The Palladium Pigsty

Can you imagine going away for a few days to return home to find a hot pipe in your bathroom had burst and pumped out water all over the room and the kitchen below?

Rosie and Al will because that is what happened to them when they went away and came back to find a not insignificant amount of damage. Fortunately the property was insured but until such time as the work had been carried out it was an unsuitable place to bring up two small boys.  Consequently, they moved into our cottage for five months.

As a Thank You, they gave us a voucher to be used with the Landmark Trust- a holiday company with some rather unusual properties on its books.  Because of other things going on, we were unable to use the voucher in 2010 and opted instead to go over to the east coast for Margaret's birthday in late May this year.  The destination was Robin Hood's Bay- somewhere neither of us had been but both wanted to explore.

The chosen property had been a pigsty.  But that is something of an understatement, a bit like saying the Queen lives in a house.  It was a Palladium Pigsty, the like of which I had never seen before and don't expect to see again.  Not huge but certainly built in the grand style, resembling a mini Greek Temple.  And nicely converted if in a somewhat old fashioned way- no shower, no microwave oven, no TV and not even a radio.  But who needs such things when there is a bath, an ordinary oven with hobs and plenty of books and jigsaws? !!


Monday 23rd May

We had booked to go over on the Monday, not to arrive before 4 p.m..  However it is an understatement to say the weather was horrendous.  There were dire weather warnings right across the north of England- this was certainly not the day to be travelling across the moors unless your journey was absolutely necessary.  After a lot of thought we reluctantly postponed our journey to the following day, the forecast for which was much improved.


Tuesday 24th May

As predicted, the storm had passed and we set off early.  The weather improved as we travelled east via Hawes and down Wensleydale.  We stopped for coffee and a walk round Leyburn then took the route round to the north of the Cleveland Fells to arrive at the Pigsty in the early afternoon.

Inevitably, our first exploration was a stroll down to Robin Hood's Bay and around this attractive little village nestled into the cliffs.

Next was a drive to Whitby and an unplanned walk around the east bank and up the cliffs to the ruined abbey before returning back to the Pigsty for supper and jigsaw.


Wednesday 25th May

Margaret's birthday so breakfast and presents in bed for her!

Thereafter we had a stroll along the old railway line, now a cycle track as far as Ravenscar.  Although not steep, it is the longest continuously uphill path I can recall.

Ravenscar is a funny place.  It never really happened.  It was planned to be the next Scarborough but after building a hotel, a railway station and a few shops, development stopped.  We had a light bite in a cafe that told the story, then returned along the Cleveland Way, diverting to take in an Alum factory famous for taking the piss (literally) out of Newcastle and London in order to mix with the local mineral in order to fix the colour in cloth.  An old pill box, unusually open to the public, make a convenienty backrest for a coffee stop.

We left the official Way for a short section in order to walk on the beach.  The tide was receeding and it was too good an opportunity to miss.  Erosion of the cliffs continues to be a problem.

We cut back up to the Pigsty before reaching RHB.  The total 10.3 miles and 1,597 feet but hadn't felt like it,  In fact, it was a very pleasant stroll!

That evening we enjoyed an excellent meal at the Wayfarer Bistro at the top of RHB.


Thursday 26th May

The weather was not so good.  Rain was looming so we drove to Staithes.  The  first view is not very preopossing as the horizon is dominated by the potash mine, the tunnels running deep and out to sea.

Dropping down the hill to the coast was rather different. A steep and narrow fishing village.

Margaret had stayed here as 15 year old with her friend Ann whose father was a member of the Staithes group of painters as well as Head of Leeds College of Arts.

She had not been back since so was not able to recall where their cottage was but we did find an art gallery dedicated to the new Staithes painters.  The person who served us (yes, we made a birthday present purchase after a break for a fresh crab sandwich) had some recollection of Eric Taylor as a portrait painter.

Next stop Saltburn-by-the-Sea.  The weather was again threatening rain.  We took the funicular down to the pier and headed out to sea but didn't linger.  Instead we returned to a nice cafe with a good view across the beach to the surfers.

Returning to Robin Hood's Bay we were really looking forward to a pizza carry-out from the butchers only to discover that it was early closing day and it was shut.  Fortunately the chippy down near the front recognised a business opportunity.


Friday 27th May

Robin Hood's Bay

Home day.  First a brief visit to Robin Hood's Bay then return via the back of Scarborough and across to Helmsley for lunch- it was market day and quite the busiest place we had seen all week .  Next stop Aysgarth for afternoon tea and to plan a future visit.  Then home.

A grand few days, thank you Rosie & Al.




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