A belated update of our weekend at Scarborough, I wrote most of the review before we buggered off to France but hadn't had a
chance to post it.
As far as the weather was concerned this really was a weekend of two halves.
We managed to get away from work a little bit early on Friday but with hold ups at Willoughby due to road works and then being stuck two cars back from a tractor for the best part of 15miles between Driffield and Staxton we eventually arrived at Scarborough Caravan & Camping Club site at around 16.30 on the Friday teatime.
It was just the three of us for this weekend, myself, Helen and Buster but once again Buster hadn’t enjoyed the travelling and when we arrived at Scarborough he was quite stressed and had been poorly in his travel kennel again.
We like the Camping & Caravan Clubs policy of issuing pitches rather than letting you drive around to pick your own. Also they take you to the pitch and within reason make sure you’re happy with it.
It’s all just a little less stressful than the Caravan Club way where we’ve seen people behind us in the queue to book in carry chairs and an electric cable from their caravan to a pitch and sit on it to reserve it before those in front of them have the chance to take it and once we were even overtaken despite a 5MPH stay in first gear rule by someone desperate for their desired pitch!
Once pitched and set up we took Buster for a walk to North Bay to settle him down and the rest of Friday evening was spent doing a big dose of nothing but just relaxing in Myrtle.
That's one of the best bits about Myrtle, we’re so comfortable, cosy, that it’s so easy to just unwind. Don’t get me wrong our house is comfortable and cosy too but what we see out of the window home is pretty much the same from one day to the next and in Myrtle I’ve never ever answered a phone call telling me I’ve won a holiday or that I should claim compensation for miss sold PPI and nobody has ever knocked on Myrtles door and asked me if I want to change gas supplier!
Nice and relaxed we woke early on Saturday morning to glorious sunshine and it was more like the middle of July, or how we expect the middle of July to be rather than the middle of September due to a freak last gasp spurt of summer.
Relaxation mode continued until mid-morning courtesy of bacon sandwiches while reading the morning papers which had been ordered and collected from site reception.
Eventually at 11:30 we left for a walk, 'Our Walk', or a variation of our walk depending how the mood would take us.
We left the site by the pedestrian gate signed 'Dog Walk' which exits the site onto Burniston Rd.
We crossed the road to join the public footpath which leads to the cliff top which you can clearly see ahead.
The fields had been recently harvested and we let Buster off his lead for a run but then all of a sudden there were two of him.
Buster is a Springador, 50% Springer, 50% Labrador, 100% nuts. He’s black all over except for a white blaze on his chest and just a touch under his chin. He’s the size of a small Springer but looks a bit like a juvenile Lab with big ears despite the fact he’s now seven years old.
We’d seen a chocolate one before we bought Buster but had never, knowingly anyway, seen another one since but now there he was running in a field with his exact double.
We struck up a conversation with his owners, their dog was called Duke and was three years old and like Buster had been bred deliberately. His mother was a small liver and white Springer and his father was large sandy almost orange/ginger Labrador which amazingly was the exact same combination as Busters parents and had resulted in an identical dog but some four years later and almost 100 miles apart.
Once we reached the cliff top we turned right towards Scarborough and Busters new friend tuned left towards, well what ever is to the left, we’ll have a look one day.
A short walk along the cliff top and you eventually arrive at a footbridge across a small river at the Old Scalby Mill Pub. I always thought the river would be called the Scalby Beck or River Scal but on any map I’ve ever looked at it just referred to as The Sea Cut.
From Scalby Mill we walked along the Promenade.
After a short while this part of the seafront is edged with multi-coloured beach huts and a small drop down of only a couple of feet onto a sandy beach. High tide comes quite close to the small sea wall here and due to the exceptional warm sunny weather the beach was quite busy. Sorry Buster no dogs allowed before the 1st October.
Where the beach huts end is known as Peasolm Gap and a right turn leads to Peasolm Park and also to the opposite end of Burniston Rd.
Continuing along the seafront is Royal Albert Drive which eventually becomes Marine Drive which in turn runs around the headland below the castle and leads to the harbour.
For our walk, or this particular days variation, we continued along Royal Albert Drive for a short while until we reach the Watermark café. Just after the café a path leads up the cliff to Queens Parade.
From here there is any number of ways into Scarbourgh Centre, we walked along Queens Parade for quite a way while still able to walk parallel to the sea until we turned right just after the Old Look Out and onto North Marine Rd.
The Look Out is an old public loo which is built into the cliff and beneath the road which runs behind it. At the time though we didn’t know what the Look Out was or that it was even called the Look Out.
Above it were a few park benches and we’d taken the opportunity to take a brief rest and to take in the view.
