Whitby Wanderings

G decided one day that a weekend away was in order and planned a surprise trip up north. I badgered him a bit to see if he would give up the destination and bummer he gave in so easily. The man does not hold up well in interrogation.

We drove through the Yorkshire Moors on the way to Whitby. They are as wild and desolate as Charlotte Brontë would have you believe but also really beautiful in their own way. We stopped by for a quick photo op at the Hole of Horcum before carrying on our way. I hiked the area with a couple of friends last year and can honestly say it was one of the most beautiful walks I’ve done.

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The long and winding road……

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We arrived in Whitby sharpish and were immediately buffeted by winds but thankfully it was dry and sunny. The harbour stood pretty in the sunlight with the abbey keeping a watchful eye in the background.

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We made out way to the Humble Pie ‘n’ Mash Shop and fortified ourselves with good ol’ pie, mash, peas and gravy.

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Ah, it was so good getting out of the cold and settling into our chairs by the wood-burning fire. The shop is full of kitschy knicknacks that will keep you occupied during your short wait for the food to arrive.

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G had the steak and stout pie and I chose the lamb, leek and rosemary pie. Delicious comfort food!

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But be warned, they only accept cash here so bring enough for your meal lest you have to dash over to the nearest cash point to get some (as we did).

We walked along the cobblestoned pathways and explored the shops to the left and right.

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And popped behind a row of shops down an alley and found ourselves on a little beach, away from the hustle and bustle. You can just about see the lighthouse on the pier in the background. The wind huffed and puffed us away back into town.

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Leading us to the bottom of the Whitby Steps. All 199 of them. We soldiered upwards and onwards for the sake of good views from above, burning thighs cursing us along the way.

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Up and up we went…

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And were greeted with an imposing view of the Church of St Mary and the graveyard at the top.

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It’s not difficult to imagine with the storm clouds rolling in and standing in the middle of the graveyard how Bram Stoker was inspired to write his horror novel Dracula. Down again we went and towards another beach. By that time the winds got a bit nippy so we retreated to a nearby pub and had some coffee before heading to our B&B.

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But not before a few more shots of Whitby in the golden light.

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Our guesthouse was luxurious by B&B standards and the owners Kath and Peter are the warmest and friendliest of hosts. Peter cooks up a stonking good breakfast as well. Prices are reasonable and the location is within walking distance to the town so it’s a win-win situation in my book.

After a bit of a rest we headed back down into town for a slap-up dinner at the Magpie. These people do good things with their fryer.

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Our pretty table setting of fresh flowers and thistle.

For starters I had breaded whitebait with garlic mayonnaise dip. They were crispy, not at all soggy or oily. G doesn’t like whitebait very much so I had the pleasure of finishing it off by myself.

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But the winner in the starters department was definitely his special of scallops with blue cheese, bacon and a pesto sauce. Oh my, it’s making my mouth water again. Look at those plump and perfectly cooked scallops.

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G had been craving a good fish and chips for a while so plumbed for that as his main – a ‘regular’ sized haddock and chips.

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Look at that monster. Yorkshire portion sizes are no joke. The picture doesn’t do it justice. The haddock was again perfectly cooked and so sweet and juicy underneath that crisp batter coating.

My dish though was the star of the meal. I’ve always loved monkfish and I couldn’t resist ordering it when I saw it on the specials menu. It was a beautiful melange of fish, artichoke, shallots, fried parma ham, potatoes and an amazing gravy. A curious combination, but it worked and I’m sort of sad that I probably won’t have a dish like that again.

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We waddled back home against the strong winds (oh those winds!) and went into a food-induced coma for the rest of the night.

The next day we weren’t so lucky with the weather but made the best of it with a short trip over to Robin Hood’s Bay. These are actually pictures as we were leaving when the weather cleared a little but I wanted to show the view whilst walking down to the bay.

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The village is full of little walkways and nooks and crannies that you can explore

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We watched the waves crashing onto the pier and nipped into the Old Coastguard Station to get a bit of respite from the rain where I met this little nipper who started waving and dancing at me as soon as I got my camera out:

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It was slightly difficult getting a good picture, he wouldn’t stand still. A crabby crab.

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On the way back we spied this little fella through a window.

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We drove back to Whitby for a late lunch where we queued up outside Mr. Chips restaurant in the rain and hail. What a change from the weather the day before. By the time we got in we were wet and cold and starving, I forgot to take any pictures of the food. Rest assured, it was very good and I would thoroughly recommend it. G went for fish and chips again and I went for the little set of small fish and chips with tea. Dessert deserves a mention though. We shared an apple and pear crumble and it was probably the most delicious crumble I’ve had. I think the key to that was a crumble layer that was almost as thick as the single layer of fruit beneath it.

Go to Whitby, stuff yourselves silly on fish and chips, breathe in some salty sea air and leave happy.

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