Tuesday, 27 July 2010

Ravenscar to Whitby, The finish of The Cleveland Way

I have decided to let the pictures do the talking....

Small cobbled streets of Robin Hoods Bay and a past reminder of how people came together during times of adversity.......

We stayed here and it was a good night to!
Peaceful and tranquil, the perfect spot.

Robin Hoods Bay and Ravenscar, in the distance.

Ciffs that were both beautiful and dangerous.
We watched as a helicopter transported someone to safety.

Don`t take the weather for granted.......

Is it a shark, a submarine or rocks that look like both?
Correct, it is jet coloured rock and these two features looked real from a distance, possibly looking like two submarines.... Make up your own mind.

One of the many views of Whitby Abbey.......
The end of a lovely and remarkable walk, and I shall do it all again, one day.......

Sunday, 25 July 2010

Scarborough to Ravenscar

From our campsite we walked to the cliff to pick up The Cleveland Way and were blessed with a lovely sunrise.
It showed us what a day we would have and we were not wrong, it turned out to be a scorcher!
We even had time to pose!

I took a fun picture of "Thelma and Scooby Doo" - ok, me and Willow, our shadow stretching on the sand floor.
A signpost showing the way

Ravenscar is only about 10 miles from Scarborough, but it is very up and down along the cliffs and seems to sap the life out of you! Again mountains on the coast!

Scarborough Castle can still be seen some 5 miles away.
Its tower still prominent in the afternoon sunshine.
It wasn`t long before we hit Ravenscar and stayed in a secluded spot.
It was a very comfortable evening complete with a sunset to boot!

St. Mary`s church and Anne Bronte And The Rainbow Center

St. Mary`s church in Scarborough sits high upon a hill, like Scarborough Castle.
It was originally built on an old Saxon area and it too is steeped in history.
It is open everyday and is well worth a look inside, indeed it took me a good couple of hours to walk around it and appreciate its building.
Over the centuries it has been added on, very subtly and very beautiful.
It is also the resting place of Anne Bronte, one of the Bronte Sisters.
How did Anne get to be here in Scarborough?
Well, she loved Scarborough and wanted to return here.
Her story is also told in the church, which you can read for yourself.
One thing of note was that there were several mistakes first put on her headstone which had to be removed, today there remains only one.
Like so many people, I too placed flowers upon her resting place, as I have read some of the books written by the Bronte Sisters.
The Rainbow Center
Situated just down the hill from the church is a place called the Rainbow Center.
It is run by volunteers and helps everyone within the community.
I popped in to see for myself and to speak to some of the people it is helping.
I had a cup of tea and a friendly chat and went back on my return to Scarborough to offer my help, even if it was for a short time.
During my time here, I had met people who were homeless and in difficulties. Many people give these people a wide berth, me? I take time out to speak and give a friendly ear, they are only human after all.

Scarborough Castle and the BBQ

Scarborough castle dates back to around medieval times and although some of it has now disappeared into the sea, its tower and remaining grounds still pose a formidable site.
The castle and surrounding area has had finds from the early saxon times and these can be found in a section of the castle museum.
Alot of the finds were from the war between the parliamentarians and Cromwell, mainly musket balls.

Although in ruins, it still tells a story - if only walls could talk!
The views give an indication of the vantage point, but many of the walls that once surrounded it have fallen into the sea, but you get an idea of the size it once was just by looking at the remaining walls.
Everyday, the flag is hoisted atop of the tower, when the attraction is open.
Why not try the cafe at the castle?
Flying high above, many a flag has been hoisted here, all poiniant reminders of who owned it and who they were defending.
Nowadays it is not hoisted in anger or of defendant, just as a symbol of its country.
The Barbeque
Staying in Scarborough I decided to put on a BBQ, but not any ordinary BBQ, but one where people could come and enjoy it.
I was entering into unchartered territory, I had never done a big BBQ before and certainly not one where I had invited people to join in.
I didn`t have a reason for the invite, but I went and bought a bag of BBQ chicken packs, chicken legs/wings/breast, sauages, tomatoes, burgers and potatoes with rolls and butter and paper plates and cups, the only requirement I asked people to bring was their own drinks!
So, armed with trays of charcoal, I headed on down the beach, not sure whether this would be a good idea or not.
It was also as an added fundraiser, but I left it to people whether they wanted to contribute or not.

Someone turned up with a table and others bought a makeshift brick/slab table to put the trays on!
Others turned up with salad and drinks and it turned out to be a good idea afterall - so long as I didn`t food poison anyone!
It was a lovely afternoon and people said that the British spirit is there but these days people are too afraid to do anything because of health and safety or peoples general suspicion of each other, which is very true, but here on this afternoon, for a few hours before the tide came in, it was a time for people to mingle and forget differences and enjoy good company.
It only took one person with an idea to bring people together, will you be the next on?

