Day Two of our holiday started, unsurprisingly, with breakfast. We stayed at the Cherry Blossom Guest House which I would highly recommend. It's a little way out of the town centre but very comfortable and friendly.
In several of the reviews on Booking.com it mentioned the Russian toast prepared by Tanya, one of the owners, and we couldn't wait to try it. It turns out that the 'toast' is actually a currant doughnut, known as ponchiki, and a very popular breakfast pastry in Russia. They were definitely popular with us. We also appreciated the fresh piece of cake left in our room each day - a lovely touch.
Across the road from the Guest House, there's a lovely view of the Larpool viaduct which used to carry the Scarborough to Whitby railway line but is now part of the Cinder Track, a 21 mile walking and cycle route. I'd love to go back and walk the route one day.
Our walk into town took us under the bridge which forms part of the Cinder Track and gave us a glimpse of the Abbey which was one of our destinations today.
First though, we took advantage of the low tide to walk along the beach. You can walk all the way up to the next village, Sandsend, which takes about half an hour but we couldn't fit in the time on this visit. What we did find time for was.....
Beach huts! I'd spotted them when we were stood on the pier the day before and couldn't resist going to have a look. How gorgeous are those colours! Like a child's paint pots.
And just because you can never have too many photos of beach huts, here's the view the other way looking back towards Whitby. There are 168 huts and some can be hired for the day. Some looked to be privately owned too and we couldn't resist a sneaky peek when we passed one with an open door :)
We couldn't afford to linger though and headed back towards town up the path to the top of the cliff. These are real jaw bones from a whale. There's a statue of Captain Cook up here too but all of my photos turned out blurred: annoyingly, as there was a great one with a seagull on his head! We sat on those benches a while just taking in the view.
Not surprisingly, there are great ones from up here looking back towards the harbour. The bridge is a swing bridge and we were lucky enough to see it in action one day letting a ship through.
There were also great views down onto the cottages. I loved how the owners of these have carved out gardens on terraces leading down to the sand.
More views of the lighthouses. Like beach huts, you can never have too many photos of lighthouses.
Next stop: ice cream. I had a lemon top (a Mr Whippy with a topping of lemon sorbet). Chickpea had strawberry and candy floss flavours. The sherbet on the cone made her tongue and lips turn blue which immediately prompted us to sing Blue Da Ba Dee! We often find ourselves singing random songs because of something we've seen or heard, like our own personal soundtrack. Does everyone else do the same or is it just us who are odd?
Anyway, fired up with dairy and sugar, it was time to tackle the famous 199 steps to St Mary's church. For the less fit, there are several strategically placed benches on the way up. We paused only to keep admiring the views.
This time you can see the new bridge built in the 1980s to bypass the town centre. We passed over this bridge a couple of times the next day on our travels.
Caedmon's Cross in the churchyard of St Mary's commemorates the 'first' English poet. The cliff is gradually eroding at a rate of 10m every 100 years and last year, following heavy rain, some of the graves tumbled over the edge.
The churchyard is also famous for being mentioned in Bram Stoker's Dracula, as are many other locations in Whitby. We did go in the Dracula Experience (don't bother), but otherwise vampires were in short supply. Chickpea was disappointed there weren't more 'alternative' shops or people in costume wandering about - just lots of older people, zimmers and dogs! We were definitely disappointed to miss the Whitby Walks which had been highly recommended but only run at the end of the week. Note to self: check details like this before booking next time.
Still, it's hard to be disappointed by what we did see, particularly when you get views like this. Yes, it's those lighthouses again!
Or views like this, of Whitby Abbey. Dating from the 13th century, it fell into disrepair following the dissolution of the monasteries and the ruins have gradually collapsed over the years.
It must have been beautiful in its heyday.
We liked how the grass had been left untended in places though it did nothing for Chickpea's hayfever which flared up strongly after our visit. The poor thing could hardly breathe and it meant she snored very loudly most of the night. I am happy to report that my sense of humour and sympathy did remain intact despite times during the early hours when I could have screamed and smothered her with a pillow!
Paula asked about the name 'Arguments Yard' in my last post. After a touch of googling, it turns out that the Yard is named, rather boringly, after Thomas Argument and not for the far more entertaining reason we all hoped for, somewhere you can go to settle your disputes!