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 six

FRIDAY 25th MAY

After the previous two days, of opening the blinds to be greeted by a swirling grey mist, I hadn’t been in any hurry, to look outside. T had got up, put the kettle and made a morning cuppa, before I’d even opened my eyes.

“You not getting up today fossil” he asks, as he passes me my tea, “there’s blue sky everywhere out there”

What!!!!, I reached up and opened the blinds, and looked out of the window,WOW! I could see the horizon, the sky was blue, the sea was blue, and sunlight glistened from its surface. What an absolutely perfect day 🙂

Needless to say, the bedding was put away in double quick time, and every window was opened fully.

Sal and Jasp had their breakfast outside, as they had done all week, but this time so did we, our ‘neighbours’ had moved on earlier in the week, and our van was the only one on that part of the site. We sat there long after we’d finished eating, in total silence, just ‘looking’ at nothing in particular.

“Do you fancy doing anything today then” T broke my daydream…….

“err, no, not really, I’m quite happy staying put, and I’m sure Jasp would appreciate a rest too”

Sal & Jasp still needed a walk, and I wanted to go into Whitby to get a few more photos, so we decided, a slow walk along the cliff top to the Abbey, T would stay up at the top with the dogs, while I walked down the Donkey road into the town with my camera.

‘Give me a call if you’re going to be longer than an hour, and I’ll start slowly back” he shouted after me as I set off down the hill.

Whitby is a photographers dream, and it wasn’t long before I’d started snapping away.

This is about halfway down Donkey Road, with the harbour just visible in the distance.

Turning round and looking back up towards the top, the raised sections of cobbles across the road become more noticeable, which give more traction while going up or down.

It was up Donkey Road in January 1881, that the Whitby lifeboat was hauled to top, before continuing to Robin Hoods Bay to the rescue of the brig ‘Visitor” see A week in Whitby Day Three post.

A plaque at the bottom.

I wandered around taking many photographs, before phoning T to tell him I was on my way back up.

This time I decided to walk up Caedmon’s Trod, where we’d attempted to get Jasper up on Day Two. A beautiful view of the town, but I’m pleased we turned back with Jasper when we did that day, as he would never have got to the top.

I found T and the dogs, waiting for me in the grounds of St Marys’ church, where I took this view over the harbour.

I took a further shot of the Abbey, before we set off back along the coast path.

A wreck of the trawler Admiral Von Tromp, which foundered on the rocks in October 1976, is easily visible from the cliff top as the tide recedes. More info for anyone interested can be read here

A view of the site, as we walked back. Our motorhome is the one at the far left on the cliff top.

This day was a very lazy day, were we just enjoyed the sun and the scenery.

Curry again? 😮 yeah, why not, we’re on holiday 😉

A week in Whitby – day five

THURSDAY 24th MAY

This holiday week was going far too quick for me!

Thursday morning, I’m lying in bed wondering what the weather will be like when I open the blinds today. The cab area only has curtains around the screen, so we are not in total darkness, but the chinks of light coming in don’t give any indication of what to expect.

Sitting up, and with the excitement of a child opening a present, I unclip the rear window blind and lower it down………….

“Oh no!! The ancient mariners are back” I announced to a very puzzled T

“Huh!, what are you going on about”

Now bearing in mind he’s never seen ‘The Fog’ and I hadn’t explained how my imagination had gone into overload yesterday, I guess it must have seemed a very odd thing to say.

Five minutes of trying to explain who the ancient mariners were, and him with a ‘jeez, she’s away with the fairies’ look on his face, I gave up, and said “we’ve got a sea fret again”

We followed the routine of the previous days, bedding away, dogs fed, then over breakfast we discussed the plans for the day. It looked like another inland trip, so we prepared the motorhome to move off again.

Driving through the swirling mist on the campsite, we joined the road heading towards the Abbey, rounded a bend to see….

The Abbey bathed in sunshine with blue skies all around. Looking back in the wing mirrors, the campsite was still shrouded in the grey mist.

Today we’d decided we’d visit Grosmont, a small village in the Esk Valley, situated on the North Yorkshire Moors railway line.

Driving into the bustling village and over the railway crossing, we followed the signs to the car park and paid our fee. Checking the angle of the sun, that by this time was getting quite hot, we found a sheltered place to park up under the trees.

First thing first, the dogs needed at bit of a walk, so heading off into the surrounding wooded area, we followed the narrow tracks, hoping one of them might lead down to the nearby River Esk.

No such luck, the nearest we got to the river was a fenced off footpath, with a fifteen foot drop.

We did come across this bridge though, which looked like it might have carried some old rail track at some time or other.

Heading back to the van, we grabbed a bite to eat, watered the dogs, and decided to wander up into the town and have a look at the old rail station.

What an interesting history this station has. In 1839, the line between Whitby and Grosmont ran the first railway excursion in the world, a plaque at the station, tells a brief history, more detailed information can be read here.

Looking down the platform at Grosmont station, a very picturesque view towards the moors in the distance.

Just over the rail lines, was a very inviting looking pub, where we decided refreshments were required. The Station Tavern, perfectly positioned to watch any passing steam engines, we plonked our bodies down, to watch the world go by.

It wasn’t long before we were rewarded with The Green Knight passing by, and my mind drifted to how this scene must have looked over a hundred years ago, and how many people had sat in this very spot where I was.

Just opposite where we were sitting, was a sign ‘to the engine sheds’, so suitably refreshed, we crossed over to have a look.

Walking down the footpath, it led to Grosmont Tunnel, which was built as part of George Stephenson’s horse-drawn railway. Another possible first? The sign at the entrance suggested, Britains’ first railway tunnel, as well as the worlds first passenger tunnel. Continuing through the tunnel, there was free entry to view the engine sheds and although dogs were not permitted, there was a special shaded area to tie them up, with water bowls. I decided against leaving Sal and Jasp alone, so waited outside, while T went to have a look.

Heading back towards the rail crossing, down through the town, and past the car park, we went in search of the river again, staying on the road this time.

We found a ford, with extremely slippery cobbles and at almost a foot deep, not something we’d have wanted to drive through with the motorhome (if only I had my land rover). S&J enjoyed another cooling drink.

Driving back to the site, we both agreed, this had been another excellent day.

Dinner that night? Lasagne for T, and I was looking forward to my tortellini I thought I’d bought the day before, but I couldn’t find anywhere in the motorhome. After searching the whole van, I was getting really annoyed, that we’d paid for it, and left it at the supermarket, until I found the receipt for that days’ shopping, NO tortellini 😦 so it was beans on toast for me.

Sal enjoyed some toast too.

I later wandered along the cliff path to get some shots of Whitby abbey, as the mist started to come down again. Then the shower block, and back to my ready made bed 🙂