THE CLEVELAND WAY (COAST PATH)
Scarborough to Cloughton [8.9 miles]
Day 1 of our first visit to Yorkshire to walk the coast path section of the Cleveland Way. Planning this brief visit was tricky because we had to rely on the local bus services which, in the event turned out to be totally reliable and running very much to time.
So our first task was to drive to Cloughton and park in a sort of layby on Salt Pans Road. From there it ws a short walk to the bus stop where we awaited the number 15 to Scarborough. As the journey progressed the bus got very full, and most of the passengers were, like us, bus pass holders. The bus arrived spot on time at the railway station stop and we got off with several others. Geri said "Where now?" I said "We need the 120 bus - oh, there it is" right behind the bus we had just left. We got on and took a shortish trip to Wheatcroft Avenue where disembarked and walked about a ¼ mile to the coast path.
Our first Cleveland Way sign
A Cleveland Way fingerpost was very reassuring and we set off heading north. Little did I know that we wouldn't see another waymark for another 4 miles. We followed what we presumed to be the correct path which went a bit up and down and sometimes back on itself. We appeared to be in a wilderness with frequent signs of the glory of days gone bay - small hardstandings just big enough for a park bench, but with the growth of the trees and the like there was no view and it was really quite gloomy.
Occasionally we emerged into the daylight and caught a glimpse of the Scarborough promenade ahead, dominated by the Grand Hotel.
The Grand Hotel
We were walking through Holbeck Gardens, and, at South Cliff Gardens I decided that enough was enough and we climbed up to the road near to the Cliff Lift and walked along to St Nicholas CLiff where we dropped down onto the promenade and South Sands. For a MOnday it was bery busy and all shapes and sizes of folk were parading themselves here - it was quite exhausting to watch!
the old Toll House
We passed below the Grand Hotel and headed north passing Old Harbour and the old Toll House at Marine Drive. As we passed by Castle Cliff we noticed hundreds of Kittiwakes nesting in the sandy cliffs, some perching precariously on tiny ledges
We were now walking beside North Sands and the strengthened sea defences there. As we went along we came across giant steel structure made by Ray Lonsdale an artist fabricator and sculptor of 'Freddie Gilroy and the Belsen Stragglers'.
We were starting to feel hungry - at last we left the road which turned inland and we continued beside North Bay alongside multicoloured beach huts which looked in very good condition. Ahead we could see what we thought were giant tents which turned out to be the Oceanarium, and a miniature railway track. A little further on was evidence of a chair lift but now defunct and looking rather sad.
Colourful beach huts
The old chairlift
We crossed over a bridge and gained the proper coast path and out first waymark since setting off - we had walked about 4½ miles!
First waymark for 4½ miles
Looking back at North Bay
We were hungry and quite weary. After a bit of a climb up onto the clift tops we found a very convenient bench seat with good views of the path ahead as we had our lunch. Once we got going again it was clear that for the most part this was going to be quite easy walking.
Good views of the path ahead
Looking back at our lunch stop
Suddenly we saw an old friend - the common spotted orchid.
The common spotted orchid
We were delighted as this reminded us of our great times on the Pembrokeshire Coast Path. Once we saw the first couple they really lived up to their name - they were literally EVERYWHERE.
At Long Nab we inspected the Coastguard Station and Mine Shelter, built in 1927 and manned during bad weather. During the 1939-45 war it was manned 24 hours a day and during this period the brick mine or bomb shelter was added. During the 1960s it was used for Carrier control Nuclear monitoring but the station closed in 1992 and is now used by the Scarborough Birders for bird watching and the study of migration.
The old Coastguard Station at Long Nab
We were coming to the end of our walk but not before a series of rugged steps took us up and down. Whilst neither of us care for steps, these were particularly unfriendly made of large irregular shaped rocks and quite unkind to our knees.
Ahead of us was the bay of Cloughton Wyke
Unfriendly rocky steps
and behind us the cliffs of Little scar.
After a spot of deliberation we chose to go a little further along the coast path before turning inland and alon Salt Pans Road to our car. Just under 9 miles today.