The Northumberland Coast

The Northumberland coast is an area of outstanding natural beauty and in my opinion  is one of the most beautiful & unspoilt coastlines in England. The beaches are clean & scattered with shells. The little sea-side villages & towns retain their charm and remain uncommercialised. As a family we holiday in this area every year and discover a new hidden delight each time. Here are a few of our favourite destinations, if your personal favourite is not here email your suggestion to itsalittletravelguide@hotmail.co.uk and we'll check it out on our next visit!

Picture
Amble
***Amble***

Amble (once known at Warkworth Harbour) is a busy harbour town sitting on the mouth of the river Coquet just south of Warkworth. The large harbour, with its pretty red&white lighthouse, is a good place to spot shoals of fish and the occasional dolphin swimming in the clear water. Why not take a boat trip over to Coquet Island and see the puffins & seals, or follow the Town Trail walk and learn some of the history of the town. I like to have a wander along the harbour on a summers evening after spending the day at Warkworth.


Picture
Warkworth

***Warkworth***

Warkworth is my idea of a perfect village. It has everything I love! It's a quaint countryside village in a picturesque riverside setting, steeped in history, complete with magnificent medieval castle and several real-ale pubs and to top it all it is also next to the sea and has a fantastic award winning beach, there's even a little Island, Coquet Island, just out to sea and its a RSPB nature reserve! Perfect, it was definitely designed for me!
The English Heritage owned medieval castle was once the home of the Dukes of Northumberland and for a ruin it's actually quite intact & there's quite a lot to explore, there's even some indoor parts and there's an impressive view from the roof. There's also a lovely riverside walk along to the Hermitage.
When you're finish exploring the pretty village, head to the beach! A short walk through the sand dunes brings you too a beautiful unspoilt beach where you can rest a while while the kids make sandcastles & enjoy the sights of sea-birds acrobatically diving into the sea to catch fish. I hope you will enjoy a trip to Warkworth as much as I do!

Picture
Welcome to the Caribbean love!
***Alnmouth***

The tiny coastal village of Alnmouth, so called as it sits at the mouth of the River Aln, has a beautiful long beach which I always call 'the Caribbean!' Here you'll find the famous 17th century Schooner Hotel, it is apparently 'the most haunted hotel in Britain' if you believe in that sort of thing but I'm sure there's plenty of liquid spirits to be had at the bar!
There's not really much else to say about Almouth, it's small but perfectly formed with a large golf course, a few pretty craft shops & tea rooms with jingley doors!

Picture
Craster harbour
***Craster***

Its easy to see why picturesque Craster was used in the TV show 'Distant Shores' as the fictional island of Hildasay. It's a pretty little place with a stoney harbour, famous kipper smokehouse & art gallery and I particularly enjoyed some delicious jam&cream scones in the Shoreline Cafe here on my birthday. Yum-yum! Its also a mecca for walkers and is the best place to access Dunstanburgh Castle. The 14th century castle is about a mile & a half walk from Craster through farmland next to the rocky shoreline. Its a nice walk and a lovely castle. There's also looks to be a lovely sandy beach further along from the castle, at Embleton, although I've never actually been there for some random unknown reason!

Picture
lovely beach
***Low Newton-By-The-Sea***

Newton by the sea is a pretty little village with a gorgeous sandy beach at the bottom of a steep hill. The beach is popular with families while windsurfers & water sport lovers enjoy the sea here. The village has a lot of holiday cottages which would be ideal for a get-away-from-it-all holiday.There's also some pretty little 19th century fishermens cottages in a square surrounding the green and a pub, The Ship Inn, with its own micro-brewery. I recommend you park your car at the top of the hill near St Marys church & walk down into the village, that way you can enjoy the beautiful view of  nearby Dunstanburgh Castle as you stroll along.
Its a lovely little place, I've only been the once but hope to return again someday.

Picture
***Beadnell***

Beadnell boast a long golden sandy sweeping stretch of beach and an 18th century, still operational, harbour. One of the main features of the harbour are the remnants of three historic limekilns dating back to the 1700s, originally used for making lime for fertilizer they've also been used for smoking herrings and nowadays used for storing lobsterpots. Beadnell is a nice place to chill-out & enjoy the beach on a sunny day and also the place where I aquired a lobster-pot for my garden!

