201703289-31_North Yorkshire Coast and Moors


Well, I got the opportunity to go away for a few days, so, if you’ve read my previous post, you’d have thought the lake district would have been where I’d have set off for …. but no, I headed north but to the east coast not the west.

Why ?

That’s simple! … THE GREAT BRITISH WEATHER … The forecast for The Lakes was very poor, wall to wall rain – and yes I’ve walked in the rain, and I can do it, but I don’t necessarily like it, and not being able to see the mountains kind of defeats the object of going. On the other hand the forecast for The North East on the opposite side of The Pennines was mostly dry, a risk of showers, but possible periods of brighter spells (even sun). This was about the best I could hope for anywhere in the country, so I set to work trying to find accommodation (on a budget).

As a life member of the YHA (Youth Hostel association), I figured one of the North Yorkshire hostels would work out ok, and, as I’d really enjoyed staying at Boggle Hole Hostel (just a mile south of Robin Hoods Bay village) some seven and a half years earlier (with my family) that’s where I ended up booking on the Tuesday morning; then madly dashing around pulling my kit together and food for the next few days, travelling up the M1 on the Tuesday afternoon to arrive late afternoon/early evening, with some rough ideas of where I might walk over the next 3 days.

Well, what I ended up doing was two decent sized walks, plus a bit of a photographic wander on the last day before driving home ready for work on the Saturday. So …

Walk-1, Wednesday, = 16.3 miles.
A bit of coastal path, a lot of wide open moorland walking, and a final section of farmland.  the longest days walk I’d done for many a long year. Start and finish at Boggle Hole, up to Ravenscar (Cleveland Way coast path), west across Jugger Howe and Fylingdales Moors, north past Newton House Plantation (Forest) and then eastwards through farmland back to Boggle Hole.

20170329_A North York Moors + Coast Circular Walk

Walk-2, Thursday, = 10 miles.
A super 10 miler with brill’ views over-looking The North York Moors Railway, including a visit to Levisham Station and seeing several steam engines/trains en-route and then a pint and a half of excellent Black Sheep ale in the pub in Levisham Village before the walk back to Saltergate via The Hole of Horcum.

20170330_Levisham Moor + Hole of Horcum Circular Walk
 

Walk-3, Friday, = 3 miles (approx.)
A wander from Boggle Hole to Robin Hoods Bay village on the beach and wave cut platforms, just enjoying a drop of sunshine, taking photo’s and generally taking it easy. Took most of the day to walk about 3-miles, wandering back and forth on the beach and wave cut platforms trying to take arty pics of rocks and cliffs and mini waterfalls, periwinkles and limpets etc etc. (route mapped is indicative only of my zig-zaggy almost directionless travel, including in R-H-Bay village narrow back streets/blind alleys etc.

20170331_Boggle Hole to Robin Hoods Bay Photographic Wander

Well there you have the bones of my short break. I will at some point document each walk in detail with photo’s, but in the meantime, if you want to see my earlier walks/posts from all those years earlier, please use the following links :-

Well I’ve gotta press on (work to go to I’m afraid), so TTFN for now,

Gary

20150404_Walking Books By Bob Allen

20150404_Walking Books By Bob Allen

About 2-½ weeks ago, a lady emailed me asking about one of Bob Allen’s books that I’d mentioned in an old blog post. So, I thought I might share our conversation, just in case there’s anyone else “out-there” that would be interested. Whilst deleting names (in the interest of privacy) I’ve decided it’d probably be easiest if I just copy the emails:-

To Me :-

Hello
Just came across your ‘To the Hills’ blog in my search for a copy of Short Walks in the Lake District by Bob Allen. Noticing your reference to this book, I wondered if you would know where/if I can obtain it.
Thanks
************

From Me :-

Dear ************
Thank you for your email. I have three books by Bob Allen.
• Escape to the Dales

• On Lower Lakeland Fells

and the one you were asking about,

• Short Walks in the Lake District.

20150404_Walking Books By Bob Allen

Walking Books By Bob Allen

I can distinctly remember buying the Lower Fells book from a tiny little corner shop in Elterwater opposite The Britannia Inn, in 1990. They were selling signed copies! and I couldn’t not buy one. However, I really can’t remember where and when I picked up the other two books, although I suspect they too would have been around some 20-25 years ago.The short Walks book has 60 routes all within The National Park, mostly in the south of the district.

