Running in Sunflowers

Earlier on this week we took a trip to a local farm that has a Sunflower Trail. It’s the same local farm that has a Pick-Your-Own Pumpkin Patch in October, but I found out about the Suflower Trail completely by accident on Facebook. It’s a working farm, so aside from a picnic area with an old digger to climb on and a couple of small sandpits, there aren’t any other attractions or animals to see. It seemed like the perfect activity to do on a day which was sunny yet also threatened rain at any moment, as it was short enough and cheap enough to be easy to abandon if the need arose.

It didn’t disappoint. The sunflowers, all nodding away in the same direction (did you know that whilst sunflowers are heliotrophic and “follow the sun” they only do so whilst actively growing? Once they have fully bloomed the fix facing east! One of several facts we learned on the trail!) were almost glowing in the sunlight. Thomas and I were both completely dwarfed by the wall of flowers around us.


 

Thomas took charge of the map. It wasn’t really a maze, as it wasn’t particularly difficult to find the way, but there were a couple of wrong turns and dead ends and Thomas took great delight in navigating us away from them (although he had to double back when he realised he’s missed some “Sunflower Facts” in the dead ends!




We also had fu searching out various bugs within the trail and spotted various flies, caterpillars and butterflys before making it first to the “centre” and then to the exit.

Visiting lavender seems to have become a popular activity recently, but I can recommend searching out a local sunflower field too!

Country Kids
 

 

A Week in Yorkshire: Part One – A Day in Whitby

We recently spent a week staying in the beautiful North York Moors area. Thomas’s school broke up about 10 days before the main school holidays for most English schools, so we took advantage of going away during the week before most schools had broken up for the summer. We stayed in a lovely self catering cottage about 4 miles outside of Pickering.

Our first full day in Yorkshire was one of bright sunshine and we decided to drive across the moors to Whitby. It’s a town that has somehow captured a special place in my heart. I grew up with a beautiful watercolour painting of the Abbey on the wall in our hall. In my mind’s eye it’s always frozen in time, a combination of memories of childhood visits 30 years ago, plus – I’m sure – the influence of Heartbeat having been standard Sunday night television viewing in my house back in the nineties!

Of course, Whitby has moved on, but I was pleased to rediscover all of it’s beauty and charm that persists even if it isn’t quite in the time warp I like to imagine!

We parked on the harbour-side by the station, which is the terminus for the North Yorkshire Moors Railway – an adventure which was not to be missed with our train obsessed boy and will be coming up on another day.




Our first target was the Abbey itself, perched atop the East Cliff. We wandered up through the town and rather than climb the 199 steps at the front, we took the slightly longer but more sloping route which seemed a little easier for the ascent, plus it gives lovely views back over the town.


Whitby Abbey is owned by English Heritage. Along with the National Trust, this is an organisation that I’m quite happy to belong to not just for the benefit of free entry to such beautiful properties, but also because I value the work that they to do and am happy to support them in preserving England’s rich history. That said, it is good value too, especially as kids are free with adult membership!















We spent a good chunk of time exploring the ruins of the Abbey before descending the 199 steps back in to the town for Fish and Chips, swiftly followed by ice cream on the small beach by the harbour. Of course there was time for skimming stones and climbing the rocks too.










We then climbed up the West Cliff to take in the classic view of the Abbey that I remember from that painting in my childhood home and which also inspired Bram Stoker in the creation of Dracula more than 125 years ago!



We had a very chilled out few hours and of course there is plenty to do that we simply didn’t have the time for, including the Whitby Museum, the Whitby Brewery, coastal cruises and whale watching. Whitby is definitely on our list for a return visit though, perhaps spending a couple of nights in the town itself.

For more information see Whitby Online, Visit Whitby and Discover Yorkshire Coast

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