Tuesday, 27 August 2013

Staithes on the Cleveland Way

Although we have made frequent visits to Saltburn and Whitby somehow we have never stopped off at Staithes which lies on the coast between the two. Obviously this situation needed rectifying, so when we recently had some family visiting we decided to check it out.

Staithes lies on the Cleveland Way, in fact being the stopping point between the aforementioned Saltburn and Whitby on the coastal stretch of this linear long distance path (LDP). Through various other walks we have already done a number of stretches along the Cleveland Way - along the moor tops at Sutton Bank, a significant stretch from Osmotherley whilst doing the Lyke Wake Walk, and bits and pieces around Roseberry Topping. However, this looks like a great LDP worth doing one day.

The approach to Staithes offers nothing to indicate what lies down below, as the top end of the village is high up above sea level. Even when you have parked up there is a significant descent to make and it is not until you reach the centre of the village that the real atmosphere and beauty of the place becomes apparent. It is a real pleasure to walk around the tiny and mostly pedestrian streets of the little harbour village until you reach the port and its impressive cliffs.

There are signposts that tell you that the Cleveland Way carries on past the village and along the sea front and it is very tempting to just keep on walking.

We had a look around the harbour and the coastline beyond as well as a look about the village and Staithes comes highly recommended to North York Moors visitors. We will be back.

Sunday, 4 August 2013

Wensleydale - Bolton Castle and Aysgarth Falls

Sometime is has to be said, Claire and I get a bit stuck on a rainy day. If we're in the Lakes, we'll put on the waterproofs and head out anyway, but when you're home seeing the rain pelting the windows, it does get a bit harder to get motivated to head outdoors.

Wensleydale is a good answer though as it has a few decent rainy day options. Heading over there via Swaledale, we can always make a stop in Richmond or Leyburn to stock up on goodies, and if we head over to Hawes there are all sorts of things to do there.

We recently had a couple of friends visiting from New York and decided that on this fairly dull day, a quick tour of some North Yorkshire highlights would be a good idea. We started off with Bolton Castle, which I had not previously visited.

It is well worth doing a tour of the castle as it is a really interesting place - part ruined, part restored and part museum. The tour includes displays of birds of prey which is well worth sticking around for, although we missed the archery demonstration. One of the highlights for me was the spectacular views to be had from the castle tower, far and wide across Wensleydale.

After Bolton Castle we drove the short distance to the National Park Visitor Centre near the Aysgarth Falls. The centre is packed with books, information, displays of the flora and fauna of the National Park, as well as a cafe.

From here it is only a short walk to the upper, middle and lower falls and they are always impressive - especially so on this occasion when the river was full and fast flowing after recent rain.

The next time we are in the area I think we will do a walk combining Bolton Castle with Aysgarth Falls as they are only a couple of miles apart with what looks like a nice clear footpath joining the two.