Picture
***Seahouses***

I love Seahouses. In my opinion you'll find the nicest fish&chips ever in Neptunes. Enjoy them sat in the restaurant or take them away & sit on the seats overlooking the beautiful harbour. The harbour is usually
quite busy with boat trips going out to the nearby Farne Island, look out for the BBC they go over from here during Springwatch time as the Farnes are a favoured breeding place of puffins. One fine day I will take a Billy Shiels boat over to the Farne Islands and see the puffins for myself!  Seahouses is a nice little town with plenty of shops & local attractions and its a place I like to visit when I'm staying in the area.


Picture
***Bamburgh***

Bamburgh has the most fantastic sandy beach and we've enjoyed many a day out here with a picnic & plenty of sandcastles. The first thing you'll notice, of course, is the amazing castle that sits proudly on a hill overlooking the village. Its a great place to visit but privately owned so check admission prices here. There's quite a lot of the castle open to the public, with lots of weapons on display! There's a nice tearoom & I recommend the brie paninis! Its also been used as a film location many times & is a popular wedding venue.
Pretty St Aidans churchyard is also where you'll find the resting place of Grace Darling. Ms Darling is quite a hero of mine.
Daughter of a lighthouse keeper, in 1838 she famously rowed out into a storm and helped to rescue survivors of the 'Forfarshire' shipwreck. I have yet to visit the Grace Darling Museum, but be sure it's on the list for when we have our much anticipated 'vw campervan holiday' in the area in September.
Bamburgh is very pretty and 'villagey' with a few local shops, lovely pubs and lots of holiday cottages.
I've camped near here at Waren Mill many times and I enjoy a spot of bird watching at nearby Budle Bay.
Further up the coast is the Holy Island of Lindisfarne which I've already blogged about and you can read here.

 
 

Jedburgh

Picture
Jedburgh Abbey
Just a mere 10 mile drive over the Scottish border brings you to a pretty  market town that is absolutely steeped in history. Jedburgh is a fantastic place for a family budget friendly day out. The glorious 12th century abbey is the first sight that greets you on entering the town. Owned by Historic Scotland, so free entry to English Heritage members too. There's an interesting onsite visitor centre containing artifacts found in the abbey grounds, displays about the Augustinian monks who once lived here & there's even a dressing up box! Wander round the beautiful & extensive ruins or even have a picnic in the peaceful herb garden.
I've never seen anywhere else quite like Jedburgh Castle Jail. Surely the shape of every castle ever drawn by a child, although it was purpose built as a prison in the 19th century. It has fascinating displays giving an insight into the harsh realities of prison life for men, women & children throughout the ages, including a book detailing every prisoner held inside the castle walls. Inside the jail the layout of cells remains very much unchanged giving, on occasion even a hardened skeptic as myself an eerie feeling of 'not quite being alone'. Inside the museum are displays telling all about Mary Queen of Scots and of Jedburgh's rich history. Admission is free and it’s a place I really enjoy visiting.
Mary Queen of Scots House can also be found in town. It's a beautiful 16th century building, although as with many events in history, it’s debatable whether Mary did actually stay here. Regardless of the truth, inside this gorgeous old bastel house are displays all about Mary Stewart and her long imprisonment and eventual execution ordered by Elizabeth 1st. Some interesting thing to lookout for are Mary's 'death mask' (morbidly fascinating!) and a thimble case that once belonged to Mary...I collect thimbles so this made me chuckle! Again admission is free and it’s well worth a visit.
The Town Trail takes in many of the other historic & scenic sights in Jedburgh, including the gatehouse, market place, complete with unicorns and many houses connected with notable dignitaries who have stayed in Jedburgh throughout the ages.
I can recommend fish & chips from Paul’s Takeaway, conveniently located just across the road from the abbey, I've been there quite a few times & the food has always been delicious..as a matter of interest the first time I ever noticed 'deep fried pizza' on a menu was here!
I've also stayed at Jedburgh Camping and Caravanning Club Site, although many years ago now (B.P. - Before mr Plough!) it was a nice quiet little site for tents and tourers and ideal for longer stays in Jedburgh.

