Saturday, 23 March 2013

Mountain biking near Staithes

While Britain has been covered in blizzards, Staithes and our corner of the North Yorkshire coast has had its own weather window. Duncan and I took the chance to go mountain biking from Dunsley holiday cottage (, heading inland to explore for a change. We started a couple of kilometres from Staithes at Loftus. A well-kept bridleway took us past the cemetery, over fields and alongside a beck, to Warren Wood (parallel with Grinkle Lane). Then on a farm track via Handale, crossing a steep-sided beck (good descent! Hard little climb!) up to Liverton. On the far side of the beck the bridleway had been diverted around a farmyard but on our old map it showed straight across a field, which was full of very curious horses... we had a good chat with the farmer, who says walkers who are rude get sent back around the diversion! Into Moorsholm, then turned left up the road., The plan was to ride up to the main A171 but the wind was strong and the mud was deep, so we cut across to Mill Beck, along a bridleway that had been used by offroad motorbikes. What a mess. I ended up pushing most of the way through Spring Wood because the mud was just too deep. The hawthorn woods had been flailed and by the time we crossed the stream and climbed up to farmland, we had six punctures between us... finally made it to Moorsholm and rode the tarmac back to Loftus. If we’d done the full route, and escaped the mud and punctures, it would be a great route, so we’ll have another crack at it if summer ever comes. I'll post more routes once the ground dries out...
Duncan is an expert at puncture repair... after Spring Wood

Mud, glorious mud! approaching Moorsholm

Monday, 4 March 2013

Super surfing at Staithes

It's been a cracking weekend for surfers at Staithes (2-3 March). Saturday featured big waves in regular sets, providing long rides on decent swells. Sunday looked calmer, but in fact the waves were just as good, with sets being less regular and with more potential for spills! The most action was to the north, with sea access from the harbour reef because of the very low tide, but there were plenty also riding the break to the south, direction Runswick Bay.
Surfers crowded in both days; it's rare to see people running down Staithes' street at 9am, but that was the case on Saturday and Sunday! We were staying at Dunsley cottage ( and had gone out early to move the car up to the free parking on Cowbar Nab; I've never seen so many vans parked up there, all with surfers frantically climbing into wetsuits. Weather conditions - Saturday was incredible: clear blue sky, no wind. Sunday was duller but quite mild.
 Pictures taken from Cowbar Nab looking north on Saturday, and one from the street looking over the harbour, although the sea state isn't obvious from a distance!