Post 211: 3 November 2017, Whitby to Robin Hood’s Bay and Back.
I had seven miles to walk to complete my boots only Country Walking Magazine 1,000 Mile 2017 Challenge and one more day of my first ever 5 day fit-bit challenge.
So what to do? I initially thought it would be good to finish the 1,000 mile challenge at Scarborough, the end of my coast to coast.
However, a friend had just lent me his book The Times Britain’s Best Walks – 200 classic walks from The Times, by Christopher Somerville. A few months ago I had bought a ticket for one of his talks in the village but had to miss it due to some family illness. I noticed that the walk was 7 miles. Perfect, I could finish my walk at Robin Hood’s Bay a delightful place. I could return on the dismantled railway line called the cinder track, which I had cycled along about a month ago. Then I could finish with fish and chips and a well earned knickerbocker glory!!
Christopher has a very good writing style and described admirably a walk I know.
It was an early start following on from the previous 4 days of energetic walking on the fit bit challenge. I managed to get one of the last free parking spots in Whitby near the harbour. I have been well schooled by Sid the Yorkshireman, who knows where every free space is! He had of course skipped the county to go to Cumbria as he was worried the Black Death Plague had returned to Yorkshire and he was keeping me in quarantine (see previous blogs), even though I hadn’t even caught any of the sickness bugs and viruses flying about everywhere. Now I was Billy No-Mates.
I had driven through mist over the Moors and it was still a bit claggy as I walked along Whitby harbour at 9.15am
There is always plenty of interest around Whitby harbour with boats coming and going and in for repair.
If Whitby was good enough for Turner to paint it’s good enough for me. However, it is certainly a lot busier than it was then, now with hordes of tourists and day visitors coming even in weekdays and even in winter.
I crossed the swing bridge built in 1909.
With an early start I was able to photograph the 199 steps with no one else on them – a rare occurrence. Those steps would add to my fit-bit challenge!
I then passed the 12th Century Church of St Mary, which was designated a world heritage site on 23 February 1954.
Followed by Whitby Abbey, a 7th Century Christian monastery that later became a Benedictine Abbey. It was made famous in fiction by Bram Stoker’s 1897 novel Dracula, as Dracula came ashore as a creature resembling a large dog and proceeded to climb the 199 steps which lead up to the ruins. The area is now popular for Goth weekends and dog walkers!
It is always good to reach the coastal footpath above the cliffs, with a fresh breeze. A recent walking German visitor made me appreciate how fortunate I am to have the coast within just over an hours drive as she lives 4 hours from the nearest coastline. She desperately wanted to go to the coast in England.
Saltwick Bay was passed and school parties were descending to explore the beach and probably look for fossils.
I then spotted the ‘submarine‘ and the wreck of the Rohilla. Launched on 6 September 1906 the Rohilla became a hospital ship on 6th August 1914. At 4am on 29th October 1914 she struck rocks at Saltwick Nab with 229 people on board. A rescue attempt lasted for several days, but due to bad weather over 80 people perished.
After a coffee and banana break in the shelter of some rocks, I continued to Whitby Lighthouse, which opened in 1858 having cost £8,000. It is possible to book holiday accommodation there in the adjoining Whitby Fog Signal.
I was enjoying the coastal views
I arrived at the point where Wainwright’s Coast to Coast joins the coast and the Cleveland Way.
Arriving at a patch of mud my mapmywalk app told me I had walked 7 miles and therefore I had reached my 1,000 miles (boots only) for the year, two months ahead to meet the challenge. I could only think it was due to the walk from where the car was parked that had added to the mileage. I did wonder if my German walking friend had a premonition a month or so ago?! Hardly the spot I had envisaged!!Not to worry I would hold the ‘formal’ completion ceremony in Robin Hood’s Bay a little further on.
This was delayed as the tide was in and I had to walk extra up and down stairs to get to the beach – my legs groaned.
However, I eventually reached the beach.
It was time for a quick lunch stop, an ice-cream and then the steep climb out of the village. It was then a bit of a route march along the cinder track back to Whitby well above the coastal path.
At this point five days of walking started to catch up on me and my legs started to feel tired. However, at just after 3pm Whitby came into view and the end of the walk was in sight.
A quick change of my very muddy boots at the car and then it was off to Trenchers. Who cares if I was Billy No-Mates today? Look what I had to myself! A well earned reward as two challenges completed.
However, I hadn’t quite finished walking as I decided to have a slow walk along to the pier to add to my steps and walk some of the huge meal off. It was dark at just before 5pm!!!!
With regard to the fit-bit challenge the tortoise seems to have kept ahead of the hares.
I recorded the most steps I had ever done in a day 36,447 (fit-bit), beating my previous best of 35,000, so am pleased. Celia my wife thinks I am mad, but did buy me a cake to celebrate the 1,000 miles.
It was a Magnificent 7 plus Miles.
Mapmywalk (Boots only)
Miles Walked 15.25
Calories Burnt 1,700
Average Pace 18.48 Minute per Mile
Maximum Pace 9.4 Minutes per Mile
Elevation Gain 1,157 Feet.
Minimum Elevation 7.9 Feet!!!!!!
Maximum Elevation 434 Feet.