Tuesday, 11 April 2017

Day 45 Scarborough to Whitby

4th April 2018

A short ride today on only two buses, although as the X93 operates through from Scarborough to Whitby I could have done it one had I not wanted to visit Robin Hood's Bay.

But first I had a little shopping to do. Yesterday I realised that I'd come away without the relevant OS maps for the first stage of my journey. I do like to see where I am and where I'm going as I travel along and usually follow the route the bus takes - along with all the unexpected twists and turns! I hadn't had time to buy them in Hull before setting off and despite quick searches in Withernsea and Bridlington I'd been unable to find one. So today's first job was a quick visit to WH Smith to take advantage of their "buy one, get one half-price" offer.

The queue for the X93 at Scarborough
Then to the station, to catch the X93. Although North Yorkshire County Council very generously allows bus pass holders to stat using them at 09.00 (half-an-hour earlier than most places) the 0950 to Whitby was the first available bus of the day. Even so, I was surprised to see this queue of passengers waiting at the stop at least 10 minutes before it was due.  It took so long to load everyone that we were five minutes late leaving and by the time we'd picked up a few more passengers on the outskirts of town we were full!

Fortunately I managed to get a top deck seat (although not a window one - they were all taken ) to enjoy the wonderful views over the high moorlands. The route crosses Fylingdales Moor, although the famous "golf balls" (early warning radar domes) have now been replaced.

At the junction to the road down to Robin Hood's Bay we came across a police road block. 
Robin Hood's Bay
The main road to Whitby was closed and traffic was being diverted down the steep hill into the village. Heavy Goods Vehicles were being turned back as the road through Robin Hood's Bay was deemed unsuitable for them, but our double-decker was allowed through after the driver pointed out that it was actually his normal route.  The extra traffic caused some further delays to our bus and we were 14 minutes late at the village bus stop.

I'd already decided to break my journey here as this was somewhere I'd not been before.
Robin Hood's Bay
The bus drops you at the top of the steep hill down to the sea front, leaving the visitor with a choice of a steep footpath or even steeper road down to the village. Car drivers fare no better, as the only car parking is at the top of the hill as well.

But the village turned out to be well worth the walk - and even worth the walk back up to the bus stop although as I'd arrived late and needed to allow extra time to get back UP the hill I didn't have quite as long there as I'd intended.

I needn't have rushed. The following X93 was also running 14 minutes late and was even busier than its predecessor. So busy in fact that I had to stand all the way to Whitby! At its peak there were 8 of us standing plus two sitting on the staircase, a total of 83 passengers on what is a very rural bus route - and we weren't all wrinkly pass holders either! The service was only hourly, although from the following week the summer schedule was due to be introduced and the service doubled in frequency.

Although it was only 12.04 when I arrived in Whitby my journey for the day was done. Not that I
Off to Pickering by steam train.
stopped travelling though - I spent the afternoon catching a North York Moors Railway steam train down the line to Pickering, returning by bus (in half the time) over another spectacular section of moorland road and through the village of Grosmont, better known as "Aidensfield" to viewers of a certain TV series.  These journeys, of course, do not count as part of the trip.

Day 44  Hull to Scarborough                                                Day 46 Whitby to Sunderland

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