I knew I was back in my native Yorkshire county when we recklessly turned up in the Magpie's queue, literally hot from the beach. It was an unprecendented 32 degrees on Whitby sands that day. We arrived in our glory, suncreamed, sweaty, gritty with
sand and carrying all the folding chairs, buckets and spades, towels and sundries that a party of five adults and one four year old needed for an afternoon on the beach. It wasn't a long queue. After a while, a woman appeared at the top of the steps.
of you a party of twelve?" she bellowed. We all obediently answered, truthfully, that we were not and had just turned up to wait. "Oh. Did yer?" she answered.
Those few words, heavily expressed with that lethally deadpan intonation so particular to
Yorkshire, were all she needed to really say, "Are you out of your tiny stupid minds? Does it look remotely possible to come here on the off-chance, looking like that? You haven't got a hope in hell without a reservation, and you don't deserve
one either. Idiots."
We duly made a reservation and the following evening sailed past the other misguided fools waiting trustingly outside, as we had done the night before. The food really was delicious, in spite of the warm Yorkshire welcome we had
Some things have changed since my daughter's childhood holidays there. No donkeys on the sands on any of the days, which was rather sad. But there were waves to be jumped, delicious pastries to scoff from Botham's, the 199 steps
to the Abbey, a stormy sea trip round the harbour on the mini Endeavour, and fish and chips galore. What more could you want, with one perfect day on the beach to start us off?
Whitby and the surrounding area is the fictionalised setting for my historical
novel 'Seahaven', taking place in a lawless 1700's East Yorkshire, available from Amazon in paperback and e-book. See the link here to see more about the book, my five star reviews and to order. I hope it will capture your imagination if you read it
and please do leave me another review!