis and died soon after on May 28th 1849. She was aged 29. Her grave is well tended in the graveyard, the old stone is looking very sad, but a new one has been erected too.
A short walk from the church up the very steep and narrow hill is Scarborough castle built in 1136. Another English Heritage site with audio soundtrack. Scarborough Castle defends a prominent headland between two bays, with sheer drops to the sea and only a narrow landward approach. Henry II's towering 12th-century keep is magnificent. There were many seiges here and the castle failed to defend the harbour against the American sea-raider John Paul Jones in 1779, and was itself damaged by German naval bombardment in 1914. During World War II it played the more covert role of hosting a secret listening post.
Amazing views from so high up of South Bay and the harbour and North Bay. You really get more of a perspective of how the castle juts out seperating the two bays along the coastline.
We visited the Spa Complex that has an open air area where in the summer orchestras play in the bandstand. A truly magical place, we sat for a while in the deck chairs here imagining how wonderful it must be in the height of summer when it is packed out with holidaymakers listening to lovely music in the open air watching the sea just outside the window.
A busy and tiring day, lots of walking so we decided to make our way back to base. A beautiful sunset over the moors and over the sea as we walked late evening up to the clifftops behind where we were staying.
Thursday we had a short drive of 15 miles and arrived in Pickering, the start of the North York Moors Railway. DH's dad started his career as a fireman on steam trains and gradually through his career became an insturctor on British Rail so trains were a big part of DH's life. A journey by steam train to the town of Goathland was really exciting, but i'm sure you all know Goathland better as Aidensfield the town from the TV series Heartbeat.
Bernie Scripps garage was brilliant, but i was a little disappointed that the pub had it's own sign up and not Aidensfield Arms.
We headed down the country road amidst the sheep to the village green where we sat and had our lunch. Can you see the police car in the right of the phorograph, thats the one that Ron and Harry were in in the Chamber of Secrets when they landed in the whomping willow.
It's a very beautiful village and full of character. The church is beautiful and serene inside. There are of course lots of souvenirs to be had in the shops. The station is beautiful and all to soon it was time to board the train again for our return journey.
We stopped off in Scarborough on the way home, the weather was devine and both DH and i fancied a paddle in the sea. The water was lovely and warm for late afternoon but you do have to be careful as the tide does come in really fast and with the little bays its easy to get cut off and stranded. Plenty of people enjoying boat rides in the bay too.
I was like a small child when i saw that Scarborough had a cliff lift.
I have always wondered how these cliff lifts operate, but never been anywhere that has one. Even better that it was still operating so late in the season. Zoom, up it went and zoom back down again, such fun and the view from the top was impressive, i wasn't scared at all! You can see the sea right in up to the wall and this was only teatime.
Friday came all too soon and it was time to head home. We packed a picnic lunch and decided to head south along the coast road to take advantage of the sunshine and see more lovely places. Filey is one of the smaller seaside towns, very pretty.
Along the road we came across this strange site.
I thought it was a shepherd waiting to cross the road with her sheep, but as we got nearer, i could see it was a statue with dog and sheep, i made DH stop to take a pic for all you sheepie fans, it did make us smile to see it.
There are lots of stop off areas along the coast and we pulled in at Hunmanby. It is a clifftop location and as it was mid morning we stopped for a cuppa and a little snack. It was a little sad when we got out at the clifftop cark, there are seats to sit on with memorial inscriptions on them. One said, that a husband and wife had met there in 1965 and this was their favourtie spot and they came back often during their married life. Another had a lovely quote 'It's better to have bread and butter at the seaside than bread and jam at home' and i think thats right, save a little each week and soon your savings will mount up for a little holiday to give you memories to hold dear in your heart forever. We wandered down the cliff path and along the deserted beach.
Time was moving on and we headed further south. Flamborough Head and it's famous lighthouse was our next stop. Scarey stuff as you walk along the cliffs, DH took some pics, but i stayed well back, i am well known for tripping up and was not about to fall down those cliffs!
It was quite foggy out to sea and the lighthouse was giving the siren call every couple of minutes to warn ships in the area of the trecherous rocks around this coastline.
We also came across some students from Scarborough University doing studies on the rocks and marine wildlife in the area. We'd seen students earlier in the week having fun playing volleyball on the beach after a hard days study. It must be nice to be studying at a seaside town university.
Back into the car and moving further south we ended our day in Bridlington. A beautiful sandy beach, lots of holidaymakers and day trippers enjoying the sunshine. We sat and ate our late lunch and enjoyed soaking up the atmosphere.
The beach looks deserted, it wasn't, there were lots of families there. It's because it is such a long way out to the sea, and the children building their sandcastles and people enjoying soaking up the sun in their deckchairs were up where the softer sand was and not close to the sea edge.
We walked along the sea for a very long time hand in hand, chatting about the lovely few days we had enjoyed.
All too soon if was time to come out of the sea, dry off the feet and hop into the car for our journey home. This little holiday had ended all too soon and we both decided that the North East coast is somewhere we will definately be visiting again.
I hope you've enjoyed a little snippet of our trip. Maybe it's inspired you to visit this part of the UK if you haven't already.