Looking inside the cover,It was published by Michael Joseph Ltd, London
and,
The Penguin Group, 27 Wrights Lane, London,W8 5TZ.
1st Published March 1994
2nd impression April 1995

Whether it is still in print and available from new I don’t really know I’m afraid. I would suppose somewhere like WH Smiths would be able to tell you if is still in print or not. However, a quick google shows that there are three new books available on Amazon starting at £62.00 …. which to my mind is rather ridiculous. However there are a bunch of second hand books listed, several asking for just a penny + postage. So it appears you could quite easily get yourself a copy. Hope this helps, good luck in your search.
Gary

And then,finally, To Me :-

Dear Gary
Thanks for your reply.
For your info. I did order one from Amazon which has just been delivered. Hardback, mint condition, and just £4.99!! Thanks again for your assistance.
Best regards
************

And an addendum :-

So there you are, the internet can be a fantastic tool, but please look a little deeper than the first thing that pops up … Sixty odd quid plus P&P, for a book available for less than a fiver is frankly quite scandalous!

And … a last thought, I just love the three books I have by Bob Allen, I use them when the weather is not quite right for heading up onto the high fells, mountains and moors of The Lake District and Yorkshire Dales. I might not always do exactly the walk that Bob has described. Why? Because (as with most guide books I have), I use the route descriptions to get a flavour of the area, what might be possible and then adapt the walk to my own needs referring to my maps …. I perhaps add to the distance or put in an extra climb, or I might even taking a short cut or slight detour just depending on the weather on the day, or the conditions underfoot, or just how fit I’m feeling and whether I’m walking on my own or with others. I guess they are called guide books, so that’s what I do, I use them as a guide.

And finally, these are more home-based books, far too heavy and chunky for carrying out on the hill.

Anyway, I hope the above was of interest.
T.T.F.N.
Gary

20090831_A very short walk on Jugger Howe Moor (near Fylingdales Moor)

20090831_A very short walk on Jugger Howe Moor (near Fylingdales Moor)

When : 31st August 2009

Who : Me and my family

Where : North York Moors a couple of miles or so inland from Ravenscar (as the crow flies).

Map : OS 1:25000 Outdoor Leisure Map 27 – North York Moors Eastern Area.

Start + End Point : 944,002 (car-park / lay-by track off the A171 main road)

Farthest Point reached : approx 933,995

Distance : Approx 2 miles (3.2 km)

Heights : Approx 190 feet (but all quite gentle really)

Summary : An amble along a track heading into the heather clad Yorkshire Moors followed by a visit to The Staintondale Shire Horse Farm just to the north of Scarborough.

Well the long week-end was coming to an end, and I’d got plenty of walking in and also a trip down memory lane to see the Naval Warfare in Scarborough’s Peasholm Park. Now it was time for something pretty much for the kids, especially daughter, so we said we’d head off to Staintondale Shire Horse Farm between Ravenscar and Scarborough. My lovely wife had suggested maybe I could take myself off and walk to the farm whilst she took the kids there by road …. which sounded great until I started to seriously look at possible routes and distances especially as we also had a longish drive home ahead of us during the afternoon. I decided a biggish walk wasn’t really on the cards and maybe it wouldn’t be fair on the rest of the family either …. I wasn’t too disappointed then to say I’d drop the idea.

However, Justine did say she’d like to do a bit of a walk on the moors, especially as we’d pretty much stayed by the coast for most of our time at Boggle Hole.  So a quick look on the map showed a car-park just off the A171 between Stony Marl and Jugger Howe Moors. The map showed a number of tracks and paths that might be suitable for a little wander. So once loaded up for the journey home, we set off saying our farewells to Boggle Hole. We were soon pulling in to the almost deserted car-park and we donned boots for our wander out onto the moor (although it turned out trainers would have sufficed for what we did) . We soon noticed by a sign welcoming us to Fylingdales Moor, of which Jugger Howe Moor is a small part.

The open access info’ was most welcome as it allowed permission to use the large track heading away (in a generally south westerly direction) even though it’s not marked as a right of way on the map. The track started off more like a proper road (made of large concrete slabs) that looked pretty well maintained, first climbing away from the car park to pass over a rise in the moor and then dropping gently away from the small hill surrounded by flowering heather. The track was basically running parallel to a shallow valley (Burn Howe Dale) which more or less marked the boundary between the rough purple clad moor and slightly lower green farmland with a patchwork of fields bounded by walls, hedges and pockets of woodland; a lovely pretty contrast to the wilder terrain where we were walking.

