After throwing ourselves on the mercy of public transport on Tuesday, Wednesday saw us back on the road in Rosie, our bright red Honda for day inland that took us first to Pickering at the southern edge of the North Yorkshire Moors. Pickering is popular with tourists not least because it is also home to the NYM heritage railway which runs 18 miles to Whitby. We visited Pickering some seven years ago catching one of the lovely old steam trains from further up the line in Grosmont during a stay in Robin Hoods Bay with HRH, A.K.A Trev’s Mum. It’s a delightful trip through the moors stopping at a number of stations but perhaps most notably Goathland, famous for being used as fictional Aidensfield in the TV series Heartbeat.
The trains only run at weekends in the quiet months but a full daily service resumes this weekend. Not cheap but well worth it.
Next up was Malton, or more precisely Eden Camp just outside Malton. Eden Camp is, essentially a war museum but with a unique twist. It’s actually housed in an old prisoner of war camp that housed both German and Italian POW’s during its life. There are different scenes and features in each hut that focus on different facets of the war and tell the story of what life was like for people affected by it.
The first hut explains how the Second World War began with the rise of the Nazi party in Germany and the first exhibit that greets you is a large flag with a swastika – universally recognised and regarded as a symbol of hatred and evil. The flag is protected by a glass fronted frame and I could see my reflection in the glass wearing – as usual – my black leather trench coat. Oops! It’s a garment seemingly forever demonised by Hitler and his mob – something confirmed later on when I heard a youngster in a visiting school party up ahead of us spot me and shout “Oi look there’s ‘itler”. Not the look I had in mind.
Anyway, back to the museum. It also looks at the first world war and other conflicts since. The number of artefacts is mighty impressive and the reconstructions are excellent with sights, sounds and smells adding to the experience.
There is a cafe/canteen and a bar that doubles as a cinema for special screenings. We stuck to the soft stuff and prices were very reasonable.Tasty mugs of tea for just a quid. Large mess rooms allow individuals or groups to bring their own food. We spent way longer here than we’d anticipated but for history buffs you’ll need much longer than a day. Trev spotted the listing for this in one of those ‘things to do whilst in…’ leaflets and I’m so glad he did. At just twelve quid for the two of us it was good value too.
Last stop of the day was the market town of Helmsley again at the edge of the NYM National Park although part of the town is actually in it. It’s clearly aiming itself fairly and squarely at the tourist market – it even has it’s own leaflet which I spotted – but there’s nowt wrong with that. It’s a very pretty place and you know what they say – if you’ve got it……
It presented a little bit of a challenge to get more than a few photo’s without a car in the frame – it’s a popular place and one can only imagine the hoards of tourists during the busier summer months – but Helmsley is hardly unique in that. Nevertheless it didn’t spoil the enjoyment of the place and there were some very inviting looking pubs too but we resisted. Some how.
Returning to Whitby traffic was light enough to allow us to slow and get some photo’s of the fantastic landscape that is the North Yorkshire Moors. The only blot on the landscape was an odd shaped building that sat in a large parcel of land belonging – according to the warning signs – the Ministry of Defence. Typical!
Thursday and our last full day in North Yorkshire. We’d promised ourselves an easy day and a lie in, not least because the weather forecast promised rain until nearly lunchtime – and it was right too. First stop – when we did eventually emerge from Patsy’s comforting bosom (?) was Robin Hoods Bay, four or so miles from Whitby on the road to Scarborough. It’s another picture postcard village with a narrow road winding steeply down to the sea mush like Staithes. As I mentioned earlier we stayed here some seven years ago in a lovely little B & B at the top of the village. In amongst the photo’s below is one of a pub – the Victoria Hotel just a short walk from said B & B. I mention this because it was here that I had my first pint of bitter virtually since I started drinking. My first ever beer was Whitbread ‘Best’ – which goes a long way to explaining why I drank lager for the next 20 years or so. Anyway, I remember the beer that made me see the light – Cameron’s Castle Eden – and I’ve hardly touched a lager since.
Last but not least was dear old Whitby, with a pause at the Abbey for the necessary lens clicking before crossing the bridge and heading in to town.
Having parked up on the east side we headed for the old town only for it start raining. Immediate plans were hatched to dive in to the nearest cafe, but somehow we ended up in a pub. Just while the rain cleared though. Honest! With a few more images committed to digital memory it was time to head back to the site.
Our last night was of course in our ‘local’ – The Stiddy – just around the corner from the campsite. An extremely friendly pub that made us feel very welcome.
So, by the time you get this we will have moved on. Our time in North Yorkshire has again been very fulfilling and the camp site played a part in that. Not too big, Lythe Caravan & Camping Park offers great facilities and cracking views across farmland and out to sea. There are wooden camping pods too should you have friends that don’t caravan or motorhome. A volunteer run shop a short walk up the road stocks all the essentials and is good place for a cuppa and a chinwag too.
Right, that’s it from the North Yorkshire Coast. Lincolnshire coming soon!