We made the right choice by visiting Staithes during a quiet few days prior to Easter rather than in the official Easter week. We enjoyed some of the best weather in Britain with far more sunshine than we'd had in Tenerife a month earlier.
|Staithes (Click pictures to enlarge)|
The old village of Staithes is a geometric mish-mash of a thousand steps and dark passageways zig-zagging between random architecture on a steep hillside overlooking the harbour. From our cottage eyrie high on Cowbar Lane we looked out over roofs of blue slate and red pantiles which, as coal fires were lit on chilly evenings, were sometimes shrouded in a blue haze.
There was a constant crying of gulls and noisy nattering of jackdaws that nested on precarious ledges of surrounding cliffs. Yellow flowering wild cabbage has taken advantage of any waste ground it can find on steep uncultivated slopes and roadside verges. I don't think it's edible...
It was coming up to full moon with resultant high tides that flung clouds of spray high up the cliffs and pounded the rocky breakwaters. All very dramatic.
|A fishing boat arrives with screaming gulls|
|A wonderful watering hole - the Cod and Lobster|
The only general food store is a Co-op situated on the main Whitby road, 25 minutes walk away from where we stayed, but a few vegetables, cheese and milk can be obtained from Betsy & Bo in the old village. The Cod and Lobster was a hive of activity making it difficult to move freely among drinkers, diners and dogs. But it was warm and welcoming offering excellent value for money on all its commodities. We couldn't visit Staithes without sampling freshly caught fish from the pub's extensive menu. It was excellent, but huge.
|Inside the cosy Cod and Lobster|
"When I decided I should eat more fish, a whole haddock wasn't quite what I meant" I remarked to Mine Host. He laughed, glad that we'd enjoyed it. We departed, puffing and panting up the steep hill to our rented cottage.
|On the Cleveland way towards Runswick Bay|
Conveniently, for us runners, the Cleveland Way undulates along the cliff tops on its 109 mile route from Filey to Helmsley. We took full advantage of it for our morning runs clocking up 18 wonderful miles over 3 days.
|Gently does it - running north|
We weren't running fast but gently and enjoyably as befits a pair of senior citizens with 158 years between them. We began by running 7 miles south to Runswick Bay and back on a day of blinding sunshine, blue sky and extensive views. Gorse was flowering, skylarks sang and all was well with the world.
|Doesn't get much better than this|
The next day we ran the opposite direction past Boulby mine and Red House Nab, up Rockhole Hill to a viewpoint at 2½ miles. We stopped for the obligatory photographs against sunlit seascapes, of waves rolling in and breaking on the rocks below while a strange object drifted across the horizon.
|Strange contraption floating by|
We repeated the same run two days later but ventured a little farther, as far as a deep hole in the path surrounded by poles and wire netting at the 3 mile mark. We needed sun glasses to shield our eyes from dazzling sunlight. The sky was a beautiful Titian blue.
|The path over dramatic cliffs|
As on our Runswick Bay run, flowering gorse and lesser celandine enhanced our route as skylarks scattered their joyous notes into the clear air. Gulls crying over the sound of the sea and a gentle breeze brushing our faces, kept us cool and happy as we ran the undulating path high over dramatic cliffs and breaking surf.
|Enjoying wonderful blue sky while most of Britain got soaked|
On Good Friday, as many folk were setting off on their Easter holidays, we drove home to rain, snow and bitterly cold temperatures. We managed an Easter Sunday run round a snow grizzled Grimwith reservoir where greylags, oystercatchers, curlews, lapwings, chaffinches and wonderful whistling teal formed a combined choir to cheer us on our way.
|Grey sky and snow round Grimwith reservoir on Easter Sunday|
But, to be honest, we were glad to get home to our porridge, toast and hot, reviving coffee.
Dunno when I'll run again.
I'm grounded for a wee while after recently having my perishing skin cancer thingy hacked out.
It was only a little raised spot but it's roots spread all over the place, like a bloomin' octopus. It made rather a mess.....but I'm recovering.
|Note that tiny spot over my left eye|
|...and the mess after all its roots had been dug out|