Whitby & Heartbeat Country

Trip Start Jan 31, 2011
Trip End Jul 10, 2011

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Where I stayed
Elford Guest House Whitby
Read my review - 3/5 stars

Flag of United Kingdom  , England,
Saturday, June 18, 2011

Saturday 18.06.2011 - we left Morpeth under the threat of heavy rain, so the weather forcaste said. We decided to detour west slightly towards Hexham to visit the best preserved part of what is left of Hadrians Wall, the barrier the Romans built in the second century AD and abandoned in the 5th century, to keep the Scots at bay. Wise men those Romans as the Jocks are a fiery bunch!

We had been shown a very small section of Hadrians Wall in 1997 when on a bus tour and felt cheated because it looked no different to other stone walls throughout the UK. In 2007 on our first motorcycle extravaganza holiday we decided to see for ourselves what Hadrians Wall was all about only to be foiled by the weather. So in 2011 rain or no rain, we were off to see the Wall!

We walked around the ruins of the Roman Fort that was a corner stone of this section of the wall and after about an hour we thought it time to suit up in our wet weather gear and head off to Whitby because the rain drops had turned to pellets. We didn't get far before the heavens opened and we were in driving rain that followed us most of the way into Whitby. The poor P-D, it was only washed and cleaned two days ago! 

In 1997 we stayed a night in Whitby and fell in love with the place. It is a quaint fishing village with great seafood and nice, cold beer, both of which we sampled on our previous visit.

The other reason for our second visit to Whitby was to check out the Yorkshire Moors which is the setting of the Heartbeat TV series that aired from 1992 to September 2010. We are great fans on the series based on the 'Constable' series of books written by Nicholas Rhea about a fictional London bobby in the 1960s sent to live and work in Aidensfield itself a fictional town in Yorkshire. 'Aidensfield' is in fact a real town called Goathland. You can see why they call it Aidensfield. Other buildings used in the TV series are the local Goathland Hotel aka The Aidensfield Arms and Scripps Garage aka Mostyns Garage.

On day 2 at Whitby we mounted up and headed the 8 miles out to 'Aidensfield' aka Goathland and wandered around for a few hours. We even had a drink in the Aidensfield Arms pub and checked out the railway station that was also used as a set in one of the Harry Potter films.

As the heavens looked like opening up again, we headed back to Whitby, parked the P-D nice and secure and then walked up to Whitby Abbey. The Abbey was originally Roman Catholic as were most Abbeys in England at the time of Henry VIII and were given the option of converting to Church of England. The bishop refused so Henry stripped the Abbey of its valuables including the lead off the roof. After time, with no lead protection, the wooden beams of the roof rotted and collapsed exposing the inside of the Abbey to the elements. Soon it was a ruin which encouraged the local villainery to pilfer the stone to use elsewhere. Today only a shell remains. A pity.

Whitby of course is famous as the place where Captain COOK's ship HMS Endeavour was built and later explored the east coast of Australia in 1770. COOK himself started his seagoing training at Whitby as an 18 year old apprentice, so the town has a definite Australian connection. 

The tidal changes at Whitby make interesting watching from walking on pebbly bottoms at low tide that are 5 metres under water at high. We of the southern hemisphere experience nothing like it.
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Sandra on

Loving that raincoat!

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