Distance 27km Climb 660m
Saturday 8 December 2018
Number 17 in ITV's Britain's Favourite Walks shown January 2018.
As part of Anne's birthday celebrations we were having a few days away. This year Whitby was Anne's birthday choice.
Anne had found a really lovely B&B, Riftswood, owned by Paula and Pete along with Denzil, only a few hundred meters from the coast. The English Coastal Path (ECP) and Cleveland Way are only two of the many walks along this part of the coast. Paula made us very welcome on our arrival with wine/tea and home made cake. We had had a really good few days and would like to come back again.
Following a really nice, very full English breakfast, that set us up for the day, Pete a member of the Civic Society shared information on a number of things about Whitby and suggested a few things too look out for on our walk.
Leaving Riftswood we turned left down a footpath to walk eastwards along the Promenade. Last night we had a walk around the area and I collect the two Geocaches nearby.
Along the Promenade, near the Whitby Pavillion we passed this reminder of the bombardment on Whitby and the impact on the Coastguard Station. When in December 1914 the German High Seas Fleet bombarded Scarborough, Whitby and Hartlepool, I had passed a memorial to this sad event on an earlier walk when I visited The Hartlepool Headland.
Further along The Promenade we passed a statue to Captain Cook who is overlooking the harbour of Whitby. Nearby is the World famous Whale Bone Arch.
Walking through the Arch we took the steps down passing the Khyber Pass Café and walked beside the Lifeboat Museum onto Pier Road. Turning right we passed the arcades and shops onto St Anns Staith, before turning left onto the Swing Bridge, crossing the River Esk.
A left again onto Sandgate and after a few meters we were at the Lucky Duck shop. This was where we saw one of the ghost signs of old Whitby, that Pete had suggested we look out for. Anne had told me this was the same Lucky Duck shop she came to when as a little girl she had visited Whitby with her parents. It must have been many years ago when The Lucky Duck shop had been a butchers, hence the sheep and a cow in the tiles on the front.
While Anne had a look around the shop I took the opportunity to collect another Geocache near the RNLI building. Before returning to join Anne in the Market Place, near Arnie's.
Walking up onto Church Street we headed to the bottom of the 199 steps. A few shops later and we started up the Steps.
We both counted 198, Pete had warned that if you did not get the 199 you had to start again. Another of Pete's suggestions was to visit The Parish Church of St Mary's to see the Christmas Trees. So instead of counting the steps again we called into the Church. It was lovely, many were decorated as dedications from family and friends who had lost loved ones. Others were from local organisations.
Continuing through St Mary's Parish Church grave yard we crossed onto Abbey Road and followed it round to the left. With the Abbey behind us we took the footpath along the Cleveland Way. You can also see the acorn for the ECP.
We took the footpath up to the cliff edge and followed it along the coast. There was a cold biting wind blowing along here and it was strong on our backs, helping us along the way. You can see the sky was clear and bright.
It was an easy path to follow, we could see the coastal path rise and fall as it stretched into the distance.
After crossing a few gates we followed the path as it curves round and drops down into a holiday park. Walking through the holiday park a path dropped down to our left heading for a beach, we continued along the ECP and walking through a gate leaving the holiday camp.
Our path took us by the edge of open fields to our right and a low fence on our left up a gently slope as it rises and curves south east. It was a lovely day for walking and we passed a number of people heading towards Whitby.
The path was now very slippery in places. After approximately a km we came to the Whitby Fog Signal.
Taking the path down to pass in front of the Whitby Fog Signal, which look like holiday lets. We continued along the path to the lighthouse wall and climbed up to the road by the wall before following the path up and behind the lighthouse. The lighthouse has signs showing it has property which can be used for holidays.
A short drop then the path turns a little with views of the cliffs and the path stretching out ahead.
Following the path as it twists, climbs and moves behind the cliff. At the top it drops slightly and levels for a few hundred meters. After crossing through a gate there is a short cut climbing slightly as it crosses a field, you can see many people have taken this short cut. On looking closer the worn grass looks like a split in the ground? It travels for a few meters and looks like it has been there a long time. At the top of the rise was a seat and a lady was quite happy to say they were there first. Not that we had planned to stop, as we continued down hill.
Steps took us down onto a stone steps into what we call a dingily dell. Across the stream the stone steps led us upwards and onwards on the other side.
We would pass up and down a number of dingily dells on this part of the walk. Reaching the next footpath sign we could see we were just over half way to Robin Hood's Bay.
We continued following the coastal path, and found another dingily dell.
At the bottom of one of the dingily dells we stopped for a short rest and a drink of hot chocolate. Anne spotted a large Robin but unfortunately I have been having some trouble with my camera and the photo did not come out very clear.
The path was turning more towards the south than east as we continued along, viewing high stunning cliffs.
We came to a point we could see across Robin Hood's Bay as we turned more south west. Eventually the fishing village of Robin Hood's Bay came into sight and after finding a geocache on the edge of the village we walked between houses onto the Whitby Road.
Stopping at The Grosvenor for a well deserved shandy we were entertained by carol singers.
After our break we followed the carol singers down the road.
As the carol singers turned into another venue we heading down hill into the older part of the village.
At the bottom we passed through a number of narrow streets and saw people dressed up as Victorian's. This was the Robin Hood's Bay Victorian Weekend. There were more Victorian toffs than scruffs. I dare say if you are going to dress up you would want to wear nice clothes rather than rags.
I saw the sign on the Bay Hotel marking the end of the Coast to Coast. Another walk I would like to do.
Anne had a little look around the stalls set up in the Old Coastguard Station.
Pete has shares in a boat in Robin Hood's Bay, unfortunately we could not find it, perhaps next time.
Returning back to the top onto New Road, we could see the bus back to Whitby. Anne had already decided to take the bus back and as it was there took the opportunity to jump on it.
I had decided to walk back and once Anne was on the bus lost no time in setting off. I knew it would be dark when I arrived back in Whitby but I had my torch and now knew the route. The wind had dropped and was calm and it was not as cold as it had been.
I took the same route back as we had taken out. It was just as I started walking again my camera finally gave up. I was left with taking a few photos from my phone.
It turned fully dark as I approached the lighthouse and I was using my torch. It was a nice walk back. Unlike our walk out where we had seen a number of people walking both ways. On my way back I did not see anyone until I reached the holiday park. Where a few people were staying and a few dog walkers were out and about.
Once out the holiday park I was on the easy path along the top. I could see the Abbey as I was approaching Whitby. This was the best photo I could get on my phone.
Then it was down to St Mary's Parish Church grave yard where I got a photo of Whitby all lit up.
It was then back down the 199 steps, I missed counted them again and will admit I didn't go back to start again.
After meeting up with Anne we had some fish and chips and a few drinks. It was late when we returned to Riftswood. I had walked 27km with 660m climb, Anne had walked 14km. We got caught in the rain which had been forecasted for today, however we were fortunate that it had held off. Although a cold day it had been a great day for walking.
We had a great couple of days and will be coming back and would like to stay at Riftswood again.
More to follow
Details correct at time of writing.