    

The UK really is a country with a lovely varied countryside; with mountains, lowlands, pretty rivers; rugged moors, gentle farmland and a fantastic coastline amongst all its other attractions. In contrast to the rest of the world, the UK maybe hasn’t got the biggest/best/most spectacular or most awe-inspiring of anything; but I love it in all it’s different guises.

The track gave way to be less made up, but still very easy to walk on, dropping towards the deeper valley of Jugger Howe Beck. Beyond was the much wilder looking expanse of Fylingdales Moor itself. It would have been sooooo easy to just keep going, the continuing track ahead very, very, inviting – But NO! – that wasn’t the plan; so my head persuaded my feet and legs to turn around and we re-traced our steps along the track back through the heather to reach the car. You’d hardly know there was a main road just yards away, apart from the glimpse of the occasional vehicle zooming past through a gap in the moorland terrain.

Pulling away, we rejoined the road (heading towards Scarborough) with me making a mental “note to self” that this could be a good starting point for a full size walk at some time in the future should we ever return this way! After only a couple of miles we turned off left into minor roads, eventually finding our way down a drive way to find Staintondale Shire Horse Farm. This is a very small-scale attraction run by the slightly larger than life character of Tony Jenkins. Well they have a few shire horses, some small Shetland ponies and a palomino horse.

The farm spreads out over a number of fields with a route (which we walked) around the meadows giving some super views out over the coastline to the North Sea.

 

A good proportion of the time was taken up with a demonstration show, where a couple of the shire horses were “dressed-up” with their tack and brasses as if they were about to be hitched up to a wagon or carriage of some sort. I was surprised by the number of people who’d made the trip here …. Turns out the BBC programme “Country File” had featured the attraction giving the farm a new lease of life after the owner had almost shut it down due I think to dwindling visitor numbers. After the show, the children (and a few adults for that matter) in the audience were allowed to stand between the horses for photographs. The two horses must have been very used to this, as they stood patiently for quite some time as the pic’s were taken one by one.

Given the small size of the place we spent quite some time here and we had to pull ourselves away for the journey home … I think the sun shining on us again was so nice we really didn’t want the week-end to end! …. but all good things come to an end eventually (even on my birthday!) and school, work and university studies needed to be brought back into focus again, so off to home we set – week-end finished – but with some really good memories to take us into the autumn and winter seasons. I always think of my Birthday as the last full day of summer; the next day (1st September) being the 1st day of autumn in my mind.

Anyway that’s about it for this diary entry, and the last of the Boggle Hole Holiday entries as well. I hope you enjoyed my scribblings and pic’s.

Next walks diary = 20090906_A Coventry Way – Ryton to Kenilworth Walk

20090831_A 3rd Dawn Explore on Boggle Hole Beach

20090831_A 3rd Dawn Explore on Boggle Hole Beach

When : 31st August 2009

Who : Just Me

Where : Boggle Hole Youth Hostel, Robin Hoods Bay, Between Scarborough and Whitby on the North Yorkshire / North Sea Coast.

Map : OS Outdoor Leisure Map no.27 North York Moors Eastern Area.

Grid Ref : 955,041

Summary : A final wander down to the sea edge with my camera as it was yet another superb morning to wake up to. A super start to a birthday!

If you’ve already read my other two diaries about my wanders on the Beach at dawn then this might seem just a tad repetitive, but I’m definitely not sorry ‘cause the early mornings just before and after sunrise were just soooo magical. I don’t normally wake up before 5am but it was a pleasure to do so on this long weekend and I thoroughly enjoyed having an hour or so to myself, to have a “play” with my camera …. Even if it meant having to dress VERY quietly in the youth hostel dorm’, and tip-toe past all the other dorm’s in the annexe.

