Day 289: Port Mulgrave to Ravenscar
Distance: 22.40 miles
Ascent: 9663 feet
Weather: Sunny Spells
Accommodation: Wild camp Near Ravenscar
I had slept really well and was up early, so I packed up and was on my way not long after 7. My hip had seized up a bit but not too bad. The sun had not yet risen and the sky slowly turned a magnificent pink as I passed Port Mulgrave, before I reached Runswick Bay and had the steep descent down to the beach. Runswick Bay was a nice little village clinging to the steep hillside.
From here the path followed the beach, until at a little stream it took an intriguing route up the side of the stream on slippery steps etched into the rock before climbing steeply back up onto the cliffs. The weather yet again was lovely today and the next 3-4 miles on the clifftops towards Sandsend were lovely.
There was another steep descent onto what I assume was an old railway line just short of Sandsend. I was surprised how busy Sandsend was for a small place, with numerous cafes but this was just the precursor of what was to come. I followed the path from Sandsend to Whitby and as I needed to get supplies I diverted of the path and to Lidl, where I got far to much food (no joke several kilos!) With my backpack now noticeably heavier I set of through Whitby. It was a Wednesday late morning but you would have thought it was a weekend in the middle of the summer holidays by the incredible amount of people in the town. But it was a nice town, with some lovely architecture, even if on the south side of the river in particular you were essentially in one long queue.
Stairs were starting to become a bit to regular a thing in recent days, and heading out of Whitby there was another steep set up to the remains of Whitby Abbey. It was quite funny watching people head up these stairs because it is incredible how unfit so many people are nowadays having to stop several times on the ascent to the top.
Whtiby Abbey is said to have given Bram Stoker the inspiration for his novel Dracula, and even though the town was a tourist destination before this book was published apparently numbers significantly increased after.
I was back on the cliffs for the next 6 miles or so to Robin Hood’s Bay, this was another incredibly scenic stretch but the amounts of ups and down and stairs was beginning to make today more tiring than I expected. But finally, I reached Robin Hood’s Bay and what a quirky little village this is, with its very steep road down to the beach lined with a plethora of interesting shops and cafes.
The path from here follows the cliffs, but I decided to walk along the beach till the Youth Hostel at Boggle Hole where I would join the path following the cliff. This was the worst decision ever as it turns out I could have followed the beach for longer before joining the path. The reason it was a bad decision is the number of steps and how steep they were making this one of the toughest short sections in quite a while. There were lots of people walking this 2.5/3 mile stretch from Robin Hood’s Bay to Ravenscar and almost all of them had underestimated how tough it was, in fact quite a few ended up turning around and never made it to Ravenscar.
I finally made it to Ravenscar after one final steep climb up and walked through the village and was hoping to get a tea and fill my water up at the tearoom at the end of the village which said it was open till 5 on the path signs but it was closed when I arrived and this left me with a bit of an issue as I was almost out of water and would be pitching soon. I walked around till I found a house with a car outside and then knocked on the door, and the woman who answered kindly filled my water up for me.
I continued out of Ravenscar and would walk a mile and then pitch at the first available spot. The sun was still out and I was worried it may be hard to find somewhere to pitch and then all of a sudden there was a bench with a mowed area around it that would be perfect for pitching and due to the time of day I would not expect anyone else to pass here. I got the tent up and then cooked my dinner which I ate on the bench as the sun slowly went down. The temperature started to plummet very quickly after this so I got in the tent and warmed up. My hip had been good during walking today and hopefully will tighten up less tonight.
A really scenic day in the sun, but a tough one as well.