One of my favourite weeks of the year - and we stretch it out by setting off on Thursday and staying somewhere on the way for two nights. so, here's what we did.
Set off, pick friends up. Drive to Wetherby for coffee stop. Had a look round the market - it's a nice little town, never been here before. Then to Helmsley for lunch, and a trip to the famous Dolls House shop there. But, shock horror. Dolls House shop gone. Every time I've been to Helmsley I've been in it, and never bought anything because I was waiting till I had a dolls house. Now I've got one they've sold up! Still, we had lunch in the Feathers and a walk round the shops and the market square which was looking lovely as always.
Saw some great scarecrows by the Castle
Dinner in pub. Excellent.
Weather not so good. Looks like rain. But, we have a walk planned! Andrea wants to catch a bus to Pickering and just as we're setting off on a walk one appears. Try to hide it from her unsuccessfully, but we set off regardless. About 5 mins into walk and the heavens open. Rains heavily on us for about 30 mins. But, you can only get so wet.
Finally fines up and we get to Hutton le Hole for coffee. And a look round the craft shops and the Chocolate Faculty to stock up on hand made chocolate.
Then shorter walk to Gillamoor and lunch in the pub.
Then a couple of miles back, over the moors, through the heather, and past the ruins of Kirkbymoorside castle, which wasn't too impressive - there's not a lot left of it! Time for a beer before showering and resting before evening meal, again in the pub as we couldn't really find anywhere else.
Off early, so drove back to Helmsley so Stu could buy a top he'd seen the day before - a striped one in preparation for the pirate ceilidh later in the week.
Fab views over moors as we drive to Whitby - beautiful purple heather. It's great when we get the first view of Whitby Abbey in the distance. Have our traditional coffee at Sherlocks and play spot the first Sheffield people. Doesn't take more than a couple of minutes. For a week Whitby is transformed into Sheffield by the sea! Get our shopping done at the Co-op, drop the car off at the house, and a lovely sunny walk down the estuary into town, making sure that the Penny Hedge is still there.
Crab sandwich (of course) in the Duke of York. Then to the Endeavour to watch the parade which has changed route, and is coming onto the east side. There's some great rapper dancing in pub while we wait from Whip the Cat, and we are amused by the instruments stuck to ceiling.
So, we the watch the parade go past - lots of great morris teams:
Then dash down to swing bridge where there is chaos. The bridge has been open and is jammed with people.
There's obviously some debate about how to get the dance teams across. Eventually a path is cleared.
Back for fish and chips. And mushy peas of course.
Whitby is very busy because Regatta weekend clashes this year. Apparetly its all to do with the tides!
Then to spa for opening ceilidh. Brilliant sunset on the way.
Ceilidh is ace - Martin Harvey, Peeping Tom with dance spots from Shropshire Bedlams and Martha Rhodens. I popped out of the dance to see the Melrose Quartet in the Spa Theatre - an excellent Sheffield group. Its was hot!
Walked in lovely sunshine to top of the West Cliff to watch Red Arrows display. One of best bits of Regatta being at the same time as Folk Week. Lots of boats in sea to watch them.
The roar as they go over our heads, off the land over the sea for the first time is amazing. Brilliant display - got some photos, but lots of just the sky!
Stu then took his banjo to the "Not quite ready for a session" workshop. I met the others, and went to concert:
The Wilsons - huge wall of voices - and funny with it.
One my favourite singer songwriters, Steve Tilston
Jez Lowe - again a favourite of mine for many years.
An excellent couple of hours.
Then an unexpected concert. We were due to see Sid Kipper (aka Chris Sugden) perform, but Chris is ill, so at the last minute Eliza Carthy and Saul Rose stood in. And her dad, Martin makes a guest appearance.
Another brilliant concert and we were treated to a really weird sky on the way back - I'm not sure the photo captures how strange it was.
On way to Spa later we saw a huge convoy of trucks bringing the fairground rides onto the pier for Regatta day tomorrow. Lots of people out watching and filming them negotiating the narrow roads and sharp bends.
Good dance display in the ceilidh by Fools Gambit - an excellent young Morris team. Very energetic - they even got on their starting blocks to begin the dance.
Here's a video of them with Saul Rose on melodeon: