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.

June

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.

July

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.

September

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 😦

 

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Sunsets

For me there is something quite magical about watching the setting sun, even more so when it is over the sea. It’s as though I’ve squeezed every last drop of daylight out of the day, and for those few moments before it drops beyond the horizon, time feels as though it stands still.

I wish I could put that feeling into some form of poetry, but words fail me, as I stand there in total awe of what I’m seeing.

I’ve had a piece of music drifting in and out of my mind recently, which for me goes some way towards what I can’t put into words.

It’s called El Cielo by a band called Sky. Rather apt words for the images I think.

Britain’s wEaST coast

Confused about the title? Ha!, let me explain.

We’ve just spent another week away in our motorhome, on the westerly coast of eastern Britain at a place called Hunstanton in Norfolk.

According to wiki…….Hunstanton is an east coast town but faces west and is one of the few places on the east coast in England where the sun can be seen to set over the sea.

This was our third holiday on the east coast since buying our motorhome, first was Whitby, Yorkshire, where the sun set over the sea, the second was at West Runton, Norfolk, where the sun set over the sea. Hmm?? Hunstanton, where the sun sets over the sea. It appears we’ve clocked up a 100% record of these ‘few places’ so far. 😀

We set off on the beautiful sunny Sunday of September 9th, arriving in Hunstanton around 15.00hrs. I’d previously checked on Google maps, the location of the nearest supermarket for our provisions, so we called in to collect what we needed.

T, not too impressed at me filming him after doing the shopping 😉

The campsite, which was almost opposite the supermarket, was enormous, extremely well equipped, and more like a small village with its own supermarket, take aways, cafes, bars, pools etc. It looked a tad too commercialised for our liking, but once we had found our allocated pitch, which, at the far end of the site was over 400 metres from the main hub of things, we realised we’d cracked it again. In fact we were closer to the beach, which was just a short walk away, than we were to the reception.

Once we’d sited the van, our main priority was to give Sal and Jasp a good walk, so following the beach signs, we set off, to find…..

…..another stunning Norfolk beach.

Whenever we find a beautiful beach, we always expect to find a ‘NO DOGS’ sign, but dogs were allowed for as far as the eye can see along this stretch.

Monday we decided to walk along the prom into the town of Hunstanton, which was in the opposite direction to the photo above.

The town of Hunstanton, which was very popular in Victorian times, has a lovely open and uncluttered feel to it, this pic was taken near the seafront.

This area of The Wash, is known to be extremely windy, and it was certainly living up to its reputation. The walk into the town was easy, aided by the wind. We had a coffee, then wandered around the sheltered streets for an hour or so, before deciding to head back.

The sheltered town had lulled us into thoughts of a nice leisurely stroll back along the prom, but now walking into the wind, we found ourselves being sand blasted, turning to check why Sal and Jasp had almost come to a standstill, it became obvious that we couldn’t walk back the same way we’d come, Jasp was looking extremely streamlined with the wind, and was trying to peer out through slits where his eyes were, and Sal was trying to take refuge by burying her head into his tail. So we headed back into the town, finding an alternate route back along the roads to the site.

I was quite dismayed to wake in the early hours to rain thundering down on the roof, and a howling wind rocking the van. I jumped out of bed, peered out of the window to check on the dogs day tent and the wind break, half expecting to see them wrapped around the nearby trees. They were bowing quite well in the wind, but there was no way I was going outside to take them down, so returning to bed, I pulled the quilt over my head, and lay there for a while imagining searching the site in the morning for them.

The next thing I knew, was T pulling back the roof blind, to reveal a glorious blue sky.

“Are the wind break and tent still there?” I asked.

Yes, why? he replied, rather puzzled. After explaining the night’s dramatic storm, it turns out he’d slept through the whole lot 🙄

This shouldn’t have surprised me, as many years ago, when we had a 4.8 earthquake, centred around Dudley (about 20 miles away) he’d slept through that too.

It wasn’t long before we were down on the beach again with the sun beaming down, though the temperature had dropped considerably from previous days’ in the 20’s down to 15c. The wind (yes it was still blowing) made it feel more like 10c.

A rare decent photo of me with Sal and Jasp, the steps run the full length of the prom. Our site was just up the steps and over the other side.

The site had hundreds of resident ducks, that wandered freely amongst everyone. I’ve never hand fed ducks before, but they were so tame, they just boldly waddled up, and took the food straight from my hand, not even backing off to eat, they waited for the next handout.

The best visit though, was from this mother duck and her babies.

Sat in the van that evening, I could see the beginnings of a wonderful sunset, so grabbing my camera, I dashed down to the beach, to be rewarded with…….

 Wow, oh wow!!!! What a magical experience, I stood there, totally alone on that beach to witness ANOTHER east coast sunset. I can say in all honesty, if someone had come along and offered me £100 to leave the beach at that moment, I would not have taken it. Life doesn’t get any better 🙂

Wednesday saw us back on the beach again.

  

Both dogs thoroughly enjoy the freedom……….and me?, well I could spend everyday there, rain or shine.

Talking of which, rain it did, just as we got back to the site, the heavens opened and it set in for the rest of the day.

Thursday our last day, and there was blue sky again 🙂

Running from the site there was an hourly land train. We’d enquired the previous day, and for £2 each with the dogs going free, we could have a round trip to the lighthouse at Old Hunstanton, which was about two miles away. Normally, we’d have walked it, but with Jasp struggling with his arthritic knees, we thought we’d give the train a try.

Well, I haven’t laughed so much in ages, and it merits a post in it’s own right………..but here’s a taster 🙂

Jasp, king of the train.

The train picks up around the site, and a couple more stops in Hunstanton, before heading up to Old Hunstanton and the lighthouse.

Once off the train, we followed the sandy footpath across the car park, and down the concrete slope to the beach.

This is where I had my second WOW!! of the holiday.

Old Hunstanton Beach, a vast expanse of sand and dunes, with hardly a soul on it.

and so much sky.

Eventually dragging ourselves off the beach, we went to have a look at the lighthouse, which is now holiday accommodation.

A view of the lighthouse through the remains of St Edmund’s Chapel.

The Chapel was built in 1272. The original wooden lighthouse, built in 1666, was replaced in 1778, after it burnt down, this was rebuilt between 1840-44 as it stands today.

Adjacent to the chapel remains, is a wooden carving of a wolf.

accompanied by this information.

I quite like the idea of the Wuffing Dynasty 🙂

Catching the land train back to the site, later that evening, we raised our glasses to another successful trip in our motorhome.