Summer Solstice Sprint – Sunset

Setting off after breakfast my ultimate destination was Morecombe on the west coast. But first I had a couple of stops to make, the first being Whitby, I had been told it was well worth a visit. I set my google maps and started off but as usual something caught my eye along the way. It was a sign that said a forest route – how could I not!! I followed the sign. The scenery was stunning, all helped by the fluffy white clouds, fresh, clean blue sky and lush green grass and trees. I had to stop and take it all in, so many times we just go hurtling past, focusing only on our destinations when there is so much to see on the journey – bit like life really.

I found the forest trail and paid the toll in the machine, there were barriers and everything! I find it quite sad we have got to a point where we have to pay to protect chunks of land, protect them from the fat cats who want to make more money by bulldozing the beauty in order to replace it with ugly concrete structures.

Following the road that was lined with trees was very distracting for me as you can imagine!! I of course stopped a few times to take it all in. I suppose I should spend longer in one place and make the most of it but I always feel there’s just so much else to see I can’t settle.

I finally came out the other end and followed the route to Whitby. It took me over the Yorkshire Moors which I came to the conclusion I didn’t like half as much as the Dales, they are too open and not enough green, but still beautiful in their own way.

Driving into Scarborough had a different feel to this, I fell in love instantly with that place, the drive into Whitby didn’t have that feel for me. I followed the signs for parking in the town and eventually parked in the station car park which was pretty central. I figured I had a maximum of 2 hours here, remembering I still had to get across the country for the longest day sunset.

I had no clue where I was going, what there was to see (apart from the Abbey but I didn’t have enough time for that) or anything. I just walked and people watched, which I have to say, I have never seen such a varied collection of people! Ranging from older people to young families, bikers, goths, just so eclectic! It was brilliant – felt quite at home!😃

As I was walking along, looking into the harbour at the boats there was a guy dressed as a pirate touting for business. Alas he was not Johnny Depp but he was offering a trip on his old lifeboat, at first I skimmed over his sign and carried on but then I thought why not! I went back and spoke to him, it was only £3 and lasted about 30 mins – perfect. I paid my way and made my way down the rickety steps with scaffold for a rail held together with plastic warning tape!! Totally safe! Should I be worried I thought!🤔🤣

The lifeboat was wooden and still very lovely although it had obviously seen better days. I settled into a seat, there were only a few others on there, and a few minutes later we were off – after he’d jumped on behind me and shouted boo in my ear, made me squeal!! Funny man!!🙄🤣

We set off and went down the estuary, dodging other sightseeing boats, then finally out between the sea defences – which were being repaired, very cleverly and in one place there were divers doing repairs too! What a fascinating job to have!

We were soon up to speed, I sat near the front, having moved from some Asian tourists who were chattering away and taking photos, so my view was uninterrupted. It felt lovely to have the sea breeze on my face, watching the Union Jack flapping on the bow.

Captain Not Jack gave a little commentary, telling us which side of the buoys to stay on as he went around it and headed back towards the harbour, it was only a quick trip after all which completely suited me. We dodged a few more boats and then moored back up where we’d left from. I alighted the boat and said thank you to him – all he was missing was a patch, a hook and a leg leg!!😄

Time was ticking, I had a quick look over the bridge then back and ended up a little cobbled street and in a shop that was literally right up my street, had a browse and bought a new necklace then went upstairs to a Steampunk shop and bought an old chemical bottle with fairy lights in.

Having got back to the car I set the sat nav to my next stop – I had no time for my random driving today, I had to stay focused – which was to be Goathland, another place I’d been told about, where they filmed Heartbeat and used as the station in Harry Potter.

It didn’t take long to get there, I drove past the station and found a car park. I’d bought my lunch in the co op before I left Whitby so I packed it in my back pack and set off for the station.

It wasn’t a long walk, there was a little river and a mill by the station which was very pretty.

The station itself was amazing. It had been kept in excellent condition and it was like stepping back in time. Everything was freshly painted and authentic authentic, even the conductors/station masters. The flower beds were stocked, I walked over the bridge and had a sniff of a beautiful rose bloom, it smelt delicious, flowers rarely have a scent when you buy them from the supermarket, so I always make a point of sniffing a rose. I have one in my garden called New Dawn, it was one of my Dads favourites, it has very soft scent that makes you want to just breathe deep and absorb it all.

