Thursday, 1 August 2013

What To Pack? What To Do?

This time next week Mr P and I will be waking up in York.

Yes! It's almost time for our much anticipated holiday with Ruby!

Booked back in January, we have a detailed itinerary for where we're staying on which nights:
  • Heading off on Wednesday for three days in York in a lovely Premier Inn
  • Pick up Ruby on Saturday and stay three nights at a campsite near Durham
  • Three further nights on a campsite near Seahouses
  • Back to Durham for a night
  • Drop off Ruby on Saturday morning and head to Runswick Bay for one night in a beautiful hotel
  • Home to Brina!

But there will of course be lots of days to fill with fun and this is where I need YOUR help.

It is our first time in a VW Campervan and although there is a pretty detailed list of what is provided and what we need to bring on the hire company's website, we don't want to miss any important things when we pack and then have to spend wasted hours trying to find it and buy it when we could be having fun.

So what do I pack? I know that it has to be pretty minimal because of limited storage space and I also need to take account of all silly English weathers. We'll be bringing the travel Scrabble to keep us occupied on potential rainy days, a new kite is on its way and I'll also have my Kindle loaded up but are there any other must-packs?

And what must we do? We've already selected some things that we both really want to see. It's pretty much a list of the standard touristy things:

But what are the things that we should do, places we should visit and places we should eat that are not on the touristy websites? The sort of places that you don't find unless you're a local or stumble across them.

Mr P and I would love to know and hope we could do the same for you if you were ever coming on a visit to London! 

Right, I'm now off to bake my holiday fruit cake. Not something I'm looking forward to doing on such a hot August day but I'm sure I'll be pleased I did it when I can enjoy it on a picnic by the sea! x


  1. Ah you will be in my neck of the woods! I spent many a day winkling at Runswick Bay as a child, I'm jealous of you spending a night there!

    I don't know who Old Jack and Salty are but was about to recommend you pop into Staithes too, there's a lovely tiny cafe on the sea front. I'd avoid bringing the camper van to the bottom of Staithes or RB though - park at the top!

    In York, the Castle Museum is good too and just walking around the medieval streets is wonderful - and watch out for the cats!

    Alnwick Castle and Gardens are ace (I saw a Groupon offer for these last week - might be worth a search) but you must also go to Barter Books, it's amazing. You could also detour to Northumberlandia if you're passing - not been yet but it's on my list!

    You probably already know but the Lindisfarne Gospels are currently on display at Durham Cathedral so might be nice to see them since you're going to Holy Island too :)

    Phew, I'm done! Possibly haven't told you anything new haha! Have a lovely time and take lots of pics! x

    1. Thanks for your suggestions, Lucy! I have just spent a silly amount of time looking up the Cat Walk! It looks great - I'll definitely be keeping a lookout for all the moggies. York really seems to like cats - it's another good reason to love the city! x

  2. There is a new restaurant in Amble called the Old Boat House that is getting rave reviews, great for freshest of fresh seafood! Haven't yet been but my chef brother rates it well. May be a bit far to travel from Seahouses for an evening meal, but if your out and about this way it's a possibility.
    Also, if you like seafood, Swallow Fish of seahouses is an excellent fresh fish shop. It's tucked away in the back streets but just ask and someone will direct you!
    Oooh and check out Barter Books in Alnwick, a must for book lovers of all ages!! Have a fab holiday :-)

  3. Hello, thanks for visiting my blog and leaving a comment. It sounds as if you will have a great time on your holiday. I love just walking around York and favourite places to visit are the Castle Museum, Barley Hall and Clifford's Tower. Staithes is one of my favourite seaside places and I quite like nearby Saltburn for different reasons. It is such a long time since we visited Durham and Beamish I expect a lot of things have changed:)

  4. We're off on our hols on Monday, staying in Northumberland, near Alnwick. Barter Books is high on my list as it's my first trip to Northumberland so I've not been before. I've got several of the things Lucy mentioned on my touristy list and have just realised the other Louise has also mentioned Barter Books! We plan to visit Lindisfarne too and I'd like to stop in Durham and see the gospels if we can. I'm not a great deal of help as I'm a first time Northumberland tourist too! I'd love to go in a camper, we have a cottage in Warkworth for a week :)

  5. Oh Jo, I am envious of your trip! I followed your links, and everything looks so inviting. Sadly, I can't offer any advice for places to visit, but I would recommend that you bring s'more makings: graham crackers, large marshmallows and chocolate. (I am guessing that you eat s'mores in England too, but just in case - toast the marshmallow over a camp fire, break the graham cracker in half into two squares, squish the hot, gooey marshmallow and a square of chocolate between the crackers and enjoy. Yum!) I can't wait to see your holiday posts!

  6. York is beautiful, hope you have a fantastic time! My favourite thing to do in York is to take a walk down the Shambles and sunbathe in the park just behind the Minster- there's usually an icecream van around there too. There's also lots of ghost walks in York, I'm too much of a scardy cat to try them out! x

  7. Ah, you're coming to my part of the world! Looks like you've got lots of good stuff on the itinerary already. There's also Whitby, the various abbeys we have round here, Castle Howard, Goddards (former home of York chocolate manufacturers,Terry's), Belsay Hall in Northumberland (which currently has an exhibition of costumes from film and TV adaptations of Jane Austen novels, Hadrian's wall, and so much more. You'll have a job fitting it all in!

  8. Thanks for all your lovely suggestions! So many brilliant ideas. I'll be taking the camera and they'll be lots of holiday posts afterwards!

    Watch This Space! x