Whenever we go on our annual pilgrimage to Whitby we try and get a few day trips in, to several places in the surrounding area. One that is definitely on our "must do" list is always Goathland ~ a place that would probably never have made it on the serious tourist attractions map had it not been for television.
~~~WHERE IS GOATHLAND?
The village can be found in the North Yorkshire Moors in an area known as the Esk Valley. It is north of the town of Pickering and if you are heading from Whitby (as we always are) it is signposted on the A169. Goathland can be reached by car, bus and even has its own train station; although the link isn't very frequent. One of the benefits of the station is that it is part of the North Yorkshire Moors Railway service and even has steam trains. The railway links nearby Grosmont with Pickering and follows a line that dates back to the 19th Century.
We normally go by car but have on one occasion traveled there by bus ~ they aren't too frequent and I recommend that you get a bus timetable from Whitby bus station (near the co-op) or visit the web-site for details (http://www.yorkshirecoastliner.co.uk/). The services seem to change seasonally too. The car is the easiest option, but you do find that the carpark can get very busy at times and there are usually cars parked on the grass verges to avoid paying the parking fee (as we usually park elsewhere I am unaware of the current charges I'm afraid).
We usually park down at Beck Hole (where there is a wonderful pub to visit) and walk up the the village and then back down for a drink and a sandwich. The walk is about one and a half miles and goes through some lovely scenery.
~~~THE TV CONNECTION.
Goathland is the the proper name of the fictional village of Aidensfield in the long running show Heartbeat! It gets absolutely packed with coach tours roaming round looking for glimpses of the cast and places they recognise from the programme. If you watch Heartbeat you will have fun spotting the familiar buildings ~ like the garage, the pub and the shops. There are also numerous related souvenirs in the little villages shops if you want to take a memento home.
You will also find Goathland Station brimming full to burst with Harry Potter fans ~ it was used as Hogsmeade Station in the film! It really is quite atmospheric when the steam trains come through and it really does look like the Hogwarts Express is arriving!
~~~THINGS TO SEE.
As well as the village and its starring role in popular televsion there are lots of other things you may want to see in and around Goathland.
This is the little place I mentioned earlier. It is a very small village with a few houses and one of the smallest pubs you are ever going to see. The Birch Hall Inn makes the walk to and from Goathland worthwhile ~ it is made up of two really small rooms, a small shop and a beer garden set on a slope. We always try to time our visit there with the onset of hunger. They serve two Real Ales (often one from a local brewery and Black Sheep) and do lovely snacks. The Beck Hole Butties are to die for and the Pork or Turkey & Ham pies are wonderful. Everything is served on plates that don't mathc and all come with a tasty bowl of pickle! Yum!
The pub in Beck Hole is far superior to the pub in Goathland itself ~ The Goathland Arms (the Aidensfield Arms in Heartbeat) is ok, but gets far too busy and is a little on the pricey side.
This is a huge waterfall that is rather impressive indeed. There is a footpath signposted from Beck Hole and from Goathland itself ~ the route is kind of given away by the Mallyan Spout Hotel at the top of the path! The walk isn't too bad, but can get very muddy if it has rained because the overhanging trees tend to stop the sun getting to it to dry the path out.
***WHEELDALE MOOR ROMAN ROAD***
This runs close to the railway line and is particularly interesting to history buffs like me. It dates back to around one AD and is a fabulous example of a Roman Road, having drainage ditches and original hardcore. It runs for around a mile and is very well preserved (almost as good as me) for something of such an age!
My biggest word of advice when visiting Goathland is to watch where you are putting your feet! Some extremely friendly (and curious) black faced sheep roam freely around the village ~ they probably only keep out of the shops because they are fed up with Heartbeat souvenirs! The grass verges are covered in sheep dropping and I must warn drivers to keep a watchful eye out for the sheep who seem to dive at the cars!
There is a little row of shops near the village green selling a variety of souvenirs, clothing, food and lovely icecreams. Most of them sell a similar range of produce and prices seem pretty standard ~ fridge magnets in all the shops cost the same and rather defeated the object of me "shopping around"! We tend to have a little look around the shops now because of the lack of variety and only really buy small items we couldn't get in Whitby.
There are also souvenirs for sale in the garage and my tip is NOT to but your stuff there and stick to the village stores ~ they seemed to have put at least 50p on the price of things just because the garage is used in Heartbeat!
Goathland is a lovely place and is well worth a visit. Just bear in mind that it can get horrendously busy in summer and that you may have trouble taking photographs because of the sheer volume of people looking around at times. I recommend (for food and drinks) either walking to the Birch Hall Inn for a pie or sandwich, or taking a picnic and sitting on the benches or grass verges in the village (if you can find a people and sheep dropping free bit). Either that or just have a very nice ice-cream from the shop and eat later!
