I actually think they couldn't quite believe we weren't having a miserable time all the way Up North so they came to see for themselves. One friend said, upon leaving, 'I feel I can go away satisfied that you're alright, after all.' I was glad we could set her mind at ease. We appreciate the concern - and have very much enjoyed showing off the delights of Saltburn to our guests.
Wherever we live, we've had a well-trodden path for guests. This is usually designed to take in places we think might not be completely obvious to visitors. Most people come to LA expecting to see Rodeo Drive, the Hollywood sign, and the Sunset Strip. We insisted that - as well as those sights - they also partook of a tuna burger at our favourite roadside seafood shack, and that they wandered around the Venice Canals. While visitors to New York had ideas about seeing Times Square, the Empire State Building and Central Park we used to nudge guests downtown for a burger at Smith and Mills, as well as taking them for a walk along the Hudson riverside.
Of course, no-one comes to Saltburn with any kind of sightseeing agenda. There is no guidebook to Saltburn - the 'tourists', such as they are, are day-trippers from Middlesbrough in the main. To the rest of the country I suppose it's just off the map. So our guests come here expecting to see nothing but us. And Londoners are usually just excited if they can pick up a 3G signal and order a proper cappuccino.
We get extra kicks from showing them the sights of our current home town. All guests are promenaded through the lovely Valley Gardens, where we can point out delights like the miniature railway, the Italian garden, and wholesome children fishing in the stream. We always walk along the seafront, and onto the pier to see the knitting and the excellent view back up to the town. A ride on the Victorian funicular Cliff Lift is a must.
|A trip on the Cliff Lift is a must...|
|...as is a walk on the pier...|
|...and a look at the knitting|
It is a hidden gem of a town, and I think we've done as much to boost tourism here as those knitters and the Cliff Lift put together.