26 of us gathered in Whitby for the Easter break. The train journey through the Howardian Hills was very scenic. We stayed at the Abbey House a 17th century mansion next to the Abbey with superb views over the harbour. We discovered the Abbey tea gardens for post arrival tiffin before the early arrivals explored Whitby town including the clifftop walk on North shore. In the evening most of the group had a welcoming fish and chips feast at the famous Magpie café.
On Good Friday we had a variety of walks. Steve led a group on a 16 ish mile walk from Scalby, just north of Scarborough. Route headed west following Sea Cut and the Derwent river, then up through Wykeham Forest for lunch at a viewpoint; the day was grey but mostly dry. Afternoon, we headed south taking in Sawdon and Wykeham villages, walking along a converted railway path, then east past East Ayton and the remains of its castle and then back to start point via a lovely river valley and four woods: Forge Valley, Scarwell, Raincliffe and Rowbrow.
Leo led his group on a waterfall walk near Goathland before losing them in search of a "nearby pub"; it was in fact 3 miles away and was a converted factory with special licencing laws. Keith led another group on a hike around the famous Hole of Horcum, involving a detour through a very modern milking shed (David and Ruth A would be very impressed).
The majority of the group travelled through the Moors on the newly extended North Yorks Moors Railway. A 56 mile round trip by steam train starting from Whitby station. The railway traverses the most remote parts of the Moors and affords magnificent views of the valleys and peaks. We explored Pickering castle and market town before alighting at the Newtondale Halt (only accessible by rail or on foot) for a 7 mile hike over the higher Moorlands. We trekked across a plateau of purple heather and boggy terrain before reaching Goathland for the station tea rooms. After evening meals at various pubs Leo led a nocturnal town walk discovering some hitherto unknown watering venues before helpfully telephoning at 6am to wake Steve Q in the dorm to proffer a suggestion for breakfast at dawn by the harbour.
On Saturday after Mike had cooked a communal breakfast we departed on the coastal walk on the Cleveland Way. This long distance footpath takes in all of North Yorkshire coast and the Howardian Hills. The day was bright and sunny all day with panoramic views north and south along the coastline. Irena showed resourcefulness in reuniting a lost dog with her owner, Monica (RSPB) indicated to all the various birds seen on route. At Robins Hood Bay Carol, Keith and Steve departed early to reach Ravenscar before following the Cinder path back to Whitby, a good 20+ miles walked in total in lovely warm afternoon sun.
The rest of the group had a leisurely picnic lunch in the sunny gardens of Robins Hoods Hotel. In the gardens we also took in the Birds of Prey display before exploring the fishing village. Our route started with a beach walk to Boggle Hole before the long climb to Ravenscar. We fell upon the captivating tea rooms at the old station square where we took over the café for some rather splendid cream teas.
Bev, Olly and Archie did a cultural day with the Captain Cook museum and the Dracula trail around the old town. Back in Whitby Jan arranged a group meal for everyone at the harbourside Board Inn. We then found live music next door where Conrad, Appi and Natalie impressed the locals with their dance moves. Cathy arranged by tradition the post pub midnight feasts at the hostel where we were joined each night by the friendly Abbey security manger. New members Joan and Olga joined Leo's nocturnal walk around Whitby being entranced by his salsa moves.
Easter Sunday saw a variety of activities. Jan, Humay and Mary did a coastal walk heading north along the coast from Whitby. After reaching Sandsend bay it seemed an appropriate stop for elevenses. The cafe had an outside seating area just perfect for taking in the sea view. We continued along the Cleveland way for a further 5 miles to reach Runswick. We met Debbie and Keith at one of the many view points along the way. This is an exceptionally beautiful part of the route helped along by blue skies and our walk ended with a fairly steep descent to reach the beach at Runswick Bay. We had a very leisurely late lunch taking in the sun whilst Humay sketched the scenic hamlet.
Steve led a 17 mile walk from the hostel. North along the coastal path to Sandsend, then inland through Mulgrave Woods (only open to public three days a week) stopping for tea at its castle. For lunch, we continued west to Ugthorpe, by which time the sun was beaming and most of us were in t shirts - temperatures must have been in the mid teens. South and east ish paths followed, taking us through Hutton Mulgrave Wood. We continued on making the most of the early summer weather, and were rewarded with more hills and views following paths to Ruswarp village and then north paths to Whitby harbour. Thanks to (girls) Carol, Debbie, Irena and Monica and (guys) Keith and Nirav for joining Steve on this walk.
Brian led the rest of the party on a cycle ride from the hire centre at Hawsker along the Cinder path (converted railway between Scarborough and Whitby). Great views of the sea along the route, we stopped for lunch at Ravenscar where the station square was packed with walkers and cyclists outside the tea shop. We continued to Hayburn Wyke passing meadows of daffodils and restored station buildings at Staintondale. We stopped for cooling drinks in the beer gardens at the impressive 18th century hotel before our return ride to base. Back at YHA all the groups had late afternoon tea in the Abbey tea gardens where Jeff outlined the basis of the Synod of Whitby.
On Monday we had various cultural expeditions. Leo led his group on a pilgrimage to Castle Howard for a Brideshead re-enactment, Appi's teddy being Aloysius for added verisimilitude. Brian led another group on a coastal walk by Scarborough, passing the imposing Castle before following the surfing beach trail of North Sands. We finished with ice creams on the beach on another fine sunny day in North Yorkshire.
Report by Brian
Rail views over York - Photo by Brian
Abbey views - Photo by Brian
Whitby Harbour - Photo by Brian
Hostel tea shop - Photo by Brian
Steam railway in moors - Photo by Brian
Alighting for walk - Photo by Brian
Hike through heather - Photo by Brian
Start of walk - Photo by Brian
Coastal views - Photo by Brian
Robin Hood Bay Hotel - Photo by Brian
Sunset over Abbey - Photo by Brian
More fish and chips - Photo by Brian
Cycle hire at old station - Photo by Brian
Cycle track on coast - Photo by Brian
End of bike ride - Photo by Brian
Waterfall - Photo by Mike S
Scarborough Castle - Photo by Mike S