There's something about the seaside that always calms me down and leaves me feeling refreshed and we were lucky enough to have 2 weeks by the sea this summer. Our first week we spent in North Yorkshire in beautiful Runswick Bay before heading down to Cornwall for the second week.
Runswick Bay is a small village clinging to the cliffs looking on to an amazing stretch of beach. There's a warren of little pathways with picture perfect fishermen's cottages. All this and a beach cafe and cosy pub which makes it pretty much perfect for me, except perhaps for the weather. But then if it were completely perfect it would be over run and that would be no fun.
Just look at this stretch of bay ... you can't see any of it til you come over the top of the hill and then it literally takes your breath away (and if you attempt to walk back up the hill you are breathless once again).
We stayed in a lovely little fisherman's cottage and spent the week exploring the surrounding towns and villages (and dodging the rain). Just round the coast is the village of Staithes, once home to Captain Cook and popular with artists, it's another old fishing village built around a small harbour.
Always keen to try a local speciality we found this "Coble Cake" at the cafe on the harbourside. Named after the traditional fishing boats used locally it was a spiced sponge laced with apple puree and nuts and served with cream. They told me it's made only by them and the recipe appears to be a bit of a secret ... think I'll experiment and try and make my own version!
The village also has a lovely little craft cooperative in what I think was a church hall, lots of little stalls with work from local makers ... was very inspired by the driftwood boats and painted pebbles.
The seaside town of Whitby was only 15 minutes away, a lovely traditional town with a friendly feel. The ruins of Whitby Abbey overlook the town and there's the link with Bram Stoker's Dracula. It was also the centre of the jet industry so popular in Victorian times ... indeed jet can still be found on the small stretch of coast around the town, but only if you know what you are looking for and are very patient!
As the weather wasn't the best during our visit we spent quite a bit of time trying out the local cafes. One of my favourites was the lovely Marie Antoinettes Cake Shop which not only had the most delicious selection of cakes but was decorated so that when you went upstairs it felt as if you were sitting in someone's parlour
Whitby is full of old world charm, there's fish and chips, lots of fudge/sweet and rock shops and many small independent shops, many of which look like they haven't changed that much over the years
Robin Hoods Bay is another little seaside village not far from Whitby, again a warren of higgledy piggledy little streets and postcard worthy fishermen's cottages, painted in a range of jaunty colours. Couldn't resist showing you what is possibly the cutest sweet shop around, Dollies in Robin Hood's Bay.
The North Yorkshire Coast is not the best known tourist area but it does have a lot to offer, especially if you're after that old fashioned seaside experience.
Finally I thought I'd share these photos of some of the gardens that caught my eye, there's just something about the whimsical style of many seaside gardens that I love
Love the yellow door and the sedum planted on the roof!
So week one over we packed our bags and headed to Cornwall and the beautiful Sennen Bay, just 5 minutes from Land's End. Will share some of my Cornish photos in my next post.