Ben’s First Trip to the Seaside

Ben's First Trip to the Seaside // Amy Elizabeth

It was on my summer bucket list to go to the beach, but what with one thing and another we didn’t get to the seaside this year. It’s just that little bit far from our part of Yorkshire, which means it needs some forward planning – especially with a new baby in tow. But, whilst in Newcastle for the weekend it was just a short jaunt over to Tynemouth beach, so we decided to spend an afternoon soaking up some sea air (which, given the high wind speeds on the day, we definitely got a lot of!) and feasting on proper fish & chips. So Ben’s first trip to the seaside came sooner than I thought it would, although he spent most of it fast asleep in the Ergobaby on Paul. I swear that thing is a baby sedative… Luckily, it also protected him from the whipping winds and from getting sand in his eyes – something the rest of us could have done with! 

Ben's First Trip to the Seaside // Amy Elizabeth

Ben's First Trip to the Seaside // Amy Elizabeth

We only had a couple of hours in Tynemouth, so we dashed down to the shore almost immediately. As someone who has never lived by the sea, I always find it a bit strange to be fully dressed and booted when paddling, but there was no way we were getting our kit off in the cold to go for a dip (unlike to two brave men we spied doing so – bravo, fellas!). The wind was whipping up the sand something fierce, so we unfortunately had to actually ditch the beach pretty sharp-ish, but that brought us to the other reason for our visit… fish and chips! 

We decided against Riley’s Fish Shack for lunch as we wanted a bit more space to spread out with two babies (although if it’d just been us then I would have definitely gone there!), so we opted for more traditional fish & chips at Longsands Fish Kitchen instead. It was the full works with mushy peas, a stottie and a mug of tea – exactly what you want when you visit the seaside. We then took a little stroll up to Tynemouth Castle and Priory, but with our parking running out, we decided to head back to our cottage for a spot of champagne (as you do) and relaxing with our babes. That sea air really does take it out of you! 

Ben's First Trip to the Seaside // Amy Elizabeth

Ben's First Trip to the Seaside // Amy Elizabeth

I remember as a teenager, I hated days out like this one. We were often heading to National Trust properties or doing something equally wholesome and I’m sure I complained constantly like the delightful daughter I am. I was determined to have a more exciting and glamorous life as an adult, but now that it’s come to it, I actually enjoy doing all of those things that I decried as dull many years ago. It turns out that happiness really does look like a little walk on the beach, a trip to a castle and a big pile of fish & chips soaked in salt and vinegar. If only I had embraced it sooner! 

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A Quick Trip to Hadrian’s Wall

A Quick Visit to Hadrian's Wall // Amy Elizabeth

I studied Classics as an undergraduate, and it’s still one of my true loves. Give me some Greek myths or a bit of Roman history and I’m happy. My focus has always been on the literature and history, rather than architecture and archaeology, but I do love me a good ruin. So when we happened to be just minutes away from Hadrian’s Wall when staying in Newcastle this weekend, I couldn’t resist the chance to check it out. 

Roman Britain has never captured my imagination the way that Ancient Rome and Ancient Greece have; it always seemed a bit bleak and cold (which I think it probably was) and rather than poison rooms, incest and intrigue, the history we learnt about our more direct ancient ancestors was mostly just warring with the Scots and painting ourselves blue. So far, so very British, right? That said, there are some impressive ruins and landmarks in the UK; the Roman Palace at Fishbourne was one of my favourite ever school trips.

I wouldn’t say that Hadrian’s Wall joins the ranks of the most exciting day trips you can take; what was once probably a pretty impressive wall is now more of a pile of old stones (or at least, it was in the section that we saw). That said, there is always a bit of a thrill knowing that people have been standing where you stood for almost 2000 years. It’s no mean feat to build something that lasts that long, so it does deserve a bit of reverence. It’s supposed to be an amazing walk to follow the whole thing, although at 174 miles it was a bit much to contemplate on a slight post-wedding hangover

After the obligatory posed photo, we wandered back to Heddon-on-the-Wall for a drink and eventually back to our cottage for a slap up roast dinner cooked by yours truly – so all in all, it was a rather cosy and wholesome day. And that’s one more thing ticked off the bucket list! Are there any places that you’d really like to see in the UK? I’m still yet to visit the Roman Baths in, well, Bath, and I’d love to do the Harry Potter train journey

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