The Cleveland Way, Day 8, Whitby to Robin Hood's Bay

Expected Mileage: 6.0
Actual Mileage: 7.75 from B&B to B&B

Accommodations: The Villa
Rating: Very Nice!
Date: Monday, May 14, 2018

Hi Leslie and Mike,

We have have finished our day and have settled in Robin Hood’s Bay though we are still waiting on our luggage drop at 5:00 pm.  Hard to believe we have only 2 days left on the trail.  Just a week ago we were starting out fresh. We have definitely put some miles on our feet, 7.75 today from B&B to B&B.   I would have to add the total up but it seems like we must be near 100.

Our hosts at No 7 Guest House in Whitby served breakfast at 8:30 sharp, no other option, so that is when we ate.  The host husband was a jolly type and he sat in the dining room talking to us and another couple and fussed with the fresh flowers in the room.  His wife was also outgoing and funny.  We were in no rush and finally got out the door just before 10:00 AM.

No 7 Guest House, Whitby (yellow building). We had a room on then second floor behind the wrought iron trim.

We had been dreading the 199 steps from Old Town Whitby to the Whitby Abbey and St. Mary Anglican Church where we were to pick up the trail but we have done so many steps that these didn’t even phase us.  We lingered at the cliff top so I could walk through the church (you know I have a crazy fascination with old religious sites) and we could view the Abbey ruins and the Old cemetery but after about 30 minutes, it was time to move on.

Beginning the 199 step climb.
I am most of the way up the steps at this point, looking back on the lovely village of Whitby.
*BTW, Whitby is famous for a stone called Whitby Jet, which is an organic stone naturally formed from fossilized wood. Queen Victoria was a patron of the stone and wore it exclusively during her period of mourning. As a person who collects jewelry for travel souvenirs, I was pleased to add a pendant of Whitby Jet to my collection.
*Another little tidbit, Whitby is also the setting for Bram Stoker’s gothic novel, Dracula
St. Mary’s Anglican Church
Caedmon’s Cross, a tribute to the earliest English poet whose name is known. Caedmon was a monk at Whitby Abbey
Whitby Abbey was once an Anglo-Saxon monastery for men and women, founded in 657 AD The piece of gothic abbey still standing was started in 1220 AD. I am always in awe of the ancient history and architecture in European cities.

The trail was much the same as the past few days, hugging the edge of high cliffs, watching soaring sea gulls and catching a glimpse of freighters far out at sea.  We hiked through pastures of sheep and cows, crossing through elaborate gates between pastures. A slight difference was the walking through ravines.  We hiked up and down ravines via steps in some cases and up and down via trail in others (there was not much walking around the ravines on this day). There were more people on the trail today than any day in the past. This is probably because two long distance trails merged about 3 miles outside Robin Hood’s Bay, Cleveland Way and Coast to Coast. Distance walkers mingled with a number of day walkers.

Some areas along the cliffs were separating and collapsing toward the sea. These areas were blocked off and the trail had been slightly rerouted.
Unknown ruin, exposed with the lower tide.
The trail followed a rutted farmer’s road
Sheep grazing trailside.

One of the most interesting sites was a lighthouse.  It seemed to be a modern lighthouse, not one that sat on a tall structure lile most we have seen in other places but was attached to the keepers house.  A huge black fog horn was attached to one structure and a light attached to another (I will attach a picture). We wondered, with the increased use of GPS systems, if lighthouses are still used as often.

This series of buildings is called the Whitby Fog Signal Station which accounts for the big black fog horn,.
The trail goes behind the light house perimeter wall.

Robin Hood’s Bay came in sight right on schedule, about 3 hours into our hike.  We struggled a little bit with our lodging location because the instructions were packed in my suitcase (whoops) but a nice, local lady found us looking at what information I did have and walked us almost here. 

Coming into town

The Villa is another very charming guest house. We have more space than last night but we are still tripping over suitcases. We have a window that opens (we felt suffocated last night as the window was locked) and a quick walk to the old section of town. The road to the old city is a very steep drop to the sea but since we did not hike as far today, we are ok with it. We did our exploring early and plan to stay “high” near our b&b for dinner (spoiler alert, we ate at a pub…fish and chips).

Our lodging for the evening, The Villa. We were on the 2nd floor, room with the 2 windows (on the right)
Our sweet bedroom
And decorative only fireplace.

Robin Hood’s Bay is an interesting village with many narrow alleys and stone buildings tucked amongst the alleys.  We are told it was built this way so bounty could be easily hidden and escapes made when necessary.

We walked the winding, narrow roads of Robin Hood’s Bay
While there is apparently no evidence for association with Robin Hood, by the 18th century, the secluded location made Robin Hood’s Bay, Yorkshire’s busiest smuggling port. Locals built a maze of underground hiding places with passages linking houses. Later fishing took over as the mainstay.
Narrow alleys
The North Sea and Robin Hood’s Bay beach. We did make it to the beach to put our feet in the sea.

Tomorrow we are not sure of our plans.  We will walk out a ways and come back and take the bus or take the bus to Scarbrough and hike back a ways.

Btw, I laughed at your dream about finding me with cotton around my feet.  I think it was a sympathy dream.  But, you are not all wrong.  We are walking through and by big clumps of wool.  The sheep are shedding and wool is stuck on barb wire fences and along the ground on the trail.  John said that if I had been picking it up as we went along, you and Carol would have enough to spin for sweaters.

Couple of additional things I am trying to remember that don’t fit in anywhere:

1.  The air is not salty here.  I keep licking my lips expecting to taste salt and I do not.  We also don’t smell the sea in the constant, cooling breeze. We will miss the breeze when we return to Knoxville and it’s heat and humidity.

2.  On the list of things we miss, our sheets and blankets.  Beds here are made up will a fitted sheet and a comforter, no sheets or blankets.  There are summer wt comforters and winter wt.  Most beds are still made up with winter wt, hard to manage sleeping temps.

That’s it for tonight (luggage showed up at 6:30 pm).  Got to get ready for Day 9-by bus and foot.


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