North Yorkshire September 2018

Tuesday 11th

Carol and I had a few days away, staying at Cundall Lodge Farm B&B. This was a lovely place and Caroline welcomed us with Victoria sponge and tea.

On our first evening we ate at The Oak Tree pub in Helperby, just minutes down the road. Carol had leek tartlets and I had a burger and beer without a bun. Food was fine.

Wednesday 12th

We went to Thirsk and Carol gave her new walking device a good pavement test. Cobbles, paving slabs and bumpy bits to assist blind people at road crossings are not great for it, but tarmac is fine. Despite these obstacles, C moved around well and covered much bigger distances than just using the walking stick. As we went back to the car, 2 women drove their cars into each other. Weirdly a police incident van saw it all happen and was definitely in the right place at the right time to sort it all out. Fortunately the drivers knew each other and it was all relatively friendly. I managed to get my car out of the way of it all.

In the afternoon we went to Shandy Hall in Coxwold, this was fairly bonkers. We thought we might be the only visitors to such a niche place of interest but there were nearly 30 people plus all their cars, for which there isn’t sufficient room. I ended up parking half on and half off the pavement which did not please me at all but I was asked to do this by the curator. The curator of the Laurence Sterne trust also lives in the hall which is named after the character in the book. He clearly loves Sterne a great deal and he gave us a good performance. I looked him up and he was once an actor. Laurence Sterne seemed really irritating and I have no wish at all to read the blasted book. But I still enjoyed looking round the house which was lovely. We both like going to places that aren’t sanitised. Speaking of which they had an outside loo which took me back to my childhood!

After the hall, we went in the church of which the adulterous Sterne had been the incumbent. It has an octagonal tower which was fab. Then, in a new move for us, we sent straight to the Fauconberg Arms for an early dinner (rather than going back to the B&B and out again which is what we usually do). This works much better for me as I don’t like eating late on. Carol had a half portion of fish and chips which still looked pretty big and I had chicken in a hunter sauce. Both fine.

Laurence Sterne’s outside loo
Coxwold church

Thursday 13th

In the morning we went to Helmsley, this was much better for Carol moving around with the walking machine because the pavements are made of tarmac.

The afternoon took us to Mount Grace Priory which is operated by English Heritage but owned by the National Trust. It’s a Carthusian priory and the monks had individual cells. In my head I thought this meant something of the size of a prison cell so small, cramped and not very nice but actually it means a house. Each monk had a bedroom, study, sitting room, huge workroom upstairs bigger than my sitting room, a garden and an outside loo.

As I walked down the very narrow, oddly pitched, weird riser height and somewhat polished wooden stairs, complete with a notice saying to go down backwards which I had wilfully ignored, I slipped and in the moment of trying not to fall, managed to hurt my leg, thumb and big toe. The leg and thumb recovered quickly but the big toe, which bent over on itself, is now black and blue.

The manor house was originally the monastery’s guest house but was done up 100 years ago or so in the Arts and Crafts style. There are only a few rooms to see and they’ve been restored very recently so don’t expect too much here.

We then headed to the Angel in Topcliffe, just minutes from the B&B, for our dinner. C had tomato soup and I had goat’s cheese and mediterranean veg tart. OK but not the best pub food.

Mount Grace priory
Reconstructed monk’s cell
Enormous work room for the monk
Monk’s outside loo
Manor house

Whitby to Robin Hood’s Bay 070410

This is old beacon pole

Woke fairly early, our night time companion showed us her enormous blisters, don’t know how she had kept going on them, poor Mrs Blister. Had a shower and took off the bedding. We were supposed to return the sheets to reception but I only read that when I got home. The information leaflet also contained the following: “If you are buying pretty things from the local shops please don’t go in en masse as it may frighten the shopkeeper.”!!!! I didn’t even see a shop so sadly didn’t get to try this out. We had breakfast, trad English for C and muesli, yoghurt for me, followed by beans on toast. Then we left and went up the lane in the rain to the car. It was still quite early so we drove round to Robin Hood’s Bay and parked up in the lower car park on an all day ticket. Went to the post office and sent a card home, wrote it outdoors in the rain. Waited in the bus shelter for the bus to Whitby, Mrs Blister came and told us she was going home to Scarborough on the bus. The bus arrived but was incredibly full and we had to stand all the way which was very uncomfortable with our rucksacks. Got to Whitby and wandered about, had some nice coffee in Marie Antoinette’s then went back in the town to buy beef and horseradish sandwiches from a butchers. Whitby suffers from a great lack of sandwich shops, you are expected to eat fish and chips or else! Then we set off going into the church at the top of the steps, it smelt a bit funny in there but interesting balcony and all the old box pews. Past the abbey and onto the Cleveland Way again. As we walked it brightened up and at the end of the day was very nice and sunny. Awful lot of mud. Passed a lighthouse you can stay in, a disused railway line and a rocket post (for sending a line out to a ship in distress so that a big line can follow it, be secured to the ship and bring the people back in). We saw lots of nesting kittiwakes. Had lunch on a rock, the gulls only just keeping their distance. So much mud our boots were flat and not grippy. Kept trying to get it off but it was very sticky. In fact, after I had cleaned them off, there was a pile of mud in the road at home! Back at Robin Hood’s Bay, we wandered down the road to the sea, stopping to buy magnetic bracelet which claims it is good for E, N, T infections. No change really so far but I live in hope of becoming less deaf. Lovely little village. Then back up the hill to the car and off. 7.6m. Stopped at a pub on the way home for fish pie for C and steak pie for me. Lovely.

Please visit Map and Compass and learn how to interpret a map with me and my navigation partner, Cath.

Boggle Hole to Ravenscar 060410

Very alarming amounts of erosion

Chris arrived prompt on time but we didn’t quite set off at the crack of dawn, after coffee and chocolate, it was more like mid morning. Nice day but seemed to take forever to get there. We stopped on the way and had more coffee in a pub. By the time we got to the car park for Boggle Hole youth hostel, we were both starving. We checked in and made up our bunk beds. If only I had noticed the pipe running along the bed then! Lovely spot for the YH, just at the end of Boggle Hole cove. Got to beach and quickly had our sandwiches. Then off along the beach south to meet the Cleveland Way at the next cove. Walked to Ravenscar and found that the National Trust shop and visitor centre we had been expecting was shut. Instead walked on to the cafe on the square and had refreshments. We left a lot of mud on the floor. I bought a book for 50p (Daughters of Britannia, which I remembered hearing ages ago on Radio 4). Then we went back much faster with the wind behind us to the YH, mindful of dinner at 7.00. 10km (6.2m). Got back in plenty of time to freshen up and get a beer. Dinner was butternut squash soup which we both had, very nice and burger for C which was less good and veg curry for me which was lovely. So full couldn’t eat the ice cream and so cancelled our order. Then we had another beer and went out to the sea. Just as we crossed the footbridge, a creature ran by C, she bent to pat it thinking it was a dog, and saw it was actually a badger! I heard a scuttling and thought it was C pootling about, turned just in time to see it as it ran up the hill. Pretty fast mover. After all this we were quite tired and went to bed early as neither of us fancied chatting to the other hostellers much. We only had one other woman in our dorm and she seemed reasonably harmless, although she did have a G-Force towel G-Force. We were both quite hot and then I discovered that my bed pipe was very hot but was so tired couldn’t be bothered to move. We both had a fairly sleepless night, and so did the guinea pig woman.

Please visit Map and Compass and learn how to interpret a map with me and my navigation partner, Cath.