The Nostalgic Spring Sojourn | Part 3

Tuesday, and time to head north again for the second stop of my trip and a return to York Caravan Park on the outskirts of er, York.

With around 135 miles to do and a check-in anytime after midday I’d planned on a 10’ish departure but for once was running early and pulled away at 9:40am, heading north on the M42.

I was in no rush and soon came up behind a Turners lorry doing a tad over fifty, so I tucked in behind at safe distance and watched with satisfaction as Rosie’s MPG climbed gradually, soon hitting the heady heights of 30 as we continued onto the A42 then the M1.

Clearly Rosie had sated her thirst on the way up from Brighton 4 days prior as the figure continued to rise – 31, 32, then more slowly to 33. Surely it couldn’t climb any higher – Patsy is no lightweight even though I had had a bit of clear out at the end of last year. Then it hit 34. That must be it I thought then at some point on the M18 the display edged to 35. I couldn’t believe it and thumped the steering wheel in delight. My darling Rosie, hardly in the throes of youth was truly awesome. It couldn’t last of course and a number of inclines in the A1(M) saw the figure drop but it still read 33mpg as I pulled in to York Caravan Park and was very happy indeed.

Having successfully moved Patsy onto her pitch without the motor mover for the second time, set up was fairly swift and after a cuppa and quick sarnie I set Rosie on course to the Monks Cross shopping centre where as thank you for her efforts replenished her with cheap supermarket diesel then picked up some bits and bobs in the shop. I’d come away with plenty of meals from my batch cooking efforts at home, crammed into the freezer compartment but, needed a bit of variety. Needless to say (too late) some new research samples were also procured for a thorough evaluation at some point.

York Caravan Park has many great features – nice serviced pitches and luxurious en-suite shower rooms to name but two – but one of the handiest ones is the bus stop almost literally outside the entrance. Trev and I used this many times when we we were here last – 2 years ago – but always into York. On the Wednesday though I boarded the bus travelling in the opposite direction – destination Whitby. I have to say I was a little apprehensive – 2 hours is a long time on a bus – but it was actually very comfortable with comfy spacious seats. I grabbed a seat on the top deck to make the most of the view as we travelled east to Malton, Pickering then onto the moors diverting off to Goathland, better known to many as Heartbeat country, before arriving at Whitby.

Back in the days when there was a ‘we’, I’d been to Whitby several times, once staying at a lovely little site behind the pub in Lythe just up from Sandsend. Remarkably though we’d never got to climb the famous 199 steps from the town on the eastern side of the Esk, instead getting to the famous Abbey by the road out of town.

I must admit to being a little out of puff by the time I got to the top - and thanks to the emerging sun, quite warm too – although the coat stayed on. Just. It was worth the effort though and the views across to West Cliff and back along the Esk around the harbour were terrific.

Lens clicking was interrupted as I found a spot in the grounds of St Mary’s church to devour a rather uninspiring home made ham sarnie and neck some caffeine, amused that most of the local er, residents up here wouldn’t appreciate the view:

The Abbey site was closed for building work until April but it was still possible to get some photos from the path by the perimeter wall, the traversing of which brought an unexpected ‘research’ opportunity in the shape of Whitby Brewery. The pint of Jet Black went down very well indeed and the courtyard was such a sun trap, the coat was reluctantly shrugged off. Temporarily I might add. I did ponder bringing some research samples home but at over three quid a bottle soon decided against it.

The descent was quicker and I had a pleasant amble through the shops, checking out some of the famous Whitby Jet, thinking that maybe a pair of cufflinks wouldn’t go amiss but nothing really caught my eye, so I crossed the bridge and made my way along by the harbour mouth and up to the West Cliff. Again, oddly, we never made it up here but once again the views back across to East Cliff and the Abbey were lovely and I got to see up close the Whalebone arch and the Captain Cook memorial.

I began my descent back into town, noting that there was still an hour until the next bus and after a brief consultation with that troublesome part of my anatomy that divides my left leg, decided that some medication was in order. The dispensary of choice was the Little Angel, a pub I remember from our previous visits – quelle surprise - not least because on Wednesdays they have a promo on all real ale at just over three quid a pint. Perfect.

Whilst taking my medicine I thought about my visit – both this and previous ones - and it reawakened a few dormant thoughts. You see Trev and I often talked about moving ‘up north’ and Whitby was one of the places that we considered – nice little town close to the sea and affordable – but we’d more or less discounted it because of it’s relative remoteness. It had got me thinking again though, after all, who knows what the future holds? Thankfully.

On my return to the bus station I got to meet Adam, one of the regular Coastliner drivers who would be taking us back as far as Malton. We’d talked a little on Twitter and it was nice to at last meet properly.

Predictably, given the medicinal intake earlier, the walk back to Patsy after jumping off the bus was a little brisker than ideal. Entirely my own fault obviously, but it had been a really good day however, a quiet night in was most definitely called for as there was another busy day ahead on Thursday.

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