Monday, 6 August 2007

Holiday Diary

After spending a week at my Mum and Dad's with the boys, we came home on the Saturday, ready to spend Sunday packing up to go away again on the Monday. We drove up to Yorkshire and pitched camp at Brompton on Swale Caravan and Camping Park, just a few miles outside Richmond. The region is so rich in things to do and see that we were hard pressed to choose just a few, and are already planning a return to the area next year. Richmond itself is a beautiful place, unspoilt (as yet) by the relentless march of chain stores and fast-food restaurants. The views from the castle walk are stunning, and it wasn't too arduous with a toddler and a pushchair in tow. We discovered a fantastic dry goods store, selling everything by weight, and a lovely deli. Yorkshire is, of course, a great cheese-producing area and Swaledale, where we were based, has a few gems of its own. I bought chunks of Swaledale Blue and the local goats' cheese both of which were soft, creamy and extremely good.

We took a long drive out to Whitby later in the week, with fish and chips in mind. It was a very fishy day in the end; as well as lunch at Roberstons Fish Restaurant (where James had his first fish-and-chips), we visited The Whitby Catch and bought some potted shrimps, as well as some fish to take back to the camp for our supper. It was hard to choose what to buy as the selection was so great, but in the end we settled on some beautiful fillets of wild sea trout (or sewin, as it's called in Wales) They even packed it up with a free ice pack to keep it in good condition. When we got back, we fried the fish in a little butter and ate it with some herbed-and-and-buttered new potatoes and a bit of salad.

From Whitby it was just a short trip over to Robin Hood's Bay, to make a pilgrimage to the spot where Hubby
finished Wainwright's Coast-to Coast Walk 10 years ago . He celebrated not having sore feet this time with a pint of Theakston's in the pub overlooking the bay. Christopher poked around in rockpools and shared a lime and soda with his Mum. James, bless him, was fast asleep after a long day.
For a quieter day, we spent the morning in the lovely little town of Reeth. Karl suggested it; he knew it from the good old Coast-to Coast and what a good job he did! There was a small, but brilliant market, where we bought fruit and vegetables, homemade mint and redcurrant jellies, some fantastic beef and more cheese (Wensleydale this time). We also enjoyed a great lunch at The King's Arms, which served particularly good-quality children's meals (Chris chose Yorkshire pudding with sausages and onion gravy), plus there was a fabulous ice-cream parlour and a bakery selling bread made by hand, every day, on the premises.

Our other 'big day out' was a visit to York, where we went to the National Railway Museum in the morning before having lunch in the city and a walk around. The picture was taken just after we'd walked down the Shambles, hence James being asleep (again). Cobbles seem to do that...

It's a shame you can't just stay on holiday forever. Now Hubby's gone back to work, the house looks like Mount Washmore, there's no food in the fridge and I've just rashly invited people for lunch tomorrow. I've never been happier!

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