Days Six and Seven

Oh, we do like to be beside the seaside… It’s a famous, or infamous, line from a well known and cherished song, my parents know it, my grandparents used to sing it to me when I was a child (and other songs/rhymes I’ve long since forgotten all the words too), and it’s still true today. Without fail come a Holiday weekend every Brit who can, and is inclined to do so, makes their way to the seaside, and we were no different. Taking the moors road all the way up to Whitby, passing through some torrential rain to do so, we arrived in the centre of town just in time to find the last available parking space – by this I mean double parked or loitering suspiciously – in the marina car park and bolt for the loo. Don’t laugh, those roads through the moors are long, and winding, and bumpy, and without any ‘services’ along the way, and after two large cups of tea that’s a calamitous mix! Mind you, this could be the story of a lot of our travels, and if we ever found the time we could indeed publish a title called ‘Britain and her many Loo’s’, as we’ve certainly visited a large portion of them! But fortunately we did make it safely to the marina and after returning to the car spent the next 20 minutes sitting in the ‘other’ marina car park, the one that grinds to a standstill when the bridge is raised. After 20 minutes we decided to beat a retreat back through the traffic that now wound itself back up the hill for a good mile (it felt like a lot longer) and found another way out onto a main road. Once safely onto the main road we headed east-ish and made our way to the Abbey – a rather spectacular vantage point as it looks out across all of Whitby and also across the North Sea.

We wandered around the ruined abbey for a decent amount of time, mainly because as a part of the summer calendar they had a real/live monk and nun there who were entertaining/educating visitors as to their daily lives, instructing them on the songs/psalms/hymns that were sung and the general duties that pertained to being in a monastic community. The strangest/most humour filled part of the visit was seeing a bunch of primary school children dressed in monk’s robes all following the ‘Abbot’ around and chanting in turn, most of it sounding somewhat non-sensical and utter gibberish. The ‘heavens’ must have been on our side for as soon as we decided to leave the first drops of rain began to fall, and no sooner had we clambered back into our car than the rain really began to pelt down. From high on the Whitby hills we made our way along the coast to Scarborough and yet another marina. By now it was well after lunchtime and we were feeling pretty peckish, so when by the seaside what would be more appropriate than fish and chips. Parking the car once more we darted across the main sea front road and into one of the oldest establishments in the town, The Famous Fishpan, and ordered what turned out the be the best fish and chips we’ve ever had the pleasure of enjoying. Crisp batter coating thick and moist flakes of fish, chips that were golden and crunchy on the outside and fluffy inside. Not only that, but we had the best view of the harbour and all the holiday-makers as we leaned against the railing, taking in the sea breeze, the tantilising aroma of freshly fried and sugared donuts on the air. After a late lunch we trundled on down to Bridlington and a leisurely stroll along the promenade before once again pausing to take in the sea air. On the way home we stopped in to the Toby Carvery at York for some dinner, it’s been a favourite during our trip and once again we were more than pleased by the experience.

Today began with returning our rental car, we’ve enjoyed having the car and the freedom of travelling where and when we wanted has been wonderful, even if the vehicle we had was less than ideal. Afterwards we walked into York, along the river where we paused to feed some geese and the odd duck, before climbing and walking along a section of the medieval walls. Wandering back along at street level we decided upon catching one of the sightseeing buses and touring the city in comfort – and for the most part, out of the showers that were intermittent. It was a rather pleasant afternoon as we rambled through the streets, both old and much older, we stopped into the York Castle Museum, a bit of a revisit for us as we’d toured it five years ago when we were here last. When we came to leave the weather was still a little iffy, so we caught the sightseeing bus around to the sister-museum, the Yorkshire Museum, which has a wonderful exhibition on the history of York as a city, from Roman times through to pre-Victorian. We explored this museum until closing before enjoying the stroll back to our digs for a quiet dinner and the unenviable task of doing the washing, even on holidays some chores can’t be ignored.