Saltburn-by-the-Sea, North Yorkshire
This is Saltburn or Saltburn-by-the-Sea to give it its full title - a lovely old Victorian seaside resort on the North Yorkshire coast a bit north of Scarborough. I saw it in a TV play years ago and vowed to visit one day. It looked so great with its cliff lift (they don't call it a funicular), pier and huge sandy beach. It has a real Alan Bennett feel to it, homely but windswept. When we got there we'd just missed The Royal doing some filming and Heartbeat are never out of there as it passes for the 1960s without any fuss. No wonder as it's so unspoilt.
The cliff lift is the oldest remaining waterbalance lift in Britain, working its way up and down the 120ft cliff since 1884. There's something satisfyingly low-tech about all the swishing and clanking that goes on. For 60p you get to travel in the intimate little cars (maximum 15 passengers and that must be a tight squeeze) with their lovely stained glass windows. There were two old men in ours who asked wryly if we were having a good time. They seemed suprised when we said we were. With surroundings as nice as this it's easy to get by without "attractions".
On to the pier next, the most northerly surviving one in Britain, which stretches out over a spotless sandy beach.There are amusements at the cliff end but apart from that it heads out to sea with little ornament, so it's advisable to get some chips for the walk to keep yourself occupied. With the surf reportedly the best outside Cornwall there's a funny mixture of the old and the young around, although you must need a pretty thick wet suit to keep you warm. I thought nowhere was that lost in time any more, but I found 3 postcards from before the moon landing in the shop at the end of the pier. The whole place has the air of a well-kept secret and that can't possibly last, so visit now before it's too late.
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