Continuing from my previous post . . .
Hubby and I woke up the next morning at the Rose and Crown to a rather fine day. In fact, one could be forgiven for thinking that it was nearer the beginning of autumn rather than the beginning of December. With the brilliant sunshine in our wake, we set our faces towards Whitby. I had never been to Whitby before, and I wanted to explore the East Yorkshire coast. Oh, I had plans! Besides Whitby, I wanted to visit Robin Hood’s Bay, Staithes, Runswick Bay, Filey, etc. Unfortunately, it was not to be. From reading about the area, I had hoped to find a meandering road hugging the coastline from which were turn-offs to the various coastal towns, villages, and hamlets, but instead discovered that there was no such road at all, as one of the locals told Hubby and me.
Our drive to Whitby did not begin with the most auspicious of starts because I could not receive a signal for satellite navigation at Romaldkirk. Well, we thought, why don’t we drive into Barnard Castle and see if we might be able to get some directions from the Tourist Information Centre there? Perhaps there might be a map we could use. No such luck! Despite street signs pointing the way to the TIC, there was no sign of it. A kindly shopkeeper informed me that the Centre had moved and he did not know where it was now. However, on hearing that we wanted to head towards Whitby, he told us which exit we would need and pointed out the way.
On and on we went; and with no back-up from satellite navigation nor map, it felt like we were driving aimlessly. Eventually, I asked Hubby to turn back to the gas station on the outskirts of Barnard Castle where we had fuelled up. Going into the shop, I asked the staff and a couple of truckers whether they might know the way to Whitby. All were unsure, but one seemed to be a little more confident in his directions. It seemed that we had been going the right way after all!
Our start-stop-start motion sure ate up the time. However, we were on holiday and we did have all the time in the world and that is part of the great fun of motoring without a fixed schedule! Eventually, after miles of driving, we came to a turn-off for the A1. The A1? I thought we would be driving along pretty country lanes from Barnard Castle to Whitby. What were we doing here? Of course we had no choice at that juncture, so we followed the traffic and scooted onto the A1, ensuring that we kept to the slow lane so that we could look out for signs directing us to Whitby.
Some while later, I looked over to the right and there was a sign for a farm shop. Hubby and I love farm shops. It is always so interesting to see homegrown produce and goods. Moreover, I thought, I could go and ask whether if anyone knew whether we were on the right track to Whitby. Having reached the shop’s doors, I realised just what a wonderful farm shop this was: it was not an ordinary farm shop, but contained a cornucopia of wonderful treats ranging from home-farmed butchery meats, cheeses, baked goods and preserves, all beautifully presented in an enormous food hall. To one side was a large tea room serving much more than tea and cakes, and upstairs was a smaller shop selling clothing and a range of household products, as well as pretty gifts. We had stumbled on Mainsgill Farm quite by accident, and I could not wait to go get Hubby to come in and take a look! It was as I towed Hubby back to the store that we met a couple of customers, one of whom hailed from Whitby. Hurray! We now had the directions we required. And here is an aside: because Mum enjoys currant cake, we left with a LARGE currant cake baked on the premises to take back and share with the family. (We have only just eaten the last of it yesterday, and it was yummy!)
Onwards and seawards! It took another hour or more before we reached our destination. Whitby was larger than I had anticipated and it was not easy to find parking, which we eventually did in the car park by Whitby Abbey. The sign said that the Abbey was open; but open it was not! That was rather a disappointment. Following the signposting for the famous 199 steps leading from nearby St Mary’s Church to the centre of Old Whitby, Hubby, dog and I began to make our gingerly way down some very steep and well-worn steps. Some of the steps were so worn that they looked to be part of a slope. Next to the original steps were newer ones that walkers might have another means of ascent or descent. It was good fun negotiating the steps which led to a small beach just off the old cobbled street. All very picturesque!
With Zack in tow, Hubby and I walked some of the older streets of Whitby as the sun began to set over the horizon. Needless to say, we had not secured lodgings yet for the night. All I knew was that we had to try Whitby’s famous fish and chips before we left the town. As dusk fell, we climbed back up those 199 steps and drove into town, parked by North Promenade, and proceeded to make a number of phone calls to prospective dog-friendly establishments for a night’s stay. Eventually, we booked a hotel located an half hour away from the town, but first, we were going to buy some freshly cooked fish and chips from the Magpie Cafe (www.magpiecafe.co.uk). Yum, yum, yum, is all I can say. Zack, bless him, got the leftovers, which were significant as the portions were generous.
So, did we have a good day out on Day 2? You bet we did! After all the fresh sea air and rushing about, the three of us had a dog-tired night’s sleep at the hotel, and woke up in the morning raring to go. Day 3, here we come!
Blenheim Lodge . . . panoramic Lake views, peace and tranquillity, nestled against acres of beautiful fields and woodlands, in the heart of the English Lake District National Park.’
Visit our website: www.blenheim-lodge.com
Telephone: 015394 43440