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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A week in Whitby – day two

MONDAY 21st MAY

After a really good nights sleep, we woke to the sound of tapping on the roof, oh no!, it can’t be rain surely, on opening the blinds, I realised it was seagulls dancing on the roof, obviously pay back time for denying them our scraps last night.

Jasp was still spark out, blocking the bathroom door, and a bleary eyed Little Sal was peering at us from between the front seats in the cab. Not for long mind, for as soon as T got up and put the kettle on (kettle in Sals mind means breakfast), she leapt up, tried to jump over the sleeping Jasp and landed on him,  Poor Jasp, wondering where he is and what the hell is happening, struggled to his feet while Sal is going into hyper mode.

Eventually calm reigns, the dogs having eaten were lying outside, the bedding was stored away (a darn sight faster than we got it out I might add), T had gone down to the site cafe for breakfast, I just sat and absorbed the peace and the stunning view of the sea.

The Cleveland Way footpath, runs through the campsite. This National Trail is approx 110 miles long, between Hemsley and Filey taking in the North Yorkshire moors and the North Yorkshire coast. This view is looking south towards Robin Hoods Bay.

Once T had come back from the cafe, we decided to do our bit of the Cleveland way. As it was just one mile along the cliff top to Whitby, it would be a good level walk for the dogs (poor Jasp can’t cope with much more these days), we could have a wander around the town, then amble back.

Heading towards Whitby Abbey on the Cleveland Way, the dogs loved it.

What we hadn’t accounted for was the steep descent from the Abbey into the town, part of which must have been 45 degrees. The further down we went, the more concerned I was as to how we’d get Jasp back up again, but always the optimist, T said we’ll find some way.

We had a lovely wander around the town, which hasn’t changed much from how I remember it from my childhood.

Waiting outside one of the many chippies was this rather well fed seagull.

After a few hours of wandering, we decided we’d better make a move back to the campsite. Before leaving home I’d researched the local buses, and found dogs travelled free, as we both had our bus passes with us, T went in search of a bus that would go past the site.

Sal Jasp and I waited patiently for his return.

He came back shaking his head, “I can’t find which bus we need, looks like we’ll have to walk back” So we set off in search of a different route back up to the Abbey.

After checking a town map, we decided we’d try a route called Caedmon’s Trod. This was an even bigger disaster, it was all steps, and quite deep ones too, Jasp collapsed on the second set of steps, when his back legs gave way, after getting him onto his feet, we then had to help him back down to the bottom.

We made our way back to the steep Donkey Road, ready for the slow climb up, not before Jasp became a film star though, when a chap with a posh SLR camera asked if he could take his photograph. Several poses later, we started the climb, and after stopping many times, we eventually reached the top for the level cliff top walk back.

That evening, after a meal of pizza, salad and a bottle of red wine, we proceeded to make the bed. Yes, T was having his choice of the massive double, king or whatever you want to call it. Now believe me, this is not a feat easily accomplished, when half the motorhome is bed, it is almost impossible for two people to make the bed up, as there is nowhere to stand, especially when the other half is taken up by two dogs, one of which insists that he is sleeping in front of the bathroom door again. At least with two singles I had some spare floor, so I left T to it, and sat in the cab until it was done………….hmmmm, I could get used to this 🙂