I recently had one of the most enjoyable holidays I’ve ever had. In the past few years I’ve been to New Zealand, Australia, New York, Egypt and India, but this break wasn’t in any of those places. It was in Yorkshire, and it was fantastic.
Accompanied by my wife, parents, sister and her boyfriend, Robin Hood’s Bay was our destination – a collection of historic buildings clinging to the cliffs on the North Yorkshire coastline, tumbling down towards the sea. Still a working fishing village, there are picture postcard views from almost every angle.
After purchasing a bucket, a spade, a frisbee and a fishing net, our first morning was spent on the beautiful sandy beach. We spent the next few hours building sandcastles, playing frisbee, rock pooling and generally recreating childhood memories of holidays past. After a great pub lunch of sandwiches filled with succulent fresh local prawns and homemade leek and potato soup (washed down with a pint of local ale) the afternoon was spent walking along the cliff tops in the November sunshine, admiring the views out over the North Sea – and again recalling happy childhood memories of looking at passing container ships through my grandfather’s binoculars in Bridlington. After a rest and a home cooked meal in our fantastic holiday flat (in an old Victorian town house), we ventured out for the evening activity – the local pub quiz. The locals were very friendly – and remained so even after we won!
The next morning we headed along the coast to Whitby, home town of Captain James Cook and inspiration for Bram Stoker’s ‘Dracula’. We started at the top of the town and had a look around Whitby Abbey which dates from 657, and also St Mary’s Church next door. This beautiful church is complete with original box partitioned pews. Next we descended the 199 steps from the church down into the old town, and browsed through the gift and art shops which line the main old town street. There’s an abundance of ‘Whitby Jet’ shops here, selling a multitude of gifts made from the polished black semi-precious stone (fossilised monkey-puzzle tree) which is found along the coastline here and has been mined and collected for centuries.
It was soon time for a lunch of delicious fish and chips, and where better to eat them than the famous Magpie Café? The food here is superb, with a mouth-watering selection of fresh seafood all caught locally and landed on the harbour quay opposite. My haddock, chips and mushy peas looked like it could feed a small family, and tasted fantastic. The afternoon was spent walking off our lunch around the new town and admiring the Christmas lights which were already up and twinkling in the early evening darkness. We stopped off at a historic local pub for a drink before departing.
Back in Robin Hood’s Bay our final evening was spent listening to some good old fashioned Yorkshire story telling on the Original Robin Hood’s Bay Ghost Walk. Chilling tales of the paranormal collected over hundreds of years of history in this little village, yet delivered with genuine warmth and humour. This was hugely entertaining and informative, and adults and children enjoyed it equally.
Bringing an end to 48 hours of pure enjoyment then, I was left feeling very lucky to live in a place where I don’t even have to leave my own county to find such diverse experiences. I don’t know if I’ll be back to Robin Hood’s Bay soon – there’s plenty more places here for me to explore – but I am certain there’s something for everyone in Yorkshire, wherever it is you’re from.