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Cleveland Way days 7 and 8 - Boggle Hole to Filey (2017)

Cleveland Way days 7 and 8 - Boggle Hole to Filey (2017)

Postby nigheandonn » Sun Jul 01, 2018 7:00 pm

Date walked: 15/04/2017

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Days 1 and 2 - Helmsley to Osmotherley
Days 3 and 4 - Osmotherley to Saltburn
Day off - North Gare to Saltburn
Days 5 and 6 - Saltburn to Boggle Hole

Day 7 - Boggle Hole to Scarborough
Saturday 15th April 2017

Boggle Hole, finally reached, turned out to be a nice spot - my room was in a separate building up the hill a bit, reached by going upstairs and out a back door and up some more steps, while the main building was all nautical, with good seats for curling up for a rest.

Robin Hood's Bay looked like an interesting little place, and I'd rushed through it so quickly and so hungrily the night before that I decided my first outing of the morning should be to go back and have another look at it. This time I knew where the cliff path was, although the steps up to it were so rough that I was almost glad I hadn't come down them in the dark - the kind which had once been edged with wood, and were now so worn that the projecting edges were about all that was left. Beyond that only some of it was fenced, but it was a good clear path, and I would really have been fine - and it wasn't long before the village came into view.

Robin Hood's Bay

At the start of the path it was quite clear how I'd gone the wrong way - the path I'd taken led straight on from the alley, while the Cleveland way shot up a set of steps to the side with nothing except a wooden sign attached high up on the wall, and almost the same colour as it, to mark the way - I'd looked around for a signpost or a waymark or white footpath arrow, but I'd never have seen that.

A stone sign at the bottom of the stairs announced that the path to the farm was no longer a highway, but only used by rent and sufferance - as far as I can tell, sufferance is when you have no actual right to do a thing, but the owner knows you're doing it and hasn't told you not to.

Cliff road

Even the less entangled parts of Robin Hood's Bay are a bit confusing - at some point part of the front street fell into the sea, so that the back street became the front street and the old front street now leads only to the sea wall built to protect the rest of the village - although the walkway there has some very nice mosaics of local scenes. On one side of the new main street, which still looks a bit like the back of things, a steep lane runs up with rows of houses leading off it on either side, with the museum halfway up - although I was sorry to find that it was only open in the afternoon. The other side is all twisting lanes and piled up houses, the place where a smuggled bale of silk could apparently pass from the bottom to the top of the village without ever coming under the excisemen's eyes.

Narrow alleyways

Halfway up the hill was a shop which had a selection of everything you could possibly need for a seaside holiday in the way of buckets, nets, sweets and pocket money toys - I bought a sherbet fountain and one of those little press out planes, but sadly there seemed to be no men on parachutes or wiggly jointed snakes to complete the return to my childhood.

Back at the bottom of the hill I eventually ended up on the beach - there had been no beach at all the night before, but now there was plenty, and although I'd been expecting to turn back up to the path there seemed to be no reason why I couldn't just keep walking along the shore until I came to Boggle Hole again, so I did

I found the boggle's hole, more a recess in the cliffs than an actual cave, but then I was leaving the shore for the top of the low cliffs, climbing up to the remains of an alum works before Ravenscar and a very young rabbit in the path - healthy, but apparently not yet with the sense to run away - I hope it learnt quickly!

Ravenscar at the top of the hill still seemed a long slow toil away, up by the edge of a wood to turn onto a path running parallel to the old railway line and eventually joining it. Bricks in the path were stamped with the name Ravenscar, brick making once having been another local industry.


Ravenscar was once intended to be a resort to rival Scarborough, but nothing really remains of that except the fairly grand hotel and some lines of roads with nothing built along them. The hotel looked a bit imposing, although it was probably used to walkers, and instead I followed a sign promising me a tea room in 600 yards - it was a most unlikely road, leading away from the village with no buildings along it, but just as I thought the tea room must have vanished it turned up beyond a curve as one of a little cluster of buildings - a nice little place, obviously popular with cyclists, which provided sandwiches and cake and quite a lot of the local kind of conversation about who's doing what now and where they went and where they came from which is held right across the room so that there's no question of listening or not listening.

I could easily have taken a short cut from there down to the cliff path, but that wouldn't have been Right, so I retraced my steps to cut down just past the hotel, to pass another rocket launching post, and further on an old WW2 radar station.

This was another change in the landscape - for most of the way along, the land at the top of the cliffs had been quite rough and hilly, but now ahead of me it was flat and smooth and green. But I'd also turned a corner - instead of walking round the outside of a curve of coast, as I had been since Saltburn, I was walking round the inside, so that I could look down not just to Scarborough with its castle, but past Filey Brigg to the cliffs of Flamborough Head.

Fields and headlands

At a place called Hayburn Wyke a long wooded inlet cut into the coast, and the path came down almost to the little stony beach before climbing again through the trees on the other side - somewhere up behind the woods was a hotel, but it was hiding out of sight.

Beyond that everything was much the same - flat green fields which stopped suddenly at the cliff edge, and occasional farms inland, and a row of headlands down the coast, but I was coming closer to Scarborough, and its headland with the old castle stood out much more clearly.

Scarborough in sight

At Cloughton Wyke the path briefly cuts quite sharply inland round a little inlet, with blocks of rock falling from the cliffs on the beach, and a road end parking spot on the land side. On the far side of the inlet I was walking right along the edge of a field of oil seed rape - I'd never know before that it has a scent, but it does, and although you could probably have too much of it it was quite pleasant for a while.

