Yorkshire was the venue for all my holidays until I was nine. More than forty years down the line I have travelled all over the world but the siren call of the North Yorkshire coast remains strong. So it was that we packed our bags and my Mother into the car and headed for Robin Hoods Bay. Boggle Hole Youth Hostel nestles in a ravine tucked behind the bay. There is no space for parking or turning at bottom of the cliff so you park at the top and carry your bags down. We checked in only to discover that our room was in the Crow’s Nest which required a steep assent up the opposite side of the valley.
Deep in the mists of time, before I was born, my Mother and a chum ventured forth on a tour of the Rhine staying in Youth Hostels (rumour has it that she was a youth at the time). She therefore found that many things have changed since then. Chores are no longer a required part of staying in a Youth Hostel and whilst all have self-catering kitchens, many have restaurants and licenced bars. Curfews and having to be out of the hostel by a certain time are also a thing of the past.
We were lucky and had both bright sun and deep obscuring fog during our visit. Wide views of the spectacular bay were afforded by the sun. Strangely it was the fog that brought a sense of the mystery of the place, you felt cut off from the world and could imagine yourself a smuggler taking full of advantage of the remote location. No surprise that Dracula chose nearby Whitby for his UK holidays. We wandered along the beach to Robin Hoods Bay poking around in rock pools, hunting (unsuccessfully) for fossils and marking out works of art in the sand as we went. Once in the village we found a splendid shop that sells rocks, shells and second hand books; we left with four lumps of magnetite, a sample of labourite, a piece of quartz topped with a gilt mouse, a fossil set in a necklace, an ammonite and a copy of Len Deighton’s Faith – everybody happy and all for less than £15. Lunch was fish and chips eaten outside with seagulls swirling above our head. Perfect day.
Our departure coincided with the Youth Hostel Landrover making a trip up the hill. We pushed my Mother forward and emphasised her advancing years (no matter that the day before she had been skipping downhill and up dale along the coast path) she was offered a lift up. Bags and children could go in the back; departure in style!