Sunday, 9 March 2014

Staithes to Runswick Bay....... and back.

So we are chasing the sun again, and just because we've been wanting to go to the Lakes for ages, it's chucking it down with rain over Cumbria and the sun is shining on the East.  Since I've been hankering after cliffs and beaches n sea, it wasn't so bad, cos I used good ole Google to work out which bit of the North Sea coastline we could get to quickest and from there, we worked out a walk which took us along the coast for a bit, and then back to our starting post through farmland. It looked a good route, and mid morning we set off for Staithes.
I've not been to Staithes before, and I found that motor vehicles are not welcome here. Once you've negotiated your car through the narrow winding roads and down excessively steep hills, you'll find there is nowhere to park it!   So, parking the car at the top, we walked down.  I have to say I was surprised and charmed by the place.  Hidden away in a small bay and sheltered by surrounding cliffs, it is a quaint little town of narrow cobbled streets and winding paths.
After a look around, and despite my desire to stay a little longer, it was time to start our walk.  We took a steep path out of the town and onto the cliff tops to join the Cleveland Way.  We'd definitely made the right decision to come east today, it was a beautiful, bright, sunny and warm day. It almost felt like summer as we walked along.
Breathing that fresh sea air, looking out to the horizon and listening to the wind hushing through the long grasses on the cliffs brings a peace and calmness into busy minds.  As we walked, our thoughts wandered, and a peaceful rhythm settled on us.
Whenever I am out walking, and especially where everything is new,  I try to soak it all up.  I try to force my eyes to take in every detail and capture it to memory, trying hard to take it away with me.  I can't of course, but I keep trying, and my camera clicks away in my bid to make sure I can see it all again whenever I want.

Runswick Bay is as lovely as Staithes, but this time it's the little beach that delights the visitor, and today, there were plenty of them.  We joined them all, walking along the beach, watching dogs chase sticks, children run circles around their parents, and couples paddle happily in the sea.  Yes, it really did feel almost like summer.

Now it was time to turn and start on the route back.  There's a path leading off the beach, up the cliff and on to an old railway line which would start us on our way back to Staithes.  We could see it marked on the map, but we couldn't find it on the ground.   Some of the land at the edge of the beach had been washed away, and we thought this might be the reason we were struggling.  Then Gizmo, the GPS, came to the rescue, by leading us to where the path should be.  It turned out it was hidden behind a bit of wall!
It was also a very wet, very muddy and steep path through woodland.  At times we weren't sure if we were on the path at all.  But once we got to the top and out of the trees, the way ahead was very clear.  And the view was wonderful.

It wasn't long before we reached the disused railway line and followed the local path out across the farmland. Then we found that the OS Map didn't match what was on the ground.  The railway line petered out onto a field, the farmer had obviously cleared away the remains of the enbankment, and the only way we could continue was to cross the field, despite there being no right of way.  We scooted across quickly to the ROW on the other side.  Something to remember for the future.

The next section of the walk along roads and through Hinderwell was uneventful.  Oakrigg Wood on the other hand, with its owl carvings, was very pleasant.

And then, all too soon we were back at the car park, pleasantly tired.  The route measures out a 8.2 miles, with 1200 feet of up. so it's not too difficult, (unless you count the slippery slope upwards).  If we were to do it again though, we'd probably try to find a different way back that didn't include crossing that farmers field.


  1. Nice trip, and super photos! I seem to remember you once saying photography was something you wanted to do a bit better: if that's right, I think you've achieved that!

    1. Thank you Jules. I'll keep working on it though.

  2. Well that looked fantastic Tracey, what great weather!
    Never been to Staithes but it looks stunning.

    1. I'd never been to Staithes before this Rich. I agree with you, it's a fantastic little place.