Day 7. 15 miles
The last day. And without doubt the coldest morning I’d woken up to. It felt, for the first time, distinctly autumn-esque today. But, what a beautiful morning. I awoke at 6:00 and unzipped my tent to be met a sunrise in its infancy; a thin layer of orange sat above the calm North Sea, the only movement was a patrol boat heading up and down the coastline. I neglected to turn my light on and draw any unwarranted attention to myself, instead, I sat with my hood up and sleeping bag around my legs, and made a cup of tea and watched the day slowly wake up above the sea. As the sun rose the clouds in the sky slowly dissipated and I dropped the tent and headed off to Scarborough in a cold, but cloudless and beautifully sunny morning. I also headed off in a state of mild excitement for I’d planned a slap up full English breakfast somewhere on the north bay, and I was already hungry.
As ever, the coastal views were lovely but the walking pretty uneventful in the just under two hours it took to reach Scarborough. The castle on the hill a constant silhouette on the horizon as I made my way in. I walked along the almost deserted north bay beach with the sun in my eyes, past the colourful beach chalets and then straight in to the busy Watermark Cafe for a really tasty breakfast that after a night in the wild on mostly meagre resources and portions, I wolfed down and with a couple of pots of tea, too. Following my departure I decided to ignore the official Cleveland Way path that takes a low route around the sea front and instead I took the high way, climbing up to the castle to enjoy elevated views of the town, and be able to look back up the coastline to where I’d come from this morning. The north side of Scarborough was lovely, big regency era houses, well kept gardens and a contrast to the south side that when I reached it at beach level, was the archetypical English seaside resort - arcades, rides and the usual tacky shops selling the usual beachside regalia. The beach was really lovely, though, golden and sandy and I walked along there as far as I could, beneath the Grand Hotel, the pretty iron bridge and the spa, and then, eventually, found myself outside the town and back up to the cliff edge for some walking along wooded land with sea views obscured by the trees as the path headed, briefly, through some suburbia in Osgodsby. I met a man coming the other way who was section walking the Cleveland being as he lived in Essex, and told me, enviably, how he’s completed the vast majority of the Wainwrights, which is where I’d have happily swapped places for right now, with the last day of the Cleveland already feeling like a bit of an anti-climax with the best of the coastal walking already completed.
Once out of Osgodsby the rest of the walk to Filey clinged to the coastline, somewhat dangerously so the nearer the finishing line became. Firstly it was down to Cayton Bay beach, only briefly, before a climb back up to the top and then a mile or so above the cliffs of Cayton Bay to Red Cliff Point, as the path narrowed and it was walking along the edge in places as the trail traversed through the chalets and static homes of Dolphin Holiday Park, out of season and mostly eerily quiet. The only sounds were the winds coming in off the sea as the sunny sky that followed me out of Scarborough turned to threatening grey, and seeing Filey in the distance, it looked as though I may arrive there sodden.
Thankfully, though I had to don my waterproof jacket, it only had to deal with a few spots of rain as I made my way along the cliff tops to the end point at Filey Brigg. It was blowing like the clappers and like with the Pennine months before, any sense of achievement was completely lost on me. I took a couple of photos of the signpost pointing north with Helmlsey 109 miles away, and just over from there a seat with some of the Cleveland Ways high points carved in to it. I walked into Filey itself, not having been there for years I had completely forgotten what it looked like though I was less than surprised to find at the beachfront lay a large amusements arcade and every other beachfront offering that you can imagine. The best bit of Filey is beyond there and above the sea with the regency buildings along The Crescent and the gardens between there and the coast very nice to observe. I headed around the corner on to the main road, full of shops, cafes and restaurants and enjoyed a celebratory scone and pot of tea in the lovely Bramwells Tea Room and, most definitely, knew that aside from the odd day in the Peaks, my boots would be put into hibernation for the winter.