Sunday 1st October - With our driver, Peter Seymour, a party of 41 Winthorpe residents including a group from the Newark branch of the University of the Third Age (U3A) left at 9am for a coach journey to North Yorkshire. A short coffee stop at Lotherton Hall, an Edwardian country home, was followed by a four-hour lunch stop in the city of York. Whilst the ladies visited the shops the men looked around the National Railway Museum and some even had an 18-minute ride on the 42 pods ‘Wheel,' which is just outside the National Railway Museum.
Our stay, for five nights, was to be the Crown Spa Hotel. This three star hotel, built in 1850, has 87 rooms and is on Scarborough's South Esplanade.
From the hotel, we could see standing proudly on Scarborough's north bay the Castle and the Parish Church of St Mary, both 12th Century buildings. In the church graveyard lies the body of Anne Brontë who died 28th May 1849 aged 28 years.
Monday 2nd October - Our journey followed along the east coast of Yorkshire to Ravenscar. At the beginning of the century a Victorian entrepreneur decided to build a town in the area then known as Peak, now known as Ravenscar. Roads were built, sewer drains were laid, water supply laid on and a railway line built to link it to the towns of Scarborough and Whitby. In 1913, the building company folded with less than a dozen houses built. No further development was carried out; it then became known as, ‘The town that was never built.'
Continuing our coastal journey, we came to the charming village of Robins Hood's Bay, once Yorkshire's busiest smuggling community in the 18th century. Red pantiles decorate the roofs of stone cottages on both sides of the steep cobbled street that twists and turns down to the sea below.
Eight miles north was Whitby. The ruins of St. Hilda's Abbey, high on Whitby's East Cliff, dominate Whitby's skyline. Spreading below Whitby is a maze of alleyways and narrow streets that run down to the busy quayside. From the old part of the town, 199 steps lead up to the Parish Church of St. Mary, whose churchyard on the East Cliff gave Bram Stoker inspiration to write his world famous book, Dracula.
Mineral jet, found in the cliffs around Whitby, has been used since the Bronze Age to make beads and jewellery. Its popularity increased in the 19th Century when Queen Victoria used it as mourning jewellery.
In the afternoon we enjoyed a ride on the North Yorkshire Moors Railway. This 18-mile line runs through the spectacular scenery of the North York Moors National Park, charming villages and authentically restored stations. Boarding at Grosmont, we travelled to the market town of Pickering.
The 12th Century Parish Church of St. Peter and St. Paul is famous for the 12 medieval wall paintings, which are over 500 years old. Situated on both sides of the aisle they are each about ten feet square.
This rail journey was a very nostalgic one for me, as I have travelled on this line since I was a twinkle in my father's eyes.
Tuesday 3rd October - A coffee stop was made at the market town of Malton. The town is divided into two parts, Old Malton, with its stone houses and St. Mary's Prior and the modern day Malton. The Norman tower of the Parish Church of St. Michael watches over the busy Market Place, while close by was the museum.
Leaving Malton, the party split, some going to Eden Camp while others went to Castle Howard.
Eden Camp is a unique museum built in 1942 as an Italian and then later a German Prisoner of War Camp. The 29 huts, built mainly by the Italians, each display wartime Britain. The scenes using movement, lighting, sound, smells, even smoke machines transport you back in time, to make you feel that you are taking part in history.
Castle Howard, the home of the Howard family, built over 300 years ago, is one of Britain's finest historic houses. The house has been completely restored after a serious fire destroyed a large portion of the building.
It was the scene of ‘Brideshead Revisted' the most expensive British television project up to that time.
Wednesday 4th October - This was a free day for Peter, our coach driver. Every one spent a relaxing day visiting the shops and exploring the gardens and castle.
Visits were made, during the day and even one at night, to the viewing point of the ‘Star Disk' on the site of the old South Bay Pool. This illuminated ‘Star Disk,' the largest in the UK and possibly in Europe is 26 metres in diameter (85 feet) and contains fibre-optic terminals representing the 42 brightest circumpolar stars (stars that never set) as seen from Scarborough.
Thursday 5th October - The day started with a visit to Helmsley, one of the most attractive villages in North Yorkshire. 17thCentury buildings surround the large Market Square where stands the Feversham Monument. The most notable of these buildings are the Royal Oak, the Town Hall with the Police Station and the Rectory House. The East Tower of the Castle and the Parish Church of All Saints, both 17th Century, stand majestically in the background.
A quick tour around the Hambleton Hills, which included Sutton Bank or Roulston Scar to give its precise name, is well known as the home of The White Horse of Kilburn, created in 1857.
Our afternoon visit, which included a lunch stop, was a tour around the National Trust House of Nunnington Hall in Rydale. This 17thCentury manor house was once the home to the doctor of Kings Henry V111 and Edward V1 and Queen Elizabeth 1. The house, with its haunted room, holds the fascinating Carlisle collection of 22 miniature rooms all fully furnished to reflect different periods. There was also an art exhibition featuring works by Tom McGuiness, one of the North's great mining artists.
Our final visit was to the picturesque village of Thornton le Dale, nr. Pickering, voted many times as the prettiest village in Yorkshire. It has some very attractive cottages in pleasant surroundings, including one at the side of Thornton Beck. Thorntons Confectionery used the picture of this thatched cottage in the 1930's on their toffee and chocolate boxes.
Friday 6th October - Sadly, we left Scarborough after a pleasant five days. Our coastal journey home took us to Flamborough Head to view the lighthouses. The ‘new' 85 feet high lighthouse was built in 1806 by John Matson of Bridlington to replace the old, octagonal coal fired beacon, built in 1673. This ‘new' lighthouse was amazingly built without scaffolding in only nine months. Passing through Bempton Cliffs, an internationally important breeding ground for many seabirds, we had a coffee stop at Hornsea Freeport Shopping Centre followed by a lunch stop at Beverley.
Beverley is an unspoilt and historic town and features many outstanding buildings and impressive architecture. The horizon is dominated on the north side by the medieval Church of St. Mary and to the south the majestic Beverley Minster that dates back to the 13th Century.
Leaving Beverley a group photograph was taken at the Humber Bridge viewpoint.
We arrived in Winthorpe at 5.15pm after five wonderful days.
On the moors just outside Grosmont we saw the filming of the BBC TV ‘Heartbeat,' whose stories feature an English policeman in a rural village in North Yorkshire. This village known as Aidensfield is in reality Goathland. Several times we saw the cast of the ITV programme ‘The Royal,' a medical drama set in the sixties. They were filming about 200 yards from our hotel; in fact many of the cast were staying at our hotel.
Pat Finn. November 2006.