Friday, 18 August 2017

Yorkshire, final day

I honestly cannot believe that it is the final full day of our holiday today! The time has flown by like a pigeon that has got wind of Dick Dastardly in the vicinity.

As we wanted to get back to the cottage at a reasonable hour and I had to cook, we decided to have a look around the historic market town of Guisborough, the ancient capital of Cleveland.

We took the now familiar route across the moors to Castleton and then took the A171 straight into Guisborough. I had no idea what to expect at all and I do have to say, Guisborough is a very pleasant little town. It seems to consist of a long main street, choc-full of shops and the residential area behind it all.

We parked in a car park right at the start of the town and set off towards the town centre.

On the way, Anna did a little present shopping, unsuccessfully, I might add.

We then spied a Caffè Nero which we decided to enter and partake of their caffeinated goodness. It's amazing, you can go miles from home and still the coffee tastes exactly the same as in Nottingham. (still not a patch on the Speciality Coffee shop.. I don't think anything comes close to that)

After having a coffee, we had a look around Guisborough Priory. An ancient Augustinian priory now, sadly, in ruins. The main arch was still standing and when you look at the craftsmanship that had gone into building something of that size, that long ago; all you could do was look with awe and marvel at it all!

We spent almost an hour here before returning to the and car and driving to Guisborough forest, a Forestry Commission owned area that was perfectly set up for families to enjoy!

We had a good walk around, taking in the views before settling down on a park bench whilst Reuben ran himself silly on the play area.

With Reuben suitably tire out we got back to the car and journeyed back to the cottage.

I made Lancashire hotpot.. Shhh don't tell the Yorkies!!

Thursday, 17 August 2017

Yorkshire Day 5

Beach day today.. We'd promised the kids and the weather forecast looked favourable so the decision was made.

We awoke at 0800 hrs after a night punctuated with the morse code like tapping of rain dripping off the roof and hitting what sounded like the toms on a cheap drumkit. I think, by some strange miracle, Holly actually was out of bed before me as I rolled back over and tried to have a shifty half hour lie-in..

I rolled downstairs and Anna had made me a cup of tea which I enjoyed whilst finishing the Jefferson Tayte genealogical thriller book 5, Kindred. Well.. I hadn't expected *that* ending! I then commenced book 6, Dying Games, and was hooked from the opening paragraph. I really must review some of these books; they really are incredibly well written.

After a leisurely get ready, we departed for Saltburn again as this is where the kids wanted to go. It is a pretty good location by all accounts, good parking (free if you drive up to the top and walk down), toilets nearby, shops that sell coffee etc and an ample supply of fish and chips outlets.

We arrived at Saltburn at about 1135, parked at the aforementioned top of the town and walked down to the beach. Previously, we had set up about 300 meters along the beach, past the pier. Today, we decided that as the tide was in, it would be best to set up by the estuary of a small river.

The kids had been really excited to do some more body boarding but alas, the sea was flatter than a bowling green.. This meant that someone had to inflate their 'super fun tyres'.. That someone, was me... I had forgotten how long it took to perform this simple action and at one point I became a wee bit light-headed! Yay! Legal high for me and fun for all the family (except Anna)!

The kids hit the sea and stayed in there for well over an hour have a whale of a time. They both looked so happy, it was amazing to see and so pleasing as parents to see your kids so happy!

They then came back and mentioned that they were getting hungry so out came the packed lunch.. Oh I should say that sitting on the beach meant that I had uninterrupted reading time of which I took full advantage!

After lunch, the kids hit the sea again; with body boards this time, Anna went to the toilet and then for a walk along the road promenade and on to the pier. Me? I carried on reading.. When I get a good book, I find it very hard to put down!

Eventually everyone came back and disturbed my peace and quiet but this still did not stop me from reading! With the kids bemoaning the lack of waves, we packed up and moved back round the coastline to the place we sat last time we were here.. The waves, unsurprisingly, were no larger so I got my book out and finally finished it!