Picture
Carter Bar
The Scottish Borders

On your way up to Jedburgh do stop atCarter Barand take in the gorgeous views and it's a must to pose for a photograph next to the England/Scotland border marker!
Near to Jedburgh is the town of Kelso, home of a small 12th century abbey ruin and the very colourful & funky Art House gallery.
Further on I can also recommend Melrose Abbey (owned by Historic Scotland) the final resting place for Robert the Bruce's heart, also don’t miss the funny stone carving of a bagpipe playing pig!
Also in the area is the peaceful & beautiful Dyburgh Abbey, the final of the 'Four great abbeys of the Scottish Borders'. Its many years since my last visit to Melrose & Dryburgh (B.P. - Before mr Plough!) so sadly I have no photos to post, there's a great excuse for a return visit!

All content, words & photographs copyright ©AngeGraham(the vintage-pirate) and may not be reproduced.
 
 

North Yorkshire Coast

I can't pick a favourite from the North Yorkshire coastline. Each place has its own unique charm. As such here's a little guide to the places we visit quite regularly...hope to see you there soon! :)

If your favourite isn't on here drop me an email at itsalittletravelguide@hotmail.co.uk and I'll check it out!

Picture
Saltburn
** Saltburn by the sea**

Saltburn by the sea is a very pretty Victorian seaside with a lovely sandy beach thats popular with both families and surfers. The town has long historic pier which was the first iron pier to be built on the North East Coast, more recently noted for its olympic knitting display! The oldest working water balanced cliff lift in Britain which goes up 120 ft linking the town with the bay can be found here too.The Ship Inn dating back to the 16th century has smuggling links and was once owned by John Andrew, reputedly the 'king of the smugglers' in his day. The pub is next door to what was the Smugglers Experience, now sadly closed to the public. Lovely 'Valley Gardens' is home to the minature railway with it's green locomotive 'Prince Charles'. Theres also a large playground to keep the kids amused. The gardens link into Rifts wood and you can pick up the Cleveland Way here too.



Picture
Staithes

**Staithes**

The pretty village of Staithes on the 'Dinosaur Coast' was once a thriving fishing port, now it’s a picturesque tranquil haven and a firm favorite with artists & families alike. Park your car at the top of the village and wander through pretty higgledy-piggledy cottages leading down the steep cobbled hillside to the small sandy bay. Part of the village is separated by the Roxby Beck and if you cross via the bridge you will find the lifeboat station and a stretch of bed rock full of rock pools that are home to about a gazillion hermit crabs! The lovely sandy bay is found on the main side of the village, nearby is The Cod & Lobster pub and I can recommend the Seadrift Cafe for a nice cuppa & a tasty treat. The fish and chips are gorgeous from the takeaway at the top of the village, certainly a welcome energy boost after climbing back up the steep hill!
One of Staithes claims to fame is Captain James Cook lived here in 1744, he stayed for two years as a grocers apprentice before moving to Whitby for a life on the ocean wave. There are certainly plenty of holiday cottages available in the village if you would like to stay a bit longer after your visit!


Picture
Runswick Bay


**Runswick Bay**

The tiny village of Runswick Bay with its one pub, The Royal Hotel, and small friendly cafe sits at the bottom of a stupidly steep 1 in 4 hill! The car park is at the bottom of said hill and your car may find itself parked at a rather jaunty angle! Also remember to take some coins for the parking meter as although you can 'ringo', there is no mobile phone signal so it can't be done! All this aside Runswick Bay has a fantastic long sandy beach where the kids will enjoy making sand castles & exploring the rock pools. The picturesque village which clings to the hillside is a collection of pretty cottage set around narrow winding pathways, including the former coastguards’ cottage complete with thatched roof.  Picture postcard beautiful it’s an ideal destination for a sunny afternoon.


Picture
Sandsend
**Sandsend**

Sandsend is a pretty little coastal hamlet close to bustling Whitby.
There's an inviting shallow stream that joins to the sea making it a safe place for children to paddle.The small bay at Sandsend joins onto the sweeping stretch of  that is Whitby Sands making it possible to walk all the way to Whitby along the beach.  There's also a nice riverside walk into Mulgrave Woods.

