Scarborough is a surprise! Grand hotels, a castle, donkey rides, a funicular, fish and chips on the seafront, amusement arcades and a miniature railway – everything you need for a seaside holiday and today the sun is trying to shine.
We set out from our more modest accommodation to roll down the hill to the South Bay seafront. We stop to say hello to the donkeys, standing in a resigned line on the beach.
From here the path leads us past the harbour, around Castle Cliff and on to North Bay,
where we come across this dour gentleman …………………….Freddie Gilroy.
This giant steel structure “Freddie Gilroy and the Belsen Stragglers”, was made by Ray Lonsdale, an artist and sculptor from Durham, but is now on permanent display in Scarborough thanks to the generosity of a local resident. The sculpture is based on a retired miner Lonsdale became friends with, who turned out to be one of the first soldiers to relieve the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp at the end of World War II.
We read that “this piece of art is not just about Freddie Gilroy but represents all the normal people that were pulled out of an ordinary life and forced into a very extraordinary and dangerous one during the World Wars.” It is a very powerful piece.
From here the path leads up onto the cliffs and we finally leave Scarborough behind. On our right is the promontory of Scalby Ness – the signposts tell us that we are on the Cleveland Way.
From here the path rolls on over the cliffs past fields of bright yellow rapeseed. The colour almost stings my eyes but the honeyed, musky smell is heavenly.
A mile or so up the path a couple join us, presumably from a carpark off to the left, which I can see on the map. They have no bags, the man is wearing a suit and despite her dress and kitten heels, his companion is almost skipping along the path. I find myself wondering how far they were intending to go, as according to the map there seem to be no tracks off the path for quite a while. Anyway, we follow them at a distance until they suddenly disappear from view – no idea where or how.
By the time we reach Hayburn Wyke I am getting tired and hungry and in need of a cup of tea. Unfortunately, there seems to be no friendly hostelry in the area so we make do with a rest, a banana and a piece of chocolate.
It’s a relief to escape the onshore wind into the quiet hush of this lovely patch of woodland – bunches of primroses decorate the path.
……and here I am decorating the landscape.
But we dilly dally too long in the wood and a brief consultation of the map and iPhone reveals that we have far longer to go than we thought – it looks like we will not make Robin Hood’s Bay today. Ravenscar is only 2 miles short but my very muddy boots will not take me any further than a pint in the Raven Hall Hotel.
Distance: 11 miles