Ragtag Saturday: The Cleveland Coast

Older people like coach trips.  Allegedly.  They sit in a coach, gossip, have a nice cup of tea when they reach their destination, then they go home again.

On Thursday, fifteen people from Ripon U3A (Walkers’ Division) did exactly that.  Except that in between the gossip in the coach and the nice cup of tea, they fitted in an eight and a half mile walk along a section of the Cleveland Way.

Staithes seen from the cliffs.

We started at Staithes, once a busy fishing port, now a picture-postcard-pretty holiday destination.  It nestles at the foot of imposing cliffs, and our walk began with a good hard yomp to get from sea-level to cliff top.  This was the first of several yomps up steep paths cut into the hillside at an unforgivingly steep gradient.

The first of several climbs – and not the hardest.

And what goes up must come down, as we discovered towards lunchtime at Runswick Bay, and later still at journey’s end in Sandsend.

Runswick Bay at low tide.

All this would have been arduous enough.  But there was a stiff breeze.  This developed, as the day wore on, into a searching wind: the sort that blows any attempt at conversation far out to sea, turns pockets inside out, and rips scarves from shoulders.  A few forays past farms offered slight shelter.

By the time we arrived in Sandsend, the wind was arguing with the sea too, which rose up, roaring and seething and hurling itself against the breakwaters.

Stormy seas at Sandsend.
The view across to Sandsend and Whitby.

Did we complain?  We did not.  This was scenic walking at its best.  Violets and primroses scattered our path, and striking barriers of yellow gorse imposed themselves between us and the cliff edge.

Eight and a half miles of this kind of treatment was just about enough though.  We were good and ready for tea and home-made cake at Wits End Cafe, and continued our gossip in the coach on the way home.

The sea: our constant companion for the day.

Here is my entry for today’s Ragtag prompt: Coast, and for Jo’s Monday Walk.  As ever, click on any image to see it full size.

Author: margaret21

I'm retired and living in North Yorkshire, where I walk as often as I can, write, volunteer, and travel as often as I can.

42 thoughts on “Ragtag Saturday: The Cleveland Coast”

  1. I used to live near there and funnily enough was talking to a friend about Staithes just the other day – I gather it has changed rather a lot in the last 30 years! It’s a beautiful part of the country.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s true. We had a bucket-and-spades type holiday in Staithes about thirty five years ago. And it was definitely a bit more down-at-heel. But the whole area is beautiful.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Wow fantastic—- I love coach trips and remember this beautiful part of the country though not doing an 8 mile walk like you! Good on you —- can feel the wind in my hair already !
    A x

    Sent from my iPhone

    Liked by 1 person

  3. On a holiday in Whitby ages ago with the childen, we were up on the Cleveland Way heading to an attraction that boasted cuddly farm animals and refreshments or some such, but when we go there it wasn’t there. On the return walk, probably with children complaining, the cows that had been way up the top of the field had got a lot nearer to the cliff edge and kept getting nearer as we tried to sneak by. But all that coast is wonderful.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That all sounds a bit too hairy. Oh yes, compaining children. And just when you think all that sort of thing’s over, along come the grandchildren……


  4. Superb, Margaret! I so love the style and prose of this, and of course, I’ve walked the walk, and was more than happy to do it again, in your company. Thanks! 🙂 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Wonderful imagery in both words and pictures, Margaret. I especially love the stormy sea in black and white. That coastline could so easily be in Cornwall. My son and partner are looking to move to Bridlington and were regaling me with the beauty of this area, having just made their first visit to Whitby. I can see I won’t be short of scenery if I find myself making the trip to visit them.

    A seriously impressive walk from all of you. Although the word ‘walk’ is a gross understatement!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Well, Sandra, if your son and partner make the move, maybe you’ll be visiting often. In which case I look forward to having a walk there with you sometime soon!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Just fabulous! The only places I’ve walked in the UK have been in Cornwall and I agree with Sandra–this looks a lot like the Cornwall coast. Eight miles is a LONG walk, plus big hills and stiff winds. You folks are made of stern stuff!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. We’re British, doncha know! Yes, this coast, and Cornwall’s, and the South Wales versions share many similarities. And all are simply beautiful.


  7. I really like the Cleveland coast and this walk looks wonderful though I’m not as good at steep up and down as I used to be. We visited Staithes about 21 years ago when our youngest daughter was in a pushchair and we parked at the top of the cliff. Going down was hard enough but pushing her up again was a real challenge! I love the picture of the big waves; in fact I love all your photos!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Oh that does look a gorgeous, if rugged walk. You get the best of both worlds with a coastal walk don’t you? Dramatic cliffs and sea and all those specialist, tough, but charming plants along the cliff tops. Lovely photos and beautiful weather, can’t see that wind, of course, except for those waves suggesting you might have had something to complain about.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I love all these photos and your descriptions. The gorse in flower really does add such a rich dimension. The pictures of the little town are very special. And I learnt a new word – yomp!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. The photo of the hikers going up the steps is so much fun. It looks very rigorous. If this wasn’t the hardest climb, there must have been some really difficult ones.


Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: