East Yorkshire and Robin Hood’s Bay
Much of the scenery in East Yorkshire was captured by Bridlington resident and artist David Hockney who returned to the county of his birth in 1990s to create a number of his Plein Air landscapes.And with historic racecourses, a spectacular coastline, rolling landscape and some of the cosiest pubs in the country, a break in East Yorkshire is a breath of fresh air. The medieval market town of Beverley is a great starting point for weekend. Its lovely racecourse, opened in 1690, has regular meetings from April to September. The town has an imposing 13th century Minster at its heart and St Marys church is home to a carving of a March hare said to have inspired Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland while he was visiting Beverley.
From Beverley it is a pleasant 50 miles past the bracing seaside resorts of Scarborough and Bridlington to charming Robin Hood’s Bay, a picturesque fishing village on the North Yorkshire coast. Once the haunt of smugglers who rolled in their barrels of contraband brandy and rum by night, the village still has a haunting atmosphere. It’s all whitewashed cottages, winding steep alleyways and secret coves. Sit on the beach eating fresh fish and chips or a crab sandwich or cosy up in one of several small historic pubs here with pictures of grizzly fishermen on the walls. The Bay Hotel is the end point of the Coast to Coast walk. Introduced by renowned walker Alfred Wainwright in 1973, this 195 mile walk starts in the Cumbrian village of St. Bees and ends here at Robin Hood’s bay. Expect to see a few exhausted walkers flop down for a well-earned pint at The Bay’s bar.
Less demanding are gentle walks nearby such as the Cinder Track, which runs to Whitby, a 7 mile hike along a disused railway path with great sea and country views. Pause at Whitby Abbey, which this year celebrates the 150th anniversary of Bram Stoker’s Dracula, which featured the local area.
Or walk to Boggle Hole, found at the end of Robin Hood’s Bay and reached at low tide along the beach. It is an area of scientific interest because of the number of fossils found there.
13 miles from Robin Hood’s Bay in the North Yorkshire National Park is Goathland, whose pretty railway station was Hogsmeade station in the film Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone.
Eat and Drink
After an exciting day at the races IN Beverley I head to one of Britain’s best-preserved pubs, complete with gas lights and stone-flagged corridors. The White Horse Hotel, on Hengate, known to locals as “Nellies”, was originally a coaching inn, and retains most of its original features including chandeliers, small individual rooms and rickety stone and wooden floors. Expect to meet some eccentric local charcaters. (www.nellies.co.uk
Or grab a bite at bustling bistro Cerutti '2’ Beverley, Situated in the old waiting rooms on the main Hull to Scarborough railway line, /www.ceruttis.co.uk
The Beverley Arms is a recently renovated 17th century coaching in in the heart of town.
I stayed in a lovely atmospheric fisherman’s cottage in Robin Hood’s Bay and there is a good selection of similar properties to rent.For a touch of luxury choose Raven Hall hotel with great views out to sea and a selection of log cabins.