To help ease my wine flu from the night before, my husband suggested a “welly walk” to help with my recovery period. So, to entertain an 11-year-old boy we set off in the car to East Row car park at Sandsend to find a walk that consists of Hobbit style landscapes, a moon like terrain, an abandoned railway tunnel and a shipwreck. I also decided in my wine fog that I would not wear my new Joules wellies as I did not want to get them dirty, so I wore some canvas Vans shoes which was not the best footwear choice for this walk.
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We climbed some steps from the East Row car park to hit the trail with Whitby and the Abbey in the background. This walk is part of The Cleveland Way National Trail that passes through Sandsend, it combines both woodland and coastal views.
As we walked along this old railway track, my husband remised about childhood hunts for frogspawn and my son was eager to go off the trail to go in search of a different route but due to my ridiculous decision to wear non-waterproof shoes, this was not to be.
This trail has lots of remains of the mining industry of the past. Sandsend Ness has a moon-like landscape, which is good to explore whilst taking in the views of the sea. The main draw of this walk for us is the abandoned Sandsend train tunnel, that had its last train travel through it in 1958.
This tunnel connects Sandsend to Kettleness and was closed due to falling passenger numbers, it is closed off from the public with a brick wall and a hatch that you can peer into if you dare. We were feeling brave today and we all stared into the abyss of the tunnel. We found that the abandoned train tunnel dwellers live on a diet of Dairylea dunkers, who would have thought that a savoury snack dipped in a cheese substance would be their food of choice?
We discovered a trail just off the tunnel along side a waterfall down to the sea with rope guides and this was like being on a pirates or a smuggler’s route down to a bay. Again, my choice of footwear became even more troublesome with thick muddy steps and metal steps that formed a bridge over a waterfall.
We came out to a bay where you could see that Whitby Jet hunters had been on the search for this local treasure and scars of this could be seen in the cliffs. We found fossils in the slate from the cliffs and the remains of a shipwreck out at sea. This walk has everything to fire up any child’s imagination, a spooky tunnel, a terrain that looks like another planet and a pirate cove with fossils. But learn from my lesson today, wear a pair of wellies!!
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