No one was home the day I stumbled upon the shanty village in Port Mulgrave – the hobbits were all out, battling Sea Orcs or something I suppose.
But they’d been busy all right, combing the rocky beaches around the traditional fishing village of Staithes, gathering up building materials – old doors, railway sleepers, corrugated iron, driftwood, buoys, plastic canisters, boat parts, marine rope and scrap metal.
Hobbits? Erm, disappointingly, no – the quirky Port Mulgrave beach huts and shelters belong to local fishermen, who still land lobsters and crabs here. And cook them too, if the neat little stone fire-pits in front of each shack are anything to go by.
It’s hardly pretty (there is something very Lord of the Rings-like about it, after all), but it is amazing – a shack-village, built from whatever drifts in or can be salvaged, and set under forbidding cliffs on a black, rocky shore that once sheltered an old ironstone mining port.
It’s a steep, slippy, muddy walk down from the hamlet of Port Mulgrave, or local eco-tourism outfit Real Staithes can bring you here, for your own lobster cook-out on the wild Yorkshire shores.