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Book review: The Yorkshire Coast by Mark Denton

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If you haven’t already been seduced by the beauty and drama of the Yorkshire coast then Mark Denton’s book of stunning photographs is going to see it racing to the top of the must-see British holiday locations.

Using a panoramic film camera, Denton has captured the landmarks, hidden coves and seascapes of this magnificent stretch of coast from Staithes in the north to Spurn Head in the south, with detailed sections on Whitby, Robin Hood’s Bay, Scarborough and Flamborough.

The array of breathtaking photos is accompanied by an account of the area’s history and landscape by local man G.P. Taylor, author of the Shadowmancer series of children’s ghost stories and the recently retired vicar of Cloughton near Scarborough.

Denton is now recognised as one of Britain’s finest young landscape photographers and this amazing book is a reminder of his talents, a visual feast for those new to this part of the country and a nostalgic treat for initiated Yorkshire fans.

You can always expect the unexpected with Denton’s photography... the remains of a broken boat and the warren of narrow coves are a reminder of the smugglers who once walked these shores and hid their contraband in the nooks and crannies of the cliffs.

And there are reminders that this can be a dangerous coastline where people have drowned and many have been rescued by the brave work of the lifeboatmen, coastgurads and Royal Navy personnel.

Readers can take a trip to Staithes, a timeless coastal village so close to the sea ‘that one always gets the impression that the sea itself wants to claw it back beneath the waves,’ or take in classic views of Whitby and its iconic 10th century abbey that ‘resembles the disintegrating ribcage of a giant dinosaur.’

Enjoy the sunlight glinting from the hotels and flats of North Bay on a snowy afternoon in Scarborough or marvel at colours comparable to the Arizona wilderness as the dawn light hits Filey Brigg.

See the upright posts of the decaying groynes at Spurn Point, standing like sculptures to commemorate man’s failed attempts to control the elements, and witness the march of progress in Scarborough where the rugged hulks of working boats are now heavily outnumbered by privately owned yachts.

With climate change threatening the future of our coastlines, this book of superb photographs is a lasting and treasured pictorial reference to the outstanding beauty of this corner of England.

(Frances Lincoln, paperback, £9.99)

 

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