We are staying in our holiday let, on a farm, in the village of Coxhoe near Durham for the next week. The cottage we’re in is lovely, comfortable, warm and beautifully furnished but we have no wifi internet connection so it may be a few days before I’m able to post this.
Yesterday morning we parked the car by the Captain Cook statue above the entrance to Whitby harbour and walked down the steps into this attractive port town. After watching a small ship pass out through the swing bridge (this bridge divides in the middle and both halves swing open horizontally to let ships through) we window shopped our way through the old part of the town with its narrow winding streets. Timber framed buildings, some crooked and overhanging the roadway give the place real character.
Ten years ago we spent a night in Whitby and climbed the 199 steps up to the church and ruined abbey, so we repeated the climb and I think that this time we managed it with less effort. My knees are giving me no trouble and our fitness has improved a lot over the last two weeks.
On our way back down to the harbour and back up to the car Paulette bought a silver cross set with Amber that she’d spotted the previous night in an antique shop window.
We set the GPS for Saltburn by the Sea and were delighted, when we got there, to find a beach with excellent surf a longish pier and an hydraulicly operated cliff railway. We had a ride up the cliff (adults one pound, seniors 50p) walked along the top for a couple of hundred yards, took some steps back down then wandered along the pier where we watched surfers for a while before getting ourselves an ice cream on our way back to the car. Lovely!!
This morning we had a good sleep in before making our own breakfast for the first time since we left home. I wouldn’t say that I am sick of cooked English breakfasts yet but it could happen. Later we headed into Durham, found a market in the Marketplace (funnily enough), and visited the cathedral. We’ve seen a fair number of awesome cathedrals now but this one did not disappoint, it’s largely of Norman (round arches rather than pointed) construction and houses the tombs of St Cuthbert and The Venerable Bede. After an hour or so we lunched in the restaurant in the under croft with its vaulted ceilings.
Next we walked down to the river and headed around much of the loop on which the cathedral, castle and old town are built. It was a bit strange, here we were in the centre of a city, in a forested area by a river with bluebells and wild garlic flowering in profusion unable to see any buildings and mostly unable to hear any traffic noise. As we walked we chatted with a friendly and helpful chap who suggested a few places we might visit.
Later this afternoon we walked from our cottage around the village of Coxhoe visiting the churchyard and passing the hall where some function was underway. The walk took nearly an hour so we’ve not eased up on the exercise.