Post 188: 6th September 2017. A beach walk towards Sandsend and then to Whitby Abbey.
When I asked my German visitor Victoria where in particular she would like to visit in her 8 days available, Whitby was top of her list. She lives 4 hours from the coast in Germany and so trips to the coast are fairly infrequent. I was delighted with this choice as it would gives us the opportunity to go on one of the countries best heritage railways, The North York Moors Railway from Pickering to Whitby. I was not sure this was in Victoria’s plans but it was in mine, especially as we would be on a steam train!
After negotiations worthy of BREXIT about a start time, I picked Victoria up from the York Youth Hostel reception at about 7.30am. I was intrigued by the poster in the reception, highlighting York’s chocolate and sweets heritage.
We arrived at Pickering at about 9.00am and had a coffee and purchased our tickets.
Our train was getting up steam to depart at 9.25am.
We were lucky to get a seating immediately behind the engine, which would be good for photographs and videos. I was happy if a bit bleary eyed.
For the next hour and 45 minutes we enjoyed the journey through some of the best scenery on the North York Moors and much of Heartbeat Country, named after the Yorkshire TV’s series.
The ‘celebrity’ station of Goathland is also known as Aidensfield in the TV series and is the bewitching Hogshead in the first Harry Potter film.
The next station Grosmont is a 1952 British Rail style station, which just happens to be my birth year. It is home to the engine sheds where the locomotives are maintained and restored. It is also the junction with the main rail network. To get the full ‘steam effect’ click on the individual photographs.
We eventually approached Whitby crossing over the River Esk
and passing the impressive Larpool viaduct.
We had a potter around the harbour waiting for the fish and chips restaurant to open.
My choice of restaurant is always Trenchers and we were not disappointed :
My had my favourite dessert – knickerbocker glory! How could Victoria resist one?
NOW IT WAS TIME FOR A WALK TO BURN ALL THE CALORIES OFF!!!!
We walked along the harbour towards the two lighthouses and found a board which showed our route towards Sandsend.
We ascended the steps with great views towards the Abbey in great weather appearing. We posed under the whalebone and paid our respects to Captain Cook.
We then had a bracing but most enjoyable walk along the promenade towards Sandsend, returning back along the beach. Victoria had particular interest in the football – I can’t think why other than Germans like their football!
We then ascended back up to Captain Cook.
Then walked back through town past the famous, but temporarily closed (due to fire), Magpie fish and chips restaurant, to cross the swing bridge, and then ascend the 199 steps to the Church and Abbey.
St Mary’s Church is well worth a visit.
Outside there is a fascinating memorial.
We then moved onto Whitby Abbey, which was the inspiration for Bram Stoker’s Dracula. It was a 7th century Christian monastery that later became a Benedictine abbey.
After circling the Abbey and the nearby Youth Hostel we descended back to the town.
Whilst waiting for the train we had a beer in a local pub. Victoria as elusive as ever.
Our train was steaming up to depart at 17.10pm.
After another enjoyable relaxing train journey to Pickering to arrive at 18.45pm, we then took the ‘country route’ via Malton back to York, the day rounded off by a fine sunset.
I won’t even argue that Whitby has to be included in ‘the Best of 31 years of walking in Yorkshire condensed into 8 days’. It speaks for itself.
Miles Walked 4