Gandalf the Campervan is parked up on a wonderful “off grid” Caravan and Motorhome club CL, a small 5 van site, with no facilities or hook up (other than loo disposal and tap/bin). We’re perched on the edge of the N York Moors with views of the sea and Whitby Abby; just 4 miles away. Deneside Field is just £7 pn- what a bargain!
Our journey here today was relaxed – we set off around 10:30am and arrived just after 4pm with a couple of comfort stops. The stretch leading up to Whitby from the A1 was stunning!
We’ve got the bikes with us as this is our first stop of a 2.5 week tour of the East Coast, so set up took slightly longer but, we’re here for 3 days so we want to be comfortable on site. The weather is far better than predicted, in fact there’s not a cloud in the sky and the sea looks rather Mediterranean like!
We had a chill at the site tonight, enjoying the views and the peace and quiet- there is only one other Caravan here. Perfection! Dinner was sausage, mash and beans- a simple but tasty supper to enjoy after a long journey north.
We’re excited about exploring the local area as it’s been a number of years since we were last in Whitby and Robin Hoods Bay.
Tuesday dawned bright and beautiful; a nice surprise as the forecast wasn’t so optimistic! We had a lazy morning, enjoying the views and enjoying bacon sandwiches before prepping the bikes and hitting the road towards Whitby.
One of the draws for us to return to this area was to explore the Cinder Track, a disused railway line that runs from Scarborough to Whitby- a total distance of 21 miles. Our site isn’t directly on the Cinder track so before we could enjoy any of it we had to navigate our way to an appropriate entry point. We consulted Ordanance Survey and found a route which took in a quiet road and a bridleway, which looked appropriate. Well, let me tell you. It was not!! We ended up pushing our bikes nervously for around 1.5 miles on this hardcore mountain bike trail through a forest. The path was not suitable for us one bit, and whilst now, thinking back it seemed an adventure at the time, in reality it was bloody awful! Although it was pretty!
Luckily once we got onto the Cinder Track things dramatically improved, the surface was a dream on our electric bikes and the gradient unnoticeable.
It wasn’t far at all to Whitby but we enjoyed the scenery, a highlight was going over the Larpool Viaduct. They’re were some beautiful bridges to pass under. It had lived up to our exceptions and made the previous hour of horribleness worthwhile!
Whitby was heaving! Properly busy! Too busy to enjoy if I’m honest; although that’s perhaps a bit harsh as we had a lovely day. It’s just we’ve not been around that volume of people for so long- I found it a bit scary! The weather gods were on our side though, we enjoyed blue skies and a gentle breeze.
We had a fish and chip lunch from Papas, not the famous Magpie- although Papas was named the best fish and chips in UK according to a recent BBC competition. (They were goooood!)
We washed the fish and chips down with a couple of drinks over looking the harbour, before tackling the 199 stairs up to the Abby. The Abby is English Heritage and fairly pricey to get in at £13 pp (free for members) instead we enjoyed a Whitby lager at the tap house and brewery opposite which has brilliant views of the Abby. It always makes me laugh on the stairs at Whitby… ALL you can hear is people around you either counting the steps or discussing if it is indeed 199 or is it 197 (or any other number for that matter!)
After an ice cream at the bottom of the steps we collected our bikes – we’d parked them by Papas fish and chip bar- and made our way back to Gandalf. This time we continued to Hawkser on the Cinder Track before exiting and taking a quiet road route back to our campsite- 2.5 miles of hills, some steep, but our E bikes were TREMENDOUS!
Tonight is spent having a chill – enjoying the non rain!
For the first time in what’s seems an age, we slept in until 09:15 this morning! It was a little showery so we decided not to rush about, which was nice not to be working to a timescale for once. We set off from the campsite around 11ish – on the bikes towards Hawsker to pick up the Cinder track once more. We took the road route and as we’re not on hook up, turned our bike batteries off, choosing to save the battery for the homeward journey later. We therefore pedalled our way up down, up down etc to the cinder track- feeling very proud of ourselves when we reached it!
The cinder track to Robin Hoods Bay is only 3 miles and it’s a glorious section, with sea views dominating the majority of the journey. There was a steep cut bank at one point, making it easy to imagine trains travelling along here from 1885 to 1965 when the line was frequented by trains carrying goods and passengers along the Scarborough to Whitby line.
We found bike parking easily in Robin Hoods Bay so made our way by foot down the hill to the sea front. We love Robin Hoods Bay; it’s been a number of years since our last visit, and it was just as nice as we remembered. The quaint fisherman’s cottages line the street and the non tacky shops with just a couple of pubs, tea rooms and b and bs are right up our street.
The weather was behaving beautifully and we enjoyed a drink in front of the Bay Inn- the official end of the Coast to Coast walk, overlooking the cliffs towards Scarborough.
After a crab roll from the local fish shop on the beach, we took emergency cover as a thunderstorm passed over us.
Luckily this coincided with the Smugglers, a 400 year old very atmospheric dog friendly wine bar, opening so we took shelter inside, until the rain stopped and we could make our way back to the bikes and onwards back home.
We retraced our steps following the cinder track back to Hawsker and then gleefully switched on our batteries to get us back to Gandalf – up down, up down etc etc.
Dinner was a delicious chicken curry before a night of relaxation and enjoying the view for one final night
Tomorrow we move on north to Edinburgh. We’ve absolutely loved our time here- especially enjoying being off grid, and relying solely on solar power has felt liberating actually. The site is wonderful, and whilst there is a bit of road noise (mainly farm traffic) it does quieten down after dark. The views towards Whitby and the sea are gorgeous. It’s perhaps not the best places for the Cinder Track, but we’ve managed well. There are a couple of other sites directly on the track which were full when we were making reservations. Having said that we’ve really loved this site, and armed with either a car, or electric bikes you really can enjoy the local area easily, and cheaply- and remember it’s just £7pn!
Until Next Time