Jo’s Monday walk : Saltburn in Winter


Some towns work really hard at making the best of what they have.  Saltburn-by-the-Sea, on the North Yorkshire coast, is certainly one of those. The second you step out of the railway station, you are welcomed by a frieze of mosaics, colourfully depicting many of the town’s landmarks.  The towering cliffs of Huntcliff Nab form a constant and beautiful backdrop at the end of the street.


A saunter through majestic Victorian architecture will bring you down to the Valley Gardens.  A miniature steam train, ‘Prince Charles’, chuffs the length of the valley in the summer months.  Then there’s the beach, promenade and cliff lift, all offering their entertainments.  The pier stretches out to embrace the salt spray of the North Sea.  Parasols a-twirling, return to gaze upon Huntcliff Nab.




I love the whimsical nod to days gone by in these mosaics.  It’s an easy enough stroll.  Come with me and I’ll show you how it all looks this winter.

Followers of this blog will be no strangers to Saltburn.  We’ve walked here together before.  I hadn’t really intended to take you there today, but my husband was measuring the garden of a lovely old Grade II listed house, in the town.  With a couple of hours to kill, I wasn’t going to waste an opportunity, now was I?

Let’s start with a look at some of the quirky shop fronts.  Browsing here is seldom dull.  See anything you like?


That’s quite enough of indulgence.  Keep that pie and mash shop in mind for later.  The owner looks very welcoming.  First we need a little bracing air.  It’s not too cold today, evidenced by the numbers on the beach.   The cliff lift stands lonely in silhouette, steps taking us down to the shoreline.



 No yarn bombing on the pier, as yet, but I’m sure that it will arrive in the summer.  Remember Alice, from last year?

The beach stretches off into the distance.  Children stamp and twirl gleefully on the sand.  Dog walkers are out in abundance.  A couple of opportunists sweep the beach in search of treasure.  Their find, multi-coloured pebbles, unwinking, except where caught in a flowing stream.  A life scored deep within their grooves and whorls.  Strands of seaweed, unfurling briny curls.



It’s time to turn and head back beside the crumbling cliffs.  Filigree patterns beneath the pier, and above, a bench to read on or simply watch the ebb and flow of tide.


There’s a lovely corner cafe, beside Cat Nab, just before you reach the brig.   You can watch the stream gushing into Valley Gardens from the outdoor terrace.  It’s a little muddy through there today.  So much rain in recent times!  It’s a steep pull back up to the cliff top, where you’ll be welcomed by the Victorian wicker family.  Some kind soul has knit them poppy buttonholes.


That’s it for another week!  Pie and mash, or did you indulge at the corner cafe?  Time to put the kettle on now, and join my walking friends.

walking logo

Huge thanks, as always, to my contributors, and to those of you who simply like to keep me company.  If you’d like to join in at any time, details are on my Jo’s Monday walk page.  Just click on the logo above.


Anabel goes in search of sunshine this week :

Bermuda : Somerset to the Dockyard

Geoff’s in Dulwich, looking at the definition of village :

Village Life

Amy’s found the most beautiful restaurant!

Monday Walk : Ybor City

Funny how some names always conjure up a song.  Any Steely Dan fans out there?

Day 1- Guadalajara

Good to welcome somebody new to the walks, so please head for Scotland and say ‘hi’ to Smidge :

Winter in the Botanics

Jude’s left her plants, temporarily, for a bit of a tongue twister this week :

Scrobbesbyrig/Shrewsbury : a look at stone buildings

Among many other talents, Nicole is an accomplished hiker.  Just take a look!

Best Hikes in Tucson : Bear Canyon’s hike to Seven Falls

Drake is in romantic mood.  Who wouldn’t be, in Venice?

L’atmosphere noire

A head for heights and a sense of humour are what you’ll need on Esther’s walk :

Walk on a Tightrope

Or, if you’re still feeling romantic?

Walk of Love

What might you expect to see in Panama?  Jaspa’s your man!

The Real San Blas Islands

I learnt a little more Welsh today, with Student in Snowdonia.  ‘Yr Aran’ – The Peak :

The Peak

I like the idea of tapestries on my walls.  Maybe I should try life in a castle :

Bunratty Castle- Home of an Irish King

A great selection, aren’t they?  I had intended to close my walks for 2 weeks, but my lovely husband pointed out that we don’t leave for the Algarve until next Monday afternoon.  Plenty of time for another, he said!  It’s not the walking that’s hard.  It’s keeping up with the responses.  We’ll see! Have a wonderful week, meantime.




  1. What a lovely journey! This is like a tour of Slatburn in photos. I love those Mosaics even more. I know its more beautiful to see it in real but nevertheless ,Thank you for bringing us along in your travel.

  2. I want to come to Saltburn and eat Yorkshire pie and mash, right now! Jo, you find the best murals of anyone I know, and I love the varied walk you took us on this week…ooops, sorry, last week. Geeze, shows how behind I am. But you know me, straggling at the back, always last but I get there in the end! Lovely walk, thank you Jo! 😀

    1. Sounds wonderful, Lee Ann 🙂 Thanks a lot. Saltburn’s a nice little town. Even better when the sun shines, but where isn’t? I’m missing for a week or so after this one. Many thanks for sharing.

