On Tour NC 500 – Day 20

On Tour Travelogue Day 20

Tuesday 19 June

So today we set of early and travelled from Durham to the North Yorkshire Moors site in Seaton via the wonderful and famous port of Whitby.

For those who don’t know – where have you been? – Whitby is famous for a number of things the least of which I suppose are the fantastic views across the small and picturesque harbour and coast but for the swing bridge that gives access up the River Esk.

Everywhere you look when walking around the small cobbled streets of Whitby you are reminded of its heritage and expect at any moment to be accosted and “pressed into service” by a gang of Royal Navy sailors which of course has been replaced by being accosted by those collecting for charity.

By the way the weather today has been brilliant so after coffee and cake we set off to visit the statue of one of my all time heroes.

But first a word on the Queens Cafe Lounge where we stopped for coffee.

This week is Armed Services week and the cafe apart from serving great coffee and homemade cake are also giving a discount to armed services and ex- armed services personnel. 

It may only be a little thing but the gesture is one that I at least think is fantastic so BZ to the owners of the Queens Cafe Lounge.

Anyway back to my hero.

A few years ago we went to visit our son and daughter in law who now live in New Zealand and of course I couldn’t visit without going to Gisborne and having a photo taken at the place where Captain James Cook RN. FRS first landed.

You may have guessed by now the Cook is one of my heroes.

So of course I couldn’t visit Whitby without climbing the hundred or so steps to complete the circle and see where James Cook first learned what were to be his brilliant seamanship and navigation skills.

Incidentally did you know he was also a Fellow of the Royal Society and that this year is the 250th anniversary of him setting sail on the Endeavour for his first visit to the South Seas.

After Cook we walked around the headland – and the obligatory British seaside beach huts.
It must be a thing in Whitby that the beach huts have to be in strict colour order and only primary colours at that unlike elsewhere where they are multi-coloured and in any random order.

By the way if you visit Whitby – and you should – and you don’t like hills or steps well all I can say is – UNLUCKY.

Alright I’ll mention the other thing Whitby is famous for and that is the abbey that inspired Bram Stoker to write Dracula.

And yes of course we walked up the 199 steps and through the graveyard at the top – don’t worry we went in bright sunshine so we were safe enough (don’t go at night though)- to the abbey itself.

Just one thing that may be of interest which is that the stopping places at intervals on the steps have lovely oak benches that appear to be quite wide and about six feet in length so a word of warning don’t get too comfortable – they were apparently where the coffins were rested whilst being carried to the graveyard.

Spooky eh!

I’d love to come back and visit during the Whitby Goth Weekend and see the array of those dressed in top hats and tail coats but that will be for another time.

The abbey itself – well it is obviously a ruin and how the people of North Yorkshire love a castle or abbey ruin – but nevertheless is nothing less than very imposing and atmospheric.

So how to end a glorious day out in Whitby?

Well according to all of the advice we received – and it was plenty – we had to sit and have fish and chips (without gravy on the chips I might add) so that is exactly what we did and yes they are really are as good as people say.

So here we are at the site with the dogs in their equivalent to a doggy heaven because they have a wood and fields to scamper and sniff about in – of which they have taken full advantage – and we are settling down to raise a bottle of red to body temperature so….