Each morning was subtly different from the previous one, slightly differing cloud cover and intensity of colours, but the common factor was the peacefulness and beauty of the sun rising over the North Sea horizon. Another difference today, was a lone figure of a fisherman casting his line out into the sea from one of the long, low and very flat wave cut rock platforms that protrude out into the sea, remnants of the base of the cliffs still being eroded here. His dog sat patiently, or wandered back and forth nearby, seemingly quite happy to be there with his master. Their silhouettes against the sparkling waters and sky enhancing the scene rather than detracting from it … They kind of put a human scale to the views across the bay.

This final day of our short break also happily coincided with it being my birthday and what a way to celebrate with a paddle in the sea. The chilly waters almost hurt at first until my feet and toes got used to it (or numbed to the point of being anaesthetised to the cold). It was also another chance to try and capture some half-decent images with the beach almost completely to myself. I tried to spend some time composing my pic’s as well as possible, looking for different angles and patterns in the sand and rocks, reflections in the rock pools, light dancing on the waters or on the seaweed, etc. So, once again, the rest of this diary is really to “show off” some of my (very amateurish) pic’s and say that all the photographic books that talk about “The Golden Hour” really are right, the light was just wonderful, whether you’d want to take photo’s or just stand and stare at the scene … and I did both!

I wandered just a little further this time, maybe ½ mile down the coast to Stoupe Beck Sands and back again, taking care not to get too close to the cliffs as lumps have a habit of falling off …. in fact I could hear little groans and cracks as the sun warmed the sheer slopes and occasionally the sound of little bits of earth and stones rolling and clattering down to the singles below. If you visit, don’t sit with a picnic directly at the base of the cliffs – You have been warned !!! – And definitely do not try to climb on them!!!

    

Once back in the hostel dorm’ I rejoined my family who were beginning to rise, and it wasn’t long before they’d handed me a birthday card and a few presents … Several pairs of new walking socks (thin and thick) which are always very welcome and a Coventry City FC T-shirt …. Dark blue rather than the sky blue you might have expected, with one of the best crests in the country embroidered on the front, perfect for any forthcoming trips up to the Ricoh for the season just started … Come on you sky Blues!

Then it was a nice cup of tea, breakfast, and another nice cup of tea and the not so nice packing of bags to go home. This was aided by the kids heading down to the common room to watch kids-TV. Then it was the hassle of loading the car up for the journey home …. On the way, as the weather was just too nice to waste, we stopped off for a very short wander up on the moors in the heather and a visit to Staintondale Shire Horse Farm [especially for our daughter who just loves horses] which is positioned just north of Scarborough.

I hope you enjoyed my scribblings and pic’s ….

Next walk ….. 20090831_Very short walk on Jugger Howe Moor (near Fylingdales Moor)

20090830_Boggle Hole-Robin Hoods Bay-Whitby Walk

20090830_Boggle Hole-Robin Hoods Bay-Whitby Walk

When : 30th August 2009

Who : Just Me

Where : Boggle Hole Youth Hostel, Robin Hoods Bay and Whitby on the North Yorkshire / North Sea Coast.

Map : 1:25,000 OS Outdoor Leisure map North York Moors NE sheet

Start Point : 955,040 (Boggle Hole Youth Hostel).

Finish Point : 905,110 (ish) Car Park near Whitby Abbey.

Approx Distance : 9.75 miles (15.6 km)

Approx Heights climbed : 1800 ft, [but most of that would be up through Robin Hoods Bay Village and two hills climbed in Whitby all on roads/pavements… probably not much of the height climbed was on the coast path itself, although there were one or two pulls (it is a cliff top path after-all).]

 

Summary : A linear walk on the Cleveland Way coast path  between Boggle Hole and Whitby. 

There’s not that much to say in the way of a pre-amble to this walk, other to say we decided to go our separate ways as a family, me taking myself off for a relatively energetic walk, at least until just after lunch when I was to meet up with my lovely wife and kids in Whitby. They were to drive up to Whitby and do a bit of shopping and touristy things and meet up with me as I finished my little trek along the coast on The Cleveland Way. Pulling on my memory from way back when, I suggested meeting under the arch made of whale bones on the hill above the River Esk … I vaguely remembered it being up near the Abbey ruins, incorrectly as it happens, as it’s actually on the hill on the other side of the River Esk … which added a bit of distance [and height] at the end of the walk.

As I left the youth hostel at Boggle Hole, I immediately had a choice to make :-

1)      Climb up onto the cliff top path … or …

2)      Head out onto the beach.

