Thursday, 24 April 2014

The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

After delivering some odd bits to Gotho's flat yesterday, JP kindly drove myself and mum out to Kettleness - reportedly Yorkshire's most remote village - for a coastal stroll.
Kettleness station (closed in 1958) is owned by a scout group, as a sort of bunkhouse, and is very well-preserved. It's hard to imagine it was ever very well-used, unless the farm next door was exceptionally busy, but the view is beautiful. The coastal vista was also handy for the Romans - the base of one of their signal stations is nearby but we didn't bother visiting it.
The walk from the station towards Runswick was at first quite difficult to find - the Cleveland Way is very well-signposted, but scabby OS map directed me on a different route, further from the cliff top, to appease
A nice bridge
Mum's fear of heights. Eventually, after slipping and sliding through some liquefied cow poo in a farmyard, and traversing a field of sheep, we found the correct route. We followed the trackbed for a while, and then cut across a field towards the coast, before dropping down into a deep valley. What began as a pleasant, winding, wooded path, quickly became stairs, before suddenly transforming into something resembling the Dakota Badlands, or the Khyber Pass...

One side was a rockface of rotting shale, and the other was a near-
Actually a path...
vertical drop into a ravine. Scabby OS map was clearly laughing inwardly at this point, and as we reached the bottom of the crevasse the path disappeared completely and turned into a stream. Oops.

Luckily, the rock-scrambling was short lived, and we were rewarded with an easy stroll across the sands of Runswick Bay. 

We had a quick catch-up with JP outside the tea room - he was driving to our destination, to save us having to walk back or catch a bus - and dumped our coats in the car (far too warm for multiple layers!). We meandered up through the village (only getting slightly lost and accidentally cutting through someone's garden once), then continued along the road to Hinderwell.
On first impressions, Hinderwell is shite. The station has been completely demolished and replaced by a small industrial estate and a children's play area. The railway cottages remain, so we passed those and wandered into a fairly dire (architecturally) post-war council estate. Thinking about it, railway lines (even closed down ones) tend to go through the mankier areas of towns - just look at Edgehill and Barrowcliff in Scarborough. I think I blame the Germans.
Once on the main village street though, things began to look up. There was a couple of pubs, a chip-shop, and (insert trumpet fanfare here) a butchers advertising pies for a pound! Obviously I had to have one, and it was amazingly good, but that wasn't the end of Hinderwell's unexpected greatness - one of the pubs was called The Badger Hounds - effectively a Sausage Dog pub! Wow!

Obviously, after such excitement, even St. Hilda's sacred well in the churchyard took second place, and with a spring in my step, and a stomach full of meaty pastry, we strode out for the final station of the day...

Staithes is a lovely traditional old fishing village, with pretty little cottages, and quaint pubs and shops...
So obviously the route I navigated for us took us through the obligatory council estate, past the allotments, through a demolished bridge and round the back of the fishfinger factory, before reaching the slightly dilapidated old station - which is  used as a house, or possibly some sort of squat. 
The rough end of Staithes I think.
Just time to make our way down the hill to the Cod & Lobster, for a wine overlooking the sea, before heading home in the car. 

All's well that ends well.

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