Mick took a week off work in August. Well, it was over a week really as he'd taken the Friday before off too and the August bank holiday was tagged onto the end, so he actually had eleven consecutive days off. We'd been umming and ahhing about whether to go away or not but at thirteen, Archie is really starting to struggle. He's healthy enough but very slow now and he definitely can't walk as far as he once could so we have to be mindful of his limitations. He always goes on our days out with us but a long day can wipe him out, so we tend to give him a bit of a rest the day following a full day out. In the end we decided to stay at home and have a staycation instead, going off for days but coming home again afterwards. It meant that it wasn't quite so full on for Archie and I have to admit that I do like my own bed so this suits me.
You'll have already seen my posts It's Scarecrow Time Again and Derbyshire Well Dressings, about the places we visited on the Friday and Sunday, so following a long day out we decided to stay closer to home on the Monday having a few hours at Cannon Hall in South Yorkshire before Mick and I had a meal out at a local pub in the evening while Archie relaxed after his walk.
On the Tuesday, following a more restful day for Archie, we had another full day out, this time in Chester. I've wanted to visit this city for a long time but I have to say that I was rather disappointed. The architecture is amazing, especially around The Rows with the Tudor style half timber buildings but many places we saw were so run down and frankly dirty, including areas around the river. I had imagined Chester to be comparable to York, though smaller, but what we saw definitely wasn't. Don't get me wrong, York certainly has its run down areas too, but on the whole, the touristy areas at least seem much better kept. It looks like Chester needs a bit of money spent on it and a some TLC. A bit of a shame but you can't win them all.
After a very long day we decided to give Archie a full day at home on the Wednesday to recover. It was a bit of a rest for us too if I'm honest, it was nice not to rush out of bed and get out the door.
We love the Yorkshire coast so no staycation would be complete without a trip to the seaside. We chose Saltburn-by-the-Sea, a small resort which still retains its olde worlde charm. It was a lovely day, not hot but warm enough and very still, so we enjoyed some time on the beach and Archie enjoyed a paddle. We stopped off in Pickering on the way home to have a meal in the pub we'd hoped to visit on Mick's birthday. They do the most amazing Yorkshire puddings with various fillings, Mick opted for beef. I confess it's just too big a meal for me so I had something a little lighter.
It was a slower start on Friday so that Archie could recover from his exertions of the day before. At lunch time we headed to Helmsley, a market town in North Yorkshire. Helmsley has a fabulous walled garden as well as castle ruins, neither of which we visited on this trip, but Friday is market day so we did have a wander around the dozen or so stalls and a mooch around the lovely independent shops. It's such a pretty village, we always enjoy our visits.
Mick was playing cricket on the Saturday so Archie and I stayed at home and then on the Sunday we ventured over to the east coast again, this time to Flamborough where I'd heard that seals were visiting. There were actually a great many seals that we could see, some sunning themselves on the beach and rocks and others frolicking in the sea. Everyone was being very respectful and viewing from the cliffs, leaving the seals to enjoy their visit without any kind of harassment.
We ended our staycation with a trip to York on the bank holiday Monday. Although we visit often we love this city as it's close to home so we can be there and parked up in less than half an hour, and looking round the independent shops, visiting the historical places or taking a walk along the river are enjoyable ways to pass a few hours. We ended our day, and staycation, with an ice-cream, which Archie got his fair share of.
Mick's debating whether to take another week off work but the weather's holding him back at the moment. We've had quite a bit of rain and there's more forecast so he's just waiting to see if some better weather returns first. We usually get some fine weather in autumn so we may be lucky.