The tide was out, so it didn’t take long to decide on the beach route ….. if the tide had been in, the beach route would have been a no-no and the cliff top the only choice. Either way the path ends up on the front at Robin Hoods Bay village.

It was a stunningly beautiful morning with bright blue skies and only one or two high white clouds to be seen … a perfect start to late summer’s day.

The wander along the beach (about a mile) took a bit longer than it might otherwise have done, just because I took quite a bit of time trying to find interesting places to take some photo’s : I think I did OK looking back to the land from the lines of rocks heading out into the sea. I also tried to capture the dramatic scale of the fairly new sea wall that’s been built to stop Robin Hood’s Bay (the village) falling into Robin Hood’s Bay (the North Sea).

Leaving the beach via the large slipway, next to The Bay Hotel, I decided to make my way up through Robin Hood’s Bay via back-streets and alley-ways as much as possible (just for a bit of an explore) to find some nooks and crannies not seen when I was there earlier in the hol’s. I particularly liked the red tiled roofs, almost piled one on top of another as the settlement climbed up the steep hill side. Eventually I had to join the main road up the hill to the top of the village (near the main car-park) and I retraced my earlier walk route to join the coast path to the north of the village, to reach the rocket post on the cliff top.

From now, I anticipated route finding was to be very easy … just keep the sea on my right, land on my left and eventually I’d end up in Whitby. The weather had changed quite quickly, with a good deal of cloud rolling in obliterating much of the blue sky, although it remained quite bright and I really liked the way patches of light sparkled their way across the bay. The path ahead was indeed easy to follow, in fact in places it felt a bit like a 6-lane motorway as it hugged the cliff tops. On the whole the way ahead was quite easy with gentle ups and downs, but every now and again there was a short stiffer climb to negotiate, nothing really to write home about though.

Something that might have warranted a write home – even a note to the national press – happened as I looked out to sea.  I’d been watching a tall sailing ship heading north some way off the shore, but, moving much quicker coming up behind was a much larger cargo ship. Maybe it was my line of sight, but it looked like a collision was inevitable. I stood transfixed for some minutes and was relieved to see the larger ship pass behind the sails of the smaller vessel. It certainly looked a very near miss but maybe there was more water between them than I could see.

Once that drama was over, I moved on, really enjoying the expanse of the cliffs both in front and behind me but it wasn’t long before another mini drama unfolded ahead of me and much closer as well. All was peaceful butterflies flitting about between wild flowers and then, all of a sudden, I heard a low rumbling sound up ahead and then a large plume of dust appeared in front of me, marking a landslide of rocks down the cliff face to the rocks below. The sound didn’t last long but it took some time for the dust to settle and disperse ,,, and then it dawned on me – I had to walk over the top of that very cliff that had just partially collapsed; I didn’t hang around over that section let me tell you. In fact I guess it brings it home that when the authorities say “unstable cliffs”-“do not climb”-“stay away from the edge”, they say it with good reason!

Although the clouds hadn’t dispersed completely it was still a really nice day for walking and I pressed on passing the Whitby Fog Signal Station on route, It’s lighthouse tower really short and squat looking, but it doesn’t need to be a tall construction being perched on the cliff tops some 50 metres above the rocks of Whitestone point.

Not long after, after a short break watching a large gull wheeling around under a particularly craggy cliff, a shapely rock formation came into view. I couldn’t help thinking it looked like a distorted giant submarine, its stump of a stack forming the conning tower (oh the power of imagination). In fact this is Black Nab, and apparently it can be walked to when the tide is out and I believe there are the bones of at least one wrecked ship on the beach nearby.

Black Nab marks one end of Saltwick Bay; the other end is bounded by the more substantial Saltwick Nab. Between these two markers lies a small beach accessed by a steep path. An even better view of Black Nab was had from above the beach and it wasn’t long before I reached the first major settlement seen since Robin Hood’s Bay. I say settlement but really it was a sprawl of holiday homes/caravans and the obligatory service and reception buildings …. a bit of an eyesore to be honest. The path itself goes straight through the holiday parks which took a little concentration on map my reading, not aided by some sort of fete going on with stalls and VERY loud pop music blaring out from numerous speakers. There were a lot of people milling around and I felt quite over dressed in my hiking gear as I passed through. I wasn’t sorry to leave this behind.

