D22: English Coastal Path

D22:  SALTBURN-BY-THE-SEA  to  WHITBY

Sunday 17th February 2019

Today miles: 20.5       Total miles: 307.6

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The original plan for today had been for both myself and Gemma to walk from Saltburn to Whitby over two relatively short days but Gemma dropped out at the last minute and therefore my plans were changed at short notice. It meant that I either cancelled completely or alternatively I subject myself to a long day. The weather was ideal, the sun was shining with a cool breeze. I wasn’t going to let such a perfect day go to waste so I woke early and down drove to Saltburn. The Cleveland Way was only a few minutes away from the car and after joining up with the path I set off at a decent pace knowing I had 20+ miles to cover in just over 6 hours before the sun set and darkness came to spoil my fun,. I’ve seen dozens of sculptures and pieces of artwork spread out along the coastline during my walking so far and there where plenty of others to be seen today.
I tend to ignore most of them as I don’t really appreciate or have an eye for that arty stuff. I thought this one in the photo below looked nice in the rising sun near Saltburn.

As I approached Skinningrove I could see the enormous TATA steel works in the distance, fortunately it was far enough away too not ruin my views. Skinningrove is a pretty little place and there’s several little fishing boats bobbing along on the water and a small white sandy beach. I hadn’t seen many people walking so far (it’s still early) but knew that because it’s a Sunday and the sun was shining there would be crowds of people later. On arrival at Skinningrove I saw three minibuses pull-up and dozens of people jumped out in their brightly coloured walking attire. I wondered whether I would see them again today, in their colourful clothes they wouldn’t be that hard to miss. It was getting warmer and the scenery looking out towards the coast was awesome. As I approached Staithes I stopped to look around before ascending into the town. As I looked behind me towards the cliffs I could now see the people from the minibuses, they were strung out on top of the cliffs like a rainbow coloured snake winding its way along the path. I hadn’t eaten any breakfast in my rush this morning and I was starting to feel hungry and thirsty, so I decided to find somewhere to grab a hot lunchtime meal. Staithes is a picturesque little fish village located in the North Yorkshire National Park and on a sunny day like today is a great place to spend a little bit of time. It’s no surprise then that it was really busy with crowds of people lining the old streets. I dropped into a local pub, had a pint (2 actually) and a large portion of fish and chips. I continued my jaunter through Staithes and at the end of the village there was a short steep climb up a set of steps. Due to my extended break in Staithes I now needed to get a hurry on. The fantastic views continued, the high rugged cliffs, the small isolated sandy beaches and the beautiful countryside. After passing through Port Mulgrave I reached Runswick Bay. I really wanted to stop longer in Runswick Bay but apart from a short break on the wooden seat overlooking the bay I moved on quickly. The next two hours were spent on a nice even path all the way into Whitby before catching the bus back to Saltburn-by-the-sea.

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