      1. Thanks Jo. I’ve almost had enough of the sunshine. I am slowly melting in the 36C heat. The humidity is so high (around 85-90%) that the washing on the line won’t dry because it’s too steamy! I’ll look forward to seeing your walks in Algarve when you return from your break.

  3. Even on a grey day, it seems Saltburn’s mosaics add a nice splash of color to the cityscape, Jo. Your mention of Yorkshire reminds me that I should have a peek at my family tree, as a branch comes from Yorkshire.

  4. What an amazing work of art all those fabulous mosaics are, and the wicker work couple are delightful with the dash of red poppy . In fact your whole post is a work of art this week Jo, and quite lyrical too. But tell me what ever are sour apple lollies they sound quite unappetising, you can have them all Jude, I’ll stick with the pies and mash and do they do mushy peas with that too? Not had mushy peas since I was a young girl living in UK and that was like a million years ago!!! There is something quite special about strolling around the seaside out of season when you have it almost to yourself.

    1. Fabulous, Pauline, aren’t they? 🙂 I’ve got Murray playing tennis in the background but he appears to be in control now so I can respond to my comments 🙂
      I’ve not been in the pie and mash shop but they’re pretty sure to do mushy peas. I love them 🙂 Sour apples are good if you like something very tart, but Jude does make a fuss, doesn’t she? 🙂 🙂 (don’t tell her!)

      1. I love you and Jude’s back and forward chit chat Jo. (my lips are sealed.) Just seen on the sports news that it is Brits male and female into the Aussie tennis finals. I guess we won’t hear much from you for a few hours…

  5. What a great walk as always Jo. It is a little grey but I think I’d head right over and grab some pie and check out the quirky shops. 🙂 Thanks also for including mine in the post. I should start trying to do my hikes/walks posts on Mondays so I can join in the fun. We just don’t have tons of fascinating walks in the dead of winter in Minnesota! England is great for walking!!

  6. I love that Victorian wicker family, Jo! But my favourite thing is mosaics. One of my best friends does this and our little town is full of history with the mosaics she was commissioned to create. One day I might have to take you on a walk through my town 😉

  7. I’m glad I came along on your Monday walk. The mosaics are just amazing; the colors and scenes, so cheerful. I loved the wide, long beach with the shiny reflections and dog walkers. I also loved the Victorian wicker family with the lovely green fields behind.

  8. Jo I felt I needed my coat for that one. The mosaics are so gorgeous. It must have taken years to make them. I love the walk on the beach, even if it was a bit nippy. Looks like the dogs are having great fun.

    1. It was an unexpected treat for me, Sue. Normally I’m at zumba Saturday morning then doing a few chores. Instead I got to play with mosaics and hold Mick’s tape measure. 🙂

  9. Hi, Jo. Love this post, especially the photos of the mosaics! I just posted a piece on my blog about a walk I took to explore street murals in Astoria, located in the New York City borough of Queens. The post is located here, if you are interested: Your Monday Walks are such a great idea, and I look forward to reading more about them in the future. Best wishes, Susan

  10. Those sour apple lollipops made my mouth water, but I’d definitely be up for the pie and mash. Such beautiful mosaic work, and I love the wicker family’s poppy buttonholes. A really fascinating walk, Jo. I’ve never been to Saltburn, but it looks quite charming. 🙂

    1. Jude is getting quite grumpy about the number of people after ‘her’ sour apple lollies. It’s a big jar- why be greedy? 🙂 🙂
      Sitting? Who has time to sit, H? 🙂

      1. Yes. I have pointed out her error and expect recompense for her selfishness ere long.

        I thought you said something about sitting and reading. [goes back to check post] Oh. On the bench. My mistake. But still, how tedious to stand on the beach all day…..

    2. She won’t appreciate it! She can be very stubborn, H 😦 (Sorry I’m a little slow coming back to you. Been doing my walk shares on Facebook.)
      And you’re being picky- the pebbles are mostly at the back of the beach. You could take a blanket, but I don’t see it somehow…
      I’m much too busy walking up and down the beach looking for pretty pebble shots 🙂

      1. Aussies are VERY picky. And they call us whinging POMS! I have already pointed this out to MOSY. And that jar of sour apple lollies is practically empty now, and I have not even had mine!! [grumble, grumble… but I do have a sweetshop in town that sells them 😀 )

  11. “A life scored deep within their grooves and whorls. Strands of seaweed, unfurling briny curls.” Such beautiful words to match the beauty of the photos. I love the mosaics – you nearly don’t need to go beyond them to see the town. but then you’d miss the definite outlines of the jetty and the wickerwork figures and the beach with real non-parasolled people and dogs. You’re a wonderful ambassador for wherever you walk.

    1. I write my prose for you, Meg. 🙂 Why put pen to paper if you can’t make the words sing? I have to admit, I was tempted to stop after the mosaics, but I knew you’d love the beach scenes too. No matter the sad sky. The people were joyous. 🙂 Thank you for your lovely company.

