The Sun’s Shining, Everyone Outside
It’s a mark of how hectic half term holidays are, that a week and a half later, I’m finally getting a chance to write about my adventures. I’m also finally getting over the cough I caught, I think. It’s never ending!
Just before Little Miss broke up from school for half term (her last half term of her first year, I can’t believe how fast that has gone), I bought a few additions to my ‘beach kit’. I’ve had a beach shelter for some years, and the picnic blanket, but I decided that a new cool bag, which was smaller than my current one, and a windbreaker that wasn’t the same as the blue/green/red ones they sell everywhere on the seafront, were in order.
Thankfully, I had them all ready in time for the weekend, when the sun finally decided to grace us with it’s warming presence. We were both still a little overdressed for how warm it was, but that’s because I don’t trust Scarborough weather one bit. So, Saturday morning we had breakfast and then I packed us a little picnic in my new cool bag, and a coffee in my flask. I packed everything into my shopping trolley, and into the back of the car. The beach is walkable from my house, but it’s a fairly long walk, made very much longer with a 5 year old and a small beach camp in tow.
The beach wasn’t that busy when we got there, the tide was just going out, so I was able to set up our camp and relax, helping little miss to build sand castles until she made friends with a little girl who was sitting nearby. We were able to spend a good few hours enjoying the beach, watching as it steadily got busier and busier.
I don’t allow little Miss to paddle in the sea, which is a great shame, but since the UK’s water companies have been allowing sewage to wash into the local seas, Scarborough’s water quality isn’t considered safe for bathing. It doesn’t stop most other people, but I’ve explained to Little Miss why she can’t go in, and even at 5, she’s sensible enough not to want to paddle in other people’s poo!
Nonetheless, it was lovely to spend some time on the beach, and our little camp was incredibly comfortable. I just hope the sun comes back at some point so we can enjoy some more beachy days.
Sunday, I was heading off for a night of glamping with the chap. We’d booked it some time ago at a place called Yapham Holds, just outside of Pocklington. We arrived during the afternoon, the sun was shining, and the place was idyllic.
Situated in the grounds next to a farmhouse, the site consisted of just a few glamping pods and a few pitches for people to put their own tents or campervans. All around were fields, as far as the eye could see. The trees that surrounded us were teaming with birds and wildlife, and it was pure peaceful bliss.
We settled ourselves in. I’d brought the big cool bag this time filled with supplies for our night away, although to be fair I could probably have fed us for a few days from what was in the bag. We cracked open a couple of cans of Hobgoblin, and I made us a delicious chilli with nachos on the camp stove.
After that hearty meal, we grew restless, so decided to take Thelma out onto the country lanes to explore. Stopping to wave at sheep, and beautiful horses and trying to identify the myriad wildflowers that lined the hedgerows, I kicked myself for not having packed my flowers of Great Britain book. I find all of the different plants and flowers that grow wild fascinating.
Before we knew it, we’d walked a few miles away from the Farm, and with no glimpse of a pub or anything in site, we decided to turn back. Back at the camp, we toasted marshmallows, although, I set fire to my marshmallow. I don’t think I like toasted marshmallows, although they’d probably work pretty well as fire lighters.
Sitting out as dusk fell and enjoying our beers together, we spotted a Barn Owl flying across the fields, and decided to retire to the warmth of our gloriously cosy pod. We snuggled down into our sleeping bags and watched DVDs until I fell asleep and the chap had to wake me to take my glasses off. It was incredibly chilled, and reminded me why I love being outdoors.
Monday was bank holiday. We had a lazy start, drinking coffee and the chap cooked bacon and egg butties for us before we packed up to head into Pocklington. The town had looked quite interesting on the drive through the previous day, and even though I suspected much of it would be closed with it being a bank holiday, we still decided to potter in.
Surprisingly, it wasn’t as closed as I had expected. My first stop was an enormous Oxfam shop. The chap resigned himself to spending a lot of time outside with Thelma, since dogs weren’t allowed. To be fair, I was quite restrained, buying only a massive piece of Indian block printed cotton which is astoundingly beautiful. I’ve spent all of the time since pondering what I will use it for, finally settling (for now at least) on turning it into a new blind for my kitchen.
Crossing the road, we stumbled upon the most beautiful old church. Positioned prominently in the centre of the town. The Saxon ‘All Saints Church’ is over 1300 years old, known as the cathedral of the Wolds it is grade I listed, and absolutely beautiful.
I took some time to peruse and was so in awe of how beautiful it has been kept.
After exploring the church, we took a wander around the town itself. Such a beautifully quaint little town, it was bustling with cyclists and people out for a Bank Holiday day trip, and whilst much of it was closed, we did manage to find a prime position outside of a bustling and inviting cafe, for coffee and cake.
I’d really like to revisit the town on a day when more of the shops were open. We were quite happy though, whiling away an hour sitting in the sun, people watching and pondering what to do next. We ended up chatting with the couple at the next table, who recommended we walk out to the Pocklington canal.
Having lived much of my life near picturesque canals in the Midlands, it’s something I tend to miss since moving North. I jumped at the chance to take a canal walk. So, after a long trek out to the head of the Pocklington canal, we started our mooch.
I hadn’t appreciated that Pocklington canal is a disused historical canal which is in a long process of being restored. The part of it that we walked had been totally reclaimed by nature and was astonishingly beautiful.
With reeds growing in shallow water, and some locks present while others were completely devastated it was an amazing place to spot birds, dragonflies and butterflies. We spotted cabbage whites, small whites and the most amazingly neon yellow Brimstone butterfly.
Families were walking the paths with their children, whilst a man hopped off his bike, sat on a bench and fired up a camp stove to cook a pan full of sausages. It was bliss, and inspired me for summer hikes to bring my own camp stove and a supply of bangers because, seriously, that is the life!
After going a couple of miles down the canal, and with the weather getting warmer we decided to head back because Thelma (being a pug) isn’t best suited to long walks in warm weather. We’re definitely going to revisit before the summer is out though and walk further along the canal, at least to one of the restored locks, because it was absolutely beautiful and what a hidden gem.
Whilst I had Tuesday off work to spend with little Miss, we just had a quiet day, apart from a late impromptu visit to the seafront for waffles and ice cream. The rest of the week was pretty chilled as we all dealt with nasty chesty coughs. By Friday, we were recovered enough to visit my friend’s new house, and have a play date, but all in, it was fairly quiet, and still it took me this long to get around to writing about it!