We set off in beautiful sunshine and blustery wind for our walk down into Charmouth which is a small village with a few shops/pubs etc.
A small side lane leads down to the beach, there are three car parks a large one on the beach is very suitable for motorhomes. The tide was on its way out so we headed East along the beach. Of course this is one of the beaches famous for finding fossils, Michelle claims I was the oldest fossil on the beach. The scenery and beach are fantastic, but you don’t seem to take much of it in as you walk along with eyes down searching for the possibility of finding a dinosaur fossil. You also have to have you wits about you to avoid the flying shrapnel as the serious fossil hunters split pebbles with their hammers whilst amateurs hurl their rocks at boulders with great force!
We did find a few poor examples of fossils but the best one we will be bringing home with us we bought from the fossil shop for £1.25.
On the way back to the camp site we called in at a caravan and camping shop where we bought Michelle a new folding chair.
Tonight we are pitched on Newlands Holiday Park at Charmouth, it’s a large very well kept site with lots of amenities, not the normal site we select but I’ve no complaints.
We drove here firstly with a stopover at Bridport, we parked in Morrison’s car park, free for 3 hours, we did a small shop and filled with fuel. The walk into Bridport was pleasant and we enjoyed a ramble up and down its main street.
From Bridport it is a mile to the coast at West Bay, which has a harbour obviously well used for commercial fishing as well as pleasure boats. There appeared to be a quite a few outlets selling Cornish pasties. I can imagine in the height of the season it would be a very busy place with people enjoying its wonderful sandy beaches.
It has good parking facilities, one car park has dedicated spaces for motorhomes, sadly though, no overnight parking.
When you hear the name Glastonbury, some people will immediately think of Glastonbury Festival and others will think of a town with mystical connections. Well the Festival isn’t held in the town of Glastonbury (plus Covid has cancelled it for this year) so today we explored the mystical and historical town.
As you can see there are colourful buildings in the town, many of them selling items to do with magic, spiritual well being, ethnic artefacts and clothes , eco food shops etc. I suppose you would describe it as a mix between hippy and new age, there are many people dressed in this colourful fashion which certainly contrasts to the Steam Punk and Goth out fits we recently saw in Whitby.
Of course the town is steeped in history and we took the opportunity to visit the ruins of Glastonbury Abbey ( today’s entry fee reduced to £5 a head) the ruins are in 36 acres of grounds and are well worth a visit. Glastonbury Abbey was a monastery founded in the 7th century and enlarged in the 10th century, by the 14th century it was one of the richest and most powerful monasteries in England. From at least the 12th century the Glastonbury area has been associated with the legend of King Arthur.
The weather has been kind to us today far warmer than yesterday, the wind has eased and apart from a light shower, early evening, dry.
Today we drove 140 miles south in heavy rain and strong winds to the above campsite. It’s 11 days since we returned from our trip to Yorkshire, we have had time to catch up on chores and restock Homer. We are at the start of a 15 day tour along with our motor homing buddies Alison and Peter.
The campsite is close to the base of Glastonbury Tor and we have a good view from Homer.
Peter and Alison arrived a little later than us having a much longer drive, but shortly after setting up we took advantage of it being dry to walk up to the Tor. The route from the site took us along two quiet country lanes to the start of the off road footpath, both the Tor and the fields around it are in the ownership of the National Trust.
The walk up is steep and had us panting somewhat, there is a narrow concrete path including flights of steps that lead to the top, unfortunately the path leans down the slope and Michelle felt far from safe.
The view from the top is quite spectacular even on a cloudy day, however the wind at the top was so strong that you had to lean at an angle of 60 degrees to walk across the top. It didn’t lead to a comfortable stay and we walked down sooner than we planned.
As I write this Homer is being buffeted by the wind so I have a feeling we will be rocked to sleep tonight.
After saying our goodbyes this morning we drove south across the North York Moors past Fylingdale part of our early warning defence system and onto Malton.
Malton is described as the “food capital” of Yorkshire, however on a Monday morning in April there was very little evidence of this, we did however find a rather nice bakery. On the wall of a building in one of the side streets was the following:
Our aimed stopover for today was Elsecar Heritage Centre part of which contains an antiques centre we have seen on the TV show Bargain Hunt.
I won’t go into the history of the area but it was developed by Earl Fitzwilliam whose nearby family home has the longest facade of a private home. We payed a brief visit to a few of the displays here but some areas are still shut due to Covid and we will visit again in the future to do the centre full justice.
The antiques centre was open and following its one way system we explored its two floors of antiques. Michelle found two pieces of Poole pottery to add to her ever extending collection.
We are staying over night here on the car park, free of course, no restrictions. We are surrounded by fields on one side and a park and golf course on the other, running alongside us is small stream with a lot of bird life, but very strangely as I was looking out of the window a black rabbit hopped past, I can only imagine it’s a pet one that escaped at some time.
Today we got a much better impression of Whitby. Alison and Peter had booked online a visit to Whitby Abbey and so we left the motorhomes a little earlier than normal. This meant when we arrived and walked around Whitby on the opposite bank of the river where we had a quieter time and better impression.
The pedestrian route to the Abbey is quite strenuous as you have to climb 199 steps, my legs were still stiff from yesterday but thankfully I managed without too much discomfort.
