Although I decided I had enough of the coast path, I can’t just sit still and stay put. Not in the least, because the Airbnb in Whitby is like a ghost house where you can’t meet other people, which gives me a lonely feeling. Via texts and telephone I got directions how to get to my room and that was about the extend of human contact. I hope to find a warmer welcome in Robin Hood’s Bay (RHB).
After a bit of a frustrating start, because the Tourist info lady can’t sell me an OS map ‘because the till isn’t open yet.’ I buy a new map of this area in a bookshop and then go up to St. Mary’s church. Some fine, old steps take me to the top of the hill, where the Abbey stands and St. Mary’s. With lovely views back over Whitby harbour.
Luckily the church is open and I can find some peace and comfort there. I kneel down to thank God for calming my restless and sometimes heavy heart and giving me enlightenment and a peaceful mind.
“For you, o Lord, have delivered me from death and my feet from stumbling, that I may walk before God in the light of life.” (Psalm 56)
I feel revived, as if I’m a new person. And although the weather is grey with chances of rain, I walk on with a lighter step.
The first part of this stretch of coast path is graveled, which is a good start. I resolve that if the path will become too muddy or too close to the edge for comfort, I will bypass it and look for other routes to get to Robin Hood’s Bay. Meanwhile I enjoy the scenery. Especially when I see some Fulmars again, close to the foghorn and Whitby Lighthouse (both holiday lets nowadays). Right then a shower comes in from the North and I find a porch at the lighthouse to sit it out.
When the mud takes over the path again, I cross a field and on my new map I find an alternative route towards Hawsker. There are public foot paths and some farm tracks which make for more comfortable walking. Although passing the farm yard is a bit tricky. Mud and manure mixed together making an inches deep, oozing sludge. But it’s only a very short stretch of path so I don’t complain.
Even the sun comes out after I have passed the farm. Close to Hawsker (where I try the Hare and Hound which has an ‘Open’ sign on it’s door, but is nevertheless closed, quite disappointing) I come across the Cinder track. I didn’t know what it was or even that it existed, but it appears to be a dismantled railway track. It goes all the way from Whitby to Scarborough and passes Robin Hood’s Bay. It’s an easy going gravel path, not far from the coast, so I can still see the sea, but at a safe distance.
After maybe half an hour of happy hiking I start wondering if the coast path will be a bit better from this point. I am still drawn towards it and on the map I see several paths leading to the ECP. At some point I look down the field and see two men climbing up. I ask them what the coast path looks like between here and Robin Hood’s Bay. ‘Not good ‘ they say, ‘Very muddy and slippery, but closer to RHB it gets better.’ So I decide to try my luck a bit further along the path and go down to the ECP at Raindale. But it doesn’t seem a lot better. The only good thing is, a farmer has made some stiles across the fencing, so I have the opportunity to walk through the field. I decide to walk on till the viewpoint towards RHB and then head back to the Cinder track.
The view is a bit obscured by torny bushes, but is still beautiful: the wide horseshoe shaped bay with RHB in the middle and Ravenscar at the end. . After I have seen my goal I quickly cross the field back to the Cinder track. On that I continue walking till I have reached Robin Hood’s Bay. After I ‘ve checked in at my hotel at the top of the village and have eaten there, I wander into the lovely little village. I feel at peace and good to be here.