Saturday, 9 June 2012

Bridlington holiday June 2012

Bridlington June 2012
We left home at about 2.15pm, loaded to the gunnels, with everyone jammed in to the car!  We had just about got room for everything, but only just…Once on the road, it seemed to be that everyone else was on their way as well.  The traffic was heavy all the way. We got stuck in roadworks in Wisbech before we even left the region, and then we hit very heavy traffic getting through Lincoln on the A15.  Lincoln took nearly an hour to navigate, and it was bumper to bumper all the way.  We did, however, get some wonderful views of the Cathedral from the roadside, and the girls sat in the back of the car with cameras poised most of the way. 

The Humber Bridge

Through Lincoln, we were straight up the stretch of Ermine Street to the motorway which led us to the mighty Humber Bridge.  The views there were great, and I thought of Ilona and her walks, which usually end at the bridge.  

Once over the bridge, we headed for Beverley, and saw the beautiful Minster very briefly some way away.  Soon after that, we were on the road towards the coast and Bridlington was on the signposts at last.

When we found the outskirts of Bridlington we started to look for a supermarket.  There was no room in the car for any provisions beyond a few snacks for the journey, really, so we needed to get basics for the evening meal and breakfast.  I caught sight of a long low building which I thought had a typical supermarket style roof, so I turned off the main road; we were slightly disappointed to discover that it was in fact the District Hospital!  However, the road looked promising so we continued and found Morrison’s, and Aldi.  We chose Morrison’s and had to come to the cabin with the carrier bags packed on the laps! 

The cabin is tucked away in a corner of the development, and has a lovely, quiet aspect.  There is a kitchen/dining/sitting room, a lovely open plan area, with a door to the decking at the front and a door to the hallway.  We have all the mod cons we could ask for – Tv with Freeview and DVD player, radio/CD player, dishwasher, fridge, freezer, washing machine, electric central heating, etc.  The girls are sharing the front bedroom with the en-suite bathroom (shower over bath) and the FH and I have the back bedroom which has an en-suite shower room.  There is a separate cloakroom (ie toilet) as well.  The beds are lovely, so comfortable! 

Heritage Park lodges

We cooked our meal last night and then spent the evening unpacking and reading all the brochures in the cabin, trying to make a shortlist of things to do this week.  
We also unpacked.

I slept amazingly well this morning, but woke at the usual time, 6.40am, and then couldn’t get back to sleep, so I read a book and waited for everyone else to appear at 8am.   I had breakfast with the girls and then the FH managed to rouse himself by about 9am for some bacon and eggs. [I tucked a box of eggs under my seat in the car as there was no way I was going to buy eggs when we have so many at home!] Then I had a leisurely bath in the girls’ bathroom – it is a P shaped bath, and takes an age to fill so I didn’t indulge in too much water. 

The girls and I left the FH relaxing whilst we went off to Bridlington to find Tesco for food and diesel.  We found it, but the traffic in the middle of Bridlington this morning was murderous – but then it was Saturday morning on a Bank Holiday weekend, so I should have expected it, I suppose.  Lunch was next on the agenda, and so we headed home.

The FH had no desire to go anywhere today; I think that the journey and the preparations over recent days had tired him out.  We went out in the afternoon and left him watching the racing on the tv.  I took the girls to Flamborough Head, and we walked along the cliff tops, looking at all the birds nesting on the sides of the cliffs – I was SO excited as I saw my first live puffin!  Lots of photos were taken and we really blew away the cobwebs up there.  I drew the line at climbing the lighthouse, but we bought some postcards, and I sat on the clifftop and rang my dad.

At Flamborough Head

We were too late in the day to go to the model village at Bondeville in Sewerby, so we passed that for today and carried on in to Bridlington’s North Promenade.  We parked the car and walked along the prom, seeing the sights.  A man had four donkeys on the beach, giving rides, and then the lifeguards from the RNLI were patrolling another area where lots of children were playing in the sand and paddling, but it was rather chilly!  We paid for a parking permit for an hour, so we walked for half an hour, then got ice creams and walked back.  We found a cinema showing “Snow White and the Huntsman” which the YFG wants to see, so that may happen later in the week, especially on a rainy day. The tide was coming in and the YFG enjoyed standing close to the railing and feeling the spray from the sea bashing against the sea wall.

We noticed Bridlington’s fishing heritage celebrated on the wall along the prom where lots of fish were moulded into the bricks – cue photo opportunity for the camera operators again!
North Promenade, Bridlington

We have come back to the cabin and put all the photos on to the laptop so we could show the FH a slideshow of where we have been and what we have done today.  He is asleep now, and the girls are watching Ratatouille on the tv.  They both brought some homework with them, so more of that may get done tonight, but after all the sea air I have breathed today, and all the walking we have done, I will not be late to bed tonight!

Sunday got off to a slow start as we all slept in until 10am, no doubt as a result of all the glorious sea air we enjoyed on Saturday!  After slowing coming to, we had some breakfast in a leisurely manner, and surveyed the weather.  It wasn’t good, and it seemed like an indoor kind of day was on the cards, so we went off to John Bull’s World of Rock, a few miles away.  

