Sometimes the most unplanned trips, combined with unexpected good weather makes for a brilliant travel weekend! After being in 30 degrees temperature and sunny weather in Slovenia, Croatia and Italy, it was a shock to the system when we returned to 16 degrees rainy England 2 weeks back.
This past weekend I went to the Yorkshire Coast to do some PhD fieldwork, all geared up with waterproofs and wellies…and was I in for a surprise! Gorgeous sunny weather, 21 degrees, people swimming in the sea at 6pm, it took all the effort in the world to do work all day rather than bask in the sun and watch kids and adults rockpooling, crabbing, and flying kites
So where can one go along the Yorkshire Coast?
For anyone not familiar with the Yorkshire coast, it is a beautiful rugged coastal stretch in North east England about 45 miles long. You can find rocky cliffs, quaint fishing villages, castles, clean blue flag status beaches, some popular for windsurfing and sailing, others for rockpooling and sunbathing and just having a great seaside resort holiday!
My work took me to north where you have Whitby, a charming traditional English seaside town. It has a variety of things to do and see -from chartered boat cruises to whale watching tours, walking around the cobbled streets of old town and harbour where you see children and adults having a go at crabbing. I interviewed one kid who caught 35 crabs and just that week there was sightings of 2-10 Minke whales every day! Fossil hunting is very popular here as well, and once again I interviewed several visitors who had collected some interesting specimens. There are some very interesting museums and shops including Dracula museum and Captain Cooks Museum. Whitby is also famous for having Englands best fish and chips.
I stayed at the famous Whitby Abbey, first built in 657 AD! YHA, stunning views all around, beautiful and haunting St Mary Church (whose churchyard on the east cliff gave the inspiration to Bram Stoker for his famous book Dracula.) From the old town of Whitby, you can take Abbey steps (199 steps) to get here (or drive up, there is parking). There are always some kind of festival going on, this time the theme was pirates, I have been before for medieval fairs.
Short drive south from Whitby, about 3 miles is my personal favourite – Robin Hoods Bay! Your first glimpse as one drives in, starts with lovely blue water views along rugged cliffs at the top of the bay area. You then take this steep winding path that goes down to the prettiest villages ever -lovely cottages, bars, shops, Dinosaur museum, Robin Hood’s Bay museums, gorgeous coastal walks to explore, clean sandy beaches once again, a true gem of a place! I plan to be back to spend a whole weekend here with the family. In the meantime, check out here for more details of what once can expect to experience.
To my utter delight, Ashique and the kids decided to show up on the Sunday and join me for the day at Scarborough. Englang’s first seaside resort, Scarborough has everything – from castle, aquarium, spas, clean beaches, fishing harbour, to (not my favourite) huge esplanade with all kinds of rides and activities.
I scrambled to finish up my interviews before they arrived and then we had a fun sunny seaside day rockpooling, walking on the marine drive, visiting Sea Life Sanctuary (if you pay for parking anywhere in Scarborough, you get 50% off tickets, which normally is very pricey), and ending with a lovely dinner at Trip Advisors No 1 recommended restaurant Wayfarer Bistro overlooking Robin Hood’s Bay.
Another unexpected highlight of the trip – heather is in bloom! If you liked the look of purple fields of lavender, check out the moors in Autumn, purple everywhere! Don’t want to stray too far from the coastal delights, but added bonus to the North York Moors National Park, absolutely stunning at this time of the year with all the lovely shades of red, purple, and green.
Sometimes the local travel destinations, where one can go with little planning and not travel too far, can be the best ones to experience! (Only bad part was that I didn’t have a proper camera so had to use my crappy phone camera for all the pictures.)