Where has the year gone?

You’d think with all the to-ing and fro-ing between Home and Harrogate we’d done over the previous months, that when my mum’s house sale was finalised, and the dreaded drive up the M42/M1/M18/A1 motorways were behind us, we’d choose a different direction for a holiday.


T had decided I needed a holiday, the last year had been a stressful time to say the least, so after arriving home on 19th June, he booked us onto a campsite for a week from 24th June.

We’d had a glorious week at this site in May 2012 that had left us with some wonderful memories –

Yes, anyone who has read my blog will realise this was Whitby Holiday Park, and yes, it meant another dreaded M42/M1/M18/A1 again – but I’d got to the stage I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do anymore, I didn’t want to go on holiday and I didn’t want to stay at home.

I know T had meant well when he booked the holiday, he knew how much I’d enjoyed it before and he also knew how I’d felt my Yorkshire roots had been severed when I finally pulled the door to on my mums house, which is why he’d decided on Whitby.

The 24th arrived, but I still couldn’t summon up any enthusiasm for the holiday, I felt as if I was trapped in a bubble, so apart from putting my clothes in the motorhome, T did everything else. IMG_0401_1 Four hours later we pulled into the holiday park.

Everything looked exactly as it was the day we left in 2012, even the sun was shinning as it was then, my mind immediately drifted back to Jasper, had his spirit joined us I wondered.

This holiday followed almost the same pattern as our previous visit, though we didn’t venture offsite with the van this time.

The walk down onto Saltwick Bay was easier, as both Sal and Cindy took the steep slope down in their stride. IMG_0409_1 Looking down to Saltwick Nab from the Cleveland Way footpath. IMG_4990_1 We walked into Whitby a couple of times, along the Cleveland Way. IMG_4994_1 Parked just outside Whitby Abbey, this was just screaming out to have it’s photograph taken, an old series ll/llA Land Rover ice cream van 🙂 IMG_4997_1 A monument to Captain James Cook, b.1728, the famous Yorkshire Explorer looks out over Whitby harbour.

On the Saturday we decided to visit the picturesque fishing village of Staithes.

So another walk into Whitby along the clifftop, then down through the town to the bus station.

Im sure every dog and his person had decided to do the same thing, I counted seven dogs (with their people obviously) waiting in the queue with us.

It was certainly worth the trip, as I got my first ‘Big Hairy Dog’ fix while sat outside the Cod and Lobster pub, from an enormous German Shepherd Husky cross.

This dog could moult for England, and after a ten minute cuddle, he had donated most of his coat to me, the rest was floating around the harbour  like snow 😮 IMG_2075_1 Staithes Harbour. The Cod and Lobster is the cream building in the centre of the photo. IMG_5002_1 An artist at work in the harbour. IMG_0402_1 We were treated to the wonderful east coast sunsets again, and by the end of the holiday, I’d started to unwind a bit, typically, just in time to go back home.


A month later we were packing the motorhome again for another holiday revisit.

This time it was Charmouth in Dorset.

I had bitter sweet memories of this holiday, last year as it had been Jasper’s last holiday, so I wasn’t sure if it was a good thing or not. Last year’s holiday site was fully booked sowe’d decided on another one just outside Charmouth. IMG_2150 A beautiful well maintained site, but a major drawback with its location.

We usually hook the motorhome up, then either walk or use public transport to get about. We knew we were a couple of miles from the beach via road, but had hoped there may have been a shortcut via a footpath, but no such luck, and the nearest bus stop was over a mile away.

The walk wouldn’t have bothered T and me, but the temperature was in the 30’s and Little Sal, who had recently been diagnosed with kidney disease, had slowed down considerably.

So the next day, we unhooked the motorhome and set off for Charmouth

Could things get any worse, our holiday last year had been in June, and we’d spent some quality time on the beach with the dogs, but here we were, confronted with big signs everywhere NO DOGS allowed on the beaches July and August.

We went for a short walk along the cliff path, but both dogs were struggling, so we went back down and sat on the grass at the edge of the River Char.

IMG_5051_1 Looking down at the dog UNfriendly beach.

Luckily Michelle our elder daughter and Louis her son, had arranged to join us later in the week, so the next day we decided to just chill on the site.

Michelle arrived on the Friday morning.

After enquiring at the reception for the location of a dog friendly beach, we all piled into her car and set off for Eype. No wonder this was dog friendly, there was hardly any in sand in sight, it was full of big pebbles. Great for an athletic young dog, but not for a tiny Yorkie, who kept falling between the pebbles. Poor Sal was struggling to keep her footing too, so we called it a day and went to the pub.

