It’s been sometime since I blogged about walking a ‘Way’, and mainly due to ‘this and that’ and I haven’t been bothered, the literary juices haven’t been flowing like they should. After I managed to scrape together Sheffield Pike blog out I’ve decided to give our next leg of the Cleveland Way a bash and see how it flows.
It seems like ages since we started our quest at Helmsley, well it is really, but I feel the miles have been many but the end is in sight. Not as though I want it to end but the feeling of ending a ‘Way’ is quite fulfilling and the planning of another route is just as exciting as completing.
As usual a quick game of musical cars starts a linear route with Dicko and Sue leading the way to Scarborough and the search for a car parking space on a Bank holiday Monday. Luckily we found a recently vacated spot near the North Bay and we all piled into Dicko’s mean machine with all our kit and dog. A small fortune in parking fees later and we were on route back to Ravenscar to pick up the end of the last leg of the Cleveland Way.
The Bank Holiday traffic was in full swing and the East coast of Yorkshire (is there another coast of Yorkshire??) was buzzing with holiday makers and games arcade seekers but we managed to find a space at OL27 981015 opposite the public toilets on the main road to Raven Hall Hotel. Boots on, daysack checked and we were off. Testing my body cam for the second time, this time tightly strapped to my shoulder strap and turned on. The first few hundred metres were the usual genres of banter. Sue complaining about why she has to carry a daysack and Kel doesn’t (Kel had put all her food and waterproofs into mine before we set off) and Kel and Sue discussing the usual earth shattering stuff.
We took a quick right onto Station Rd then an even quicker left toward the beach banks and a view of the North Sea. The path went right onto the beach banks and the start of our rollercoaster route to Scarborough. These coastal walks are a real treat when the weathers clear, which is was today, looking at the map it’s easy to work the twists and turns out and you can see your goal getting closer. What you can’t see are the drops in the path when a Bay cuts into the route, these I have named as ‘Sue Moaners’! Reason being is you can’t see these little gems until you’re right on top of them if you’ve not got a map, which invariably Sue never does. Dicko’s chief map reader followed closely by me, and then Kel who only uses a map to plan routes, and when I say ‘plan’, I mean find as many contour lines closest together for a route up as she can, I think she just likes the colour orange!
I digress slightly, the cut in the coastline that ‘bays’ make is sometimes quite a decent drop then climb on a normally level route. My choice of nickname for them is because on sight of these features, Sue’s face drops, she stops walking, puts her hands on her hips and says “Oh no!” (Or words to that affect). Dicko then gets a glare as though he’d driven to Yorkshire in the night and dug the bay out himself just to miff Sue off!
But for now we were going at a good pace, the view was great and the jelly babies were on tap from Sue’s heavily laden daysack, did I say laden?, I meant “I’ve had heavier pockets”. The beach offered geographical changes at every turn and, sad as I may sound the sight of the fisherman pulling their lobster pots on board showed me a calmer, more relaxed way of life that is a different world to me. Blea Wyke went by and War Dyke keeping the path nice and level and smiles all round. In fact all was good and we decided to have bait at Hayburn Wyke, the Trust guys had done a great job putting steps down into the nature reserve, handle rails the works! At the bottom of the steps was a great view out to sea and a cracking couple of rocks to perch and eat.
Bait stops are always a time for reflection on the route so far, expectations of the route ahead and a chance for Alfie to weigh up what sandwiches are on offer and to totally ignore the boiled egg Kel brings him…… everytime!
Faces filled and a tantrum from Sue about the short sharp ascent back up onto the beach banks and we were on our way up through the smell of wild garlic and a few smiley bank holiday faces that must have made the trek from Scarborough. Back on the level ground (ish) passed Rodger Trod and another ‘Sue Moaner’ at Salt Pans and a nice view of Cloughton Wyke. Scarborough was in view now and I could taste the post walk pint of cider. The little hut at Long Nab gave us a short view break and a read of the sign relating to the hut. As we left Crook Ness I had a reminder of home, when I say home, I mean my adopted home in east Durham. I don’t want to destroy anyone’s image of this part of the walk but I guess it’s a part of countryside life now meeting a Lurcher closely followed by two traveller ‘wannabes’ looking for an unsuspecting rabbit on the beach banks, and a wake of cannabis fumes as they walked passed with a friendly greeting.
We headed towards Sailors Grave with the sound of the pair with the Lurcher in the background and a view of Scalby Mills and a smack in the mouth with a reality wet fish of brown brick new builds overlooking the North Sea. On the shore were towels and Lilos and the smell of Skunk was replaced by the sewer at Scalby Ness Sands. The volume of tourists increased ten-fold as we walked over Long Nab (2) onto the promenade and colourful beach huts of North Bay Scarborough and Bank Holiday tourists.