Sunday, April 17, 2011

Saturday 17th April, Whitby and Skinningrove

We had our good friend Keith visiting us, and after he kindly fitted a new smaller front chainwheel to my Brompton, we took him down into Whitby for a walk round and to take some photographs.
We parked on the Harbour side and the water was very still as you can see here.
There were other fishing boats moored in this little inlet
It being Saturday the boat trips were under way, and across the Esk we saw the now retired lifeboat in it's new role taking "half hour trips around the bay"
There were the usual street performers, here are two miming to Caribean Tunes and playing Bongo Drums
And approaching the swing bridge was "Elizabeth" the historic steam powered coach doing trips along the harbour side and up the "Kyber Pass" to the North Cliff.
looking towards the fish market from the swing bridge we could see the "Esk Belle" arriving back from a trip out to sea
And then we were into the old town with with its amazing variety of shops, heres one displaying colourful bags
Saturday is Market Day in Whitby and it was in full swing.
And there was a guy with a stand "The Whitby Victorian Steamship Company" selling candle powered steamboat models (2 for a pound) If I had any money on me I would have bought two!
Then we were at the base of the hundred steps up to the Abbey, but managed to restrain ourselves from running up to the top
Behind these lower steps was a very cleverly wrought netting statue of a fisherman mending his lobster pot
And then it was on towards the end of the road where Keith wanted to buy some kippers from the smoke house
At the very end of this narrow road we looked down to see the Esk Belle and the old lifeboat passing each other in the mouth of the harbour
Rather than eat our sandwiches on the by now very busy car park, we drove to Sandsend intending to park on the hill, but this was busy too and we ended up at  Kettleness, before dropping down the steep twisty hill into Skinningrove.
Pat relaxed in the car while Keith and I walked what seemed like a hundred miles to the end of the beach!
Then it was back to the caravan for tea, a great day out!

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Friday 15th April 2011 Castleton for lunch and Runswick Bay

One of the nice things about camping near Whitby is that you are right in among very nice scenery, within two miles of our campsite  we dropped down the steep hill into Littlebeck on our way to Castleton for our Friday lunch with friends.
The villages claim to fame is that it is built on the steepest hill in Yorkshire (1 in 3) and it has hairpin bends and narrow roads too!
After enjoying a splendid lunch with our friends we decided to visit Runswick Bay, another village built on a hill, with only a short section of road leading into the village proper, and narrow pedestrian passageways after that. This was an opprtunity to try out the new camera phone!
I was surprised to see how many flowers there were, like these growing out of a stone wall
Spring must have come very early here!
Wherever there is a little space, there are little rockery gardens as here

A little further along you enter the maze of alleyways, then find yourself in open spaces where you can get a view uphill of the sprawl of the cottages
And flowers everwhere, including some lovely tulips.
And some nice colour variations too!
This is the old lifeboat station, the big boat is gone but its good to see there is still the small inshore rescue dinghy.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Thursday 14th April 2011 Whitby for four days

After some problems with the electrics between the car and  caravan we eventually got away and reached out campsite just after lunch, selecting a pitch likely to remain  longer in the sunlight: and easy task as the site was quiet.
Pat wanted some shopping and I wanted a black seen pin plug for the caravan lead so we went down into a surprisingly busy Whitby town centre.
Pat went to the Co-op supermarket and I went in search of a new plug, eventually obtaining one at the ships chandlers on the Marina, at least it gave me the opportunity to take some photos
And there was plenty to point my new camera phone at too!

I also tried out the Monochrome option on the built in camera

Having successfuly obtained what we came for we returned to camp for tea, after which I went for a short bike ride and then a walk, there was a lot of spring growth
And there were some relics left over from last summer like these Galls
I was pleased with the performance of the new phone and its camera, its a HTC Wildfire by the way.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Sunday 10th April 2011 Last day of the Holiday

And what a cracker! the temperature reached 22C and we had a lovely day. We went to Honister Pass first and had our morning coffee by the stream
There was very little wind, so the reflections in the lakes were very good!
Just like looking in a mirror!
Reaching the coast we headed for St Bees and had a light lunch in the cafe on the foreshore and then dicovered that the nearside rear tyre had been punctured by a stone, so we headed into Whitehaven where we found a Kwik Fit that was open and repaired it for us.
After tea in the Caravan I went for a last walk along the lake shore, where I saw to my surprise four swallows wheeling overhead, the first I have seen this year and very  early too!
It was serene down the lake side in the evening light, a fitting end to the holiday

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Saturday 9th April 2011 Haweswater again and the hottest day so far

Isn't it nice to wake to sunshine? the only drawback is that we knew the roads would be very much busier with the weekend traffic, so decided that a visit to Grasmere to pick up some gingerbread for presents would be a good idea, then to Amleside and north via the struggle, and the shore of ullswater to Haweswater, arriving there in time to eat our packing up with this view
We were running low on fuel, so ran up to Penrith to fill up, then across to Keswick to do some shopping for present and have an ice cream at Luccinis. The town was heaving with the traffic and number of visitors, just like the height of summer!
 Pat was feeling tired by now, so back to camp where it was warm enough to sit outside and read.
I went for a walk by the lakeside where there were quite a few people enjoying their hobbies.
The temperature was over 20C so you can't blame them!
Between the path and our campsite at the top of the hill is this colourful boggy area, with some strange things growing there!

Fungi abound on the old rotten trees, like these on a stump
And there are lots of trees gradually collapsing back into the landscape, some making strange shapes as here
And at the end of my walk we come to a seat where I like to spend a little time staring into the distance and just dreaming, at the end of a lovely day.

Friday, April 08, 2011

Friday 8th April Return visit to Wastwater

First on the itinerary was a visit to Whitehaven to the Morrisons Supermarket for supplies, then to St Bees for a sniff of bracing see air
St Bees if the western end of the Coast to Coast walk, where participants are supposed to dip their boot in the Irish Sea, repeating the procedure at the other end of the walk at Robin Hoods Bay.
By now it was lunchtime, so off we went to Gosforth for a delicious meal in our favourite cafe before moving on to Wastwater.
We parked at the end of the lake, superb view from here!
Then drove about a mile further before parking again
And looking towards the end of the lake this is the view
We came back to the caravan for  a light tea, then off to Castlerigg stone circle for the evening light
And there re good views from here, too!

Thursday 7th April 2011 Blea Tarn and Coniston Water

A lovely morning, we stopped by Thirlmere for our morning coffee and got into conversation with a family from Thailand who were on their first visit to the Lake District
I took their phtographs for them using their own camera, and they invited us  to visit them in Thailand (December being the month where we would like the weather best)
On then through Ambleside to little Langdale, this is the village at the entrance to the valley
Surrounded by the fells, it is a beautiful valley, though there are few places where you can stop to take a photo!
The valley flattens out towards the end before the steep pass to Blea tarn

The pass was for once empty so it was fun sweeping round the haipin bends and steep gradients before parking in the National Trust Car park opposite the Tarn
We parked a little further along on the Hillside and ate our sandwiches, always a pleasure tohave a great view to eat them by!
We had originally intended to ascend Wrynose Pass, then take a left turn down the Duddon Valley, but I remembered seeing a "Road Closed" sign there the previous time we came over Hard Knott Pass from the West, so we decided instead to have a tour around Coniston Lake
Then back via Ambleside home for an afternoon Nap.
After tea I went for a stroll along the Lake shore, noting how much the water level had risen and flooded some areas
Yet another Great day!