Louis wanted to go onto the beach, so the next day, T stayed onsite with Sal and Cindy, and Michelle, Louis and I went down to Charmouth. IMG_5053_1 Louis befriended a young boy with a dingy, so at least someone enjoyed their holiday.

The next day we left the site early to go home. We decided August would be a no for holidays, so the next revisit was West Runton.


Laburnum Holiday Park really has made a mark on our holiday destinations. This was out third visit and it certainly won’t be our last.

This site is a perfect location. Five minutes walk into the village of West Runton, where there is a regular bus service into Sherringham, Cromer or further afield if you wish. IMG_5091_1 Pitched on the clifftop overlooking the North Sea. Just across the tarmac and standing at the fence…… IMG_5115_1 …..this was the view. IMG_5146_1 A ten minute amble and we were on the glorious Norfolk beaches, where, if the tide is out, it is possible to walk into Sherringham or Cromer.

We did the walk into Sherringham three times, catching the bus back to the village to save Little Sal tiring too much. IMG_5151_1   An amazing Trompe l’oeil on the seafront at Sherringham, depicting the crab fisherman for which the area is famous. IMG_5152_1 This was a puzzling sight on Sherringham beach. Had the sea lined up all the pebbles in a straight line, or perhaps it was the sea fairies.

The sun shone the whole week, we ate some good food, drank some good wine, and came home feeling rejuvenated.

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Here are a few more photos, from what is fast becoming my favourite holiday location.

Little did I know, it was going to be Little Sal’s last beach holiday 😦


In the King’s footsteps

Living quite close to Worcester, we often pop into the city for a walk along the river.

Worcester is a city steeped in history, where many battles have been fought.


Looking towards Diglis Lock from Diglis Bridge last week.

The River Severn was very calm, and flowing at a more normal depth, unlike the video I posted last November in a previous blog post.

About a mile from this very modern bridge is Powick Bridge, a site of one of the major battles of the English Civil War during the 17th century.

We continued over the bridge and headed towards Worcester Cathedral. The cathedral’s tower was chosen by King Charles II to watch over the Battle of Worcester.


Worcester Cathedral’s Watergate wall has dates recorded on it of the varying flood levels when the Severn has burst its banks. The highest recorded level was in 1770 (the large plaque) followed closely by March 1947.

To the right just above T’s head, is a marker (with greenery growing under it) for July 2007, the highest level in my lifetime.

The river’s normal level is at least 10-15 feet below the footpath he’s standing on.

We walked into the town, and along Friar Street, a very picturesque street full of beautiful timber framed buildings. I wonder what tales those walls could tell.

IMG_4689Having a while to wait before our train home, we called into King Charles House. This ancient building, which is now a pub, is one of Worcester’s most historic buildings.


I’ve never been too interested in the history of the British Monarchs, but as T, who has a great interest in the English Civil war, launched into a history lesson with the poor barman, I started to find it very interesting.

King Charles House is the building from where King Charles II escaped his enemies after the Battle of Worcester in September 1651. This battle marked the end of the English Civil War, when the Royalists were defeated by Oliver Cromwell’s Parliamentarians.

The King who eventually escaped to France, first headed north towards Shropshire, then, almost doubling back on himself, headed for the south coast.

Below is a map of his route.

For anyone interested, as I’m not going to launch into a history lesson, there is some good information here.

I have often walked Sal and Jasp on the part of The Monarchs Way that passes nearby our home, without knowing the full reason for its name, but the cogs of my brain where slowly putting two and two together.


So today, we decided we’d would walk in a few more of Charles II’s footsteps.


Is this really the route he took?

If it is, according to the above map, On September 10th 1651, he would have been heading towards where I am standing on his way south.

After doing a spot of research for this post, it appears we’ve trodden in his footsteps quite recently too.

When he reached the south coast, Charmouth was another place he passed on his escape route.


I doubt he’d have had time to look for fossils though 😉

** I have added quite a few links to this post. Because of all the history involved, I felt it would make for heavy reading and may be off putting, but for anyone with an interest, they are quite informative.**

Fossil on the Jurassic

I was beginning to think the motorhome was going to stay on the drive this year.

The weather had been cold and wet, and the last thing we wanted was to be stuck in a confined space with three wet dogs. Yes, that is three dogs, Cindy mum’s dog is still lodging with us, as my mum is still in hospital.

Anyway after checking the long range weather forecast (no idea why, as it is well know to change by the hour), in rather a spur of the moment decision, we booked ourselves on a campsite in Charmouth, Dorset.

Spur of the moment is an understatement.

We’d woken up on the Monday morning to blue skies and sun beaming in through the window, I looked at T and said, “we shouldn’t be here, we should be on the coast somewhere”

“Come on then Fossil, lets go then” was his reply.

So following a recommendation from a friend of T’s, we phoned Seadown Holiday Park at Charmouth, and booked ourselves in for a week.