** The olympic torch will pass through Sandsend on 18 June 2012 **

Picture
Whitby through the whale bones
**Whitby**

Surely everybody has heard of Whitby?!
Bram Stokers Dracula, TVs Heartbeat, Captain James Cook?!
Famous for its magnificent abbey, handcrafted jet & tasty fish'n'chips, there's so much to see & do in Whitby there surely must be something for everybody here. More than just a Victorian seaside resort Whitby is steeped in history, and not just world history. I can trace my own family ancestors to Whitby & surrounding areas, there’s even a street named after us & a pub they owned is still pulling pints today!
My perfect day at Whitby would start at the abbey, which is English Heritage owned. Taking in the magnificent abbey ruins and views over the town below go through the abbeys museum, enjoying the interactive displays. Then through the cobbled courtyard and on to St Hilda’s church. I find the inside intriguing, the way the pews are segregated is a little bit eerie to me, but you'd have to go in and see for yourself & make your own judgment! Maybe you could have a respecrful browse through the churchyard in search of Dracula’s grave...(please bear in mind Dracula is a fictional novel & not real! I've heard so many tourists ask shop workers for directions to 'Dracula’s grave' I always stiffen a titter when they get elaborate directions to goodness knows where!) Head down the 199 steps, count 'em &see and head towards the little harbour bay. There are nice views of Whitby from here and you could always walk along to the East pier & look at the lighthouses. There's a multitude of independent retailers in Whitby selling everything you could possibly want. There's a strong bond with the Goth community here so there's some fantastic clothes shops to browse. I'm a big fan of Adkins warehouse, I always go in & I usually buy a metal sign for my garden! There's a lovely Chocolate Fountain we usually sample some of their yummy goodies too. The famous swing bridge is quite novel & it’s interesting to see it open for a passing ship. Carrying on over the bridge you'll find the Dracula Experience always good if you fancy a scare & there are many different boat rides to chose from. Personally I enjoy the 'Bark Endeavour', although my poor daughter was rather traumatized in the choppy seas last time we sailed! There's also the fantastic Indoor Pirate Golf Course to enjoy, anything to do with pirates gets my vote, but this is a really good attraction, not overpriced and great if it’s cold or rainy. Don't miss the little lifeboat museum, support the heroes of the RNLI they do a great job. You could always try a trip on Elizabeth the Steam Bus or Charlotte the Charabanc, I know the Little Dude loves Elizabeth & we usually end up having a ride around town on her. Up more steps to the Cook Monument & here you'll find Whitbys' famous whale bones, a reminder of Whitbys days as an 18th century whaling port. There’s the cliff-top Arnold Palmer crazy golf course to enjoy, there’s also a boating lake and paddling pool for the kids in the park. Theres the Spa Pavilion with regular music events and new cinema. Also there's a historic Cliff Lift that takes you down through the cliff to the lovely beach with its colourful wooden huts. I recommend fish'n'chips sat on the pier & do try the scrumptious Whitby fudge before you leave!

Picture
Robin Hoods Bay

** Robin Hoods Bay **

Once upon a time this gorgeous little village, built on a steep hill with its quirky narrow lanes & quaint little cottages was reputedly a favourite with smugglers. Infact there is a tunnel, which is still visible today, which leads straight from the beach and under the village. Allegedly some of the houses have trap doors where contraband goods were smuggled straight from ships moored in the bay. I adore Robin Hoods Bay & I come here ridiculously often, infact there is a gate just at the top of the hill...we call this  'Anges Gate'!  The beach is quite muddy but great for finding fossils, there's fantastic rock pooling to be done here too so be sure to bring your fishing net. When you are on the rocks please be aware of the tide coming in as it sweeps round behind you and you can easily end up stranded, I speak from experience here, I've had wet feet & a panic on several occasions! I've also seen people have to be physically rescued from the rocks so do keep glancing behind you as you're busy collecting crabs & fishies!
There's a cute little museum housed in the old Coroners Room with displays all about Robin Hoods Bay & Fylingdales. Its free entry & run entirely by volunteers so if you enjoy your visit  as much as I did, be so kind as to give a small donation & help keep history alive.
There’s also the Old Coastguard Station visitor centre with hands on displays showing how the natural landscape was formed, an aquarium tank with local marine life on display and a National Trust shop.
There's also a fantastic fish'n'chip shop here, I recommend anything from the menu, sit on the seats overlooking the beach & enjoy! After which you might like to try a nice walk along the Cleveland Way to Boggle Hole.


