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Location Guide

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Tim Parkin

Tim Parkin

Amateur Photographer who plays with big cameras and film when in between digital photographs.

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After a bit of a lean period in terms of my own photography I’ve had the pleasure of going out every week for the last four weeks. Every one of those weeks has been to the same location but in many ways that has made it more interesting. Apologies for the delay in getting the latest issue complete as we have spent some time getting the 360 location guide working again (why do software developers insist on changing things!). It’s not coincidental that we had the recent meeting at our colleague David Tolcher’s house in Robin Hood’s Bay and that we made a ‘trip report’ of sorts out of it. We thought you might be interested in learning a little more about the location and thinking about what you might have made of it had you been there. And so - in a roundabout way - I’m introducing a new location guide.

If you take a look at a map of Whitby, you’ll see just to the right hand side a sandy bay simply called Saltwick. It’s not really promoted as an attraction and to get their you need to drive up a private caravan park entry road and park up right outside their gates. To get down to the beach you need to walk into the caravan site and then follow a path down a fairly steep slope (thankfully it’s been maintained recently and could previously be described as more of a mud chute than a path). I’ve marked this path in green, as well as other rights of way, on the map below (bare in mind that the map is from 1875 and things have changed a little since then - however it’s all I can get without massive fees from Ordnance Survey).

I’ve marked the sandy part of the beach in orange. Car parking is marked with the P. If you click on the image below you'll get a wider view including Saltwick Nab (right click here if you want to see this on a new tab or download).

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  • Damien Taylor

    Hi Tim,

    I enjoyed the location guide, it was good to read an article about a location so close to me.

    Just so readers don’t get confused with which caravan park you have to use to get down to Saltick Bay, it’s Whitby Holiday Park.

    Good advice re not getting too close to the cliffs as they can be very dangerous and I’ve witnessed a large rockfall like yourself. One thing for me about the wet rockbed, it is particularly slippy and no matter what type of footwear I’ve ever worn, I’ve always found it tricky.

    I enjoyed the images attached to the article and you’re right about most tog’s being attracted by Black Nab & the Admiral Von Tromp. I think it’s a case of ‘getting them out of your system’ and then you’re free to look around the rest of the bay. Having the benefit of living nearby, I’ve been able to spend a fair bit of time down there and as well as taking in the wider shots I’ve found that looking a bit closer provides some interesting results. Low tide is essential to obtain these shots though! Click here for the Flickr gallery.

    All the best

    Damien Taylor

  • I slipped and broke my arm on the treacherous slippery shale after getting the shot I wanted! Was there five mornings in a row and got nothing but on the last day got this.. http://www.mikecurryphotography.com/portfolio/print/saltwick-bay/

    I slipped when putting my camera rucksack up on my back and fell on my elbow, cracking the joint. I had to first scramble over some large rocks one handed then drive home one handed (it hadn’t started hurting then) which was easy enough in an automatic. Fortunately I was staying next to the hospital in Whitby!!


    • That’s as good a warning as any I could come up with :-) Glad you got the shot though – imagine if it was all for nothing!

  • Paul Whitbread

    Off at a tangent: what’s the source for that map? There’s a few sites I know of that make the old OS maps available but not to that quality, then they claim copyright on the scanning…

    • It’s a subscription service I’m using – not sure if they can copyright scanning – that’s a new one on me :-)

      • Paul Whitbread

        Everybody wants to, and hence does, claim a fresh copyright on slavish reproductions of public domain works (check the back of any postcard in a museum shop). The exact legal position seems to be untested. In the US, there was a case, Bridgeman Art Library v. Corel Corp that said you can’t (it fails the originality test) but there’s not been an equivalent UK case to settle the matter.

  • jennym

    I can verify that the tide can come in surprisingly fast and that progress walking close to the cliffs near Black Nab is slower than when the tide is further out. In a fit of enthusiasm I decided to photograph the Admiral von Trump by moonlight (as one does) but having done my homework I was then delayed (getting kids into bed) and just as I set up my exposure the moon decided to hide behind a cloud (most inconsiderate). Anyway, part way through the exposure I noticed the tide coming in and a quick assessment of the escape options weren’t great. So after a little experimental head torch action I found myself heading back along the beach at 2:30am fairly close to the cliffs where the rocks are larger and smooth and progress on an incoming tide in a few inches of water was slow. It all worked out fine, but was a little precarious and I would recommend going with a friend and making sure you are in plenty of time for a receeding tide…..

  • Catriona Thompson

    I would also recommend it in fog… We managed to get the first of the smoggy days to coincide with an early morning visit. Not mush sunrise, but a lot of character

  • Hancock

    The challenge idea is great – seeing the “elite” cope with whatever the weather throws up at them, amdits refreshing to know that the rest of us aren’t alone in cocking things up – forgetting the camera is beyond wonderful – have there ever been ever bigger ? Looking forward to the next one. Best Wishes Tim Hancock

  • Obviously great minds think alike Tim – mine from a couple of years ago:

    I reckon your camera must have been about 6″ to the left of mine.

  • John Hill

    In response to David’s suggestion for using wading boots, how about a pair of old walking socks worn over regular walking boots?

    Supposed to be good for snow too

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