The Cinder Track is a 21 mile old railway line that runs from Whitby to Scarborough. That’s where it took us at any rate. The exceptionally rough surface, our post-Whitby karaoke recovery period and a cake stop in Ravenscar meant it took three hours.
The weather was kind and Scarborough glinted cheekily in the sun.
Less kind were the opening hours of the new Good Beer Guide entry, the Scarborough Borough Council Employees Welfare Club, which didn’t open till seven. I suppose the Council don’t want their employees to get boozed up at lunchtime. After all it’s not 1977.
We cycled on to Bridlington, bravely passing the open doors of various pubs, before finally securing a Good Beer Guide tick (remember those?) at the Board Inn in Bridlington. My records show only three prior ticks there (one appropriately being the Prior John) so I corrected this hideous omission and went to the well pubbed Old Town, which is about a mile and a half from the coastal part of Brid.
The High Street is full of gorgeous period buildings, so unaltered that it doubled as Walmington-on-Sea in the recent film remake of Dad’s Army. The eighteenth century Board Inn was a delight.
The beer was in tip top condition- my Adnams Ghost Ship (4.5%) was a treat. Locals in the bar said to have a look upstairs, where there are four charming sitting rooms. In winter open fires add to the atmosphere.
There is also another room which is a ‘craft beer tap’ open at certain times but we didn’t go in. An uneasy conversation unfolded in the bar. One man insisted, rather over-enthusiastically, that there was a state in the US where it was compulsory to own a gun and that you could shoot a person in your own house. A third queried why you would want to. “Think of the mess” she counselled, as if from personal experience. This thought mercifully concluded the discussion and prompted a period of silent reflection. We all sipped our beer contemplatively as the last of the afternoon’s sun filtered into the bar.
The only revisit was the Marine Bar at the Expanse Hotel, a rather exotic building on the sea front, and a Good Beer Guide fixture.
Here we met Keith’s sister-in-law, her husband and their son. Before their arrival we had a couple of pints that were, frankly, undistinguished. The Bradfield Brewery Farmers Brown Cow (4.2%) was spot on though, malty and full-bodied. I was nearly persuaded to have something from The Golden Years menu but wasn’t sure if I’d reached them yet. To be honest I’m still waiting for the silver ones.
After an enjoyable evening we pretended to go back to our digs, diverting to the Harbinger Bar of the Revelstoke Hotel. We had a reasonable Theakston’s Lightfoot and an XB from the same brewer; discussed petting zoos with the pet-loving barmaid and discovered the real reason why Serena Williams had to pull out of the Rogers Cup.
Our last beer of the night was at the Beaconsfield, a pub with a chequered past. It was in full Squeeze/Jilted John mode and the Tribute was in peak condition. Then we really did go back to our digs. These cycle routes don’t cycle themselves you know.