Posts tagged ‘sea’

October 22, 2012

Goodrington Sands, Devon.

In my last post, I said that I would attempt to make a doll’s dress in a week and then post my results up here. Those of you who read this blog regularly might have noticed that I’ve not posted for over a week now. That’s because during the week in which I was going to sew a dress, I actually went to Devon. Which I knew I was going to be doing when I wrote the post. Sometimes I baffle even myself with my idiocy.

So, the dress is half made – but it is in progress which is still something worthy of a celebration and the content of a post for later. Today I wanted to talk briefly about my trip to Devon and in particular about Goodrington Sands.

Goodrington Sands is a stretch of beach in Paignton, and it has the richest rock pools I’ve ever come across. We regularly go rock pooling with the kids in the summer, searching for crabs, little anemones and other sea life in the still pools of water left behind when the tides are low. In Robin Hoods Bay, we’ve had some success at finding crabs and limpets, but nothing much beyond that. But at Goodrington Sands, I saw so much more. Starfish, anemones, hermit crabs, blennies and sea urchins to name but a few. We even saw an anemone on a hermit crab shell, in a real life version of Julia Donaldson’s beloved children’s book ‘Sharing A Shell’ which was a brilliant moment for me. I know the words to that book off by heart, because of the number of times I’ve read it! The Seashore Centre, right on the edge of the sands, and run by the Torbay Coast and Countryside Trust, was a great place to learn a bit more about the things we’d seen.


The whole of the Torbay area is the English Riviera Global Geopark, which was designated to protect the geological important of the area, but also to promote responsible geo-tourism. Even we were able to find fossils just in the afternoon we were wandering on the beach having a quick look for them. On a sunny October afternoon, with the waves crashing into the shore, it felt pretty much a perfect place to be and if you’re interested in marine biology, geology or sustainable tourism, it’s definitely worth spending some time there. I travelled by train, and the Brunel designed train line runs right by the coast. On my way there, ¬†after about five hours’ of travel and just when I was ready to fall asleep, I was greeted with the beautiful sight of the sunshine glinting off the sea. Wonderful…

The view through my train window.

Obviously, please be responsible when you’re out rockpooling – be careful on slippery rocks and seaweed, and make sure you don’t take any sea creatures away. Don’t keep them out of water and always carefully return them to their habitat.

February 20, 2012

A Date in Whitby.

On Friday, we took the day off work and went to Whitby for the day, just the two of us. Although being parents is clearly the most important thing we’ll ever do, we like to have a day off without them every so often. A break from routine and a chance to catch up on our relationship as a couple. After all, one day the kids will be off (at University, if I get my own way!) and it’ll be just us again. So, it’s good to make sure we have something to talk about apart from the kids.

Whitby, in North Yorkshire, is one of our favourite places to be at any time of year and with any company. Famous for many reasons, including being part of Bram Stoker’s inspiration for ‘Dracula’, it’s a small town situated on the east coast, with dramatic headlands on either side that can be walked along as part of the Cleveland Way National Trail.

Although it was a bracingly cold day, it was nice and clear, so we walked along the beach almost to Sandsend, a little enclave further north before turning back for tea in The Mad Hatter tea-room at La Rosa hotel ¬†– a unique, eclectic and eccentric hotel with a lovely quiet eco-feel about it. There is no environmental preaching here, but the use of vintage, second hand and environmentally friendly is very evident. A wonderful location and one I hope to stay in soon. Lewis Carroll, author of ‘Alice In Wonderland’ used to stay at the building, as evidenced by their blue plaque. Amongst the collection of ephemera and terrifying Punch and Judy puppets in the display cabinets are letters written to him at that address.

Then to Endeavour Books on Grape Lane, where the second-hand volumes are lined from floor to ceiling (on the chance of adding to one of my book collections) followed by fish and chips in the famous Magpie Cafe.

So, a quiet but lovely day, a chance to chat and re-charge our batteries next to the sea and remember who we are are as a couple, just us, before re-entering normal life as ‘Mum and Dad’…