Arriving at St Marys Church via Caedmon's Trod (an alternative route to the popular 199 steps) we spotted an information board 'Digging the Donkey Field'
The grassy field in front of us (we were informed) is properly known as Jacky Field and is one of the largest expanses of open ground in Whitby.
Well, it looked just like an ordinary field to us, albeit one affording a stunning view!
In August this year, an application for Village Green Status was accepted, meaning that this land is preserved as it is, with no danger of it being used for housing development etc.
This was a victory for the towns people, particularly thanks to an ex- councillor - Tom Brown
So, why such a fuss? well looking to the Abbey and church from across the river or harbour, you see that it stands unhindered in green fields, as it has done for centuries. Imagine seeing this view obstructed by housing etc.
Jacky Field "lies immediately to the west of the Anglo-Saxon and medieval monasteries".
So you would think that there is historical importance here too.
Yes, it has a Scheduled Ancient Monument status, but ......... this was ignored by various 'corporations and organisations', when bulldozers tore into the field, owned by the Strickland Constable Estate in November 2010
They were to lay down sewerage pipes for a nearby holiday home - this was underhandedly carried out without prior archaeological input or consent from the Secretary of State, nor indeed an archaeologist to oversee the work.
Some ancient structures were damaged/vandalised? by the machines. But the 'opening up' of this area revealed much of local historical interest from pre-historic to the Victorian era.
There were clues as to the lay out of the monastery, with evidence of the black smiths forge from slag and ‘hammer-scale’ found here- the sparks produced by the smith hammering iron.
This was an area later populated by small workshops for the jet industry.
See the website for more information about Jacky/ Donkey Field.
After enjoying our Fish and Chips at Hadleys Fish Restaurant, we set off to explore more of this side of Church Street, and soon spotted the sign " Caedmon's Trod - Leading to Abbey" on the opposite wall was a street sign "Greens Yard"
Most people walk to the Abbey, Church and Youth Hostel by the famous 199 steps from the other end of the cobbled Church Street. This was the first time that I'd seen this alternative route. It was the first time that I'd come across 'a Trod' (and I'm still a little unsure as to its' definition)
It was just before dusk, which was a good time, as the night drew in, and the lights came on around the town. Yes, it was quite atmospheric arriving at the Abbey and church at this time too.
The path leads up, through some overgrown areas, offering great views over the town, harbour, River Esk and towards the North Yorkshire Moors.
Popular with local dog walkers/joggers.
Oh, and Caedmon - Well he is the first known English poet. A simple Anglo-Saxon shepherd/herdsman attached to Whitby Monastery. He was allegedly 'ignorant of the art of song' but following a dream he went on to compose many pieces. He became quite a zealous monk and an influential religious poet.
His only known surviving work is 'Cædmon's Hymn', the nine-line poem in honour of God which he supposedly learned to sing in his initial dream.
This poem is one of the earliest attested examples of Old English.
Caedmon is often mistakenly referred to as a Saint. He died in the Abbeys Hospice, after a premonition, caused him to ask to be moved here, and to inform his friends, who gathered at his bedside for his final moments.
Botton is a small village in North Yorkshire, England which is mainly a Camphill Community for people with learning disabilities. It was formed in 1955.
It has a population of 300, approximately 150 of those who live there are adults with learning disabilities. All of the people who live in Botton live in large houses with one or more house parent. There are 5 bio dynamic farms located around the village. The "Villagers" as the adults with learning disabilities are called, work on these farms with the help of "Co-workers" who supervise their work on the farm.
In the village there are many different workshops where villagers make products which are sold to the public via a number of outlets. There are also three shops; A Gift shop, for visitors, with items from both Botton and other Camphill villages; A Village Store, which is the village food shop; and a shop called the "Mother Shop" which sells stationery and toiletries. There is also a "Coffee Bar". The church is also worth a look.
In my view the long lunch closure from 12.00 to 14.00 is too long and it cut our morning there short but there are presumably valid reasons.
Just north of Whitby is Sandsend - there is not a lot to see or do here but the beach is very good and it is a pleasant village. There are a few pubs , shops and cafes but not much else - go for a good beach.
Unfortunatly parking is awful - we have driven in and then out again many tines because there was just no where to park. If you are in Whitby and want to go - take the bus.
I still dont know if you can get these elsewhere you certainly can 99's but parmesans seem to be a middlesbrough specific thing however I have seen one in a takeaway at whitby.
Firstly a 99 is an ice cream cone, with vanilla ice cream topped with a cadburys flake- originally named as they cost 99p but no anymore! Also try a lemon top - simply its a lemon sauce/ice creams ontop of your vanilla ice cream.
