Thursday, 19 June 2014

Fyling in a gap

The problem with some stations, is that once they are closed, they become a severe pain in the arse to get to by the remaining public transport. Yesterday's quest proves that. My destination was Fyling Hall - a location on the former Scarborough to Whitby line, serving nowhere in particular. From Ravenscar southward, the route is closely shadowed by a bus service, as is Robin Hood's Bay northward. Unfortunately, due to the local geography, Fyling Hall finds itself in a gap, caused mainly by the pesky North Yorkshire Moors, but I was not to be defeated...

I boarded the 10:15 bus from Scarborough - a single decker, packed full of freeloading pensioners, and after 45 minutes of standing up (for which I paid £5 for the privilege), listening to the inane conversations of Ethel and Fred from Stevenage, I was glad to disembark at the bottom of Thorpe Bank - I'm not sure if the bus made it any further, as it smelled like the brakes were about to burst into flames...

After passing a small council estate (I assume it was a council estate, as one of the gardens had a barking
dog and a trampoline), and a caravan park, I left what passes for civilisation in those parts swiftly behind. I joined the old railway path, at the landscaped remnants of an overbridge, and was quickly engulfed in trees. The old station was soon before me - not that it's very obvious to the casual observer. The stationmaster's house still stands - complete with platform bench - but the platform is almost totally camouflaged, unless you know where to look. What appears to be the trackbed is actually a lane, so to be totally historically accurate I had to hurl myself into the undergrowth, where I was rewarded with some ivy covered fenceposts, a bit of collapsing brickwork, and not a lot else. Still - at least it's better that Scalby... *spit*
Fyling Hall - not so bad
Job done, I continued my journey south. After a flight of steps down to the road - another missing bridge - and back up again, trackbed towards Ravenscar passes over a couple of fairly substantial embankments in quick succession. The views out to sea would probably be quite impressive if it wasn't for all the trees in the way! Eventually, however, the trees gradually disperse, and the whole expanse of Robin Hood's Bay is
revealed. In fact, as the line is on a curve, Robin Hood's Bay can be seen for what seems like miles, and it actually gets a bit boring, but I took a photo anyway. 

A confused deer
It's very remote round here, with just a few farms scattered around. Some of them seem to be only accessible from the trackbed - it makes me wonder how the residents got there when trains still ran. Did they pull the communication cord, and hope the train would stop near their front garden? Or have the roads disappeared back to nature? Either way, I didn't pass a soul for several miles - just a deer, which seemed just as surprised to see me as I was to see it!

My arrival into Ravenscar was preceded by a party of schoolchildren eating sandwiches in the Old Alum Quarry. One of them had dropped a load of Opal Fruits (I refuse to call them by that stupid American name) all over the floor (still in their wrappers) so I gathered them up for sustenance - gotta love a freebie... 

At Ravenscar, the railway footpath makes a brief diversion, as the tunnel is closed to pedestrians, so I meandered through the village, and rejoined the track at Station Square... 

I won't repeat old ground, having covered the next ten miles in a previous post or two. Suffice to say, I carried on all the way back to Scarborough, and got home after about 4 and a quarter hours of walking, and then went to the pub.

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