Two Go Round a Bit of Britain

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DBK

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Apologies for the silence over the past few days. I'm not sure where the time went! :)

After exploring on foot around the North York Moors CMC site (see above) the weather forecast for the following day was much more cheerful so we decided to visit Whitby Abbey.

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It costs about £9 each for wrinklies which might seem a bit steep for a few old stones but we enjoyed the visit. There's also a small museum. In its day it was a major abbey but Henry VIII's divorce and the dissolution of the church led to the current ruined state.

We didn't go into Whitby itself but the twin breakwaters of the harbour are impressive.

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The following day we visited Robin Hood's Bay. All narrow streets and steep roads!

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The coast here was interesting. A lot of flat rock covers the beach. There were several school parties exploring both the beach and the village.

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A long drive took us from Yorkshire to Cromer in Norfolk. We had arranged to meet a cousin and his wife near Cley. I hadn't seen them for 18 years but we talked as if it was only yesterday we had last met. :) After an excellent pub lunch (my first since Covid struck) we walked on the paths through the Cley Marsh Reserve. This is a famous bird watching hot-spot and on this day twitchers were everywhere.

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There were 6 Red-throated divers to be seen but the crowds were here for a Bonaparte's gull which had been spotted. It is a rare vagrant from North America. We didn't see any of these but there were some Guillimots swimming very close to the shore and very close to us. Talking to my brother later he told me this behaviour has been reported before with birds even swimming between people swimming. It is unheard of and appears to be because the birds are very hungry due to a shortage of food. Climate change, over-fishing? Take your pick. :(

To my surprise Norfolk isn't all flat and around Cromer there are several bumps, one of which, Incleborough Hill, is next to the site. I played with my radio from the top of it and made my first trans-Atlantic contact - with Eric VA2EO who was on a summit in Québec, Canada. :)

A 45 minute walk from the site, on paths, pavements and the beach took us to Cromer where you have to visit the pier. :)

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The Cromer lifeboat Station is at the end of the pier and the crew were practising by repeatedly coming alongside the station.

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The CMC campsite we were on only has a few hard standing pitches and all were taken when we arrived so we ended up on grass. There had been a lot of rain recently and we had a bit of difficulty getting off the pitch. I'd heard Continental Vanco tyres are not very good for grip on wet ground and I can confirm this! I've got a pair of Tracmat sand ladders but the cheapo Fiamma plastic strips we also carry did the job of getting us moving.

Today we drove another long leg and are currently near Folkestone. We'll explore this corner of England over the next couple of days. :)
 
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Our plan today was to drive to Canterbury and visit the Cathedral. The first part went well with Google maps taking us to the New Dover Road Park and Ride which has a MH area. A free bus then took us into the centre of the city from where it wasn't far to the Cathedral.

But there was a funeral being held and half the Cathedral was closed off. So we wandered over to the ruins of the Augustin Priory which lie just outside the city walls. It's an English Heritage site like Whitby Abbey and had the same prices too, but this place is no Whitby from what we could see through the fence. There are only a few walls still standing and they looked very plain.

So it was back to the Park and Ride for us. To leave the park you have to pay at a machine next to where the bus stops. It was very unclear that payment was necessary with no signs anywhere saying "pay at the machine" in the way other car parks ask if you have "paid and displayed". It's a clever system though, all based on your registration number which is read when you arrive and when you leave - assuming you have paid of course. :)

On reflection what we should have done is do the city walls walk which I'd seen signs for but didn't think it would be very interesting. However, there is at least one section where you can walk along the top of the wall, we saw this later when we drove to Whitstable. My fault, I should have done more research before the visit.

I wasn't sure about parking in Whitstable and when we arrived every parking place by the side of the road was filled with cars and height barriers on the entrance to what seemed to be the main car park in the town. I'd put the Beach Walk car park into the phone and amazingly there was only one other vehicle in it when we arrived. Paying with the RingGo app was painless, if paying £4 can be described as pain-free. :)

We didn't walk very far, just along a bit of beach and around the harbour.

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We found somewhere to eat, chosen more for its location above the sea and outside tables as we had Charlie with us.

Ordering was a chore as I had to download an app and then my card kept being declined. Then a text from Barclays arrived asking me to verify the transaction. I guess I can't argue with it as I've been using the card in many different places and this might have been flagged up as suspicous.

In Whitstable I guess oysters are what you should order but not being posh I had a half lobster and chips!

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Mrs DBK had a lobster meat brioche sandwich.

