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5. Breath of sea air (Staithes - Berwick, North Yorkshire)

For this rainy day, it will be the seaside, a visit to a castle and a stay in an incredible hotel by the sea, admirably restored and with a breathtaking view. From the bay window, we were even able to admire a cetacean!


Route : it takes 230 km and 3 hours 20 minutes to reach Berwick from Withby.


STAITHES

From Whitby, it's a 20-minute drive to the small fishing village of Staithes in North Yorkshire, considered one of the most beautiful in the UK. It was once one of the most important fishing ports on the northeast coast. Due to its picturesque nature, Staithes has been the location for several film shoots.


Its 18th century cottages, small shops and a museum line the path to access the old village. Take the time to stop in the legendary Cod & Lobster pub for a tea or taste their local specialty, plain or garlic lobster.


Continue your walk along the port, then the cliffs where multitudes of seagulls nest to take a breath of sea air (at low tide) and look for fossils. The landscape is wild, invigorating and captivating. Be careful to wear suitable shoes, as the stones are very slippery!


Info : perched at the top of a set of cliffs, the village has a large paid car park (2.20 pounds/hour). From there, the ancient village is accessible in 10 minutes on foot via a paved road.


BAMBURGH CASTLE

Perched on a volcanic dolerite hill overlooking the village of Bamburgh, the castle is impressive, even more so on a day like this when the land is flooded, the roads littered with puddles and the wind is fierce. We are happy to ride with quality all-terrain tires.


First a Celtic fort destroyed by the Vikings, then a castle built by the Normans, the castle was restored and expanded numerous times, before being bought by an industrialist of the time, William Armstrong, whose family is still owner today. Inventor and visionary, he transformed the castle and decorated it with all kinds of souvenirs (ceramics, works of art, weapons, etc.).


The state rooms are full of objects belonging to different owners and visitors. The king's room, a Victorian masterpiece built on an old medieval room, is particularly rich and impressive. The 12th century keep houses an armory with a collection of fearsome swords, halberds, pikes and muskets, which were not only used as decorative objects. Very well preserved and still maintained, the castle housed some scenes from the film Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny.


Info : just in front of the castle, a paid car park (5 pounds) allows parking for a limited time. Further down towards the village, a free car park allows camper vans to be parked overnight. The price for the visit is 17 pounds per person (or included in the English Heritage Pass at 72 pounds per person).


MARINE NORTH BERWICK

For the night, we opted for a room with a sea view, near Dunbar, at the legendary Marine North Berwick. We are now in Scotland, very close to Edinburgh. Nicknamed at the time the Biarritz of the North, this hotel attracted the celebrities of the moment.


A large car park is located in front of the hotel, making it very accessible, even with a bus. The entrance hall plunges the visitor directly into another era. The imposing bay windows with a direct view of the sea encourage daydreaming. The spa is small, with 2 saunas, 2 steam rooms, a jacuzzi and a large swimming pool. The rooms are antique, with a very busy decoration, but with all modern comforts and excellent bedding. The hotel has a magnificent golf course by the sea. The restaurant has high quality service, the dishes are typically British, with lots of fries and other... fried dishes.


Built in 1875 by architect Frederick Thomas Pilkington, the building has a very personal style, combining medieval elements with Italian neo-Gothic motifs. It specialized in treatments using sea water. Renovated and maintained regularly, it retains its splendor, albeit a little outdated, from a now bygone era.



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