We’re struggling to strike a balance at the moment. You know, that work/life balance that is the holy grail of parenting? You see, he works and I head up life. Every loud, chaotic, stressful, exhausting, disorganised, hilarious, love-filled, tear-filled, overwhelmingly full of bodily fluids, minute of it. But we woke up early on Sunday. A Sunday with a conspicuously empty calendar. No cricket (thanks to my threats the previous day “if you’re playing cricket tomorrow DO NOT bother coming home tonight…”), no parties, no extra curriculars. Just us. Awake at 5am and with the world at our feet. And by world, I mean anything within a couple of hours drive.
I’ve been keeping a list. It’s a long list of all the places in Yorkshire that I’ve seen recommended, or heard people talk about in the playground. A list of places I’ve delivered wine to (in my past life as a Majestic employee) that I thought I might visit properly one day. A list of places that I remember from my own childhood and that I now want to visit with the offspring. So on Sunday, we referred to the list, packed up the car and set off to put a great big tick next to Whitby (a place I once went on a girl guide trip and where I had my sexual awakening when a choirboy cupped my boob).
The journey was mostly uneventful, except for an impressive display of regurgitation from Ralph, who brought back the entire contents of our breakfast menu, all over the back seat of the car. Luckily, we’d packed his pyjamas which he had to model for the rest of the day. Unfortunately, there was very little to be done about the lingering stench of vomit, that we were forced to endure for the remainder of our journey.
We decided to kill two birds with one stone and head for lunch at Falling Foss Tea Garden (another one on my list). It was a real hidden gem. A stone’s throw from the seaside, but you’d never know. It was woodland and waterfalls and dappled sunlight making everything glitter magically. The kids paddled in the stream and played under the bridge, searching for trolls (they found me eventually, ha-de-ha). The Tea Garden itself was honestly just the cutest place. Quaint little touches everywhere. A small play area for the kids. Another bridge. And a nice selection of sarnies for lunch. Perfect.
Paddling in the stream
The tea garden
This one enjoying lunch
See what I mean about the little touches?
Once we’d dried our feet and polished off lunch, we crawled back into our stinking car and drove the ten minutes to Whitby. We took an impromptu tour of the tour town in a desperate bid to find a) a toilet and b) some shorts for Ralph. We were successful with both endeavours and went the extra mile with an ice cream too.
Whitby Abbey atop the cliff
Then, of course, we headed to the beach. There’s nothing quite as exhilarating, to a child, as running away from the lapping waves. Or eating sand, in Rufus’ case.
Obviously, I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to try and achieve the perfect “jumping on a beach” shot for Instagram
We finished off the day by heading up the coast for a wander around the, incredibly picturesque, little village of Staithes. The CBeebies fans amongst you may recognise it from Old Jack’s Boat.
We gorged on fish & chips, by the sea and it was cliched, but wonderful.
Even the pervading stench of semi-digested cheerios, all the way home, couldn’t detract from what had been an utterly glorious day. And I managed to tick an entire three places off my list. Yorkshire seaside, we love you.