An ideal trip back in time for anyone planning to walk the Cleveland Way when lockdown is over, or for people who know it well. Actually, this isn't actually the whole Cleveland Way but only a section of it. It's an account written in 1866 of a two day walking holiday along the coast from the newly-built and select resort of Saltburn by the Sea to the ancient town of Whitby. The writer, who styles himself J.G. (in those days, newspaper articles were anonymous), is drawn by the prospect of a hearty walk and the scenery, but it's the industry and geology that really capture his attention:
Yorkshire Gazette, 14 July 1866
A visit to the Sea Cliffs of Cleveland
The Yorkshire sea coast is upwards of 100 miles in extent, and is, more or less, interesting to the tourist. The coast of the East Riding begins at Spurn Head, and ends near Filey, and that of the North Riding from near Filey to the Tees mouth, near Redcar. Desirous of spending a couple of days on the sea coast, and of seeing some of the ironstone districts of Cleveland, about which much has been said, we happened to look into a little book styled North Yorkshire by John Gilbert Baker, lately published, and at page 148 it is stated
Now that the railway runs to Saltburn on the one side, and to Whitby on the other, this grand sweep of craggy coast is brought within the range of easy access to tourists, and it is to be expected that it will be more visited, and become better known than it has been.
The tide is often inconvenient for paying a visit to the crags from below, and to skirt their upper edge necessitates
a good deal of rough scrambling, but to those who are able to make it, and who care for either magnificent scenery or geology, the walk between Saltburn and Whitby will richly repay the exertion.
Here is the very tract of country mapped out for a two days' trip, embracing in its range everything that is requisite for healthy exertion and for a general knowledge of the ironstone strata of the Cleveland hills.
The train which left York at 6 a.m. arrived at Saltburn at 9.30 on Tuesday, the 26th of June. The Zetland Hotel, not far from the station, was built by the Stockton and Darlington Railway Company at a cost of £30,000, and on each side, with a southern front, are built rows of handsome lodging houses and shops and detached villas. On the sands were ten bathing machines, and besides the usual comforts of a popular sea-bathing town, there is the two mile romantic walk of Skelton Glen, the entrance to which is opposite the beautiful range of lodging houses.
|Zetland Hotel today|
by Donnylad, licensed by CC BY-SA 2.0