Saltburn sits quite prettily between the rugged and imposing beauty of Huntcliff to the South and the sprawling industrial landscape of Teesside to the north. On the day we went the wind coming in off the north sea was biting and the waves were raging. The perfect weather to blow any festive cobwebs away.
I was back at home in Middlesbrough over the Christmas holidays and it was great to be back. Having lived in London for four years and then Leeds for the past 12 months, I don’t think I’d been back for longer than a few days at a time for the last five years. So, now that I work from home, I decided to allow myself a full fortnight of festivities, which meant I could spend with family and friends without worrying about time constraints.
Middlesbrough, and the rest of Teesside, tends to get a lot of bad press. “Worst Place To Live In The UK” and “Worst Place To Be A Girl In The UK” are just two of the undesirable tags the town had earned in recent years, but take a moment to speak to any of Middlesbrough’s natives and you’ll soon learn there’s more than unemployment, teenage pregnancy and cheap drugs to this town.
One of the things I miss most about living in Middlesbrough is the town’s proximity to some of the most scenic places in the north of England. So, this trip home I planned to squeeze a few trips in. That’s why, on the day after Boxing Day, Dan and I fought off our excruciating hangovers and drove just 15-minutes to Saltburn-by-the-Sea. Although we’d missed much of the day, it was worth it to watch the sun go down over the north sea with a carton of chips in hand.
The town was founded by prominent Quaker and industrialist Henry Pease in the 1890s and remains largely unchanged since then. Saltburn is home to a handsome Victorian promenade and boasts Yorkshire’s last remaining pier. And the pier isn’t the only curiosity this seaside enclave has to offer. Saltburn is famous in the north east, and perhaps beyond, for being home to one of the world’s oldest remaining funiculars, which transports countless tourists up and down the steep cliffs that characterise this dramatic stretch of coastline each year. It’s these little quirks that make Saltburn such a special place to be.