Monday 9 September 2013

Whitby last - 'Pirates'

Obviously powered by diesel engine and definitely built for the tourist trade, this pirate ship still made quite a sight chugging up the Esk...

...sweeping round in front of the lifeboat and pulling up at the pier.

Though the sailor on lookout seemed less than impressed!

Saturday 7 September 2013

Whitby 4 - Peephole

Whitby is full of quirky corners!

Tuesday 3 September 2013

Whitby 3 - The harbour

Whitby Harbour lies at the mouth of the River Esk and is responsible for shaping the town as an historic fishing and maritime port. Still a thriving fishing centre, Whitby cod is renowned throughout the country. 

It was in Whitby that James Cook began his seamanship training as apprentice to brothers John and Henry Walker, eventually becoming a trusted seafarer, joining the Royal Navy and Captaining the Endeavour (a Whitby built ship) on her voyages of exploration; circumnavigating the globe in both directions, mapping New Zealand and crossing the Antarctic Circle.

Those sea vessels of old, plying the trade routes and carrying explorers to far flung corners of the earth, have been replaced by a myriad pleasure craft. In the calm waters of the harbour, tall-masted sailing boats rub shoulders with the less elegant but business-like working boats.

And the densely packed houses glow in the late afternoon sunlight.

Thursday 29 August 2013

Whitby 2 - The abbey

Dominating the skyline of Whitby's East Cliff are the parish church of St Mary, the ruins of St Hilda's Abbey and Abbey House, now home to Whitby Youth Hostel.

 The main pedestrian route between the bustling, narrow streets of the town centre and the otherworldliness of the Gothic abbey, is via the long sweeping curve of the one hundred and ninety-nine steps.

The Abbey, once a Benedictine Monestry and home to the English poet Caedmon, is now owned and maintained by English Heritage. There is more information about the Abbey here.

The 1897 Gothic Horror novel Dracula (Bram Stoker) was inspired by the ruins of St Hilda's Abbey and this churchyard of St Mary, part of the reason for the town's choice as location for the twice yearly Goth Weekend which draws huge crowds to the area.

Wednesday 28 August 2013

Whitby 1 - Sandsend

Remnants of groynes on Sandsend beach.

And yes, that water was as chilly as it appears!

Sunday 28 July 2013

Mainly for a friend across the Big Pond

I haven't blogged for ages and, last week, this appeared on Facebook:
"Ms. Helene, I sure so miss your view!"
So, mainly for a wonderful lady from across the Big Pond...


Believe it or not, Mark has just finished his three years at University. It really doesn't seem that long since we were first transporting him up to his little room in Penrith and now, it's all over.

So, last week, I made a trip up to Cumbria to collect him and all of his 'stuff'. I stopped over, so as not to have to do two long drives and a load of packing all in one day, and we spent the first afternoon in the Langdale Valley, chillin' at the boulders.

Actually, I say 'chillin', but in reality, it was melting hot and I retreated under the shade of this well spread oak tree to enjoy the views and the sound of the sheep farmer bellowing instructions and encouragements to his dog.

The small cluster of buildings is Baysbrown Farm, where I have camped on a couple of occasions.

Looking the other way, you would have had a view of the Pikes, but that would have meant standing up... climbing down... and up... (Did I mention that it was hot?), but I liked the look of the fellside through the branches.

Oh, ok then...

...but you'll notice that I've cheated. This is my view as I approach Chapel Stile whenever I stay at the campsite I mentioned. I took it back in June, just before our extended heatwave hit.

Anyway, one of the last things I did before we left Cumbria is to buy a kayak. One of Mark's friends was selling it on so I jumped at the opportunity.

Having transported Mark's back a couple of weeks previously, I knew that it would go on the roof of the car :)

And so, of course, we had to try it out...

Just to clarify. the fluorescent green kayak in the picture is not mine; mine is no-where near this long. The photo was taken after drying off, drinking coffee and eating ice-cream; looking to where we had been and to where we will definitely return!

Monday 1 April 2013

Birchen Edge through the snow

On Friday, Mark and I decided to take advantage of the sunshine with a trip to Birchen Edge. There was rather more snow up there than at home, especially in the sheltered spots and along the field boundaries where it had been piled high by the wind.

