Located in North Yorkshire, England, Whitby lies along the coast of the North Sea. The River Esk bisects the seaside town – the West Cliff is the bustling town, and on the other side of the river (East Cliff) stands the Church of St Mary and the ruins of the Benedictine Abbey.
Captain Cook learned seamanship here and a statue commemorating him stands on the West Cliff near the Royal Hotel.
In addition to the statue of Captain Cook, nearby is a whalebone arch to signify the town’s whaling history.
But that’s not all… the town has a connection to Bram Stoker. It’s claimed that it was this location that inspired his novel – Dracula, although the Scots would disagree as they feel it was Cruden Bay in Aberdeenshire and the ruins of Slains Castle… but that’s another story.
And if you’re looking for some really unique jewellery, you have to visit the Whitby Jet Store.
Today’s the day I meet Nicky Wells. Squee!!! We’ve planned this for ages and I found a location near Whitby where we could meet for lunch that was convenient for everyone. But that’s getting ahead of myself. After all, we’ve got to get from Scotland into England.
Before breakfast this morning, we went out for a short walk. First to the Bank of Scotland in the square then dropped in to the newsagent’s on the way back for copy of today’s The Scotsman.
We sat in the lounge at Duncan House while we waited for breakfast to finish cooking. While we were there, the owner came in from his walk, although we didn’t meet him straight away, we did meet his black lab who charged into the lounge and practically turned himself inside out getting someone to pay attention to him. At one point, he did a backwards somersault.
Jeff, the owner, greeted us at the breakfast table where we were served yet another hearty start to the day. He felt bad about leaving the note on the door for me the day before but to us, that was part of the charm.
When we were finally ready to check out, not only did I get a handshake from our host, but also a wee kiss on the cheek.
At the Scotland/England border we stopped so I could take photos. There’s a huge lay-by with parking for cars and buses (and whilst we were there a bus filled with tourists pulled in).
Beyond here, you’re in England. On the small table that was set up beside the boulder marking the border, were CDs you could buy for £5.00 and a tray with a paperweight where you could put your money.
I crossed into England and got this photo of Scotland. The red car in the background was well and truly in Scottish lands as was ours although with it being closer, it got cropped out of the picture. Was it difficult leaving Scotland? Sort of, but I had a number of adventures ahead of me and I knew that I would be returning to Scotland before we came home.
While we were at the border, the piper arrived and soon he was playing. I bought one of his CDs and when I asked hubby to take a picture of me with the Scottish border sign, the piper turned so that he was facing the camera along with me. It was windy here as you can tell from my hair. I wonder if that’s why my Robertsons all had such wild curly hair?
After spending some time (too much) here, we had to get on the road. The plan was to meet Nicky and her family around 12:00 ish. Well that wasn’t going to happen and I texted or had hubby text and advise we were running late. I think it was about 1:15 when we finally blew in at The Cross Butts Stable Restaurant.
I really had no idea exactly how close to Whitby the restaurant was but as we crested the last hill before there, Whitby Abbey came in to view. We’d visited the abbey when we stayed in Whitby back in 2005 but this view of it was totally different than what we had seen on our previous trip.
I had brought two wee (not sure of the scale) die cast models for Nicky’s sons since they love “all things lorry” and the TV program Ice Road Truckers. They went down a real treat with the boys.
Really hoping that our hubbies had the chance to at least talk to each other because Nicky and I were so involved in talking writing, publishers and the like that we rather neglected them. I really like the phrase Nicky used over on her blog – “we talked nineteen to the dozen”.
It was so much fun finally meeting the entire family that it was sad when it came time to say our goodbyes and go our separate ways.
The initial part of the trip over the North Yorkshire Moors to Market Rasen was so familiar – partly because we had travelled these roads in 2005 and partly from watching the TV programs Heartbeat and The Royal.
When we reached Beechwood Guesthouse and checked in, we had the same room as when we stayed there in 2005. Other than Earlsfield Farm at Kennethmont, this was the first of two repeat accommodations from previous trips.
After getting settled in our room in Market Rasen, I gave my cousin who lives in Dragonby a call so we could go meet him. He gave me his post code so we could program it in to “Sat Nav Sally” and off we went. I knew this cousin existed but had only discovered where he was living in the last 3-4 years and made the initial contact. Since then, it’s been via email and/or Facebook that we’ve gotten to know each other.
One of the cool things that the hamlet of Dragonby has going for it is the Dragonby Dragon – a rock formation that resembles, you guessed it – a dragon.
After visiting the dragon, which is almost in my cousin’s back yard, we went back to the house for a cuppa and a chinwag. The photo albums came out and I was able to identify some of the people in the pictures that were taken on this side of the pond.
Since we had a long day ahead of us, said our goodbyes and hubby and I returned to the Guesthouse in Market Rasen.
Let’s play SEEKING SARAH SHAND!
As I said earlier, tomorrow is going to be a long day. We’re headed south to Avebury.
My Scottish roots and writing by Melanie Robertson-King