Unfortunately, we chose the wrong day for a tour of the factory, so had to be happy with a mooch around the shop, and buying a few wee gifts for the friends back home.  We were thrilled to find it possible to buy a stick of rock with “Uncle” written through it so we snapped one of those up for UJ straight away!

The amazing river pageant on the Thames took up the rest of the afternoon and I was sort of glad that it rained here in Yorkshire so that we were here to watch it, as it was a really thrilling spectacle.

Later on the girls went for a walk to find a postbox to send their postcards and they were gone for about an hour.  We settled in for the evening after that and generally relaxed.

Today dawned as most Bank Holiday Mondays in England do – wet and dismal! It was raining when I came through to make the first hot drink of the morning, but then it cleared up a little and raised my hopes.  By the time we were all eating breakfast, it was raining again, and our plans were more uncertain by the minute.  Thankfully, by 10.45am, there were blue skies and we packed a picnic and headed out.

Sewerby Hall

Not too far from the cabin is Sewerby Hall and Gardens, including a little zoo.  We were there for about 4 hours, enjoying the exhibits in the Hall, the beautiful formal gardens and walled gardens, the parkland and the views of the sea.  I could have sat there watching the world go by for hours.  The girls were busy with the cameras all day, taking lots and lots of gorgeous snaps. 

Gateway to the courtyard and The Town Crier - a local actor

Inside the house is a historical exhibition covering all sorts of things – the history of the farm lad in the East Riding of Yorkshire, the chap who invented the bouncing bomb, lots of stuff about the airships, and a fascinating exhibition of Amy Johnson and her Gypsy Moth.

Beautiful walled garden at Sewerby

The Council own and run the house now, and when they took it over from the Graeme family in the 30s, she came and opened it in 1936, just a few years after she completed her 19 day flight to Australia in Gypsy Moth – how inspiring!

Formal gardens at Sewerby

Home beckoned for a while, and we enjoyed soaking up a little of the sunshine this afternoon sitting on the decking with our reading books/homework/revision, before the FH took the girls off to get fish and chips for their tea. 

Tonight we are watching the Diamond Jubilee Concert in front of Buckingham Palace.  The FH is not that keen, and keeps making derisive comments about the singers, but the EFG, YFG and I are enjoying it.  He will enjoy the marching and pomp of the ceremonies tomorrow morning as the Queen attends St Paul’s Cathedral for her thanksgiving service, so he will have his time then. 

We still have some wet weather activities up our sleeve, but we are hoping that we do get some more sunshine before the end of the week.  We are almost half way through the week and it is relaxing and I am enjoying being away from the phone, the internet and the demands of normal life!

We have been to the Bondeville Model Village today; at least, the EFG, YFG and I have been out.  The FH is having an at-home day today after all that went on yesterday – he isn’t up to a cracking pace and has to take things one step at a time. 

Valentine Abbey at Bondeville Model Village

The model village was pleasant enough, but perhaps a little disappointing in some ways – it looked somewhat tired, although we did love the tiny houses and staged scenes outside the hospital, the pub, the hotel and the harbour, for example.

Three churches in the village, so we made sure we took note of the Methodist one!

 It is a brilliant concept, but for something that took us less than 45 minutes to look around, it was not cheap, costing £8 for the three of us.  Yesterday’s trip to Sewerby House cost £14 in comparison and offered a lot more and that was for four people.  The girls took lots of photos to share, and you can clearly see that a lot of the models would benefit from a small repair or lick of paint here and there. 

Once we had looked around there, we decided to go into the town of Bridlington.  We parked in the station car park and walked about half a mile or so down the road to the town centre.  We were in the modern town centre, not the historic old town, and it was an eye-opening walk around.  We were shocked at the number of shops which were boarded up, closing down or empty; Bridlington unfortunately seems to be a struggling town.  Quite how M&S manages to stay open, I am not sure.  The buildings are mostly occupied by fish and chip restaurants, which of course are testament to the fishing heritage of the town.  There are some shops, but they are limited, and the charity shops have taken over a lot of the spaces – we didn’t count them but there were plenty of charities running shops here that I had never heard of – far more than the basic Cancer charities, Heart Foundation and Age Concern.  We walked through the little shopping mall area, avoided a Talktalk representative, and then an O2 chap on stilts, and mooched towards the harbour.  It was fascinating to watch some boats in dry dock areas being painted, and there were quite of lot of small boats sitting on the mud as the tide was out.  From here we could see the glorious beach of the South Promenade area, which looked beautiful, golden and huge!  A far larger expanse of beach than we had seen at the north end of the town.   We sat by the Harbour and rang home but UJ seemed not to be in, so I then rang my dad and had a quick chat with him.  He is going on holiday on Friday so we won’t see him when we get home as he will already have left.