Walking under the trees, it would be easy to believe that we were still in the depths of Winter!

The sun had run away, but did make a few brief appearances during the day. When it was out, the air temperature was surprisingly warm (surprising because of the contrast with when it was absent, rather than surprising because it was almost April for goodness sake!!!)

Water dripping through cracks in the gritstone had frozen to create these icicles.

Saturday 30 March 2013

Day trip to Cumbria 6 - Castlerigg Stone Circle

Not a great deal is known about Castlerigg Stone Circle. It stands on a natural plateau and comprises 38 free-standing stones, some as tall as ten feet. It is thought that the circle was erected in the Neolithic Period (4000-5000 years ago) but the purpose is unknown.

Today, it is protected by the National Trust and open for all to visit. The location is superb, surrounded by fells, with snow-covered Helvellyn towering in the background.

The plaque shows the layout of the stones and the positions of the surrounding fells.

This is a place I have long wanted to see, so I was pleased at the opportunity to visit.

Tuesday 26 March 2013

Day trip to Cumbria 5 - Meals on Wheels

After leaving the railway line, we climbed up and under the A66, which had curved round to track our progress. It was at this point, that we first encountered the quad bike riding shepherd.

Generally, sheep are running the other way or being driven by dogs. These sheep obviously *knew*...

'High protein feed delivered to your field' - I wonder if they order online.

A little further round the fell side, we once again came across our quad-biker, This time he was delivering hay to Herdwicks. The recipients seemed just as grateful and were quick to start tearing at the broken bales, pulling out great mouthfuls which dangled like uncut beards. 

Saturday 23 March 2013

Cumbria Day Trip 4 - 1 of 1,000

The old Cockermouth to Penrith railway line forms part of the Coast to Coast Cycle Path. This is just one of one thousand mileposts erected by the Royal Bank of Scotland to mark the creation of the National Cycle network, part of the Millennium Project.

It showed from whence we had come...

...but we are most definitely not walking as far as Sunderland!!

It also had a hole. I can't resist holes.

Friday 22 March 2013

Cumbria Day Trip 3 - An award winning bridge, a winding wooden walkway and a disappearing railway line

Just outside Keswick, the old railway line and the River Greta go under the A66, carried by this bridge which, in September 1999, was voted the Best Concrete Engineering Structure of the Century.  

I can only assume that it won the award for its engineering qualities because, apart from a rather pleasing curve, it has very little going for it aesthetically. 

Much more pleasing to the eye was this wooden walkway which we followed around a series of bends, tracking the course of the river and gradually twisting away from the noise of the traffic speeding overhead. 

We were, however, a little puzzled about the absence of the railway line. Surely the train could not have negotiated bends like these. It would be akin to riding the Wild Mouse at Blackpool Pleasure Beach.

Puzzle solved!

I think it would be safe to describe this tunnel as being disused!

Wednesday 20 March 2013

Cumbria Day Trip 2 - River Greta

Having dropped off Mark at Newton Rigg, Dad and I headed for Keswick and a walk along the old Cockermouth to Penrith railway line, now part of the coast to coast cycle path.

For much of this stretch, the line follows the route of the River Greta, which rises in Threlkeld and runs into the Derwent, just south of where it exits Derwent Water.

The sun made a few brief appearances to brighten up our journey.

In total, the railway line crosses the Greta eight times between Keswick and Threlkeld, but we diverted before the end of the path and only crossed around five times.

This wonderful little stone bridge, basking in the sporadic sunlight, carried the country lane over a tributary of the Greta.

Cumbria Day Trip 1

On Monday, we made an early start for a round trip to Cumbria. For saying that it's March...

... I would not describe the day as either 'warm'or 'spring-like'

Wednesday 27 February 2013

How long?

Since beginning my blog back in January 2010, this is easily the longest I've gone between posts. My excuse? Erm...

Things are often for a season and, although I will remain an occasional blogger, I am unlikely to return to the daily posts which were the norm in my first eighteen month or so of this enjoyable pastime. At least, not immediately :)

Life has rather taken over.

Tonight, however, we had a spectacular sunset and, although my house does not naturally face the setting sun, I did manage, through means of hanging out of a bedroom window, camera securely strapped to wrist, to snap a shot.

 Enjoy :)