After that we got fish and chips from the chippy about 30 yards behind us and sat and watched the clouds roll over the moors like a thick dark blanket. I was convinced that we were about to get severely rained on but we never did! It did make for some moody photos though

Following this we decided that the day was done and we packed up, me being the poor bogga that had to deflate the 'super fun tyres'. I believe that it is worse to deflate them than inflate them.. So slow and fiddly. At one point I actually started to suck the air out of them but this was not a clever idea.. Not quite as stupid as the time I thought I'd burn some stuck lint off a guitar string (yes it ended up how you imagine it) but almost in the same ballpark. I eventually got them deflated and we sauntered off to the cliff railway.

For the princely sum of £2.50, this saved us the trudge back up the hill to the town and the car.

When we set off back to the cottage, it became apparent, as we hit the moors, that there had been a deluge of rain as there was standing water, in places, all the way back to the cottage!

I think I found a whole day reading more tiring that the walking up hills we had done!

Wednesday, 16 August 2017

Yorkshire Day 4

Relaxing day today!

Anna and I sat up until about 2300 hrs the night before debating what we were going to do today. Looking at the map, Nunnington Hall appeared to be a bit too far but a quick check on the Sat Nav proved otherwise.. Only 35 minutes away!
We set off at 1055 after Holly had sprung the 'I want a French plait' on Anna at about half 10..deep joy!

After a steep climb onto the moors the road levelled off and were soon driving through open moorland, the road cutting a path through the purple heather like a knife. 

Getting up to the moor, the car was averaging 20 mpg; on the gradual meander down to Ryedale and into Hutton-le-Hole saw the mpg climb to 56. This pleased me greatly

I had forgotten how picturesque Hutton-le-Hole was. Absolutely gorgeous, like a picture postcard.
We arrived at Nunnington Hall at about 1135 and Anna, once again, sniffed out the coffee shop. I had one of the nicest Americanos I have had for a while, the beans must have been pretty fresh!

After the coffee, we went into the house and looked around. I was particularly interested in the story of Col. Fife and the fact that he'd been a professional soldier during the late 1800s and retired just before the First World War broke out; at which he volunteerd for active service and saw action at Ypres and the Somme. Whilst serving he wrote to his wife Margaret very frequently and some of the letters were displayed. Some of the missions he led were amazing! Upstairs in the house, a recording of a National Trust volunteer reading his letters was playing. In 1917, Col. Fife was hit in the arm by shrapnel from an enemy shell and this effectively ended his war. He was left profoundly deaf and his arm took 2 years to fully heal.

After looking round the house we retired to the garden where we took advantage of the deckchairs and had lunch and then spent up until about 1700hrs just sitting in the sun relaxing! Oh.. There was a rather friendly peacock that got in on our picnic...

Holly and Reuben, in the absence of a ball (I'm not that cheap.. We just neglected to bring one), rolled up a pair of walking socks, used an elastic band to keep it ball-shaped and then lobbed it around for a good hour. I have to admit, they are both very good at catching. Reuben's cricket training is certainly coming in useful.

After this came the quote of the day...

"Mummy! I need help!" came the dulcet tones of Reuben. This had the effect of making me enquire exactly as to the nature of this emergency. "I'm so sweaty I can't get my jeans off!" this, of course, made me howl with laughter; mainly at Reuben's expense. Serves him right for wearing skinny slim fit jeans. 

After that it was back in the car and back to the cottage (via Kirkbymoorside to get some cheese, beer, and other vital provisions like brie)
When we got back to the cottage I cooked spaghetti bolognase which I'm pleased to say was rather good (especially compared to the first day's cooking fiasco..)

The kids have just gone to bed and Anna and I are watching Long Lost Family. Well Anna is, I'm reading Kindred, a genealogical thriller by Steve Robinson (I can heartily recommend Steve's Jefferson Tayte series beautifully written and very gripping!) 

Tuesday, 15 August 2017

Yorkshire Day 3

Bit of a shorter entry today.. Maybe more photo-heavy..

We got up in good time today and I thought we'd be our earlier that yesterday.. Alas, I was mistaken. For some reason, breakfast seemed to take an age but then, you shouldn't rush a good meal!

Holly had said that she wanted to do a walk over the moors today and I felt like we should oblige. It is not often that teenagers want to go on a walk so I thought I'd enjoy it while I still could.

Anna found a walk book that contained some walks that departed from the Moors Centre that we visited on Sunday. There walk I picked was a 4 mile circular that ascended 'gently' to the moor and then across it and down and round back to Duck Bridge (which we discovered had been originally built in the 1300s and then rebuilt in the 1700s..