Although Heartbeat fans may appreciate the buildings the most it is still a place for really nice day out. The scenery and surroundings are top class and there are so many visually appealing things to look at. Children will enjoy chasing around looking at the sheep and the walking will tire them out nicely! I thoroughly recommend a trip to Goathland when you are next in the North Yorkshire area. It may be crowded but it is great!
Scarborough has long since been known as the Uk's premier coastal resort. It is on the east coast between Whitby and Bridlington, both accessible from Scarborough within about half an hour.
Scarborough's coast consists of 2 main bays, North and South bays. The north side is the less commercialised at the moment, (there are plans to develop this area in the god only knows what future) and is where you will find a beautiful clean beach and the Sea Life Centre. Looking over both bays is Scarborough Castle, where there often re-enactments taking place.
There is also Peasholm Park where there are regular entertainments through out the summer months including minature war ship battles. From Peasholm Park you can take the minature narrow gauage railway to the Sea Life Centre and back again or just one way and walk back via the beach front.
At the north side there is also Kinderland which is a great place to go for the day with children aged upto about 7 years. Here you will find the water splash ride that has been in Peasholm Park since I was little 30 years ago and possibly longer, but is now part of Kinderland. The only grievance I would have with Kinderland, is that it dosen't open for very long during the summer months only. There is a fantastic inside soft play area and could be used all year round and hired out for parties, but there we go!
There is also Atlantis outdoor swimming pool at the north side, with 2 long slides down into a heated outdoor pool. It is a great place to go for the day, but would be much improved if it could be covered allowing use all year round. The corner cafe is also at the north side and is used regulary for a variation of functions.
The south side bay is the more commercialised side, with the harbour, boat rides and fishing industry along with all the usual 'kiss me quick hats' etc, and amusements and fairground rides. Ten pin bowling can found in one of the larger amusement arcades.
Donkey rides are usually available on both the south and north side beaches.
Further along the south coast is the Spa complex which is used for shows, summer orchestra's, conferences and many more entainments.
There is the usual selection of beach front pubs and restaurants and a very good pizzeria 'Ask' on the seafront. The south side is within 5 minutes walking of the Scarborough main town centre.
In the town centre, there is an increasing number of good shops, Debenhams to name one in the Brunswick shopping centre, M&S, Matalan the newest arrival, WHS, Boots, Woolworths, Argos to name just the biggest and there is a wide range of local shops as well.
Restaurants in the town centre are the usual Pizza Hut, Macdonals, Burger King along with several more other local restaurants which serve delicious food from Italian, Indian etc.
Nightlife is very active with a wide of pubs and several night clubs including Boleyns, Laughtons, and the George hotel which are my choice for the better ones. There are several others, but being a mother of 2, - - - I don't get out much !!! so aren't too upto date with the local nightlife.
One thing I think Scarborough lacks is more to do for the younger generation if it is a wet day. When it is wet, whatever there is to is usually packed because everybody tries to do the same thing.
Further along the coast, there is Filey, Cayton Bay and Hunmanby all having exceptional beaches. My personal favourite is at Hunmanby Gap beach where you can park on the cliff top and walk down the road to the beach where you can walk to Filey on the beach or Bempton if going south. The beach is exceptionally clean and the sea bed is very flat so it very safe for families as you can walk out for oh I don't know, maybe a half a mile and still be only up to you knees in water. You often find large areas of water trapped by sand which are ideal for children to play in without having to play in the sea and waves.
Whitby further up the coast follows the coast road up over the moors to Whitby, where they played host to the Endeavour on several occasions and host many other type attractions. One noted on my calendar this year is the Tall Ships race for some time in July. I don't know the exact date, but if you want it, drop me a line in my guest book and I'll get back to you with it.
Talking of waves, a popular 'attraction' in Scarborough is watching the waves crash over the sea rails, but we all know what tradgedys the sea can bring. Only recently 3 people lost their lives by a huge wave. Tradgey though it was, I feel people sometimes underestimate the power of the sea. The sea maybe is nice to watch but it is only safe from a distance. Only the day after this latest tradgedy, young children were seen wave dodging again. You can only think of how irresponsible they are and that somebody may have to again put their lives at risk to rescue them.
Anyway back to a happier theme, from Scarborough, there are countless other areas that deserve a mention. There are too many to mention them all, quaint villages to market towns. The dales are within a car drive of 2 hours away from Kirbymoorside onwards. Hutton le hole is a spectacular village with a real 'moors' feel to it and further up the same road is our favourite pub at the blakey ridge 'The Lion Inn'. Even in the middle of winter you can find campers in the field.
York is 40 miles by car or train.
