Our first full day in Yorkshire and we drove along the coast from Staithes to the lovely old fashioned seaside resort of Saltburn by the Sea. Just twenty minutes easy drive but better than that, it was cloudy, overcast and chilly in Staithes but Saltburn had a (teeny) bit of sun and was a few degrees warmer – it all counts in the great British summertime.
This is a town of two halves separated by an incredibly steep and winding hill. At the top there are loads of shops, lovely Victorian houses and some great looking restaurants. Down below there is sea, sand, spectacular cliffs and a lovely old pier. The whole place is small, civilised and old fashioned in the best possible way.
We parked at the top, made our way down that mammoth hill and headed to Saltburn Valley Gardens.
A lovely wooded area cut in half by a little stream – Skelton Beck – we had a relaxing and enjoyable stroll ending up in beautifully landscaped Italian gardens.
The Woodland Centre further along is maintained by volunteers and I loved the quirky and alternative vibe here.
We could hear a brass band playing in the distance, curious to find out more we followed the music and after a stack of steps and a steep hike we were back at the top of the town – albeit by a different route to earlier.
Bearpark and Esh Colliery Band were performing on the bandstand right at the top, we stopped to listen but, like most other observers sheltered under the trees from the by now pouring rain. Only a few hardy sorts were taking advantage of the chairs.
Back down through the gardens again we spied the miniature train whiz past. It trundles half a mile from Cat Nab Station to Forest Halt. It was busy with families, we remarked that had Son been here we would probably have been coerced to climb aboard. Today we walked.
I loved the pebbly beach, we watched some crashing waves and Husband, as ever, could not resist a bit of stone skimming.
The promenade is lovely, the weather was not the best but we did enjoy watching a lot of brave surfers and checking out the colourful beach huts.
A great looking fish and chip restaurant with full length windows looking out to sea caught our eye. There are so many tempting restaurants in Saltburn, I read afterward it is establishing itself as a foodie destination. That is very obvious.
We strolled along the pier right to the end and watched some fishermen. The pier is Grade 2 listed, was built in 1869 and is Britain’s most northerly surviving pier. The sea was crashing underneath, I loved looking through the gaps in the wood to the foamy water below.
A quirky touch here, the railings of the pier were festooned with all manner of knitted characters. Such a fun touch, the theme seemed to be sea creatures and the attention to detail of each and every one was incredible. Saltburn must have some seriously skilled knitters.
After walking along the pier we took the cliff tram to the top of the town. This Victorian tram is just gorgeous and has been going since 1884. It only cost £1 to ride to the top, a short but fun ride and a good way to climb up 120 feet without any huffing and puffing.
We stood for a while at the top taking in the views and watching, mesmerized as the tram went back down again.
Just a short stroll from here to our car, by this time the rain had started to pound down so we were in agreement it was time to leave Saltburn and return to our cozy cottage in Staithes. A great afternoon exploring this little gem of a resort.