From here the path was much more made up with a gravel surface and bounded by wire fences and it didn’t take long before Whitby Abbey came into view. The old ruins make a superb landmark and dominate the skyline above Whitby Town. 

The Abbey, and nearby church, kind of marked the end of the walk …. but this was a false ending as there was still some more distance to be done, as I realised that the whale bone arch wasn’t here as I had thought first thing in the morning! …. No it was through the town, over the River Esk and up the hill on the other side. The church was used in the original Dracula story, a thing not lost on the tourist industry in Whitby. The views down into the town and over the River Esk’s outflow into the North Sea are brill. The piers protruding out into the sea form a safe haven for the mix of craft that moor by the quaysides in the town.

    

There were crowds of people milling around the Abbey area, but this was nothing to those in the narrow streets I had to negotiate after the steep descent into the town.

The good bank holiday weather had seemingly brought out the whole of the North East and they’d all come to Whitby!

Eventually, I managed to get through the crowds to reach the bridge over The Esk, only to cross into even more crowds on the opposite bank! I started to lose the worst of the crush as I climbed up to the whale bone arch adjacent to a statue of Captain James Cook, commemorating the ships “Endeavour”, “Resolution”, “Adventure” and “Discovery”. I hung around for a while trying to find my family … no-where to be seen! So after finding a signal on my mobile phone I had a conversation with my wife, who was somewhere beneath me on the beach …. so, I took a long sloping path down to the beach (heading away from the town) and I was soon on Whitby Sands. I turned to head back towards the town figuring I’d meet my family somewhere along the way … I did eventually, they were almost sat under the walls of the west pier and were happily playing in the sand.

After a while, we all headed back into the crowds, buying some dressed crab on the way from one of the many quayside stalls as a tasty little snack. Then, once we’d re-crossed the bridge we had to fairly push our way back through the narrow streets and climb back up to the car-park up near the Abbey. I felt extremely large in the throng (which I suppose I am really at 6’4”and the best part of 16 st.) but even more so because of my ruck-sack slung on my back. Apart from leaving at the end of a football match or rock concert, I don’t think I’ve seen so many people together in one place. All shuffling along at a snail’s pace …. but it was short lived and it wasn’t long before we’d climbed the steep hill out of the town to reach the car to  head back to Boggle Hole along the A171.

And that was that, walk done and a good one too !

I hope you enjoyed my scribblings,

Next post = 20090831_A 3rd Dawn Explore on Boggle Hole Beach

TTFN, Gary.

20090829_ Trip to Scarborough including Sea Battle re-enactment.

20090829_ Trip to Scarborough including Sea Battle re-enactment.

When : 29th August 2009

Who : Me and my Family

Where : Scarborough – Yorkshire – North Sea Coast

Summary : A trip back in time to re-live a little slice of my childhood

This isn’t a walk’s diary but it fits in well with the long week-end bank-holiday we spent at Boggle Hole Youth Hostel. Boggle Hole is really very close to Scarborough so we decided it’d be nice to relive some of my childhood memories of when my parents took me there on our annual summer holidays (for three consecutive years). We stayed at a little guest house in Scarborough’s back streets of terraced houses, and to this day I can remember the land-ladies name … Mrs Lowther … and the three holidays were brill’, many good memories sticking in the mind.

These memories included; :-

  • Of course playing on the beach, making sand castles, Dad digging out sand motor boats or aeroplanes and we kids splashing in the sea whilst mum and dad were wrapped up in coats in deck-chairs against the chill north sea winds and sea frets (a proper traditional British summer holiday!).
  • Visiting The Mere, a park with a small isle in the middle of a lake made up to be Treasure Island and a small scale Hispaniola Galleon that took us out to the island to search for Gold Doubloons (well plastic ones) buried in the sand of the island … a real treasure hunt for kids.
  • Heading up onto the moors in our little Triumph Herald – adults in the front, kids in the back – Quite a tight fit, but do-able (we’re all spoilt for room in our big modern cars these days).
  • AND …. going to Peasholm Park near Scarborough Town centre, to take rowing boats out on the pool and most spectacularly to watch the scale model sea battle re-enactment.

