Monday, 25 August 2014

Hugo's first holiday - the Northumberland Coast

A fortnight ago we packed up a rather overflowing car and headed off to Northumberland to join mum and dad in their caravan for a week. It was our first proper trip with Hugo so packing was horrible and we'll definitely be able to pack lighter in future. I guess we won't have much choice for our next trip to Bermuda!

On the journey there I was thinking I could never ever have my own caravan because of the fear of towing it. Following a caravan in horrendously windy conditions was horrible enough, I had my heart in my mouth the whole time, but the idea of being in control of that would be worse. But as soon as we arrived I started thinking about how much freedom it would give to be able to have cheap, comfortable enough holidays and explore the UK and even into Europe, so caravanning and campervanning is definitely something I'd like to explore, if I could get over the transportation issue.

Our home for the week was just outside of Seahouses, north of Alnwick on the coast. We could see both the sea and Bamburgh castle from the campsite in the distance - the campsite itself wasn't much to shout about, but the location was great.

The week was very chilled, going at our own pace. It was great for mum and dad to have time with Hugo and Adi and I managed a bit of us time too. It will probably be the last time the five of us can fit in the caravan, but we'll definitely join them again even if it means pitching a tent. Some of the highlights:

- Seeing Adi's face on the first night as he realised that he'd left all of his tops at home - one of those priceless, had to be there moments
- Relaxing evenings in a cosy caravan playing card games - my new favourite is hearts, I think it's safe to say Dad's not quite as keen as the rest of us thanks to some absolute thrashings
- Windy walks on the beach
- Pretty castles - Bamburgh, Dunstanburgh, Alnwick, Lindisfarne
- Fab fry-ups cooked by mum each morning - who needs a hotel?
- Getting active, back on the bike and a game of tennis - I definitely need practice
- A roadtrip to Scotland to see Rach and a lovely walk across the bay in Dunbar with her family
- Trying a new fish - Lemon Sole - this may not sound at all adventurous, but for someone who has only just branched from (heavily disguised) Tuna to Cod, its saying something. I'm determined to find new flavours I enjoy
- Discovering secluded bays - Low Newton beach to be specific - mum has a way of going off-piste and it turning out great
- A wonderful, relaxing massage to ease away seven nights on a rock solid caravan bed, and a nights stay at Doxford Hall to celebrate our anniversary (albeit feeling more shattered and full of cold after)
- Dressing up in a pretty dress to go out for our anniversary, ending up in a near-empty curry house, collecting desert from Morrison's and putting wellies on for a beach walk - I guess stuffy restaurants and hotels isn't really our thing
- Elan's pizzeria in Seahouses - absolutely fantastic pizza, so good we went twice
- Crazy Golf - although this may have got slightly competitive! I ended up getting worse as I went along, but I love it and wish there were more courses nearby
- Popping into the country's biggest book store - Barter Books. I'm not a big bookworm but even I was taken aback at the old station turned into a store, complete with toy train going around the ceiling
- Bamburgh - a lovely little village right on our doorstep. Top tip would be to avoid the Copper Kettle tea rooms - its a typical tourist trap that don't need to work hard for custom, so the cakes aren't freshly baked, instead head to the Castle Inn, a lovely pub that we went to on the first night to celebrate mum's birthday

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