Bridlington to Scarborough and Raspberry mishmash

Willow enjoyed her playing, sometimes getting sticks bigger than herself!
A grasshopper on the beach, enjoying the warmth of the morning sun.
For this part of the route, Scarborough is about 24 miles from Bridlington, but we would follow the coastline that would take us through Flamborough Head with the big old lighthouse.
When it is foggy, the horn at Flamborough Head can be heard for miles even when the beam of light cannot be seen at sea.
You can take a different route and not go to Flamborough Head, but through what is called Danes Dyke, but no one seems to know why it is called that, and no nothing to do with the Danes landing here!
From here, just follow the coastline to Filey, going through Bempton, which has a nature reserve for the birds, which is RSPB owned, so pop into the cafe there and visit the shop.
The Cleveland way was picked up here and the route to Scarborough was very interesting with the cliffs giving a spectacular views of the sea and the route ahead and the warmth that the day had was still unbelievable, especially for early september.
We did eventually get to Scarborough and stayed their for a couple of days.
The Thing with warm days and still very pleasant evenings is the variety of food still available and for this recipe, I did cheat and had a tin of raspberries as I love raspberries!
Raspberry Mishmash
1 tin of raspberries (fresh British raspberries are available July/August)
2 Merringue Nests
1 small carton whipping cream
1 Flake (or 2 if your a chocoholic!)
Whip the cream until stiff but fluffy.
Drain the juice from the raspberries and add raspberries to cream, stirring in.
Crush the merringue nests and add to cream and raspberries
Grate/cut up flake(s) and add to mixture, give a quick stir and indulge in loads of calories!
You can drink the raspberry juice if you want or add it to another dish if you like!

Friday, 23 July 2010

Footprints In The Sand

Our early morning walks would take us along some beautiful stretches of the coastline and I couldn`t resist taking this photograph of footprints with faithful companion by their side and then I looked at my own and saw the same, Rather poignant I felt.
Even when we walk on lonely stretches, we are never truly alone, someone is always walking with us, even when we feel lonely or down.
I have sat on the beach with Willow by my side and never noticed the footprints before, where theyr`e going, who`s prints are they and what are they thinking? until now.

Thursday, 22 July 2010

The Cleveland Way

Our new journey would take us back to the seaside and we would follow this route as far as Whitby to get the train upto Inverness for the final leg of our epic tour The Loch Ness Marathon.

Sadly our last trip that brought us up here is confined to history as I could save no data from the Wolds Way, I seriously loathe some websites for allowing this to happen and it has taken me nearly a year to re-write and put pictures onto the web so I`m hoping Google doesn`t fold either! Please keep going!!
Anyway, back to this trip!
The Cleveland Way starts at Filey, north of Bridlington, which is where we are starting and although Willow is not allowed on some sections of the beach, the one she is is still very active with windsurfers etc. I was careful to clean up after Willow as I didn`t want anyone walking in her mess. Human mess, now that is a different story.......
We stayed on the beach for a few nights and enjoyed the view from my "bedroom" - who could ask for more?

The early mornings were the best, no one around and on the sand were earl morning footprints, but the gentle calmness of the sea was inviting but a little chilly this morning!

Morning has broken and the RAF coastguard keeping a careful watch.
After a thunderstorm a rainbow shines the way and the sunshine returns.

Woodhall Spa to the Humber and the end of The Viking Way

Woodhall Spa is a wonderful place to stay.
Steeped in History although it does not go back a long way, 1821, to be exact.
It is set amidst pine woods and is Edwardian in character with the house portraying the vintage look.
The whole area was based on one mans dream, John Parkinson.
His ambition was to open a coal mine, but instead found a water spa, hence the name.
An architect named Richard Adolphus Came had grand designs for Woodhall Spa and its baths (which are now semi-derelict) and did not want any roads to be called streets, this policy is still maintained today.
Woodhall Spa has several aviation heritage sites and is associated with 617 Squadron, The famous Dambusters.
The railway line that goes through here to Horncastle was closed in 1970 and this was the next section of our route.
We continued on the railway line and stayed in Horncastle, another remarkable place and considerably older than Woodhall Spa.
It was nice to have a flat route to finish!
Horncastle dates back to 13th century when it was given its charter.
It used to be famous for its great August Horse fair until the early 20th century.
It is now more noted for its antiques trade, of which I had enormous fun looking round! Though Willow was not impressed with my window shopping!
Horncastle was also known as Banovallum (wall on River Bain) it was named so by the Romans, but it was later that it helped during the Battle of Winceby in 1643.
Winceby is about 4 miles east of Horncastle and worthy of a look around.
During the battle of 1643 it helped secure Lincolnshire for Parliament, Cromwell was almost killed here.
There is also a local legend in which it is reported that 13 scythe blades, which hang on the south wall of the chapel of St. Mary`s church, were used as weapons at Winceby.
The next part of the journey would take us off the beaten track from the comfort of the railway lines and back through farmers fields, passing old run down and derelict windmills.

