For the second time in a row the day didn't pan out as I expected. The original soft plan was to go for a stroll along a nearby walking trail for a couple of hours, come back and freshen up, then head to Whitby and/or Robin Hood's Bay for a second attempt at early evening light photography. To cut a long story short, the walk was so amazing and I was enjoying it so much that I just kept going. 21.6km later I've got some wonderful memories and two very stiff and sore legs.
So back to the beginning. The Cinder Track is a bike and walking track along the old disused train line between Scarborough and Whitby. Being a former train line, the walk is relatively easy with a mild gradient. After a slow morning I headed towards the start of the track at about 11:00am. The track was pleasant from the start but it took over an hour before I reached the outskirts of Scarborough and neighbouring Scalby.
The further away from civilisation I got, the more beautiful and peaceful the track became. Towards Scarborough there was a steady stream of parents wheeling prams but after that the track was only punctuated with walkers and cyclists. A couple of hours in I realised that this was what I wanted to do for the rest of the day. All around me was incredible birdsong with the occassional bird darting on to the path in front of me. I recorded as much of the sound as I could, when the singers weren't being shy on me.
The terrain changed as the track continued, as you'll see from the photos. Every path in front of me was a picture - a work of art - inviting me onwards.
I realised that this was the most "in the moment" I have been on this holiday.
Initially, the path was reminiscent of so many of the other paths I've explored on this trip.
I noticed the shine on the leaves of this tree.
As well as a large number of perfectly formed dandelion flowers.
Towards the town of Burniston, the path opened up.
More verdant green fields.
There was one section of trees decked out with accommodation for fledgling birds.
And more fields.
The path started to become more woody.
Then opened up again. I noticed this wall snaking its way up the hillside.
All along the track there are the bridges that use to pass over the train line. They add a unique feel to what is now a pedestrian or cycling way.
I noticed these unusually shaped gates in a number of places.
I passed a number of fields with cows. In this field I first noticed a white cow scratching her chin on a post but then paused to meet the rest. I thought this was the most photogenic.
For a while the track cut through dense woods.
Before revealing glimpses of the sea.
This was a former station on the line. The station building is now a residence and you can see the platform on the right. I encountered 3 other stations, but they were in far worse shape.
Eventually the track opened up completely.
Near Ravenscar I passed ruins of a WWII monitoring station.
At Ravenscar I paused at the visitor information centre. While relaxing I chatted with a couple who were staying in one of the villages I had passed. We talked about many things including how beautiful the countryside is. Robyn, you'll be pleased to know there ARE some english folk who appreciate what they have!
I was considering a couple of options for the final leg of my journey but the couple convinced me to stay on the Cinder Track. I'm so pleased that they did. Soon after leaving Ravenscar the view opened up to this incredible vista.
What a place for a picnic!
In the distance I could see Robin Hood's Bay.
From here on it was downhill, which was lucky because my legs were really complaining by this stage. Ideally I would have ended the walk an hour before, but I had to continue in order to meet the bus route for my return journey.
My walk terminated at Fylinthorpe. As I reached the town I passed a caravan park with this reassuring sign.
The weather was stunning and the light was brilliant. My head was tempted to turn right to Robin Hood's Bay but my body told me otherwise. When I reached the bus stop it was 5:26pm and the next bus was due at 5:36pm. It was a sign. I hopped on board and hobbled off at Scarborough 45min later.
I feel so incredibly privileged to have experienced such a wonderful path through this country.