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June so far in the Forces-of-Nature Diaries
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Member#: 6644
Registered: 27-05-2007
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27th June 2017
Hiking - Walking:  Around Saltburn-by-the-Sea
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Weather: cloudy with rain :(
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Tuesday 27th June – travel then walk **** Around Saltburn-by-the-Sea – cloudy with rain :(

Couldn’t believe we got away with parking at Flamborough carpark for the night, £2.90 for 24 hours – bargain:) Sadly woke to a cloudy, cool day with rain never far away:( My original plan was to stop off at Scarborough hopefully finding a McDonalds for some wi-fi then explore the North Riding Forest Park but it was raining so decided to head further north. We stopped at Bempton Cliff RSPB reserve to check it out and spoke to a nice young lady who said that yes, the Gannets did nest here and yes it was £4 each to see them. If the weather was better we might have been tempted but decided to save the money and move on. Scarborough looked a big improvement on Brid. With a nice harbour, castle on a hill and two nice surfing beaches but the carparks were £2 an hour and with the drizzle we decided to move on. It was then over the edge of the North York Moors which looked dead and barren in the gloom, not the best time here as the heather not in bloom:(
Next stop was beautiful Robin Hoods Bay down a steep road and then Whitby with its imposing Abbey ruin overlooking the harbour. Once again pay and displays rule in both places so moved on as didn’t think we had found just the right place to pay up! Found a carpark for lunch by a small reservoir with sailing boats, not that we could see them from the carpark. Getting fed up with driving, we drive to Saltburn-by-the-Sea, a place Mag had read about in a novel which sounded nice and we were really pleasantly impressed :) We approached down a steep road past a viaduct to another long windy beach stretching to Redcar. It’s an old Victorian town with lovely old terrace buildings, a pier that can actually be accessed and for free with a beautiful cliff railway to take you down the cliff and as with Scarborough there were loads of surfers out. Who knew it was such a big surfing area!
At last somewhere we were prepared to pay for and yes, the dreaded pay and display machines were on the seafront car parks and we were thinking that finding somewhere to park overnight was looking a problem but then we drove up the very steep winding road to the cliff top and the whole road offered free parking with amazing sea views and several campervans were taking advantage. We quickly turned around and parked up with great views of the surf rolling by under the pier as the tide came in:) Cuppa, read and doze then it was time to explore with the rain now stopped. We walked along the cliff top to the Victorian Cliff railway. The two carriages having lovely stained-glass windows and we watched it take some people down to the prom for a £1 each. Walked down loads of steps past the famous fish and chips restaurant which appears in the top 20 places to eat by the sea in The Times apparently. The fish and chips did look good but as usual we had left the wallet in the van and had stuff we bought yesterday that needed eating up so will leave that treat for later in the holiday! We walked out onto the free to enter metal posted, wooden decked pier. This took you out level with surfers on both sides enjoying some great waves:) Along one side of the pier a local lady had knitted loads of sea themed characters and creatures with a sea theme and attached them to the handrail. They were proving quite a draw with people stopping to look and take photos. We spent ages watching the good surfers right next to the pier, despite it being breezy and cool, we were nicely wrapped up but not as much as some others who were sporting hats and gloves! One surfer had a day as bad as me when I went through my sail at Fraisthorpe by breaking his surfboard in two:(
Up into town with its old shops some with the original metal canopies to the railway station where we saw a map to the Valley Walk Gardens and headed there. It was a pretty walk into a dark deep valley which lead to the viaduct which was a bit of a trek! Then back along the stream which enters the sea over Saltburn beach, through fancy garden, a miniature railway and action park for the kids. We had a nice chat to a couple from Redcar watching several squirrels eating from a feeding table before heading back along the prom and up the steep cliff steps (183!) to the van hungry and tired. We were pleased to have got out of the van because with the rain earlier we didn’t expect to have such a great afternoon. Mag made delicious paella with salmon, followed by cherry pie and clotted cream, we live like Royalty in this van!
So, we can hear the surf as the tide retreats and have been joined on the cliff top by 5 other campervans and a caravan! We will continue north tomorrow but the forecast for the days ahead are not looking great but anything but rain will do us!

Photo Gallery here

Wednesday 28th June – travel + McDonald’s – Short walk – Wylam - cloudy with rain :(

Top night on the cliff top road in Saltburn-by-the-Sea but woke to the forecast rain :( Not in any hurry to leave so relaxing lay-in before setting the sat-nav for the nearest McDonald’s for some free wi-fi. It took us to Marske-by-the-Sea near Redcar but that one was in the pedestrianised town centre so continued to the next one. Through Redcar with three lines of wind turbines just offshore to Middlesbrough where we found one on the outskirts. It was still raining so we were not missing anything which was just as well as the connection was very slow:( Still we sat there for a couple of hours with a coffee being entertained by a couple of smiley babies and an oaf who gave the poor staff a mouth full of abuse before storming off in his huge BMW 4x4, what a dickhead! Managed to send a couple of requested pics to Surrey Life Mag, update Forces of Nature, the GPS site and start a new Facebook photo album called ‘Up North’ plus put out feelers for a new Tushingham Lightning/Bolt 7.8m. to replace my recently damaged one.
Tired of McD we set off again. I had seen on our map that near George Stevenson’s birthplace on the banks of the Tyne there looked like a footpath into Newcastle so we set the sat-nav again, never used it so much for Crawcrook. It was only 50 miles mainly up the A1(M) stopping at a services car park for a sandwich before reaching the impressive ‘Angel of the North’. We stopped in the carpark to take some pics despite the rain. A stop at Morrisons, we had run out of clotted cream!!! At Crawcrook we turned right crossing the River Tyne to Wylam spotting a sign to Stevenson’s Cottage straight away. There was a nice secluded carpark with the bike track right there, luck was on our side today:) The track leads to Hadrian’s wall one way and Newcastle the other so we hope to bike to the city tomorrow, weather permitting?
Another cream tea, followed by a read and a doze watching loads of people brave the weather on the bike track, dog walkers, joggers and bikers, they are a hardy bunch up north! At seven with only light drizzle we braved a quick walk to the lovely brown tinted Tyne watching a wet heron fishing. At the old station, there was yet another bike route to Newcastle! Back at the van a bit damp Mag soon knocked up cheesy scrambled egg with bacon, fingers crossed that the rain stops soon!

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