Picture
Boggle Hole


**Boggle Hole**

Boggle Hole can be reached from Robin Hoods Bay via the Cleveland Way. It's only about a mile away and its an easy and very scenic walk.
In days of yore, the boggle was a kind of goblin that allegedly lived in the natural hollowed landscape hence the name Boggle Hole. I surmise a good story about mischievous goblins kept most people away from the area so smuggling could be carried out without too much interference! I didn't see any goblins or smugglers on our visit but we did enjoy a welcome cup of coffee from the shop at the converted cornmill.
Today the old converted watermill situated by a pretty beck provides Youth Hostel accommodation.
If tides are permitting it's a lovely walk back to Robin Hoods Bay along the beach, keep an eye of for fossils on your journey.

Picture
**Ravenscar**

Famously known as 'the town that never was' and situated on a cliff top location, there are great views of Robin Hoods Bay from the National Trust Visitor centre. In by gone days Ravenscar was famous for its alum works in its heyday, sounds like a rather smelly business to me! However today it’s an interesting insight into 'Peak' a town that was planned but was never built. There's an old train platform & some foundations for streets of houses still visible today. Of course there are a few houses in the village, a hotel & a nice tearoom. The Cleveland Way passes through here and it’s actually a really nice walk from Robin Hoods Bay, but keep an eye out for adders in the summer months!


All content, words & photographs copyright ©AngeGraham(the vintage-pirate) and may not be reproduced.

 
 

Lindisfarne

Picture
Holy Isle of Lindisfarne
Northumberland has one of the most beautiful unspoilt coastlines in our country.
Long stretches of golden sands & pretty little villages are plentiful but to me the best treasure of Northumberlands coast is Lindisfarne.
Lindisfarne or Holy Island is a small but beautiful island just off the Northumberland coast. Its reached via a tidal causeway so when planning your visit it's vital you check the tide time table.
Both the National trust and English Heritage own properties on the Island making it a great choice for members for a budget day out.  The Priory ruins vistor centre (EH) tells  the turbulant story of christianity on the island, while you can admire some beautiful views of the island while exploring  the picturesque ruins. The ruins are also a great place for a picnic too..... In fact while enjoying the ruins,  if you do happen to have a small niece with you on your visit, and she does by chance 'whack' the statue of St Cuthbert with a wooden sword (bought in the gift shop) you will be amazed, as will all those around you, to discover the statue is indeed made of metal and not of wood, it does look like its carved wood so it is amazing.....the neice in question did no damage & it was a very unexpected 'whack'.... I do apologise... Moving on, the ruins stand in the churchyard of the very pretty St Marys church and also next to the statue of St Aiden, first founder of christianity on the island. There's some beautiful photo opportunities of the castle here too.

Picture
St Cuthbert & the priory ruins
Onwards to the castle! There is a very pretty village on the island worth exploring too but for now we're just going to walk straight through. Past the fantastic 'crafty' shops & scrummy tearooms & down towards the castle. First of all you'll come to the  quirky boathuts & stoney bay. The upturned boats are used as fishermens sheds & I've never seen them like this anywhere else but here. The National Trust have restored three that you can go into up at the castle. The castle sits ontop of a volcanic hill but its definately well worth the short but steep climb. The castle was originally a fort built from stone from the priory ruins but later was turned into a grand house. Now National trust owned, its lovely to wander through the small rooms & take in the cozy homely atmosphere of the place. My favourite room is the 'Ship Room'  with its quirky ship shaped ceiling & impressive model galleon. From the top of the castle you can see out to sea and along the Northumberland coast. There's great veiws of both Bamburgh and Dunstanburgh castle and if you look towards the sand flats (just along from the causeway) you can usually spot a colony of grey seals. Just a little further along & down, the old lime kilns are an interesting feature, a remnant of the islands long gone industry. Across the feild from the castle is the recently restored walled garden planted with pretty flowers & vegetables.

