Welcome to A Natural History of Runswick Bay.

About me: 

I'm a life-long sailor, RYA offshore yachtmaster, former sail training instructor and have sailed and kayaked in the North Sea for most of my life. I'm a member of the lifeboat crew for Runswick Rescue Boat and live nearby with my wife and children. I enjoy taking my children out swimming, boating and fishing and hope to instill in them the same great love of the outdoors and outdoor sport.

Off the water I’m a writer, author, and monthly coastal columnist for Dalesman Magazine.

About this blog:

After studying zoology and marine biology at Liverpool University I decided that someone ought to record the wildlife of this lovely Bay and, inspired by Gilbert White's Natural History of Selborne, started this blog.

This is a life time's work; I intend to find, identify and photograph every living and fossilized thing I reasonably can in Runswick Bay without the need to grow wings or gills or blow up Jurassic cliffs to get to them.

This blog has taken on a life its own and you're joining regular readers from around the globe in reading about our beautiful stretch of the Yorkshire coastline.


Leila Wilson said...

Hello Peter,

I've just found your blog today the 4th September and was immediately very interested. Thank you for all the information and photos you have provided. My mum was born in Runswick or Hinderwell....not sure which. Her name was Florence Johnson. Her mother was Elizabeth Johnson who married Jack Johnson whose father owned the pub in Runswick Village. My aunt Polly Seymour lived in the house immediately in front of the slipway next to the lifeboat house. I spent much of my childhood holidays at my aunt Polly's house or behind therre in my aunt Florrie Patton married to George Patton a fisherman. The Seymours ran the big boarding house which is now called The Hotel Royal. I have many memories about fossil finding among thousands of other activities. My grandmother Elizabeth Johnson when young, fell from the cliffs just past Lady Palmer's Cottage and her leg was so badly broken she wore a big built up boot for the rest of her life as her leg was shortened by quite a few inches. I'm 75 myself now and live in Redcar but how I wish I was young enough to come along on your walks. Thank you for a fascinating morning reading your blog and commiserations for the loss of so many photos

Leila Wilson

Brenda said...

We discovered Runswick Bay for the first time and feel a great pull to return. Such a delightful place. We stayed at the Runswick Bay Hotel & can't speak highly enough of the place with such delightful staff. The beach is a truly fascinating place. We are sure we saw you & your family on Sunday when we walked across the beach at low tide discovering fossils that we were pleasantly surprised to see. Now that I have found your blog I will certainly follow it & perhaps we can visit again when you do one of your walks. Thanks
Brenda Ward

Peter McGrath said...

Brenda, thank you for your lovely comments, just don't tell too many people about the place in case we get too mobbed. I'm sure Simon will be delighted to read your comments about the Runswick Bay Hotel.

ruth seddon said...

I found 2 pale blue swirly stones on Runswick beach any ideas what they may be.By the way I love your blog. I have learned a lot, mainly because of the quirky way in which you write.Thank you.


Hello Peter, just been browsing your blog and other writing after rediscovering the web address on the slip of paper you gave us on our wedding anniversary at the hotel, earlier this month. A lovely opportunity to reminisce and find out more about beautiful Runswick Bay and indeed about yourself! We are sure to be back along the coast whenever we can! Many thanks, Steve & Katy Johnson.