Becca Jane St Clair

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UK Road Trip Part V: The North

On the suggestion of Tim’s Mum and my request to see the North Sea, we headed for the Eastern coast of Britain on Friday.

We headed towards “The North” and made the jaunt across the Humber Bridge to our first stop, Bridlington. We arrived in time to watch a rescue helicopter drill including sending the rescuer down in the cage and releasing flares! It was freezing standing out there by the sea, so we went across the street to a pub for some Lunch, where I discovered “pickle” doesn’t mean the same thing in the UK that it does in the US. I ordered a cheese and pickle toastie (US: grilled cheese sandwich) and got brown relish type stuff on it.

We also overheard a very amusing conversation between two older ladies and Obama became “Alabama”. Oh, and women aren’t voting for “Alabama” because he’s Muslim. *rolls eyes*.

After lunch and being sufficiently warmed up from the hot chocolate and the sun coming in through the pub window, we decided to walk down along the shore. We managed to get as far out as a few yards away from the cliffs, but the tide started to come in and we didn’t want to get stuck somewhere! The shore is beautiful, the chalk from the cliffs really stand out, and while I haven’t seen the White Cliffs of Dover, I can’t see what would make those “better” than the ones we saw! The chalk that falls off the cliffs into the water gets rubbed smooth by the sea and is washed up onto the shore, so the shore is littered with white smooth stones and pebbles. We wandered back to the car and decided to continue North towards Flamborough Head, one of the places Tim’s mum suggested.

Flamborough is beautiful. A pristine white lighthouse dots the coastline, and if you walk out far enough on the cliffs, you can even catch a glimpse of the original lighthouse tower from 1647! We drove past the original tower, but there wasn’t any place to pull over to get closer photos of it, sadly.

We spent some time wandering the cliffs behind the lighthouse and being careful of the edges – if you get too close to the edge, the cliffs can crumble right under you!

We soon left, and decided to check out Scarborough. I spotted a castle in the distance, so we headed towards it. As it turns out, that was Scarborough Castle, built in the 1160s by Henry II! I touched a wall that is almost 850 years old! We also discovered Anne Bronte’s grave was located in Scarborough…and not only that, but the graveyard we parked in (sponsored by the Church!) was the same graveyard she was buried in!

We managed the hike up the hill to see the castle ruins after paying a small, nominal fee and I was just awestruck by the ruins. It’s absolutely amazing to see these places in person and to know just how old they are!

The sun was starting to get lower in the sky, and we had one more place on recommendation from Tim’s mum – Robin Hood’s Bay.

As we walked uphill (again!) towards the shore, we passed several Bed & Breakfasts and restaurants. We had originally planned on continuing onto Whitby before finding lodging, but after passing a Bed & Breakfast that had a sign claiming to have a Vegetarian English Breakfast in the AM, we decided to see if they had a room available for the evening. The B&B was beautiful, and the owners were really nice. We also had our pick of three places that served dinner along the block. We looked at the menu at the two places farther away from where we were staying, and in the end picked the Victoria, the bed and breakfast next door to the one we were staying at! We both agreed we made a good choice, as the food was excellent. True to the owner’s words, the following morning I had a Full English Vegetarian Breakfast with veggie sausage instead of the traditional bacon and pork sausage.

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