Sunday, October 18, 2015

North Yorkshire Day 3 - Early morning groynes & a famous village

Sunrise image of Sandsend beach near Whitby by Martyn Ferry Photography

Up for sunrise again and it was another foggy morning, but I thought I would head 10 minutes up the coast to Sandsend and see what it was like there, and if that was shrouded in thick fog as well, at least it wouldn't take long to get back.

As it turned out, the fog thinned as I got out of Whitby and my luck was in, and although there was a lot of grey cloud in the sky, I thought I would stick around and see what's what. I parked up on a side road and took the steps down to the beach, there wasn't a great deal of it to be seen as the tide was in quite far, and continuing on it's journey inwards with some speed. 

Sandsend is home to a plentiful supply of beach groynes, most of them were covered up by the fitful waves, but there was one long line of them still available to me, so I set up and hoped for some early morning colour. I didn't have to wait long, as the sun began to approach the horizon a pink diffusion of light started to appear, and thanks to the low cloud, it covered the entire scene in a rosy blush.

Beach groynes at Sandsend in North Yorkshire at sunrise by Martyn Ferry Photography
Beach groynes in the swirling waters reflecting the morning colour.

Photograph of beach groynes at sunrise in Sandsend seafront by Martyn Ferry Photography
Looking towards Whitby in the distance still blanketed in fog.

It only lasted about 10 minutes but it was well worth being there for. Alas it wasn't long before my wellingtons were being regularly overwhelmed by the bombarding waves, so I relocated onto the elevated path that runs along the bottom of the sea wall, and continued to get some images of the fast disappearing groynes and the crashing surf as it pounded against the wall.

Beach groynes in the morning sun at Sandsend by Martyn Ferry Photography
With the sun rising quickly it wasn't long before it was swallowed by the clouds above.

Photograph of Whitby piers in the morning fog at sunrise by Martyn Ferry Photography
A view of Whitby piers in the morning fog.

The ocean slips between the beach groynes at Sandsend by Martyn Ferry Photography
The tide streaks past the weathered old groynes.

Waves crash onto Sandsend sea wall near Whitby North Yorkshire by Martyn Ferry Photography
Waves pound the platform under the sea wall.

Sea spray at Sandsend in North Yorkshire by Martyn Ferry Photography
The waves would soon drive me off my perch as they gained more force. 

Before long even the platform I was standing on wasn't immune from the surging tide, and after getting a couple of proper dousings I packed up and headed back for a spot of breakfast.

The weather was still very overcast, so I headed up onto the moors and to the little village of Goathland to visit the old railway station and nearby waterfall. Goathland is probably most famous for being the fictional village of Aidensfield in the Heartbeat television series. It's other claim to fame is it's railway station, which was used as Hogsmead station in the Harry Potter films.

The railway is run by a charitable trust, and operated mostly by volunteers, it's beautiful old steam trains carry more than 250,000 passengers a year, and it is the second longest preserved line in Britain. When I got there I checked the timetable on the off chance that a train might be due, and as luck would have it, there was one arriving in 10 minutes. I hung around the station until I could hear an approaching whistle watched as around the bend chugged a sleek black engine swathed on billowing steam.

The station bridge at Goathland, used in the Harry Potter films by Martyn Ferry Photography
The old iron bridge that spans the line at Goathland.

Picture of a steam train at Goathland railway station by Martyn Ferry Photography
Looking down from the bridge onto the steam train as it drops off it's passengers.

I then walked through the village to it's other end, passing by the village green where a lively group of morris dancers were entertaining what spectators there were at this relatively early hour. The medieval type music and the dense fog, still obscuring much of the surrounding landscape, lent the scene an air of surrealism. Plus there were all the sheep. Much of the surrounding land is owned by the Duchy of Lancaster, and the Duchy's tenants have a common right, extending for hundreds of years, to graze their black faced sheep on the village green and surrounding moorland.

Morris dancing in the North Yorkshire village of Goathland by Martyn Ferry Photography
Morris dancers giving it their all on Goathland village green. On the far left is the back end of one of the
old police cars they used in the series Heart Beat.

I found the path to the waterfall, and after walking through some open land I took the steep passage though some close-knit woodland until I reached the West Beck, then following the path along the river for a little while I arrived at Mallyan Spout. At 60 feet, Mallyan Spout is the tallest waterfall on the moors, and I'm led to understand that after some rain it can be an impressive sight. Unfortunately today it was not.

West beck image at Goathland near Mallyan Spout by Martyn Ferry Photography
A section of the West Beck before reaching Mallyan Spout.

Mallyan Spout waterfall at Goathland North Yorkshire by Martyn Ferry Photography
Mallyan Spout looking a little feeble.

Once I had made my way back to the village, which by now was starting to get busy with tourists, I took off to Saltwick Bay again to take advantage of the low tide, and get some shots of this fascinating bit of coastline. 
Black Nab at Saltwick Bay near Whitby by Martyn Ferry Photography
I wanted to get some shots of Black Nab from different viewpoints,
so I ended up including it all my pictures.

Rocky foreshore at Saltwick Bay in North Yorkshire by Martyn Ferry Photography
An image of the rocky foreshore.

Simple photograph of Black Nab at Saltwick Bay under an overcast sky by Martyn Ferry Photography
Black Nab reflected in a rock pool.

Saltwick Bay Black Nab with layers of rock in the foreground by Martyn Ferry Photography
The layers of rock surrounding the landmark look like slices of cake.

The wreck of Admiral Von Tromp at Salwick Bay in North Yorkshire by Martyn Ferry Photography
The wreck of the Admiral Von Tromp and Black Nab under a more promising sky.

After a while the clouds did start to break up, and patches of blue could be seen peering through the dismal gloom. By now though the tide was turning with a vengeance and swallowing up the foreshore rocks with impressive speed. The afternoon was turning into early evening so I took a wander back to the car and drove up the road to Whitby Abbey car park.

I walked from the car park and along the headland to the Church of St Mary, where I hoped to get some sunset pictures looking over the town. I couldn't really find the shot that I wanted so I gave up there and plonked myself at the top of the 199 steps, the other side of the church. Thankfully once the sun had gone to bed, some colour began to appear in the sky, and much the like the start of the day, a salmon flush crept across the landscape, bathing everything in it's pink glow. Which was a nice way to end the day.

Image of Whitby town and harbour at sunset by Martyn Ferry Photography
Looking over the town of Whitby and inner harbour.

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