Picture
quirky boathuts
There's also a fantastic beach on the island. We park in the 'The Snook' carpark before you reach the main island and walk past 'The Snook Tower' (once part of a colliery & now a private house) and take the path through the sand dunes to the beach. We call it the longest beach in the world (not an official claim) its a great expanse of unspoilt clean beach absolutely beautiful and great for making sandcastles, collecting shells& driftwood and just generally chilling out.
During your visit dont forget to try the famous honey Mead, its delicious!!  Unique to Lindisfarne it was origionaly brewed by the monks. Nowadays there's a visitor center where you can try a sample before you buy.
The island is great for families & its dog friendly too, appeals nature lovers & bird spotters, walkers & ramblers and artists & photographers a plenty. There's pubs & eateries and plenty of holiday cottages or B&Bs if you fancy a longer stay too.

Picture
check the tide times before you cross!
Holy Island is a gorgeous place to visit but it's also home to people who actually live there so please respect it. Park in the designated areas, walk on the designated footpaths and take your litter home with you.
Most importantly check the tide times before attempting to cross the causeway as every year many people misjudge the speed of the incoming tide and get stranded in their cars on the causeway needing to be rescued by our brave heroes of the RNLI, don't be a statistic, check your times, be safe not sorry & soggy...

All content& photos copyright ©AngeGraham(the vintage-pirate) and may not be reproduced.
Follow Me on Pinterest
 

Hull

10/2/2012

0 Comments

 
Picture
Victoria Square, Hull
We've visited Hull quite a few times since The Evil Genius announced the city as her university of choice. I find Hull to be a friendly and vibrant city with great shopping, plenty of eating & drinking places and even
a 'Real Ale Trail'.  Hull is steeped in history with lots of beautiful old buildings & statues.
The Deep is one of the citys main attractions. It is apparently the worlds only 'submarium', it is in fact the largest aquarium I've been to and it has the biggest sharks I've ever seen in my life! There's some fascinating sea creatures inside, the Sawfish being one of my favourites. There's lots of interesting & plenty of hands on displays too. There's also a bubble lift which takes you up through the big tank and gives you a great view of the sharks.
Admission isn't cheap although it is cheaper than 'other' aquariums we've visited and they now do a special offer where your ticket is valid for a whole year (excluding bank holidays) which is good value.

Picture
streetlife museum
 The city also boast many museums with free entry making Hull an ideal venue for a budget day out.
The Streetlife Museum is far & away my favourite of Hulls attractions.
Its a large museum spread over two floors. It has several reconstructed street scenes and houses an example of every conceivable mode of transport (well anything I could think of!) from horse& carraiges and bicycles to trams and even an aeroplane! Theres a very amusing 'carraige ride' to take too...I though it was hilarious, you should try it!

We also visited Wilberforce House. Birthplace of  William Wilberforce who was a famous 19th century campaigner against the slave trade. Housing very poignant & thought provoking displays its an insight into a different era of oppression and eventual freedom.
There's also the Spurn Lightship harboured in the marina, but that always seems to be closed when I visit the city!
I love both lighthouses and ships so its a place I am eager to explore.
With the Maritime Museum,  Arctic Corsairand Ferens Art Gallery still yet to explore Hull has plenty to offer the visitor on a budget.

All content& photos copyright ©AngeGraham(the vintage-pirate) and may not be reproduced.
Follow Me on Pinterest
 

York

4/10/2011

0 Comments

 

York

Picture
York Minster
A family friendly full fun packed day out is to be had at York for relatively little expense.
York is a truly beautiful & historic city with lots to see and do.  The NRM (or the train museum to me&you!) is probably a full afternoons visit on its own depending on the age range of your 'travel group'.
The museum is enormous and split into two parts stuffed full of trains & rail memorabilia.
I always enjoy a sit in the Japanese Bullet Train & there's a short train ride to be had outside in the yard. There is also a massive gift shop that stocks all manner of train themed merchandise (great for Thomas the Tank-engine products) & I always buy a metal sign for my garden on my visits. The museum entrance is free, unless theres a specified chargable event taking place (check website before visiting). Children will love it, big kids will too!