It was OK, nothing better and when I checked on TripAdvisor the Lobster Shack is rated as number 18 of the 18 fish restaurants in Whitby! Another reminder to do more research.*

Tomorrow we will visit Dungeness. :). And no, I haven't done any research for this either. :)

* £52 with a beer and a glass of wine. :)
 
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Nov 12, 2015
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Cromer and North Norfolk are one of Mrs T and my favourite places. Loved Whitstable too, where did you stay and not much around there but noticed a couple of car parks with MH bays further along.

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Cromer and North Norfolk are one of Mrs T and my favourite places. Loved Whitstable too, where did you stay and not much around there but noticed a couple of car parks with MH bays further along.
We're doing a posh tour :) so are using CMC sites almost exclusively, all pre-booked. It could be done in other ways of course, wilding and CL/CSs but sites suit us and so far haven't found a bad one and only one warden was a bit grumpy but his wife was a delight so they balanced each other out. :)
 
Apr 12, 2012
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We will be back in Norfolk this weekend. Our usual site at Deepdale are closed for the weekend, staff break. We are trying the Links site at Mundelsey south of Cromer. It’s a long while since we have been in that area so it will be a recy for future visits.
 
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It wasn't far to drive to Dungeness but the last part of the road was quite slow with more than the usual number of roadworks.

We headed first for Prospect Cottage which was owned by the film director Derek Jarman and has been featured on the TV a few times because of its garden. This is probably not the best time of the year to see it. :)

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Some more info here.


There's nothing to stop you walking around the garden but it is private property and it isn't encouraged.

We drove to the end of the road and parked up. There are two lighthouses, one working, one decommissioned and for symmetry two nuclear power stations, one also working and one being decommissioned.

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A boardwalk takes you from opposite the Brittania pub to the edge of the shingle above the beach. Walking on the shingle isn't too difficult but this walkway helps a lot. :) The wires everywhere are an eye-sore. I can't think it would be too difficult to sink them into the shingle.

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There were several anglers strung along the edge of the water. While we were watching someone actually caught something. Dungeness was famous for cod in the 60s but they are rare now. Given the time of year my guess is it was a whiting. It was a long slog down the shingle to speak to them so I gave that a miss. :)

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As at Cromer and Hastings the fishing boats here are launched from the beach.

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And in the distance, white cliffs. You can almost hear Vera Lynn. :)

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Sussex next to stay with relatives and then back home. It's been an enjoyable trip. :)
 
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Did you go to the Pilot Inn for fish and chips?
Sadly no, I only read about the recommendation after we got back. :)

Edit: Mrs DBK has just reminded me she made crab sandwiches and chips for lunch. It was very nice. :)

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You left out the base of the original lighthouse, shown in your first picture, which is now a house/houses.
I saw it but thought it had been built like that as a house. :) Thinking about it there was a classic lighthouse keeper's cottage next to it which should have been a clue.

I should have done more research as on the way we passed a Martello tower at Dymchurch, one of the best preserved apparently.

 

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Sadly no, I only read about the recommendation after we got back. :)

Edit: Mrs DBK has just reminded me she made crab sandwiches and chips for lunch. It was very nice. :)
That's a shame, best fish and chips for miles around.

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As usual, enjoyed your trip John. We were up in the Whitby/Robin Hood's Bay area in July when Shaughan's daughter arrived on her Coast to Coast walk from Cumbria. It's great countryside (well it's God's own after all!)
 
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As usual, enjoyed your trip John. We were up in the Whitby/Robin Hood's Bay area in July when Shaughan's daughter arrived on her Coast to Coast walk from Cumbria. It's great countryside (well it's God's own after all!)
I think the coast to coast walk would be an interesting trip to make. Not too far (!) and over some interesting country. But it would still take two weeks and some of the terrain is quite demanding. Congratulations to anyone who has done it. :)
 
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I should have done more research as on the way we passed a Martello tower at Dymchurch, one of the best preserved apparently.
There are 3 actually. no;24 is the one behind the amusements in high street & open to the public , Number 23 is converted into a house on the way in from Hythe side sits just below the sea wall & was built to protect the drainage sluice from Romney marsh known as the willop sluice.

https://historicengland.org.uk/listing/the-list/list-entry/1061132


& number 25 is the derelict one in the car park on St.Mary's bay side that was put up for sale earlier in the year. They'd just need another million to convert it.

https://www.kentonline.co.uk/romney-marsh/news/historic-tower-goes-on-sale-245090/

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