So, while we were away, the Munchkin added another year to his tally. Golly, 8 years old, how did that happen? I have escaped the full-on birthday party trauma this year and went for a very modest cake, phew, which thankfully made the 275 miles relatively unscathed!
As if there wasn't enough chocolate in the birthday cake, one day we found ourselves in the little village of Thornton-le-Dale and in particular, in a rather lovely choccy shop. (Mum and Dad, this is the shop from where came the choccies we sent to you.)
Look at the Munchkin, eyes as big as saucers!
As well as getting out and about a fair bit, I enjoyed a few hours every evening with my crochet. I've been able to crochet much more recently as my new arthritis wonder-drug seems to be kicking in. Hoorah!
Bit of a random photo there (maybe the drugs are hallucinogenic too?)! I bought the large tin of buttons from a charity shop in Malton. I spent a good ten minutes rifling through it, selecting the buttons I wanted, when the shop assistant kindly informed me that I had to buy the whole tin. Well, ok then!
Some days we drove to our destination, some days we took the train. Our days on the train were inevitably accompanied by a basket of essentials which looked somewhat like this...
That's birthday cake in the plastic bag, essential to keep one's strength up, you know. Have you spotted my crochet thingies in the basket? Oooh, that's the subject of a whole other post!
So, Tuesday dawned and the boys were eager to get on the train (again) and the NYMR runs special trains all the way to Whitby, so (having heard I might be treated to fish 'n' chips), off we set.
Sadly, the weather was not too marvellous the day we visited but we did our best to admire the attractive little harbour...
...before scuttling off here for the widely renowned fish 'n' chips! They were indeed worth the 20 minute queue, they're that good! No other fish and chips shall ever compare and our Whitby fish 'n' chips experience shall always be referred to whenever we eat fish and chips in future, I'm sure. If you're in Whitby, make sure to visit; if you're nearby, make sure to detour!
We wandered into the old town along it's cute cobbled (but wet!) streets. There were many weird "goth" type shops and more sweet shops than I think I've ever seen in such a small place. Indeed, we saw sweet shops wherever we went in Yorkshire!
This tea shop looked rather inviting...
"Let them eat cake"; well how utterly fabulous!
This building caught my eye amidst the drizzle...
But this one caught the Munchkin's!
As we steamed back home, rather late, it was a decidedly miserable evening but Grosmont station managed to look rather magical for us. A station with duck egg paint, now that I do like.
So, here we are another day, another visit. We set off in the car over the moors and ended up in Goathland, otherwise known as "Aidensfield" of Heartbeat fame (a very popular British tv programme set in the '60's, in case you don't know).
First, we spotted Scripp's Garage but I must say, I was very disappointed by this, it was entirely full of touristy gifty rubbish.
Indeed, all of the shops looked pretty naff and were full of precisely the same rubbish selection of tourist gifts. I was a bit disappointed. We scurried off to Goathland station, the scene for one of the Harry Potter films, which was charmingly, reassuringly quaint.
Fast forwarding now, how could we travel up to North Yorkshire and not go to York? And errm, Cath K?!
I only bought a packet of paper napkins to use back at the cottage but I did enjoy seeing all the new Christmas items that were already in stock.
This is the new Christmas fabric design on napkins, tablecloths and aprons (available with a blue background, too).
All that retail therapy called for a spot of refuelling and where better than the infamous Betty's Tearoom?
Do not venture to Yorkshire intending to diet!
Whilst I indulged in a spot of retail therapy, (badly needed after several days of railway focussed activities!), the boys headed to the National Railway Museum.
I did manage to join them after lunch and was so glad I did as it afforded me the chance to see the marvellous recently re-streamlined Duchess of Hamilton. Doesn't she look just fabulous?
The Munchy one had fun on the legendary "Mallard", where he was allowed onto the footplate to have a go at being fireman with the coal shovel!
I think he decided sitting down and being the driver might be the easier option!
On our last day, we headed to the seaside resort of Scarborough. This was partly propelled by "Coast" magazine which featured a rather special cafe to be found there. More of that in a minute...
Scarborough gets a very bad press, I think, as do lots of England's now rather jaded seaside resorts. But I do think you can imagine yourself back amidst all the Victorian splendour when you stroll along the seafront at Scarborough.
We avoided all the shops and headed straight for the seaside where we enjoyed a brisk walk across the sands.
Naturally, the Munchkin insisted we take a trip on the cliff-top tram.
We made a friend!
After that bracing walk along the beach and back along the prom, we eagerly scuttled inside Harbour Bar. Oh my!
This cafe is apparently little changed from 1945.
There was much wide-eyed appreciation of our surroundings before we got down to the serious job of choosing which milkshake and which ice cream sundae in which to indulge! It's a hard life...
Horlicks anyone? Mr HH fancied a cherryade float instead.
I opted for the banana milkshake. Yumm-mmy. Not as good as the one I had in Betty's in York, though. Golly, I am becoming a banana milkshake connoisseur!
And there we have it! I have oodles of photos but I think this selection gives a good flavour of the lovely time we spent in North Yorkshire. Want to meet me back here tomorrow to see the fabby shop? Oh you do, you really do...