Tuesday, 7 October 2008 A dark and wet morning. I drive north out of Whitby to examine some of the little coastal villages.
Runswick Bay clings to the cliffs, more horizontal than Robin Hood's Bay, making for a veritable maze of alleyways. I spend an hour,
which is enough time to figure out that it isn't quite as complicated as it seems at first look. Unlike Robin Hood's Bay, Runswick Bay
is mostly holiday cottages. The only commercial concessions are a snackbar/shop near the water, and the Royal Hotel, up a bit higher.
Both are closed. Just as well, I'd have been tempted to have a noontime half of Black Sheep at the Royal.
Staithes slithers down Roxby Beck into its harbor, seeming at first a narrower version of Runswick Bay, but it is really quite a different place. At one time a busy fishing port, it still has an active harbor. There is a commercial main street winding down the hill, with a variety of shops--both touristy arts and crafts shops, and practical butcher's and newsagent's. There are also two operational pubs (a third closed in 2004). Naturally, after poking around a bit, I have a half of Black Sheep at the Cod & Lobster, down by the harbor. Nice place.
I like Staithes a lot. It's full of self-catering cottages and short on B&B's, but if I can find one, I'd love to spend a night or two some time.
I'm back in Whitby by mid-afternoon, and spend a couple of hours in the internet cafe, uploading and catching up on news. I return to the Shambles for dinner. The menu's a bit short, and my steak is a little tough, but I pass a pleasantly quiet couple of hours reading on a comfortable leather couch.