North Yorkshire Coast
If you're visiting England, don't miss the Yorkshire Coast
Isn't it strange how when you're a kid you take things for granted? I certainly did.
Just wait until you see the photograph further down the page - these are some of the places we often used to go to. They were only about an hour away from home by car so we just took them for granted.
It's only now, looking back, that I can see how lucky we were.
When I was last in London, it was full of Japanese people. And Germans. Australians. Americans. People from everywhere in the world.
Which is great - London is a multi-cultural city like everywhere in England - but so many people just visit London when they go to the UK.
That's such a shame when there are so many other wonderful places. Today, I'm going to show you three places that are popular with the English but few people from overseas know about. Ssh - it can be our secret.
Whitby, Staithes & Robin Hood's Bay
All these three places are fishing villages that have an enormous amount of history. Yorkshire is less than two hours away from London by train - depending on which area you're going to.This means that if you're based in a London hotel you can visit for just a day although you'll probably be sorry if you don't spend more time there - take a weekend at least.
Robin Hood's Bay
How's that for a picturesque name?
Robin Hood's Bay is the most southerly of the three villages and like the others is made up of a warren of old cottages on narrow lanes,many of them incredibly steep as they meander down to the sea. This made the village the ideal spot for smuggling in days gone by.
They do say that many of the old cottages are linked by underground tunnels that helped the smugglers of the day distribute their bounty.The smuggled goods were mainly booze and I approve wholeheartedly.
That's why, in memory of the smuggling days, I don't think I've ever been to Robin Hood's Bay and not spent some time at the seafront pub at the bottom of the hill. It's a great excuse.
Whitby is only five miles further to the north. It's the largest of our three villages - so much so that we can call it a town. Therefore it's the busiest and the most commercial. It's a good idea to head for Whitby at lunchtime because it's where you'll get the most excellent fish and chips.
Whenever I think about Whitby or look at the photographs below, I can smell that old familiar aroma of freshly caught fish, vinegar and the lovely bracing sea air that builds up a wonderful appetite.Whitby is famous for it's black jet jewelry and other goods so if you're looking for souvenirs, black jet is perfect. Or look for reproductions of Frank Sutcliffe's wonderful photographs - see below.
Ten miles further north is Staithes, also an historic fishing village and similar to the other two places in that its dwellings are small and situated on narrow cobbled streets.There's such a sense of history here and again, a visit to one of the local pubs is a must.
I'm terribly biased of course but Yorkshire people are the best in the world so be sure to chat with some locals - you never know what stories you might hear.
Frank Sutcliffe photographsClick thumbnail to view full-size
© 2014 Jackie Jackson