We decided to park on the roadside at Danby and save ourselves £5 for the price of a 1/2 mile walk. This worked out really well as it was all downhill to the Moors Centre.

When we got there we followed the path across the Esk and then across a railway line and to a very narrow road that climbed up towards Ainsthorp, a tiny hamlet that housed the Danby Tennis club....

When we finally got to the moor, the view was simply breathtaking! I'm not going to try and do it justice here.. Here are some photos.

We then descended and rejoined the road.. More of a track really... And the ended up back at Duck Bridge where the kids took off their walking boots and paddled in the river!

After all that frivolity, it was back to the Moors Centre for an ice-cream and relax before heading back to the car and back to the cottage for dinner!

It was a fantastic day that was enjoyed by all, made even more special by the fact that the weather was glorious again!

Monday, 14 August 2017

Yorkshire Day 2

Woke up somewhat later than yesterday, which I suppose is to be expected as we tired ourselves out with all the climbing. The second night is always better than the first.
It was cloudy, windy and overcast when we got got up and I'll confess, my heart sank a wee bit as I thought that it was going to be wash out.
After having breakfast, boiled eggs etc, we started getting ready to go out (Holly was *still* in bed at this stage) I woke Holly and pointed out that if she wanted to come out with us today, she'd better darn well get a wriggle on and get her breakfast and get dressed!
At about 1100 we were finally ready to depart for Staithes; I had thought "sod the weather, we're going anyway!

No sooner had we hit the moors the sun came out we enjoyed a beautiful drive over the open moorland towards the coast!
We arrived a Staithes at just after 1130 and found a car park at the top. I lobbed £3.50 in the meter which gave us 4 hours of sightseeing and fun.

I have to say it! Staithes is absolutely beautiful! The fact that you have to park at the top means that there are hardly any cars down in the picturesque streets at the bottom.
Holly had awoke with a headache and it had not abated during the drive so the first thing we did was find a café. Anna spotted one which looked good right at the top of the hill (I swear, she's like a bloodhound where coffee shops are concerned!)

Holly and I shared a pot of Yorkshire tea, Anna had a latte and Reuben, being Reuben, had a can of diet coke! This tea had the miraculous effect of curing Holly's headache so we set off down the 1/4 hill into the heart of Staithes.

I know that I said Staithes was beautiful earlier but the view of it from the top really didn't do it justice at all! It really is a perfectly preserved fishing village. It is like someone got Whitby, removed all of the commercialised areas, and put it through a photocopier with a scale of 10% set.
We walked around the harbour and had lunch on the harbour wall before doubling back on ourselves and heading back over the bridge and round into the main village.

We walked round the other side of the harbour and crossed over onto some flat rocks that were covered in winkles and barnacles. Unlike Whitby, there were no fossils visible on these rocks!

Reuben somehow managed to fall in a rock pool and soak his left foot.. Oh well! We just had to sit on the rocks and leave his sock and shoe in the sun whilst Holly and him played in the rock pools, now in bare feet!
Anna then left me in charge of our belongings and wandered off to join the kids. Reuben soon came back though after cutting his foot on a barnacle. Anna and Holly soon joined him and we decided to head back to the car and off to Saltburn.
Saltburn was an interesting place... Looked to be a town on the hillside with a promenade by the sea and a pier! The beach was sandy and the tide was coming in so we unloaded all the beach stuff from the car and headed to the red and yellow flags on the beach.

Holly and Reuben got changed into their swimming gear and hit the surf... On their body boards... I hadn't a bet on with Anna that they would be back in after 5 to 10 minutes and sure enough, Holly came jogging back up the beach! I was there all smug and just about to say "ha! Told you so!" when she grabbed her and Reuben's crocs from the beach bag saying "it's awesome down there, we're off surfing!" Well... That was me told and the hardy little boggas spent the best part of an hour in the sea!
Eventually they did come back.. Shivering and smiling. They had loved it.
After they had dried off and warmed up, I walked 20 yards up the beach onto the promenade and got is all fish and chips from one of the shops. The fish had just come out of the fryer and the chips had been cooked in beef tallow. One of the highlights of the Northeast!!

After this, we got back I the car for the half hour drive back to the cottage for a relaxing bath / shower and a peaceful evening!