      1. You certainly make the words sing, and I don’t think there’s such a thing as a sad sky, but then I live in sunny Australia!!! Keep writing for me so the rest of the world can enjoy gems.

  12. Saltburn is a charming little town, I love the way it displays their past with those beautiful mosaics, and you captured them so well for us to see. Thanks for the leisurely stroll round the town; that pie and mash shop looks like it’s well worth a visit!

  13. Thanks so much for taking us along on your visit and walk of this oh-so-charming town, Jo. Your photos are terrific. The seaside is gorgeous, and the town is beautiful. I especially like the mosaics. The birds in the mosaics are accurately depicted, which is just so delightful.

  14. I would have been happy just gazing at those mosaics – love the kombi (and my daughter would love it more). I love visiting the Algarve with you, but you also make this part of the world look special too, and makes me almost homesick, even though I never lived anywhere near this area! But I do like the North York Moors and that rugged coast up there.

      1. I shall revisit…. oh, and apologies for butting in about the VW – I just can’t help myself 😉
        And…. before I forget. Aren’t the rudbeckias (coneflowers) next to the bell ringer in the mosaic fabulous!

  15. Wow. This really looks like a place for me…….I know I say it every time, but this has to be the best walk yet……mosaics, nostalgic atmosphere, and a whole shelf of mega lollies? What could be better?

  16. Only you would tell the story of the mosaics honey, and so well too. They are great, having mosaic’d a few little things years ago i appreciate the hard work that goes into this. I love Saltburn, its my kind of beach to pootle for hours. I bet there are some good sunrises? Fab photos, close up and distant and I’ll skip the pie and mash shop and take the coffee and cake instead please.

    1. It’s too far away for me to have done a sunrise, Gilly, but it’s a lovely thought. Oh, yes- definitely ‘fat Betty’s’ in the cafe for you! Or are you a caramel slice girl? 🙂 Thanks, darlin’.

      1. What are fat Bettys? I like bakewell tart, coffee cake, scones, toasted tea cakes, apple cake, lemon cake, cake cake and pretty much anycake you can think of! x:-)x Actually my friend has baked American Snicker Doodles and I’ve just tried them for the first time, delicious but the sweetness has me beat!

      2. I’m up for a fat Betty! And I am totally with Gilly’s choices – cake cake definitely! But leave out the coconut. I’m not a fan of coconut. And I also don’t like sickly sweet cake.

  17. Wonderful walk – almost wish I was back in England! We’re planning a Yorkshire trip to catch up with friends this summer, think I’ll add Saltburn to the itinerary 😊

      1. I saw them first, well second, but first to comment on the actual photo. But I don’t mind sharing as otherwise I’d have a sore tongue, and that wouldn’t be nice. Sorry Suzan, we have hi-jacked your comment.

    1. Thanks, Amy! I enjoyed your walk so much! The link you’ve quoted in your comment is the wrong one though (in case anyone follows that rather than the pingback 🙂 ). It’s to Cee’s B&W.

    1. Ooh, I’ve always wanted to do the Royal Yacht! Thanks, Smidge 🙂 Yes, I’ve read ‘Secrets’ too, and actually based a walk around it, on here, a long while ago. 🙂

  18. I love those mosaics and that pier and all those colorful rocks on the beach, as well as the wicker family with the poppy buttonholes. So many great things to see and do. Did you stop for the pie and mash? 🙂

    1. I ended up holding the other end of the tape measure while he finished off at the garden, Cathy 🙂 Good to hear from you! You’ve survived the snow so far? It looked dreadful on the news, apart from the panda who was having the time of his life.

      1. Well, that’s good you were there to help him out, Jo! Too bad you missed the pie and mash though. Yes, I’ve survived the snow; will try to go out for a walk before long and later maybe I can post pictures. It’s crazy!! That panda is so cute, isn’t he?

  19. The mosaics are delightful-my favourite is the first with the VW camper van and the cliffs behind. Looks like it was a great day to nearly have the beach to yourself… And maybe more of a pie and mash day than cake day?

  20. Have you read Freya North’s Secrets? I finished it a couple of weeks ago. Yeah,mI know, not my style, but it was a cast off. Anyway, she gives Saltburn a rave write-up. Years since I’ve been. The pier looks odd. No purpose, just stuck out there for show.

    1. Thanks for reminding me! One of the very early posts I did on here was in response to that book 🙂 I sort of told the story as I ‘walked’ us through Valley Gardens. The pier’s just one of those things for people to walk to the end of and back again (and to hang the yarn bombing on 🙂 ) I love it!

  21. I like seaside towns in winter! I think I’ve only been to Saltburn once – I recognise the pier and remember John telling me that he had gone sea-kayaking here in his youth. Loved the mosaics. I’ve abandoned sun for snow this week, some finishing touches required and I’ll ping it across later.

  22. They are all so beautiful photographs that I really would enjoy to be there… I want to taste the pie 🙂 and the last one fascinated me. Thank you dear Johanna, have a nice day, love, nia

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