A Travellerspoint blog

Scarborough Whitby and York

A coach holiday - the first Grumpy Dwarf one!

sunny 18 °C

This trip was a bit different! I went on a coach holiday and I really enjoyed it!
Part of the fun for me is the planning. What is there to see and do, what to take with me etc. and as I was going in May and the weather forecast was good for the week, I didn't need lots of clothing. By the time I left, I had loads of leaflets and catalogues from the Scarborough and York tourist offices, and so I was ready to go!
I met the coach at the coach park about 5 minutes from where I live at 6:15 AM!!!
By the time we had collected others from Newton Abbot, Exeter, Taunton and Bridgewater, it was a little after 9:00. We headed up to Gloucester Services for a comfort break and a coffee. The services were really nice with a farm shop as well.
The next stop was Corley Services, which is the regional hub for the coach company. There were probably 10 or 12 coaches there when we arrived. There was enough time to have a leisurely lunch until everyone was called for the coach. The driver was brilliant (just as well, as we had him until we got back to Corley on Friday afternoon!). The next comfort break was at Doncaster Services. We arrived at the hotel at around 5:00pm and checked in. Someone brought the cases to the rooms and I went for a walk to stretch my legs before dinner.
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To be honest, I wasn't expecting much in the way of decent food considering the price I paid ( around £60 per night with full English breakfast and a 3 course meal each night and all transport), however, I was very pleasantly surprised. Plenty of choices and well cooked!
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The following day we had a day in York - if you haven't been, trust me, you should go! Lovely city with loads to see and several museums. I wanted to get to the Jorvik museum, the Castle museum and the Railway museum, but in the end, I settled on the Castle and Jorvik. I didn't bother with York Minster as I'm not interested in religion and I stayed next door to it 35 years ago when I last came! Apparently though it's very nice if it's your thing.
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A really lovely trip and one that I'll repeat as I've got to see the railway museum!

A trip to Whitby came the next day
A quick check to remind myself of what Whitby is famous for - Bram Stoker, fish, annual folk festival and Whitby Jet are the main things.
It's a typical seaside tourist town and as I live in one of those, it didn't do a lot for me. I did have a fish and chip lunch though - delicious!
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The following day we were free to spend in Scarborough and as I had spent a lot of time sitting on a coach, I decided a good long walk was in order. I spent the day walking and taking the odd photo. I was ready for dinner by the time I got back to the hotel.
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Early breakfast and travelling home the next day - so day 1 in reverse! I got home at about 6:30pm and decided there and then that I would come to Yorkshire again.

Posted by Grumpy Dwarf 07:04 Archived in United Kingdom Tagged scarborough_york_yorkshire_whit Comments (0)

Birmingham June 2017

A leisurely stroll around the centre of the UK's second city

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I do love the centre of Birmingham! Great food, great shopping and great views in a smallish area.
So I was playing around on t’internet and I thought I would see if I could get a decent deal on a train trip, and I found that if you booked three months ahead and weren’t too fussy about timings then yes you could! So I priced up a return to Birmingham New Street (about 30 quid return!!!) and set about finding a hotel. Now I have to admit, my favourite hotels are Premier Inn – the rooms are always comfortable and there is none of the pretentiousness of the fancy hotel chains. You can usually get a half decent meal too.

So I ended up staying at a Premier Inn in Waterloo Street Birmingham (about 20 minutes stroll from New Street station) for two nights.
Other than the Bullring there are a number of shopping centres in the centre of Birmingham, some are really nice, others, not so, but with a couple of hours before the shops shut, I had a wander around some of the lesser known ones – The Square, Martineau Place and the Piccadilly Arcade. I didn’t go to Birmingham to shop, but I like the buildings and the atmosphere. I did seem to spend most of my time in shopping areas though. The next day I went to the museum and Chinatown. I was disappointed with the museum (I prefer the RAMM at Exeter if I’m honest), I think I expected it to be like the big museums in London, but sadly it wasn’t.

Lunch in Chinatown was amazing. I noticed a number of Chinese going into one place so I thought I would join them. I had roast duck, roast pork and roast chicken with vegetables on a bed of fried rice, all for £7.00. I can honestly say, it was one of the biggest meals I’ve ever eaten! I had to go back to the hotel and sleep it off!
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That meant I didn’t want to eat anything in the evening, so I walked to the nearest Wetherspoons –  The Briar Rose (about 50yds away) for a couple of pints of Guinness and very nice it was too! Wetherspoons are great for people watching.
I had 1 day left (my train was leaving at 6:45pm), so I chose to go to the Bullring and the markets.
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I had lunch at Izza Pizza in Selfridges, it was probably the best pizza I’ve ever eaten and I watched it being made – gorgeous! I went to explore the markets after lunch, there are three markets open to the public, the rag market, the bullring open market and St Martins market. I saw things I’ve never seen before – the rag market is brilliant, mainly clothing but loads of material. As I wandered back into the Bullring, I went in a different direction and found myself in yet another shopping centre, this one built above New Street Station! It had a massive John Lewis store and loads of others. Thankfully there was somewhere to relax and enjoy a glass or two of wine before I went downstairs to catch my train. In all, a really lovely couple of days.
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Posted by Grumpy Dwarf 06:33 Archived in United Kingdom Tagged birmingham_shopping_izza_pizza_ Comments (0)

Bristol shopping trip

overcast 16 °C

As part of her birthday treat, I took my (just) 13 year old granddaughter to Bristol on a shopping trip.
We caught a through train from Paignton station so that we didn’t have to change. I got a good deal too – it pays to plan these things, £30 return for both of us!
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Lily had never been to a large station and so was surprised at how busy it was.
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A 25 minute stroll later and we had reached ‘The Galleries‘ just a small part of the Bristol shopping quarter. We wandered around for a bit and gradually more and more shops were looked in!
I had arranged for us to meet my son (who lives in Bristol) for lunch. We went to Nandos in Cabot Circus
(a first for Lily and only the second time for me!).
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Michael left us after lunch claiming he had a lot to do (I reckon shopping with a 13 year old girl might have had something to do with it!) and we explored Cabot Circus and headed for Primark. A young girls dream and a grumpy dwarfs nightmare.
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By about 5:30 pm I was thinking about wandering gently back to Bristol Temple Meads but I wasn’t going to get away with it that easily, no, another shop beckoned and by the time we eventually got back to the station, we just had time to catch our breath and find the right platform before our train rolled in. A couple of hours later I delivered a tired but happy 13 year old back to her parents – job done!
The centre of Bristol  has loads of shops – and loads of places to relax and makes a lovely shopping experience.

Posted by Grumpy Dwarf 06:01 Archived in United Kingdom Tagged bristol_shopping Comments (0)

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