The signposts that depict the viking way are nearly at every turn, which is very good.
Like the South West Coast Path, it is clearly marked.
The Viking Way is obviously called it for a reason - right? Yep, Vikings did descend onto the Humber and then down to Rutland Water, how different it would have looked!
We are actually doing the route the other way round, but it doesn`t make any difference, it is still as enjoyable!
Next day, we headed further north and found a change in the weather, it was no longer sunny, but cloudy and cooler.
Going through the fields the terrain was changing too, a few hills here and there, but it was still farmland with different styles to negotiate, but the places we passed appeared old and sedate, like Fulletby and Belchford, not a windy place I may add! But they seemed places of hidden time zones, still lingering in the past but with modern day cons like the car and satellite dishes displayed on the sides of the houses.
I soon decided that modern technology may be of some benefit but it aint arf ugly to look at!
We found a good campsite to stay at for the night in Goulceby.
Goulceby is not far from Market stainton and I wasn`t far from the finish line.
From Goulceby our route began to get a little more hectic with main roads beginning to join us.
It took nearly all day to get to Caistor, which was our next big stopping off point and although we could have detoured and stayed at Market Rasen, I decided to leave that for next time!
It wasn`t as though the journey was arduous, but it was pleasant and again dull but some days would take longer to walk than others.
Caistor was originally a Roman fortress and some 4th century walls still remain as a southern boundary, which is visible at the church of St. Peter and St. Paul.
Enclosed within the fortress is an Anglo - Saxon tower.
The rest of Caistor is now an old Georgian Town and the market square is made up of some 56 buildings all now grade II listed buildings.
Our Last day on the Viking Way would prove to be an awkward one, as the majority of the route runs alongside the A15 before going over it and crossing theM180 (albeit safely!) and then headed into Barton-Upon-Humber, but the weather was the final straw, it hammered it down and the sky was a dark grey and refused to leave, but we had finished and a good walk accomplished.

The Water Railway Track

We (well me, Willow can`t talk!)decided to walk a new section of a cycle/walking route that goes from Lincoln to Boston, but we would only travel as far as Woodhall Spa.
This part of the route follows The River Whitham, with The Viking Way running parallel to the Water Railway Track.
The Viking Way leaves the flat track near Fiskerton and back to crossing through farmers fields.
The Water Railway Track is very flat, but has several ponits of interest along the way, otherwise it would be a boring walk! Sorry, but not much changes along the route.
The view of the city and cathedral made for a lovely interesting walk.
A signpost showing the way.
Willow didn`t mind the chance to explore another route!
The flat walk and ash route was friendly on the feet!
The canal is like the rest of the canals, man made to transport coal and other goods up and down the country.
There are several points of interest, all made out of metal and when walking behind, we thought a lady had stopped in her stride, if you look at her from a front view it looks as though she is walking towards you - scary!
Overall, it was nice to be on the flat and to try and envisage what was once a busy railway line and canal route, but I was glad to get to Woodhall Spa!

Wednesday, 21 July 2010

Wellingore to Lincoln

From Wellingore, we thanked the farmer for letting us stay, the Viking Way follows a steep embankment through Navenby, Boothby Graffoe and onto Waddington and into Lincoln City.
Finding a campsite was not easy but the information centre in Lincoln was very helpful in telephoning a campsite called The Grange.
Once there, we were very pleased!
Our first night proved very interesting as there happened to be a meteor shower and with a clear night, myself and the other campers enjoyed a spectacle that doesn`t get seen very often in this part of the world, and after cups of tea and friendly chats, it was time for bed and a little lie in!
We got up around 9am, alot later than usual and today would be the day when we would explore Lincoln and its cathedral - we were not disappointed.
From the modern parts of Lincoln, you can see the old town, but be prepared for the steep hills that take you upto the old town and the Cathedral, it really is breathtaking!The old town stands proud overlooking the new and the entwined old roads, some still cobbled helps you step back in time and appreciate how this area was built up over centuries and the workmanship that went into its buildings, the cathedral itself is phenomenal.

From the old gates and the old town The waterways are a lovely site with swans swimming happily around, being fed by the locals theyr`e in good health!

Different sides of the cathedral, built at different time periods.

Inside the Cathedral Stained glass windows painstakingly put together told there own story. There is a big round window, but i couldn`t get a good picture of it.

The oldest gravestone?

Lord Byron Tennyson and his faithful companion.

One of the gates guarding the city.

The entertainment in the street was just that, entertaining.
This gentleman resembled a statue and with his motionless poise on a hot, sunny day, was to be admired, especially when a young woman passing became his unsuspecting victim of "boo!" in which she did jump out of her skin! We all laughed and enjoyed the spectacle and many waited to see who the next unsuspecting victim would be!

Monday, 19 July 2010

The Black Country Living Museum

Back In the Midlands time off was important, gave me and Willow a chance to recover and spend time with the family, whilst planning our next journey.
We decided to go to The Black Country Living Museum.
I had always wanted to go their, its on the doorstep but never visited it....until now!
With the canal route and "legging" to be explored, go back in time and see how they dressed and the conditions they lived in.
Why not try the fish and chips - they still wrap them in newspaper!
Oh the good old days!
We had a wonderful day and going to the old penny slot machines and going down the mines, and why not try the old sweets or freshly baked bread.
Go and see the blacksmith at work.
A day seemed too short to explore, but well worth a visit - judge for yourself.