This year we decided to have a stay-cation and explore the wonders that we have on our doorstep. We all love the beach so it seemed perfect. In short, we had a fantastic time.
We chose to stay at Boggle Hole YHA. This is a fab location, right on the beach. We booked a family room which was clean and fun for the kids as both got a top bunk! We were in the Crow’s Nest which is up a fair few steps with clean, shared toilets and showers. Be warned, you park in a small car park at the top of the hill and there is still a further half mile steep downhill walk to get to the hostel (cars are not allowed down) so make sure you travel light. (Remember walking back up the steep hill with bags is always going to be harder!)
The hostel was once an old mill and is tucked away practically on the shoreline of an old smugglers cove which you get to by walking across a bridge. The hostel is situated in woodland on the Cleveland Way with many paths to explore and lots of walks are easily accessible.
The reception doubles up as a licensed bar and restaurant as well as dining room for those wishing to cook their own food. The food is reasonably priced and tasty. If you are staying, kids eat free from the children’s menu, which is great. Do try the cakes….amazing!
Henry loves finding things, alive and fossilised so we decided to book onto the Seashore Safari run by the YHA Boggle Hole. This is a two hour session that had been recommended on the Ryedale, Scarborough, Whitby & Filey Mumbler Chat Group, starting with a short time in the classroom followed by great fun on the beach exploring rock pools and beach. It was just brilliant, we were in a small group and we all enjoyed it, large and small! Zoe, the lady leading, was both knowledgeable and fun for the kids. We found and handled (safely and respectfully) crabs (Shore, Edible, Velvet Swimming and Hermit), Butterfish, Beadlet Anemones and much more. Both kids loved it and we all felt more confident when rock pooling for the rest of the week. We then found Ammonites, Belemnites, Crinoids and Devil’s Toenails. We even got to hammer some out of the slate bedrock, which was surprisingly easy but great fun! It cost £5 per child with accompanying adults free. This was the best money we spent all holiday!
Boggle Hole is a short walk on the beach (when the tide is low) to Robin Hoods Bay. You need to be back 3 hours before high tide to get back on the beach or you can return on the cliffs on the Cleveland Way. We chose this option as we had a great time at Robin Hoods Bay. This route was fine for both Henry (7) and Eliza (4).
For those that haven’t been to Robin Hoods Bay, there are more rock pooling opportunities, more fossils to hunt and a lovely beach to build sandcastles. We flew our kite and had great fun in the sea when the tide came in. It is a lovely beach, albeit with a fair bit of seaweed at our time of visit and a great seaside town with the usual amenities plus a few extras! The Old Coastguard Station is a wonderful place with loads of opportunities to learn about the coast. Entry was a couple of pounds for the whole family and the entrance was for a week. The firm favourite of Henry was the Dinosaur Museum! This is a fabulous place with dinosaur skulls as well as many fossils, semi precious stones and bones for sale. Most of these are a couple of pounds so great for those budding palaeontologists to spend their pocket money for a memento of their holiday. One thing to note is that the car park is at the top of the hill so if you come with pushchairs, it is a push back up the hill. Also, there aren’t loads of shops selling plastic rubbish so it is a lovely seaside town to visit!
The old Whitby to Scarborough railway line is now a lovely Cinder Track perfect for walkers and for riding bikes! However, it is hilly in places. With Eliza having little legs, we didn’t think we would “take on” a hilly section so we chose a section from Ravenscar (not far by car) to Staintondale which was perfect. She loved it as did we.
Ravenscar is also home to a Seal Colony. Access is either up the beach from Boggle Hole at low tide – this seemed a very long way! Or down the cliffs. This was our chosen option. It isn’t easy, you go over the golf course and then drop down the cliffs. This isn’t easy for little legs, upwards or downwards. Our team managed fine but I’m pleased Eliza wasn’t much smaller. Once we got down, you could get really close to the seals. Most were out at sea (you could see them bobbing in the waves) as it was high tide but some remained on the beach. This was an amazing experience to see seals in their natural home. Beware, don’t get too close though as they aren’t as soft and cuddly as they appear!
Boggle Hole is also perfectly situated to explore Whitby – we went for fish and chips plus an explore. It is also handy for visiting Sands End and Runswick Bay (a great beach for digging and enjoying the sea).
The seaside is a fantastic place for children. We had so much fun and most of it was free. The countryside is stunning as the moors meet the coast and it is largely untouched; it is on our doorstep and there is lots of explore.