24 April 2012

Yorkshire holiday...

It already feels like a long time ago but last week we spent a very relaxing few days in North Yorkshire, at Keldy Cabins near Pickering. The weather wasn’t great but, then again, it could have been a lot worse! We had rain, sleet, hail, snow and even clear blue skies with sunshine. All in the space of just a few hours too!

Actually, looking back, it wasn’t quite as bad as I make it sound and we did manage to fit in most of the things we had wanted to do - but there is a lot more left on the "to do list" for the next time we are there.
Our cabin in the forest...

We had a few sitting tenants...
...carved snails on the living room wall!

...and "Penny Bear" who had
hitched a lift from home!

Being in the forest meant that the birds soon find any food that is put out for them...

...and we were visited by a number of species including Pheasant, Wood Pigeon, Great Spotted Woodpecker, Pied Wagtail, Dunnock, Robin, Blackbird, Coal Tit, Blue Tit, Great Tit, Crow, Starling and Chaffinch.

Whilst out and about around the site we also came across Mallard, Grey Heron, Sparrowhawk, Moorhen, Curlew, Collared Dove, Wren, Fieldfare, Song Thrush, Blackcap, Chiffchaff, Willow Warbler, Treecreeper, Jay, Magpie, House Sparrow, Tree Sparrow and Siskin.

Best bird of the week is a close call between the group of around 40 Crossbill we watched feeding high up in the treetops on the day we arrived or the Woodcock that flew over our cabin one evening whilst we were sat outside in the hot tub! Sat in a hot tub, drinking beer, watching the birds fly over... my kind of birding!

Although the weather wasn't great I did manage to get a few photos from a walk around the forest, including a few of a Roe Deer that I managed to "stalk"...

The deer appears in the distance.

Getting much closer,
before being spotted.

And off it goes.

On the one day we had planned a full day out, Tuesday, we woke up to the worst of the weather - it was cold, windy and snowing. Not ideal for a trip to the coast on a steam train. But, we set off for Pickering station determined to enjoy the day no matter what. In the end, it turned out to be the best day of the whole week. The snow stopped, the wind eased and by the time we arrived in Whitby the sun was starting to break through the clouds. By early afternoon it felt (almost) like spring!

Pickering station.

Our steam loco - 75029 The Green Knight.

Snow up on the moors, from the train.

This was the first time that both Lynda and I had visited Whitby and, I have to say, it's a rather nice place. From the limited time we had to look around we got the feeling that it has, mostly, escaped the usual seaside town transformation into an amusement arcade and has retained much of its fishing port feel. Maybe a return trip in the middle of summer would change our minds on that though! Still, in the middle of April it looked pretty good to us.

Part of Whitby old town.

Whitby harbour entrance.

Whitby Pier.

Looking towards Whitby old town.

The whale bone arch, Whitby.

Looking across the harbour towards Whitby Abbey.

Whitby panorama.

Sunny, but not too warm.

Food. Those that know me will testify to the fact that I like my food. In fact, love my food would be more accurate! I blame the amount of cycling I do for the amount of food I can put away - calories in, miles out and all that. Having said that, one thing I've never been a fan of is seafood, other than a plate of fish, chips and mushy peas that is, but in Whitby I decided to brave a first for me, dressed crab!

Whitby crab.

I can't see me going to the trouble of buying fresh crab to cook and prepare at home but, I have to admit, it was pretty damn good and is something that I will now be happy to have again. Who knows, I could well be on the verge of becoming a seafood lover. Hmm, one step at a time, Richard!

Just to prove it WAS me!

And if I hadn't have liked my food then I'm sure the birds would have been more than happy to help out. The Herring Gulls were never very far away and even a couple of Turnstone were running around on the harbour wall looking for an easy meal.

Herring Gull.


One of our plans that the weather did put a bit of a dampener on was a visit to the village of Hutton-le-Hole. It was dull, cold, very cloudy and raining whilst we were there and so we didn't spend too much time walking around outside, instead choosing the warm and dry of the craft shops. We also stocked up on some very nice hand made chocolates too! This is another place we have put back on the "to do list" for when we return in the future.

The village green, Hutton-le-Hole.

Hutton-le-Hole view.

Lynda, braving the rain.

On the way to Hutton-le-Hole we took the long route, over the top of the moors, and paused briefly at one of the view points...

...something we need to do again when the cloud cover isn't down to ground level! And when the snow isn't still on the ground! And when the wind isn't blowing a gale! And when the sun is out!

But, at the end of the day, no matter what the weather, there was always the hot tub and a bottle of beer to return to at the end of the day!

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