Round Cloughton Wyke

The next landmark, on the last real headland before Scarborough, was the coastguard station at Long Nab, now used for bird watching.

Long Nab coastguard station

The next tiny point was intriguingly marked as Sailor's Grave, but there was nothing gravelike to be seen. A place marked as 'works' had obviously taken over some old building from an earlier concern, and then I really was nearly there, with the point of Scalby Ness in front of me.

Scalby Ness

Where the Tabular Hills walk turned away inland I followed it very briefly, just as far as the road, which I followed to where the hostel sits down by the river - passing a welcoming sign which made Scarborough look very bright and cheerful.

Welcome to Scarborough

The hostel, in contrast, looked a bit bleak, with reinforced glass at reception and the kind of battered furniture you usually find in school staffrooms - it was fine, and it was cheap, and it turned out to do breakfasts even though the YHA website said they didn't, but it didn't fill me with cheer.

I could have found something to eat locally, but I wanted to take the chance I'd missed in Saltburn and go somewhere that wasn't a pub - ideally Pizza Express, which has the comforting merit of always giving you exactly what you expect. So I walked the two miles into town, past a large number of almost identical tall faded seaside hotels with assorted names, only to go round and round the centre without finding anything that appealed to me, and eventually discovering that where I needed to be was down by the seafront.

Day 8 - Scarborough to Filey
Sunday 16th April 2017

The hostel looked more cheerful in the morning, but the day didn't - I'd been very lucky with the weather, even if it hadn't quite lived up to the first couple of days, but it was definitely hit and miss now if my dry weather was going to hold out right to the end.

I retraced my steps to the sea, and headed down the nose of Scalby Ness to cross the little river to the start of the long seafront promenade.

Scalby Beck

Further along the supports of the long-demolished chairlift still run up from the shore, at the start of a long row of colourful beach huts.


Further on again there isn't anything very much to look at, until the road curves away round the headland, which at least towers interestingly overhead. The far side of the headland is more exciting, with a tower and an amusement park and the harbours and the way up to the castle.

Scarborough Harbour

The castle was a long way up, but I had decided that I was having my culture regardless - another Civil War half tower is the most striking part, although there are buildings from various dates on the headland, which was an obvious place to build.

Scarborough Castle

A lovely view from up there over the old church and the old town and on over the harbours to the South Bay where my journey continued.

South Bay

This is obviously the Victorian, or maybe Edwardian, side of the town - grand buildings above grand gardens, and a grand blue bridge carrying a path across the road.

Spa Bridge

At long last the promenade ran out, and I had to toil back up to the top of the hill - I was managing onwards not too badly at all, but upwards was nearly beyond me. I seemed to have somehow come up the wrong way, but I didn't know how, and it didn't really matter.

Beyond the next little point the coast ran on it a series of tiny headlands with beaches in between - more access to the shore along here than there had been further north.

Small headlands

At the next point the path surprised me by heading off in the wrong direction - instead of heading down to the shore as shown on the map it turned up a tiny lane to the main village road - presumably because of landslips on the sloping cliffs, but there was no sign to say.

I was soon off the road and on to a kind of ex-road - blocked to cars, and with all its painted markings fading.

An ex-road

Very soon I was heading for the shore, down a woodland path with steep wooden steps and along above the level of the beach - only to suddenly turn uphill again when I thought I was down.

Descent to the shore

At the second attempt this path managed to come down to the beach, where naturism was not allowed, according to a sign, but a little kiosk sold me a sandwich and a cup of tea, which seemed a far more important thing to be allowed to do

Beyond that were low cliffs and caravan parks, one after another, sometimes set back and bit and sometimes with the paths running past their front doors - and rain, never very heavy but very persistent, so that the rest of the walk vanished into a wet haze.

Rocks and caravan parks

A bit further on the cliffs were straighter and interestingly stripy.

Hazy cliffs

Further on again they were green slopes, and there was finally a view inland, to Filey in its valley.

Then before I expected it - before Filey Brigg came in view - I was at the last or possibly first signpost, pointing back to Helmsley 109 miles away.

Last (or first) signpost

There was a Cleveland Way sculpture at this end too, but it didn't really feel very celebratory - I was so wet, and it was so much the middle of nowhere, not the town or even the headland.

Cleveland Way end

I walked out about as far as was allowed on Filey Brigg, which is eroding away fast - a narrow little strip once wide enough to hold a Roman signal station.

Filey Brigg

There was still a bit of coast to follow, along the edge of a country park and down steps to the edge of the town and another seafront promenade.

I was determined to find a celebratory pint somewhere, but it wasn't as easy as I'd hoped - I didn't want to be too far from the station, and then one place didn't appeal, and another was full, and another was really a restaurant - eventually I found a spot in a little place that said it was a pop up pub with no music and no sport on tv and no something else, just good beer - which it had.

Celebratory pint

I had hoped that half an hour at Seamer would let me go and buy food for the journey, but there didn't seem to be much around except the station - a cold bleak place to wait, and I would have been better going down to Scarborough with the train and changing there, only I didn't know that at the time. I had better luck at York, where I only had 10 minutes between trains but found I was waiting right beside a Costa Coffee stall - but even with food and a hot drink inside me it took most of the way to the border before I began to feel warm again.

I can't really complain about the weather - it only rained for two hours out of the nine days I was walking - but the fact that they were the last two hours did mean it fizzled out a bit at the end! But it was a wonderful walk, and it wasn't long before I was back on the moors - although the weather didn't play nearly as nicely on that occasion.
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