Whitby is blessed with more than its fair share of iconic beauty spots, nestled between the moors and the imposing cliffs we are literally spoilt for choice of hundreds of little spots to take photos, have a picnic or a romantic walk, I want to share one of mine which I think is a bit different to the normal ones.
If you drive down langbourne road past the coop you enter the marina area, next to the slip way is a small patch of grass with the tenders for the local yachts berthed upside down, waiting for their owners to flip them over and paddle to their own private floating island. For me this spot is where I come.
Sitting atop one of these little boats your presented with the place where the river and the sea meet, at low tide you can see the stepping stones, once well used in the past at low tide to cross the harbour, if its been raining hard this becomes a maelstrom of violent water brought down from the valleys in the Esk to spill and churn over the stones totally fascinating to watch. If the tides in, there’s no evidence of what lurks beneath the dark harbour water.
Looking straight across you can see the mud flats and tidal estuary of calla beck, the only such estuary for miles. It is alive with life, Swans , mudskippers and such like. At high tide it resembles an archipelago of mossy islands ready to be explored by the swallows and amazons.
Look to your right and follow the course of the river, each side dense with Amazonian like greenery. Puffs of smoke come from people’s pot-bellied stoves who like me, see the beauty in this spot and have gone on to live off grid as it were.
Framing this meandering green valley is the huge New bridge, from this angle it is impossible not to admire the engineering and over bearing size, reflect for a moment on the man power needed to create such a thing, some may say it is ugly, all grey concrete and rebar, I see the perfect picture frame for the lush mouth of the river.
I see a stamp of humanity bigger and better than the stepping stones but yet still serves the same purpose.
Walk down on to the pontoons and admire people’s dreams of nautical adventure, some left to rot, unfinished projects, yet all have a story to tell. If its autumn raspberry’s and blackberry’s cascade down the stone walls, almost within reach, bring some wellys and you too can make some of the finest homemade wine Whitby’s bounty can offer, for no one walks these pontoons without thinking about boats not homemade wine or a delicious snacks to share with your kids while they splodge in the mud.
Or you can continue walking and come upon the old railway lines, where will it take you indeed. Over the viaduct and pause to look down at the spot you just left, shiver at the height as you lean over, spot the old gas tank pits at the gas works.
On the opposite bank can you find the remains of the old pump house and cottage?
But sometimes I don’t want to walk, I will drive my car, get a bag of chips and park at the top of the slip way, cocooned in my warm car as I eat my chips and watch the place where the river and sea meet.