Walking in Captain Cook's Footsteps. Beadle, J. Brian. 2003

Walking in Captain Cook's Footsteps. Beadle, J. Brian. 2003

Beadle, J. Brian. 
Walking in Captain Cook's Footsteps.
Trailblazer Publishing.
ISBN 1899004467.

A 24-page booklet covering eight walks around the Cleveland Coast Countryside in the footsteps of the Great Explorer.

The walks vary in length from 1½ to 9½ miles, with an option for one of them of expanding it to 20 miles. There is a town walk (around Whitby), two village walks (around Great Ayton and Staithes) and marvellous treks to the Cook monument on Easby Moor and nearby Roseberry Topping, as well as a high moor walk with grand views.

The author cannot guarantee the weather, but he does say "if you can take a walk in winter with a sprinkling of snow on the ground, I'm sure you will be impressed!"

For each walk there is a rough map, a starting point (with the word START on all bar one map), a grid reference so you can find the location on the maps produced by the Ordnance Survey, a guide to parking, refreshments, public toilets as well as an estimated duration for the walk. The route descriptions vary from the brief (such as for part of the Cleveland Way which "has been waymarked with either tall posts or small waymark arrows") to the detailed. The descriptions include comments about the path, such as: "Yes, it is steep! It is a hard, long climb to the top but well worth it if you survive!"

Most Cook features are noted along the way, but some are missing: Pannet Park Museum in Whitby has an important Cook collection, Hinderwell Churchyard contains the Sanderson family vault [see Cook's Log, page 1494, vol. 21, no. 2 (1998)]. I would have liked to know more about the Cook features that are passed, such as when was the statue at Whitby erected and who paid for. We are given this information about the monument on Easby Moor - a Whitby banker in 1827.

The booklet opens with "Just a Few Words", two pages describing Cook's association with the area and his subsequent life. There are useful illustrations throughout, though the captions are poor and ALL IN CAPITAL LETTERS that obtrude. I spotted only two factual errors. Cook didn't go to Tasmania on the First Voyage and his parents are not buried at Great Ayton – his mother is but not his father.

The booklet is worth having whether you intend exploring on foot or, like me, do so from the comfort of your armchair.

Ian Boreham

Originally published in Cook's Log, page 14, volume 26, number 2 (2003).

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