Monday 18 May 2015
Whitby to Skinningrove
Moonfleet Guest House
A bus ride to start the week, this one to get from Robin Hood’s Bay to Whitby, where I finished walking on Friday. It’s never ideal to start walking in the rain but at least it wasn’t a heavy downpour and the visibility was still quite good.
Today was more up and down over the North Yorkshire cliffs and the first town I came to was Runswick Bay, which was rather like a newer version of Robin Hood’s Bay; pouring off the cliff, narrow streets, at the North end of a wide bay.
An equally pretty little fishing town.
Just around the headland is Port Mulgrave, which was the site of the first of the 2 ironstone mines that I walked past today. I realised when I saw Easington on the map that I was in mining country, but I didn’t know N Yorkshire used to be the hub of iron and alum mining.
Staithes is the final fishing village within the North Yorkshire Moors National Park and it is extremely pretty nestled in the hillside next to The confluence of the 4 becks in the area.
As I walked over the headland towards Skinningrove the sun came out and I got my first glimpses of Middlesbrough in the distance. The views along the coast and inland towards Borrowby Dale and Easingron Beck were stunning, even though punctuated by Boulby mine and the steel works at Loftus. Skinningrove is a funny little place tucked out of the way. It used to be a mining community and looks like it’s still struggling to reinvent itself. It was badly flooded twice in 2000 and flood prevention is key to this town, which is apparently well known for its pigeon fanciers and even has a statue dedicated to the Skinningrove Homing Society.
Skinningrove only got stranger for me as the only pub in the village seems more like a house (but a meal cost £4 so I wasn’t complaining) and my guest house locked me out on the street for 40 mins. Most odd that I couldn’t get in. I went round to the neighbour’s house to see if they could help me and met an old man with one leg (apparently he lost the other one through drinking too much) and then had to try and convince an old lady with dementia that she needed to go home. An eventful evening. The guest house owner eventually answered the door and let me in.