The girls and I came home to the cabin and found the FH still watching the coverage of the Queen’s Jubilee today – the parade from the Cathedral and the lunch at Westminster Hall, and then the balcony appearance later on.  He is still resting and has his feet up.  The girls have gone off now on a circular walk of about 4 or 5 miles, I think, so they should be back in the next hour or so, quite worn out!!

The YFG rang to say that they were on their way back, so I set off for a wander in the hope of meeting up with them.  The YFG rang again to say that they were lost, couldn’t access the golf course to get back to the cabin, and were on a bridleway to Danes Dyke – what should they do?  Knowing from the signposts where Danes Dyke is, I told them to carry on along to the Dyke and I would meet them there in the car.  I had to hotfoot it back to get the car, and drive off to the car park at the nature reserve which is Danes Dyke.  Once there, we had a few worrying moments when we were in contact on the phone but neither party knew where the other was!  After a while, we sorted ourselves  
out and met up, very relieved indeed – and thankful for mobile phones!

This evening we have eaten and are now relaxing by the tv, books and knitting and the laptop at hand – no internet access but it is useful for typing this in Word, playing Solitaire, watching DVDs, and showing slideshows of all the day’s photos, so I am glad I brought it along.


Another long lie in this morning, well deserved after all the walking yesterday!  The FH was the last to surface just after 10am.  It was raining hard when we got up, so we didn’t rush around.  Plans for the day included the tour of the rock factory and then on to a Birds of Prey and Animal Park.  On arrival at the factory, we found the tour area closed for lunch, which dampened spirits as much as the rain, so we continued up the road to the animal park.  This was more interesting as there was a large complex there, with a café, bird of prey and animal centre, a big play barn/soft play centre for the wee ones, and a Factory Shop.  I had a poke round in there with the girls, firmly reminding them that anything purchased has to fit into the suitcases, and we found a couple of bargains.

Probably the highlight of the week for the FH - a family of meerkats
Walking round the animal centre, we were thrilled to find a family of 6 or 7 meerkats (they kept moving!) which were just gorgeous.  They looked well fed, and had a huge heap of land where they had tunnelled down and made themselves quite at home. 

"You keep watch that way, I'll watch this lot over here!"

We hoped to watch a flying display but to start with the rain came down so heavily that we had to go indoors and just listen to the falconer talk about the birds but when the rain cleared up about 15 minutes later, he put on a fantastic flying display with a variety of birds – we really enjoyed that. 

A rare hybrid bird which flew majestically after the rainstorm

The sun came out to complete the picture and we sat there quite happily watching that for about half an hour.

The handler showing people the bird's beautiful plumage

Since the rock factory was on the way home, we gave it one more chance and were successful in finally getting in to see the rock and chocolate areas.  It was rather full of people due to the inclement weather, so it wasn’t possible to ask any questions or talk to the people who were so busy with other tourists, but it was fascinating to see two men (with serious biceps!) manhandling huge pieces of the rock into huge rolls, and then they were put together and the regular rock we usually see extruded.  A couple more purchases from the factory shop and then we were on our way back to the lodge.

Once home at about 3.30pm, we had lunch, and relaxed.  My hips are struggling with all the walking I have been doing and the ball & socket joints are causing me some pain so I hopped in a hot bath and have had my feet up ever since in an attempt to be fit enough to walk around again tomorrow.  The FH has been lucky with his ankles and even though we brought along a crutch for him, but it seems that it may be me using it before we go home if I am not so lucky.

This evening we have watched a DVD and now are enjoying our regular fix of Lewis, although we have been disappointed to learn that it is the last in the series!


This morning dawned damp once more, but we didn’t let that deter us from a day out on the last day of the holiday.  The destination of choice was Burton Agnes Hall, mid way between Bridlington and Driffield.  A slight detour got us there, and we were very impressed with the outside of the house, and when we went inside, we weren’t disappointed.
The courtyard at Burton Agnes, with plant sales, cafe and London Bus art gallery

The girls were thrilled to be able to continue their photographic record of the holiday, and there were loads of amazing items within the house which they wanted to snap.  The house was built in the first Elizabethan period, and reminded me a little of Kentwell Hall in Suffolk.  The family in which it has passed down all these years still live in part of the house, and are very involved in running the Trust which owns it. 

Front of the house at Burton Agnes

They have also developed an inspirational walled garden, which we loved.  The flowers and vegetables in the garden are much further on than we expected, and chatting with one of the gardeners, he shared that the wall keeps the garden a week or so ahead of the local area; even his own garden in the village is not at the same stage yet.  Having giant chess sets, draughts boards, hopscotch and quoits within the garden just adds to the things to amuse the children.  There is also a large maze, but I wasn’t feeling up to getting lost in that as I was walking with a crutch to support my hips as all the walking we had been doing in the past few days had given me some pain. 

The formal water feature in the garden


Varis Creations said...

Sounds like you had a lovely time - welcome back!

The Squirrel Family said...

What a busy week, hope your joints have recovered!

Lesley said...

Glad you had a good week! It sounds like you had a great time.

Colleen said...

Thanks for sharing, Morgan. The photos are lovely. I wish I could see the slideshow!