Sometimes we are so busy with our day to day activities that there is little opportunity or even inclination to enjoy what is on our doorstep. Indeed, until the three years I worked part-time before retiring completely, any time off work was spent getting as far away from home as possible within the time constraints imposed in an effort to avoid household chores or worse still a temptation to call into the office.
Nowadays the situation is very different and I frequently find myself visiting local destinations and beauty spots with the eye of a tourist and a camera in my hand. So it was that we found ourselves in Whitby on Saturday. An eclectic mix of Dracula, Gothic, steep cliffs, piers, screeching gulls, wide skies, an ancient abbey, 12th century Church, boats, old fishermen's cottages and a pervading scent of fish and chips. It has a history that stretches back to before the Synod of Whitby in the 7th century when the authority of Rome was recognised.
We also formulated an idea for another of those bucket lists we love to start but never finish: visiting the piers of Britain, starting with Yorkshire. There is certainly interest today in the historical pleasure piers erected by the Victorians at so many of our coastal resorts and of which I understand only 58 remain. However, natural harbours like Whitby also have stone built piers, erected to enhance protection for the fleet and are of equal if not greater historical interest.