Archive | December, 2015

Charlotte’s Day Trip to Whitby

27 Dec

Charlotte’s holiday homework is to keep a diary, so she’s been helping me out on the blog this week. We tried to find out some facts I never knew about Whitby, including snakes and monkey puzzle trees…

 

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Whitby facts:

  • A monastery was built in AD657 by King Oswy of Northumbria. It became one of the most important religious centres in the Anglo-Saxon world under the Abbess Hild. She ruled over both men and women in a double monastery called Streaneshalch.
  • It is said that sea birds flying over the ruins of the abbey tip their wings in honour of Hilda while the presence of ammonite fossils on the shore at Whitby is explained as the remains of a plaque of snakes which Hilda turned to stone.
  • Whitby Abbey was the inspiration for a famous scary book called Dracula by Bram Stoker that was written 1897. Lots of people come to Whitby at Halloween.
  • Some people say there are 199 steps, some say 198 and others 200. so they say you have to try and count them for yourself!

 

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Things we want to try next time we go back:

  • Mummy would like a necklace made of Jet

Jet Shop W. Hamond says: Unlike most gemstones, Whitby Jet is actually fossilised wood, similar to our present day Monkey Puzzle or Araucaria Tree, which has been compressed over millions of years.

The colour of Whitby Jet is unique; its blackness is so intense that the expression ‘as black as jet’ has been a commonly used phrase for hundreds of years.

Queen Victoria had a necklace made of Whitby Jet

Read more about it here: Whitby Jet

  • Katherine and I want to bring our buckets and spades and go down to the beach and ride on a donkey in the summer.

Other facts we found out about Whitby:

  • By 1795 Whitby had become a major whaling port. The most successful year was 1814 when eight ships caught 172 whales.
  • The famous explorer Captain Cook learned how to be a sailor in Whitby and his ship the HMS Endeavor that he sailed to Australia and New Zealand was built in Whitby.
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Sunday Lunch and a Play in the Snow at Beamish Hall

15 Dec

I must be getting soft in my old age, but with the chilly icy weather I didn’t quite fancy taking the usual picnic on our trip to Beamish Museum at the weekend and so took the executive decision to book a table for a hearty Sunday Lunch.

I had heard good things about Beamish Hall and booked us a table for 6 at The Stables that promised a winning combination of log fires and real ales. But I wasn’t expecting to be quite so, well, lovely.

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Driving up through the snowy grounds the Hall itself looked picture perfect and The Stables a warming winter wonderland.

The Stables is a bar, restaurant and micro-brewery is at the back of Best Western Beamish Hall, in the converted 18th century stable block.

It was a bit too frosty for the outdoor courtyard… but I bet that it is fantastic on a milder day or evening.

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The inside was really welcoming, had a great atmosphere and lots of space – which is always a relief to me, as I still get slightly anxious about expecting my two young’uns to sit still for any prolonged period of time.

There was some tasty ales on tap. Continuing the Beamish theme I sampled Old Miner Tommy.

We didn’t try a starter – going straight for the Sunday Roast and its giant Yorkshires. We all really enjoyed the meal – with particular praise being heaped on the tasty spread of veg.

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The menu was wide-ranging, with a good selection of kids options too.

The beautiful grounds meant we could also work off our meal with a snowball fight in the snow…

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Definitely a place I would like to return.

For more information visit The Stables at Beamish Hall

 

A Snowy Trip to Beamish

15 Dec

wp-1450026393246.jpg Our toes may be numb but what a lovely day we had in the snow at Beamish. While I think the unexpected snowfall and the trip to the traditional sweetshop may have been pretty influential – according to my daughter this was “the best time I’ve had while I’ve been six…”

wp-1450026413441.jpgMy gran was born in one of the Francis Street terraces, which were moved to the Beamish “Pit Village” from Hetton-le-Hole. Sadly my daughters didn’t get chance to visit with her, as she passed away last year. But we thought her birthday, this weekend, would be a nice way to keep her memory alive.

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And it did just that as, as soon as you step out through the entrance at Beamish, you enter into times past, wandering in and out of homes, shops and community buildings, all wonderfully recreated and helping my children to imagine what life was like for their great gran when she was a young child too.

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The site is vast and the kids loved the trams to take you from place to place.

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It was a bit breezy on the open top mind!

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This was our first trip, but thanks to the ticket lasting a year it was nice to feel you didn’t have to cram everything into one day to get your money’s worth.

 

Armed with my guidebook I have already started swatting up on my history and the remarkable collections on display all ready for our return visit.

 

 

A family ticket for 2 adults and 2 children costs £48.50. If we go four times in a year that works out as £3 each a visit, which I think is pretty good value for money.

 

To find out more and plan your trip visit Beamish

 

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