Well, although the beaches are great, we didn’t go to Scarborough for the sands – there was a perfectly acceptable one at Boggle Hole. But we did walk up into the town passing elegant terraces of guest houses (they’ve probably seen better days though) on the cliff top above the north beach arching around towards the castle up on the promontory … In the town we did a bit of shopping and found an internet cafe for a coffee, as my wife and daughter in particular wanted to check their emails and facebook stuff etc. and I took the opportunity to check my flickr (photo’s) and wordpress (blog) sites. When I was a kid the World Wide Web obviously hadn’t been rolled out to the masses, but we didn’t even have a land-line ‘phone at home! How things change!

The Mere was apparently allowed to fall into complete disrepair but I’ve read has now been resurrected as a country park and the pool is used for fishing. I’ve seen on the internet that the Hispaniola is still sailing though, now taking trips out into the north sea from the small harbour on the front.

As for the high moors, they don’t seem to have changed much at-all, maybe there’s a few more cars around now (well that’s a given), but people still love the trip up away from the coast to see the heather in full bloom …. Perhaps our conservation groups are winning the battle to keep our wild and beautiful places, errrm, wild and beautiful.

And finally, the main reason for revisiting Scarborough – The sea battle at Peasholm Park. I was hoping that I wouldn’t be disappointed as I’d really built it up to my family and I suppose to myself as well. Well, the park was really well kept, obviously there’s still a lot of civic pride with flower beds, manicured lawns (probably kept short by the resident geese) and mature trees all around the central boating lake. The one slight disappointment was the island in the middle of the lake … It used to have lots of fairy lights and figurines (Disney cartoon characters and the like if my memory serves me correctly) and they’d all light up in the evenings with a walk way winding its way in a series of zigzags around the island – well the walkway is still there but the characters are now sadly gone. The pleasure boats are still there though, and we hired a dragon pedalo (in keeping with the Chinese theme of the park) to take us out around the island – boy-oh-boy did my legs know they’d worked hard!

The central island doubles up as the harbour area for the scaled down warships, and as I pedalo’d my family around we could see a gentleman thigh deep in the water (full length waders keeping him dry) preparing the ships for the show to be put on later in the afternoon.

    

The ships are big enough to be crewed by a single man sat inside steering and controlling speed etc. A commentator sits in a square pagoda sat out in the lake playing a selection of tunes on an electric organ in a mini one-man concert before the ships appear. The park itself is free to visitors, except when the shows are being put on through the summer. Just before the performance is due, the park is emptied of people who then have to queue up and pay a small amount to get back in again. There is a terrace area and grass bank with some bench seating that overlooks the boating lake and that’s where everyone congregates to watch the Naval Warfare.

The small glossy brochure you can purchase says that this unique holiday attraction could be the longest running show of all time and they believe the first performance was held around 1927. The earliest vessels depicted WW1 dreadnought battleships and similar and at more than 20 ft long were man powered. Electric power was introduced in 1929. After WW2 a new “fleet” was built, initially based on the recently fought Battle of The River Plate. Each ship was to scale and included the ships HMS Ajax, HMNZS Achilles and HMS Exeter and of course the German Pocket Battleship the Admiral Graf Spee as the enemy. Other ships and formats were introduced, including aircraft around 1960, and it was in the 60’s or possibly early 70’s when we first visited and I can still vividly remember the planes zipping down wires stretched above our heads and across the lake to the island. Modern sensitivities and awareness (some might even say overly intrusive political correctness) has resulted in the WW2 associations being dropped and the “Enemy” not “German” battle ship being renamed although we still more or less know what it’s really depicting (don’t we?).

      

Anyway, the ships are set up with explosive charges which are set off in puffs of smoke as the battle “rages” and the vessels fire upon each other, and model planes still fly across the action on the zip-wire from behind and above the audience “dropping bombs” as they go. After a good while, the show ceases, the good guys are the victors and all the ships do a lap of honour, the crews emerging to take a bow and accept the applause.

I thoroughly enjoyed the show …. It didn’t disappoint at-all …. this was obviously helped being sat up on the grassy bank in the shining sun. There must have been hundreds of people in the audience and I’m sure the look on our 8.y.o. son’s face during the show will mean he’ll have similar memories as I have from my childhood. It’d be nice to think the show will still be running when my kids have kids of their own. [ for a few more pic’s of the show, please go to my flickr photo site ].

Well, after the show finished with another burst of music on the organ, crowds of people headed for the rowing boats etc, we had a final walk around the park and then drove up into the town to see if we could find the street where I stayed on those three occasions, all that time ago. 

