Enjoy a family weekend away at Whitby seaside

Andrea Oates and family hit the beach at Whitby for some serious seaside fun.

Sitting around the communal campfire, my eight-year old daughter Lily soon found friends to explore with and headed off to find the tipi, the big top circus tent stuffed with fancy dress outfits, games and fifties tea sets, and the “honesty” sweet shop with its old-fashioned jars, cash till and scales. Meanwhile, her thirteen-year old brother Arthur set to work chopping wood for the fire, before discovering the rope swing and the seven resident cats.

Basing ourselves a eight miles from the coast in a themed caravan at La Rosa Campsite Extraordinaire (www.larosa.co.uk) gave us the chance to have some good old-fashioned fun at the seaside town of Whitby, and enjoy the peace and tranquillity of the North Yorks Moors countryside.

Just outside Goathland – famous as the setting for the popular TV series Heartbeat but also the Hogwarts railway station in the Harry Potter films – two groups of vintage caravans provide very comfy accommodation at this site.

That night, we were warm and cosy in our old-fashioned eiderdowns and duvets, and for cooler nights, some of the vans even have their own wood burning stove.

Candlelight, lanterns and campfires replace electricity, adding to the romantic, almost magical atmosphere here, while a compost loo, cow shed showers, open-air bath and enamel wash stands complete the low environmental-impact facilities.

Next day, with the sun shining in an impossibly blue sky, it was time to head through the woods and follow the rail trail path for the steam train into Whitby. If you’re driving in, park at Whitby Abbey and enjoy the views (and tea shop!) before heading down the famous 199 steps into the bustling, higgledy piggledy streets of the old town and the harbour.

We made straight for the walls of Whitby harbour for some serious crabbing, then it was off to the beach to fly kites, fossil hunt and explore the rock pools at low tide. After all that hard work, we felt we had earned some fish and chips from the justifiably famous Magpie café before we hopped on board the Esk Belle II (also know as the Big Yellow Boat) for a twilight cruise around the bay.

 

Traditional seaside fun rubs shoulders in Whitby with more sophisticated shopping and eating, so we successfully combined an early supper at the waterside Moon and Sixpence Brasserie with a  quick play on the penny-slot machines for the kids before their food arrived.

 “Best bit of the holiday?” I asked them as we enjoyed our meal and the view over the water on our last evening.

“Crabbing!” they chorused. “And playing with Finn and Anna. And dressing up as a banana,” adds Lily, before declaring that this was her best weekend holiday ever and she was decidedly not ready to go home!

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