Whitby rock is lovely - you will find it all over in the whitby shops - try John Bulls Stores for the best stuff - Its extremly sugary and now comes in many flavours - li
A parmesan you will get from a takeaway pizza shop. A Parmo is a deep-fryed flattened chicken or pork fillet in an egg and breadcrumb batter, smothered in Bechamel sauce, topping off with (usually cheddar or sometimes parmesan) cheese and then grilling or baking in the pizza oven.
It may seem like a simply normal thing but I have discovered in recent years the idea of eating fish and chips wrapped in newspaper with your hands can be quite absurd. In my experience though they never tasted any better. Its especially nice at whitby as there fish and chips are extra great, but also the sea air just adds to the flavour. Try a takeaway from the quayside and magpie restraurants for extra nice ones as they are some of the best in the town, and also come in plastic boxes with wooden forks, slightly less weird than newspaper but nice and authentic still. However beware of sea gulls who will try and steal your chips!!
York is capital of the north and one of the world's most fascinating cities. Built by the Roman 9th legion, its life began as a fortress then grew into an important city called Eboracum. Constantine the Great, who later went on to found Constantinople, was made Roman Emperor. It was later the Vikings who named York which came from the name Jorvik or Yorwik. York is an ancient cathedral city famous for the Roman Walls that surround the city and the medieval streets.
You will find the Jorvik Viking Museum, the National Railway Museum (which includes some of the country's most famous steam locomotives) and the most celebrated attraction in York, York Minster. The Cathedral is one of Britain's finest examples of ecclesiastical gothic architecture.
There's a very well-known footpath that connects Whitby with Robin Hood Bay, following the North Sea coastline for several miles to the south of town. I've heard that's its an excellent excursion, but I just did not have the time to go very far on the trail, and I also didn't have the right footwear. When I get back to this part of England, I'd like to be prepared better so that I enjoy the pleasure of a good walk through the North Yorkshire countryside.
Up until a few years ago, the landmark to look for on nearing Whitby, was a trio of enlarged golf balls, which were often spookily surrounded by swirls of fog/sea mist. Fylingdales MOD early warning system! Someone in their wisdom decided it was time to get rid of this 'national treasure' and we now appear to have an Inca temple in their place!
Well, the Moors outskirting Whitby are certainly atmospheric, wild, barren and isolated, making the journey here quite memorable!
If you are visiting Whitby and have a bit of spare time take a short trip to Goathland a lovely little village in the North Yorkshire Moors which features in a British tv programme called Heartbeat. Heartbeat is set in the 1960's and is known for all the hits of that era to be played as background music.
It has a little museum showing exhibits from Heartbeat, and you can see the pub, the garage and post office which are used in the tv series.
From Whitby take the A171 west for about a mile and then take the A169 for about 7 miles straight into Goathland.
Again, 50 pence handed over to the Tourist Information Office, buys you this handy guide to an hours walk around the sights of Whitbys West side.
As steps are involved it could be difficult for wheelchair users, but detours could make it possible.
The tour starts from Station Square (Bus/Train stations), and leads onto the Bridge, Baxtergate,Flowergate,Cliff Street, The Whalebones, Khyber Pass, West Pier, Pier Road, Marine Parade and back to the Bridge.
This trail gives an insight into the fishing / sailing heritage of Whitby, plus the development of Whitby as a town/ holiday resort.
50 pence buys you a "Whitby Town Trail" pamphlet, which offers an hours walk around the streets and attractions of Whitbys East Side. Available from the Tourist Info Office.
Not all of the route is suitable for wheelchair users, as steps are included in the walk.
The walk starts from The Bridge, and takes you along Grape Lane, Church Street, Sandgate, Tate Hill Pier, Henrietta Street, Tate Hill, Donkey Road to St Marys Church, The Abbey, Back Lane, Penny Hedge, and back to Church Street.
The booklet gives a brief insight into the history of Whitby, and some things to see, that you might miss during a walk around this fascinating area of Whitby.
Whitby lies on the east coast of England. It's a very pretty fishermen town with a great long sandy beach and beautiful colourful changing rooms at the beach.
On top of the hill there is an old abby. It's a bit gost like with the old graveyard and the ruines of the abby and all you can hear is the wind blowing...
If you travel there by train I recommend you to check the time tables first. Otherwise you might end up spending 4 hours in Middlesbrough since there are only about 4 trains going to Witsand a day... But it was worth it!!
If ever you're driving on the coast road north from Whitby drive carefully through Hinderwell. You'll come across a sign for Port Mulgrave. Drive down Rosedale Lane and you'll come across one of the best views in Yorkshire. It's even better if you walk to Staithes or Runswick Bay.
A few miles away from Whitby on the coast there's the beautiful little village of Runswick Bay. There's only a few houses, one pub and a beach here ... and it's so beautiful and quiet here that I'd love to have a summer house here ;-)