The steps, Abbey and church graveyard feature in Bram Stoker’s book about Dracula, but obviously the history goes back much further.
At Michelle’s request we walked around the graveyard, I’m pleased to say there was no sign of evil, perhaps it was too sunny!
We wandered back down into town and after stopping for a snack we wandered up through the town on the opposite side of the river to the other headland overlooking the town. Here is a whale bone arch, a nod to whaling fleets of the past and also a statue of Captain James Cook the historic sea farer and explorer.
Of course we couldn’t finish our day out without trying the obligatory fish and chips of which Whitby is famed for. I’m sure someone has counted how many fish and chip shops there are in Whitby but needless to say you don’t have to search for one, I wouldn’t have thought that there was that much cod in the sea to sustain them. Ours had the original name of “ Mr Chips”, I will say everything was freshly cooked and tasted good, Layla certainly enjoyed sharing the fish.
Yesterday we spent the day pretty much the same as the day before, we had a relaxing morning and then during the afternoon walked down into Robin Hoods Bay.
Today, although we are staying outside Whitby , we first drove north past Whitby to Staithes.
Staithes is a very pleasant small traditional fishing village. Again there is a very steep downhill walk to the harbour through a winding street with traditional houses.
We walked around the harbour on top of its thick wall which protect the boat moorings and sea front houses from the North Sea storms.
There is a river running down into the harbour and at high tide many of the boats access this and moor up there.
We enjoyed our visit there today and felt it was the kind of place we could visit again quite happily.
After leaving Staithes we drove to our current 5 van site, Shaun Rigg at Ruswarp which is approx 2 miles from Whitby along a public foot path alongside the railway track. We walked into Whitby but in away timed it wrong, it’s Saturday, sunny, people are seeking freedom from Covid lockdown and thus it was crowded along the harbour side. We will return tomorrow morning when it should be quieter and visit Whitby Abbey, Michelle is into Bram Stoker and Count Dracula so she is keen to see more.
It’s been a beautiful, sunny pleasant day today, we have been able to sit outside in the warmth until 7.15pm, the sun has now dipped behind the hills behind us. Time possibly for a drink.
After lunch it was decided to make the steep descent from the campsite down to the beach at Robin Hoods Bay, which is a picturesque old fishing village on the coast of the North York Moors. You can wander around it’s narrow twisting cobbled streets and alleyways, less than 2 metres wide and you can easily imagine how life was living there many centuries ago.
We enjoyed a long pleasant stroll along the length of the beach where Layla enjoyed her pastime of chasing pebbles and searching for them in the sea. There was an ice cream van on the beach and we enjoyed the innocent pleasure of doing some thing normal again and buying an ice cream to eat as we walked along, came with real Cadbury flakes too!!
We rounded off the walk along the beach with our first alcoholic drink at a pub since one in a pub garden at The Wisemans Bridge Pub near Saundersfoot in September 2020.
The walk back up to the campsite was a hard pull and the legs felt it all the way, today we only walked 3.5 miles.
Scarborough is known as Britain’s original sea side resort, it has a 12th century castle that stands on a headland splitting its two sandy bays.
Although the town is some distance from the campsite we decided to walk along the coast path adjacent to the cliffs that leads to north bay.
As soon as we reached the beach Layla rushed down to the sea edge and had a good time chasing a stick into the sea, there are numerous public paths leading up from the beach and we took one that lead us into the town. Many shops were open but the pedestrianised high street wasn’t too busy, we looked for a cafe to sit outside but the only one we found had no spare tables.
We walked down through the park shown in the above photo to a sea front that is more set up for tourists and thankfully found an empty table outside a cafe where we had a drink and a snack. This area has the harbour used by fishing boats and pleasure boats and looked very well used.
We felt quite weary as we began the walk back and the pull up the path back onto the cliff top took its toll on us, so the cold beer I consumed when we returned was very welcome. My phone app showed we had walked a distance of 8.6 miles today, I think we will sleep well tonight.
We’re now on a “proper” trip, we’ve driven 180 miles north west to the above campsite to meet up with our motor- homing buddies Alison and Peter who we haven’t seen in real life since Sept 2020. Since we last met their motorhome Fluffles has gone to a new home and they now have a Auto Sleeper Broadway, known as FuFu.
After sitting in the sunshine for some time and catching up on recent news we took the opportunity to go for a walk. We left the site and headed off across a path though a field where we met up with the coastal path at the cliff edge.
As the plan is for us to walk to Scarborough tomorrow we headed left away from the town and walked along the cliff top.
We then came across a faint path that led down a gap in the cliffs and after some difficulty we managed to scramble down it and onto the beach( it was considerably more difficult when we had to scramble back up!) The tide being out left a rocky shoreline covered in seaweed , this made it impossible to get down to the sea but nonetheless we enjoyed a walk along the sand and pebbles and scrambling over rocks.
As usual later in the evening we joined Alison and Peter in their new motorhome and during the course of the evening they announced they were to be grandparents again, Alison’s daughter is expecting their second and Peter’s son and his partner are expecting their first child. I blame the lockdown as our eldest daughter Emma is expecting twins shortly.