We've recently returned from a lovely half term away in North Yorkshire. The week was a packed, we knew there were several things that we wanted to do so it was a busy few days. The time seemed to fly! You perhaps might have read in my recent post that it wasn't the most well of times and sadly there was quite alot of snuffles and illness which then to led so sleepless nights but we had a great time. North Yorkshire holds so many wonderful memories for me, many childhood holidays were spent here.
We used to stay on a farm, I remember collecting the milk from the farmhouse, the sounds of the farm animals early in the morning, the mist across the fields, watching piglets being born, feeding chickens, messing about on the river....paddling from one side to the other in jelly shoes but most of all I remember happy times and memories aplenty. My Dad turned 70 on the 24th this month and when I was trying to think what he would like to do or receive as a gift I suggested to my Mum that perhaps he would like a week away to Yorkshire just like we used to and after discussion with them it was agreed that we would go away together just like the old times.
I was so looking forward to going away and we were going to staying right in the middle of my favourite little market town, Helmsley which was even better. We stayed in a fabulous house on Bondgate which is pretty much in the centre, although Helmsley isn't that big so to describe it in the centre is not really that accurate! The house really was great, a 3 storey town house which was immaculate and so well equipped. I wouldn't hesitate staying there again. Sadly I didn't take any photos but you can have a nose by clicking the link above.
We were so lucky with the weather for the week, we had mainly dry days and it wasn't hugely cold. As we were fortunate with the weather it meant we were able to do lots of outdoor activities, walking and enjoy the scenery. There are a couple of days out that I'll be expanding on in the next few weeks as they were great days out but otherwise I'll give you a quick overview of our week with pictures and a few sentences.
So we arrived on Saturday afternoon after a really good journey, it only took 2 1/2 hours so a very acceptable journey time. We arrived in time to dump our stuff and quickly scoot to the shops to stock up on a few things. The evening was going to be a quiet one just chilling out. It was a lovely Saturday evening.
On Sunday we went to visit the National Centre for Birds of Prey at the beautiful Duncombe Park. Just the walk up to the centre is absolutely beautiful and the views are simply stunning. I took alot of photos! The bird of prey centre is an excellent afternoon out and well worth the visit. Do you know what else was amazing here, the peace. Walking up to the park and walking around centre was just so peaceful, it was a great way to start the week.
Monday we'd arranged a little family get together for Dad, when we used to come years ago we always used it as opportunity to meet up with some close family and friends and it's kind of a halfway point for our all northern relatives. We'd kept it quiet from Dad so he had a surprise when he saw some familiar faces in the market square! We had fish n chips, cake and a good catch up with everyone, it was lovely!
We had decided that Tuesday would be 'train day'. Over in York there is the National Rail Museum which for any train buff like our Alfie was the perfect place to visit. The great thing about this is it actually free to get in (well they ask for a donation so we purchased a kids activity book as our donation) but otherwise no charge. This place is mental, there is trains and train related items every where you look. Alfie didn't really know what to do with himself, from the Eurostar to the Japanese Bullet train to the royal collection to an ambulance train, there is so much to see. Personally, for me I got a bit bored after about 90 minutes, there is only so many trains that I can look at it before being a bit look 'ohh look another train' and I was on my own as Adi was chasing Alfie around and my parents were looking around at their own pace so it kind of left Elarna and I wandering around aimlessly! We eventually managed to leave after a good 3 1/2 hours (or more!) with a trip to the gift shop and one very happy little boy with his very own wooded 'Virgin Pendolino' train! Even though I was a little bit bored towards the end, seeing Alfie happy did make me happy. We ended the day having a lovely little family meal back at Helmsley at the cute Italian restaurant that we always used to go to. A great day and a fab end.
On Wednesday it was Flamingo Land day! My parents very nicely agreed to look after Elarna so we could dedicate our attention to Alfie for the day. I have to admit to quite looking forward to a day at Flamingo Land, and what I knew that Alfie would love was that it was both a theme park and zoo. We had alot of fun, we went on loads of rides, Alfie discovered that roller coasters were great and we walked miles looking at the animals (well the ones that were out and we could see!). Although it was a pricey day out, we all had a good time and it was finished with a fab 10 minute firework display to music which we all really enjoyed. I think we'd visit again if we get another opportunity.
As we'd had a few busy days on Thursday we decided to take it easy. Neither myself or Adi felt like driving anywhere and since we were all knackered from disrupted nights we thought we'd just stay around in Helmsley and take a walk later in the day. We spent the morning in the house and then took another lovely walk to Duncombe Park and let the kids let off a bit of steam, I managed to snap a few more pictures and we then finished the afternoon off with a drink in the local brewery pub. My parents had decided to go to Whitby for the day and in the evening we all had a gorgeous steak dinner cooked by the chef (aka my husband).
On Friday (our last day, booo!) we all went over to Scarborough for the day. First stop was the absolutely brilliant Sealife Centre it was great!! We all split up again as Alfie was racing off so I walked around with Elarna (occasionally catching a fleeting glance of Alfie!), I spent an age watching the sea lions they were so cute to watch and Elarna was fascinated by them. After Sealife Centre we headed over to the South Bay (I think) and spent a couple of hours walking up and down the seafront, having some chips and letting Alfie have a paddle in the (freezing) sea. We then sat and watched the sun setting and I tell you something I've never seen such a stunning sky in the UK for a very, very long time. We sat for quite some time just taking in the beauty and letting Alfie have an ice cream before heading home.
We had such a fantastic week regardless of the illness and lack of sleep. It was so good to be back in Yorkshire again and enjoyed every minute. I was going to spend sometime editing my photos but I get terribly bored of taking ages to edit each one individually so I apologise that several of these are 'au naturel'. I'm already hoping that we'll be returning to Yorkshire at somepoint soon but for the moment we have made some wonderful memories from this week away and lots of lovely photos to look back on.