a weekend in Scarborough

Scarborough at dusk

We currently have no car, for reasons I won’t go into here – that’s the subject of another post. So with the bank holiday weekend looming, and both Pete and myself desperately in need of a break, I did a bit of Googling and a bit of organising, and we took ourselves to Scarborough on the train. It’s dead easy from Hull – no changes, and £18 odd for a 5 day open return. So we picked up the 9.47 on Saturday morning, having collected coffee from the station shop to accompany the scones I’d brought for breakfast, and chugged our way north.

When we arrived, we checked into the Admiral guest house in West Square, just opposite the station. The proprietor put us in a room on the top floor – a long way up, with pigeons scuttling and scrabbling; quite Hitchcockian. But clean, comfortable, and £49 a night B’n’B. And an excellent breakfast to boot, and free wifi.

NomThen we caught a bus to Whitby – £6.90 return each. The double decker struggled with some of the hills, to the point where we wondered whether we might all have to get out and push, but we made it. We wandered all over the town (but not up to the Abbey because of my Knees), had a toasted sandwich in the George, while we wanted the last half of the Hull promotion excitement, had (well, *I* had), gin and lavender ice cream (yes, it was; it was sublime), and generally a good time. Then we caught the bus back, had Greek food in the George Michael in Scarborough (I kid you not) and a bottle of red, and then wandered down to the harbour, and had quite a lot more to drink in the Golden Ball. Which meant that I floated back up all the steps on a cloud of red wine 🙂

On Sunday, we had planned to take the train to Filey and walk back, but my stomach threw one of it’s very occasional wobbles (down to medication, I think), and decided that being too far from a loo was less than optimal. And that walk is 10 miles … So we ambled around Filey, had coffee in the Bronte Vinery, ate a Trek flapjack for lunch, and then I felt a bit better, so we decided to try the walk. But I only managed about 4km before exhaustion overcame me, so we walked across Blue Dolphin caravan park and called a taxi. Which took ages, but arrived eventually.

Went back to the hotel and had a couple of hours kip, then we went to the Hong Kong chinese restaurant, which looked like a throw back to the 80s, but whose food was surprisingly nice. Lamb in yellow bean sauce, salt and pepper pork, and 8 way duck. And then a very early night, as we were both exhausted.

Monday was Scarborough day – we walked about 8 miles, and my Fitbit says we climbed 60 flights. All the way from the station to North Bay, up the hill to the castle, and round said castle (well worth a fiver, believe me), then down through old town, fish and chips on the sea front (which was *heaving*, then down to South Bay about as far as you can go before you leave the town and back up the hill again.

4.30 train home, which was busy from Scarborough, but Bridlington station was awash with travellers – cannot understand why Northern Rail didn’t put another carriage on, as lots of people had to stand. And a taxi back to the house, because we could. Absolutely lovely weekend.

So a few days without the car were, in fact, better than with, given where we were. Scarborough parking is difficult to find, and expensive, and public transport round there is reasonably plentiful and not too expensive. But I wouldn’t like to be without a car all the time – roll on next week.

However, we will be investigating various rail options for future weekends away, because, to be honest, I’d rather sit on a train than in a car these days, and it makes you think about what to do and where to go.

More photos here at Flickr.

let the train take the strain

I had to go to Clapham yesterday, and decided to go by train. The logical route for this is Bristol Reading Clapham Junction (tips hat to codepope for that info); perlmonger was driving me to the station, and we left at 9.30 to make the 10.00 train.

except the traffic in the city was vile, and so he hurled me from a moving car on the gyratory system, and I walked up to Temple Meads from there. And then there were extremely slow people at the ticket office, and 10 a.m. came and went while I stood in the queue.

and when I got to speak to the chap behind the glass, it transpired that there was some sort of signal failure between Swindon and Didcot Parkway, and no trains were going anywhere in that direction. He plotted me a little route that involved changes in Salisbury and Basingstoke, and got me to Clapham at about 1.15, which was fine. And the ticket cost was much less on that route – just £24 return, although he said that I’d have to pay to upgrade it if I came back via Reading.

a taxi from Clapham Junction to my destination got me there, and the potential new clients (who have been playing the “will we won’t we” dance since last February) are now on board for a nice big site, and actually gave me a deposit cheque before I left – that’s a first.

then they took me down to to the local tapas bar where we consumed quite a lot of white Rioja between us (at their expense – perfect clients :), then put me on a bus back to Clapham.

I came back via Reading, and none of the inspectors batted an eyelid at my cheap ticket, so that’s worth remembering for the future. perlmonger collected me from the station at 22.33, so a long day, but worthwhile. And the iPod battery held out too.


we got home at about 2.30 this morning, after South West Trains proved yet again that running late trains on time is beyond their competence.

so what I really, really didn’t want was to be woken up by loud clankings outside the window, as next door had a skip delivered.

couldn’t get back to sleep. Officially knackered.