Market towns Pickering and Malton are both with 30 mins by car. From Pickering you can take a steam train over the moors to 'Heartbeat' country at Grosmont, passing beautiful scenery.
The white horse at Kilburn near Sutton Bank is another beauty spot, a large area has been laid out like a horse with white stone and especially from a distance, looks spectacular.
As I say there are too many places to mention them all, but there is never a shortage of places to visit.
All these places are reachable from the many guest houses and hotels in Scarborough.
Now for my moan.! Scarborough is needing investment and some areas are looking a little run down. The general feeling by us locals is that if the council can't make money from it they don't want to know. But it is getting better.
Scarborough has rail links with the rest of the country, bus services and our ever busy A64. Get a nice sunny day particulary on a weekend and the traffic is choc-a-bloc trying to get into Scarborough and reverse at the end of the day. There is a good range of parks to use when you get to Scarborough, ranging from on street parking (charges apply in town centre), multi storeys, park and ride sites and short/long stay carparks.
At present there are 2 tourist information sites, one at the harbour side on the sea front and one at the top of town near the railway station. The one at the top of town near railway has been earmarked for closure which seems to us as totally riduculous but the council believes it will save them xyz in money! Who knows.
All in all though, I love been a Scarborian and wouldn't want to live anywhere else. The sea air on a sunny day with the dog and children on the beach or cliff top or in Dalby forest is the place on earth to be.
From the very first moment that you set a foot in to the old village of Staithes you’ll fall in love. Staithes is an old fishing village about 9 miles to the north of Whitby. Just drive along the A174 coastal road and it can’t be missed. On turning from the main road in to the village you will wonder what I am raving on about. There is nothing unusual at the top part of the village at all but park your car at the Bank Top car park (no public parking allowed in the village) and start to wander down the hill to the old village and see if you don’t agree that it is an amazing place. A feeling of stepping back in time overwhelms you as you descend further and further down the hill towards the tiny cobbled streets and array of fishermen’s cottages. It is difficult to remember which country you are in, as the world seems to be left behind at the top of the hill. Stress just melts away from you the second that you arrive. Staithes sits in between two rather majestic looking cliffs called Cowbar Nab (to the north) and Penny Nab (to the south). Cowbar Nab side boasts a rather pretty stream, running to the sea, which the locals call the Beck. Floating on the Beck can be seen cobbles of all colours. Cobbles are little fishing boats from the area and are still used regularly by local fishermen. Fossils are abundant around the cliffs and can easily be spotted by anyone. Just take care if walking below the cliffs, as they tend to have small rock falls from time to time. A hard hat is useful if you intend to go fossil hunting. There is a small beach, which is clean, and it boasts a small pool on it for children to be able to play safely. Three pubs service the village along with a couple of little cafes. The Cod and Lobster pub is the most prominent of the pubs as it juts out along the harbour side. Being so close to the sea it has had to be rebuilt 3 times! O
nce a month, on the second Sunday of the month, instruments of all types can be heard playing harmonious folk music there. People come from all over to play together, and, although it is basically a jamming session, it is an excellent demonstration of talent and well worth a listen. A post office and a gift shop sit opposite one another on the High Street but before these are reached, when arriving at the bottom of the hill, an unusual gift shop called Head Over Feet is well worth a glance. Unusual musical instruments from all over the world, crystals, stones, feng shui items and much more can all be bought cheaply there. Ask Andy nicely and he’ll even play the didgeridoo for you! The Captain Cook and Staithes heritage centre is excellent value at £2.25 for adults. It contains many old photographs and equipment from the area along with a wealth of information about Captain Cook. On a Sunday the lifeboat building opens its’ doors for the public to go in to see the lifeboat. This seems to appeal to both young and old alike. A craft centre sits upon the slope of Church Street. Many villagers make the local craft items and then take it in turns to serve in the centre. Plenty of bed and breakfast establishments and holiday cottages provide good quality accommodation for holidaymakers. Just be warned though, once you have seen the place you will never want to be away from it. Be careful not to catch the ‘Staithes Bug’ because so far no cure has been found!!
One of the most widely popular villages in North yorkshire is Goathland.This is mainly because Heartbeat do most of their outdoor filming here, such as Greengrasses house ar the Aidensfiels Arms. Goathland itself is a very small Village outside Whitby.It is very pretty and has lots and lots of sheep!, in fact the sheep get everywhere!. The main part consists of a few shops and a tearoom, one of the shops is used as the Post office in Heartbeat. These sell a lot of arty crafty gifts and of course tons of heartbeat things!. There is also a childrens farm and antique shops too. Goathland is very Olde Worlde and there isnt much to do , more of a scenic trip. You can also have a ride on a lovely old fashioned steam engine from here to Pickering.