Picture
Treasurer's House during the Illuminating York event
There's the National Trust owned 'Treasurer's House' to be explored. It has a quirky clock has is so long it stretches between 2 floors, a room that is 'outside inside' and the 'haunted cellar' reputedly haunted by a Roman Legion, although it's never seemed to be open on any of my visits! Treasurer's House can be found just behind the Minster & is free admission to National Trust members.
Speaking of the 'Minster'; I've not been inside since a school trip in the 1980 as I refuse to pay the colossal entrance fee. (Durham Cathedral is free, ergo all places of worship should be in my eyes) However its a very pretty building and its fun to spot the gargoyles!
The 'Shambles', a little further along from the Minster, are rows of quirky medieval buildings where the top parts are so close you can allegedly shake hands with people on the opposite side of the street (although why you'd want to I don't know!) The buildings are mainly shops now but its nice to amble along there although it does get very busy and crowded.

Picture
step back into the 1960 at the castle museum
The Castle Museum is also another great afternoons entertainment. It has period rooms, a large victorian street & a very funky 1960's reconstruction!
As the museum was used as a prison long ago be sure to check out the York Prison section its absolutely fantastic & you can even search the data base to see if any of your ancestors were criminals! :)  The bonus here is the entrance ticket is valid for a whole year so great for repeat visits to York.
Speaking of castles, the English Heritage owned 'Cliffords Tower' is a great place to view the city. Climb right to the top of the 'keep' and enjoy the panoramic views of the city below. There isn't really a great lot to see inside the castle as its totally hollow inside but its still an interesting place to visit.

Picture
the York Eye new for 2012
If you need to rest your legs theres a lovely park nearby that houses the ruins of St Marys Abbey, York Observatory & The Hospitium, its great for a picnic or to feed the squirrels. No trip to York should be complete without a walk along part of the historic city wall. There are several gateways (known locally as Bars) to admire along the way or enjoy a little stroll by the riverside. 
Speaking of bars, I can recomend 'The Maltings' as a place to enjoy a pint of locally brewed real ale, or enjoy a nice glass of fruit wine.
Also new for 2012 the York Eye makes a welcome return to the city. Its located just near the rail station & gives you a fantastic view of the city below.
There are literally hundreds of things you can see&do in York city & its a brilliant place to visit.
You could spend a fortune or take some of my tips & spend a little but have an equally fun day out!

All content & photographs copyright ©AngeGraham(the vintage-pirate) and may not be reproduced.

Follow Me on Pinterest
 
 
 

Tynemouth

A day out for all the family


I absolutely adore Tynemouth, it’s a beautiful place with surprisingly lots to see & do. 

There are two lovely clean beaches both of them patrolled by lifeguards so the kids are safe to paddle & you're ok for a swim if that’s your fancy. There’s also usually an abundance of surfers in the sea & there’s a surf shop if you want to buy a board!
There's imaginatively titled 'Longsands' which is the biggest beach & has views of St. Marys
Lighthouse
. There’s also a smaller cove beach, ‘King Edwards Bay’located down the steps near to the castle. 

Speaking of the castle... Tynemouth Castle, Priory, & WW2 Gun Battery is steeped in history & a lovely place to
wander through and we've had many a picnic in there (because I don’t care for sand in my sandwiches!) The castle is owned by 'English Heritage' so it’s a free trip out for us & they have many different 'events’ on throughout the year,
not least, my favourite, 'The Knights Tournament'. 

Tynemouth is also home to Blue Reef Aquarium, which is very similar to a Sealife Centre only slightly cheaper admission charge. The aquarium is (obviously) coral reef based & tropical fish types but they have seals & otters and recently they've acquired some little monkeys. 
There's also an impressive looking 'Jurassic park' themed crazy golf at £3per person in the park over the road from the aquarium where there's also a boating lake.

If you fancy a relaxing chill-out there are plenty of benches under the Collingwood Monument where you can watch the boats going up & down the Tyne and you might even spot the odd seal if you’re lucky. 
 
I can recommend Marshalls fish’n’chip shop for a 'sit down' or take away & there’s also always a lovely foody smell comes from the ‘Gibraltar Rock’ pub, right in front of the castle. 

Car parking can seem like a bit of an issue depending on which 'end' of Tynemouth you arrive at but bear with it & there's lots on the main road& I usually just park behind the Aquarium. The whole family can spend a great day here & on a sunny day it’s just like being abroad!

All content& photos copyright ©AngeGraham(the vintage-pirate) and may not be reproduced.

You can download a little pdf with photos here.....

tynemouth_with_photos.pdf
File Size: 136 kb
File Type: pdf
Download File

Follow Me on Pinterest