There were a couple of minor problems though, Monday being our usual food shop day, we didn’t have much in the cupboards to take with us, and secondly, after six months of hair growth I’d started to resemble a shaggy dog, so I’d organised for my hairdresser to cut my hair in the afternoon. I was just contemplating cancelling my appointment when the phone suddenly rang….

Talk about fate!!  “Hi Vicky, it’s Marian, is there any chance I could do your hair this morning?” So I got my hair cut after all 🙂

In the meantime T set off to the supermarket for provisions, coming back armed with all the basics, which were soon stored away in the cupboards.

We grabbed an armful of clothes complete with hangers out of the wardrobe, and hung them straight into the motorhome wardrobe.

I always take plenty of jumpers and my waterproofs, but after being caught out with the glorious weather in Whitby last year, I made a point of taking several vests and shorts, just in case.

Dogs safely zipped into their travel crates (yes an extra crate had to be bought for Cindy), by 1pm we were on the road.

Fuel and tyres are normally done the night before a trip, so that was our first port of call, followed halfway down another stop for a ‘doggy stretchy leg break’ we pulled onto site about 5.30pm.

WOW, we’d hit gold again!!

The site was immaculate, totally flat well maintained pitches, which T said resembled a golf course.

We sited the motorhome, hooked up the electrics, and before we’d even put the kettle on, set off to find the beach.


The River Char runs along the campsite grounds and into the sea. Walking along the riverbank, 150 yards later and over this bridge we were there.


Heading back to the motorhome, we discussed attaching our new drive away awning. We’d bought it last year, but circumstances had stopped our holidays, before we’d had chance to try it. So we expected the next hour to be fraught and possibly argue filled.

Did I say hour? Ha!……….

…………….three hours later, and almost dark, we collapsed in a heap, totally brain dead and shattered.

Erecting the tent part was easy, attaching it to the motorhome, so we could actually get inside wasn’t. A few days later, talking to a couple pitched nearby, they had been in a similar predicament, and had been watching us hoping to pick up a few tips. Needless to say, we scrutinised every new arrival, hoping to do the same 😀

The idea of the awning, was for the dogs to sleep in it, giving us a bit more floor space inside, but the temperature had dropped, and there was no way we were going to make them sleep in it. The other problem was Cindy, being so small she could have escaped under the van.

We all settled down inside for a much needed night’s sleep. Sal and Jasp, seasoned motor homer’s now, crashed out straight away…….but not little Cindy, she decided she was going to dig her way out through the carpet. I’m not a nice person, when I’m tired and want to sleep, and by 3am, I was ready to chuck her out of the window. Eventually, as dawn was breaking, she drifted off.

I must have done so not long after, as the next thing I remember was T waking me up with a cuppa at 8am and demanding “This is our first and last holiday this year, and that (pointing at Cindy) is in the awning tonight!!!”

Hey, at least the sun was shinning, so after breakfast, we all set off to the beach.


This coastline is called the Jurassic coast, and is a World Heritage site, literally thousands of fossils have been found as the cliffs crumble into the sea. This Jurassic rock, runs through The Cotswolds to the North Yorkshire coast, two of my favourite places. I wonder if that’s why T calls me fossil?

Copied from Natural England website

Marine Jurassic rocks comprising mudstones, limestones and sands run right across the country from Dorset to North Yorkshire. Lower Jurassic rocks are superbly exposed on the Dorset and North Yorkshire coasts, while Middle Jurassic oolitic limestones deposited in warm shallow seas and over tidal flats now form the broad ridges of the Cotswolds and their continuation through Northamptonshire and into Lincolnshire.


I have a fascination with rows of beach huts. I just love the colour of these.

Jasper was finding the beach difficult to walk on because of all the rocks, so we made our way back to the site, and spent the day relaxing.

After a second night of Cindy playing up, we were about ready to call it a day and go home, but the third night she suddenly became ‘Ms Perfect’, perhaps she heard us talking 😉

Much of the week was spent doing the same. We took in turns to go out, so poor Jasp could relax on site, as his legs were giving him grief.

T went into Lyme Regis on the bus one of the days. That same afternoon, I walked to the top of the cliff with Sal.

IMG_4257Halfway up looking down at the bridge and the River Char.

I went into Lyme Regis the next day.


Lyme Regis harbour.

In the centre of the photo, where the cliffs dip is where the River Char flows into the sea.


Lyme Regis sea front.


We managed to catch the tide out on one of the evenings, so a walk on the sand was called for.


The last afternoon.

With the tent awning packed away ready for an early departure, once again we relaxed for a final time.

We’d had a week of stunning weather, and a holiday that almost ended early, finish with us not wanting to leave.