I’d started to get curious as to what the building below us was, having originally thought it was probably just an old closed down public loo until I noticed a very well kept small garden to the front of it and a slightly larger but equally well kept garden to one side.
Just then a lady entered the small garden from the footpath to go into the building below us.
I couldn’t help myself and had to ask “excuse me, what’s the building below us?” “This is my home” she replied “and where you’re sitting, just below is my sitting room”. She turned out to be a very friendly lady and went on to explain it was indeed an old public loo which she’d renovated and described how far back beneath us and the road behind it extended and where in relation to where we were sitting was her bedroom, kitchen, bathroom etc.
Personally I think a better name than the Look Out would be 'A Loo With A View' as it does have a cracking view.
Continuing straight on along North Marine Road to the mini circle and then straight on along St Thomas Street will eventually lead you to one end of Scarborough’s main pedestrianised shopping area but anyone of a number of deviations from there on in will bring you to the shops and town centre with ease.
We turn right along the pedestrianised shopping area and via Betfred to place my weekly Saturday punt on the horses and then followed the signs for South Bay.
Close to the Grand Hotel, rather than take the Funicular Tramway Lift, we took the walk down through the gardens and back onto the seafront.
At the seafront we turned right and headed for the Spar Complex and continued walking beyond the Spar for about another half a mile to the end of South Bay close to point where the Holbeck Hall Hotel famously slid into the sea live on TV in June 1993.
Before you reach the end of South Bay you pass the Clock Tower Café which we like to make our first stop on the way back rather than our last stop on the way there.
The way back is easy, you just keep the sea to your right; we just stayed on the seafront all the way, to the Spar, and all the way around South Bay to the Harbour.
From the Harbour we walked right along Marine Drive around the head land and below the Castle until this became Royal Albert Drive again.
Part way along Royal Albert Drive we came across the 'Old Man' statue by Ray Lonsdale for the very first time. This very impressive statue depicts a local man, Freddie Gilroy, sitting on a bench towards the end of his life. Freddie was an old soilder and it was discovered he was one of the first soilders to liberate the Nazi consentration camp at Belsen on 15th April 1945.
We stopped at the Watermark Café for more refreshments before continuing along to Peasolm Gap and again along passed the beach Huts of North Bay.
It was now teatime and the tide was almost right up to the small sea wall in front of the huts but it was still very warm and the few metres or so of available beach was still quite well occupied with bathers of all ages.
I’m not sure what time we eventually arrived back at the Old Scalby Mill pub but we sat outside soaking up the last of the heat from the days sun and enjoyed a couple of well earned pints talking to some fellow motorhomers.
They were one of a number of Wild Campers who were staying over night in the Sea Life carpark.
This is a perfectly legal practise apparently and overnight parking is charged at about £7.00 I think they said.
I’ve got nothing against their choice to Wild Camp but for me and H we’re more than happy to pay approximately an additional £10 per night to stay on the C&CC site with the electric hook -up, heated facility blocks, small shop, morning papers, security barriers etc etc. but each to their own.
For the walk back to the campsite we choose to take the road route rather than to go back along the cliff top. From the pub you simply take the road back up the hill which is Scalby Mill Rd until it meets the junction with Burniston Road again. Turn right and follow this, crossing the Sea Cut again and eventually by sticking to this road you reach the Dog Walk gate once again.
We’d had a great day, it was sunny all day, we’d left the campsite at 11:30am and returned at 6:30pm and spent barely a penny, well a few quid may be on refreshments and beer but that’s all.
With every year that the kids get older we seem to be able to reclaim some time for ourselves.
We go away on alternate weekends so we can be at home on the weekend that we used to have our combined brood of five children. We’d go on a Friday teatime and get home for Sunday teatime but the reality is that only the two youngest children are ever at home nowadays and this is becoming more hit and miss depending on what they have going on in their busy lives.
Because of this we have now started to extend our weekends to include all day Sunday and then to travel home on Mondays.
This we did at Scarborough for this weekend.
The last gasp summer spurt we’d experienced on Saturday had well and truly burst and Sunday, in total contrast to Saturday, was a little bit wet, a little bit windy and a little bit chilly.
We took another walk, this time by road, along Burniston Rd and to Peasolm Park.
From there we had a bit of a smooze around town before walking back to the Old Scalby Mill pub for a slightly below average Sunday lunch and a couple of above average pints of beer.
Sunday night was spent snug and comfy inside Myrtle.
We left site at 12:00 noon on Monday and took a steady drive home in plenty of time to nip into work before closing to make sure everything was tickerty boo.
All in all yet another relaxing weekend break.