Last week, Mum and I enjoyed four nights away from home - just the two of us. Mum wanted to see the sea after years of not being able to get away because of Dad's very restrictive illness. She wanted to return to Whitby, North Yorkshire, where she'd enjoyed a holiday with Dad when he was still well. I couldn't find anything suitable in Whitby but instead we booked a hotel in Saltburn by the Sea, about twenty miles north. Here are some of my favourite shots of a very restorative break.
Saltburn is a handsome Victorian town. Overlooking the cliffs is a wonderful terrace of Victorian houses. Most are probably flats now. In the evening we would wander past these vast windows as people lingered over meals waiting for a fantastic view of the sun setting.
It was a quiet resort with plenty of holiday makers but it was never bustling. We spent our mornings and evenings here and it made the perfect base to explore the busier resorts of the North Yorkshire coast. Every morning I enjoyed a run along the long stretch of beach and in the evening we ate out and took a leisurely walk sometimes along the pier.
Opposite the pier was my favourite Saltburn attraction, the funicular cliff tramway. It's one of the world's oldest water balanced lifts and still operational. Beautifully restored in 1998 and climbing the 71% gradient in less than one minute it was an experience well worth paying for.
The stained glass windows were stunning.
Our first day out was to Whitby, We got there early (we're both larks) and used the park and ride facility. We climbed the 199 steps to Whitby Abbey. The ruined Benedictine abbey overlooking the North Sea was impressive in stature but powerfully intimate in its spirituality. When we left the abbey and descended the steps back into Whitby it was much busier and it was a relief to get down them.
Back to everyday seaside scenes.
On our way back to Saltburn we stopped off at Staithes, a pretty seaside village. The colours of the harbour buildings were dreamy and reminded us of Cornwall.
Our last full day at the seaside was a perfect summer's day. We spent most of it at Robin Hood's Bay, another pretty seaside village further down the coast. A steep incline to the beach and stunning views along the way.
That evening we sipped white wine spritzers on the terrace and had liqueur coffees after our meal. There was no stopping us. It didn't stop me getting up early the next day though, for a walk and run along the Cleveland Way, to catch the sunrise. I was not disappointed. It was magical and peaceful as I chased the sun, sea mist and solitude.
That morning we headed off inland to visit RHS Harlow Carr, just outside Harrogate, for some horticultural inspiration. My first visit to a RHS garden and I was impressed.
Can I fill my tiny garden with this much love and colour? I hope so, one day.
Our final stop was the city of York which I haven't visited for many years. We stayed just inside the city walls at a small hotel which was once a former rectory. Another great find and very central for exploring the city. York is dominated by its magnificent Minster which helps if you get lost (we declined to pay to visit inside).
I also managed to snatch a couple of photos of Mum during our little holiday. She is amazing and I know my dad would be so pleased that she had such a lovely time.