I had a quick look in the waiting room and the toilets, the paint smelt fresh. I imagine it’s a constant upkeep.

There were people arriving and milling around waiting for a train to arrive. I checked the timetable and the prices, I didn’t have time on this day but if I ever go back I will have a journey on a steam train, there is something quite romantic about them.

I went and found a pathway along the little river that was feeding the mill. There was a small waterfall which I perched my bum next to and ate my sandwiches, very relaxing and I had it all to myself. As usual people are so fixed on their destination they fail to see things along the way.

Two trains eventually chuffed their way into the station, people got off and exchanged places with those that had been waiting. After a while of sitting there with the odd hiss they both pulled out and steamed their way down the track to their next destination. I hope the passion that these people have to keep the past alive never wanes.

Back in my car and on my way again, my usual random driving kicking in, stopping for photos.

I drove down one road that had a river running next to it and a huge fish jumped out and caught my eye!! I had to stop! I’m so glad I did, I walked down the road a bit and climbed over a fence and found a little pathway. It was for private fishing, so me being me I didn’t go any further, just stood and took it all in. It was so peaceful, there’s something about a gentle river bubbling by, very mesmerising and relaxing.

Tick tock – time was passing, back in my car and off again. The mission now to get across the country!! But I still managed to avoid main roads up to a point when I succumbed and realised I had to and as always I hated it, but it was a necessary evil today.

I ignored my sat nav which was desperate to take me around the Dales – is it mad??! It was the bit I was looking forward to!! It was quite adamant – but so was I!! Quite stubborn me😬

I went down the same road I’d done on my first trip to Yorkshire, when I’d fallen in love with it, I recognised it, even remembered trees🤦🏼‍♀️🙄😂 I turned down a road with the intention of visiting Kettlewell, I’d driven through it last time (well, I actually stopped for a wee but the weather was appalling so didn’t hang around) and there was a river running through it which I fancied taking a longer look at, but I was starting to flag from my early start so pulled over for a nap in the middle of nowhere (I recognised the signs after falling asleep at the wheel once – an orange cone on the widescreen had woken me up – so now I nap)

When I woke up I calculated how far I still had to go and reluctantly decided to leave the diversion and get back on track – oh dear I will have to go back again, how tiresome😜

The scenery as ever was stunning, it was a beautiful blue sky day with the odd fluffy white cloud, I decided to just drive and enjoy the road with my music, it’s good for the soul, the mind can just go wherever it wants. It was literally an open road, I could see for miles, not many trees. I felt great.

There came a point when I had to put my sat nav on and dutifully follow it. The last half hour of my journey seemed to go on forever, I began to doubt if I’d put the right postcode in. Lots of twisty little country roads (I was now in Lancashire) and then suddenly a main road and my hotel!

It was busy. Very busy. I parked up and went in. The place was heaving with people, most of them very happy and very drunk!! I went and found someone behind the bar after standing at the reception being ogled by inebriated men who told me it was a wake!!😂 At least the persons life was being celebrated!!😃

The manager showed me to my room, it was lovely, a four poster bed and all the trimmings, he explained where everything was and even told me the bed worked🤔 yes I did ask him what he meant!! Apparently he had slept in every bed to check they were ok…. dedication?🤔😂

We got into a conversation and I told him what I was doing so he told me where I could go to see the sunset. I already knew it was going to be Morecombe Bay.

After dumping my bag I set off again. By this time I as really tired and very hungry. I came to the ‘front’ in Morecombe and spotted where I was going to watch it, all I needed now was some food. Except there was nothing around!! Not even a chippy!! So I asked Siri for the nearest McDonalds and followed it. By this time I was getting a little worried I would actually miss the sunset!! Wouldn’t have been a happy bunny!!

But a quick drive through and I was soon back and parking up on the front. I ate my food and got out of my car and went and sat on some giant boulders with my coffee and relaxed just watched.

It was just beautiful.

I reflected on my day, even resorted to videoing the sunset and talking, like a little diary. Although when people walked past I stopped talking because I didn’t want to appear to be a complete nut talking to myself!! But then afterwards I realised I was talking into my phone!! It’s what you do!!🤦🏼‍♀️😂

I waited until it had completely gone and then drove back and just collapsed into my working bed absolutely shattered but incredibly happy.

I’d done it. East to West. Sunrise to Sunset.

It really had been the longest day….

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