 

We eventually found the street (after ringing my Mum to find out it’s name – St Johns Road) but I couldn’t figure out which particular house it was.

It was then back to Boggle Hole and a spot of fossil hunting on the beach with my kids; splitting open the loose soft rocks with a hammer and screw driver … with a certain degree of success, albeit tiny little examples. Oh and there was a lovely sunset just to seal the day superbly.

And that’s about it for the day.

I hope you enjoyed my scribblings even if it didn’t describe a walk as such.

TTFN, Gary.

Next walk = 20090830_Boggle Hole-Robin Hoods Bay-Whitby Walk

[NB: Old Photo of peasholm park is “borrowed” from davewebster14’s flickr pages. Image is circa 1920,s]

20090829_A Boggle – What is it – Who is it

20090829_A Boggle  – What is it – Who is it

Where : Boggle Hole Youth Hostel, Robin Hoods Bay, Between Scarborough and Whitby on the North Yorkshire / North Sea Coast.

Summary : What is a Boggle ? Who is a Boggle ? Where does it live ? What does it do ?

Boggle Hole is such a strange name and it’s all to do with the local Yorkshire version of an imp or hob-goblin type of being and I remembered there being a specific legend about the Boggle of Boggle Hole. So I emailed the Youth Hostel to see if they could give an account for me to share in my blog …. and here is what I received in reply …. Many thanks to Nick at the hostel.

Dear Gary, apologies for the delay in getting back to you. I was hoping there was something about the Boggle on our computer that I could attach for you, but it seems to have vanished! Anyway, here is what I know about Boggles.

A Boggle is a kind of pixie or brownie (perhaps “house elf” would be a more modern term), who would, if treated kindly, be happy to help with household chores, in return for a saucer or two of milk. Mean and ill tempered householders would find Boggles rather less helpful! Stories have been told of Boggles smashing dishes, or blowing soot from the chimney all over the house. It is always best to be nice to Boggles!

Boggles were often believed to live in small caves or holes in cliff-sides. The name “Boggle Hole” comes from a cave in the headland near the hostel, on the right hand side as you look out to sea, although if our Boggle still lives in this cave he must get very wet at high tide, as the sea goes all the way in! Local people used to believe that Boggles had healing powers, and would sometimes bring their poorly children to holes, called “hob holes”, where Boggles were thought to live, in the hope that the children would be cured. If the Boggle still lives around the hostel, he keeps himself to himself for the most part, and is very rarely seen.

There are some people who believe that Boggles were something made up by local smugglers to keep customs officers away (what might be called the Scooby Doo version), as in more superstitious times people may well have wanted to avoid places where mischievous goblins were at play. I tend not to believe this version, if only because there are stories of Boggles in places far from the sea and its smugglers where there would have been no need to make the Boggle up, but it may well be that resourceful smugglers turned an existing legend to their advantage.

That really is about as much as I know, except to add this little poem

“If you are kind with a generous mind,

The Boggle for you will care,

But if you are seen as lazy and mean,

Then you really must take care!”

I’m not sure who wrote the poem, perhaps the Boggle himself! I’m sorry I have no pictures I can send you, but I hope this is of some use to you. I’m glad you enjoyed your stay with us, and I hope we might see you again.

Regards,

Nick

To add to the above, I remember reading during my stay at the hostel, that Boggle Hole’s Boggle hailed originally from Robin Hood’s Bay village, and after a particularly spiteful piece of mischief he (or it) was banished from the settlement to live out his life in the cave in the cliff mentioned above.

Also, just to finish off, if you go hunting for the Boggle in the cave, please be very careful as the cliffs are very unstable, evidenced by a very large lump of rock that fell overnight from the roof of the cave whilst we were staying there … all the more note-worthy as the weather was settled, there were no high sea’s or any other apparent reason for the cave’s roof to collapse, it just did! …. So, again, please be very careful!

 

 

 

 

Oh, and I can thoroughly recommend the youth hostel as a place to stay in a simply superb setting! And yes Nick, I really want to return some time in the future as we had a brill’ long week-end.

I hope you enjoyed my scribbling, well mostly Nick’s scribblings. T.T.F.N.

Next post : 20090829_Trip to Scarborough including Sea Battle re-enactment.