Posted by: glenswatman | April 30, 2013

20130421-30 An exploratory trip to the coast

20130424 (1) Barmston Beach coastal erosions, on the road to nowhere 20130424 (2) Barmston Beach coastal erosions, on the road to nowhere 20130424 (3) Barmston Beach coastal erosions, on the road to nowhere 20130425 (4) Where Skipsea castle used to be 20130425 (5) BK Bluebird Senator 20130425 (6) BK Bluebird Senator 20130425 (7) BK Bluebird Senator 20130425 (8) BK Bluebird Senator 20130425 (9) BK Bluebird Senator 20130425 (10) BK Bluebird Senator 20130425 (11) BK Bluebird Senator 20130425 (12) BK Bluebird Senator 20130425 (13) BK Bluebird Senator 20130425 (14) BK Bluebird Senator 20130425 (15) BK Bluebird Senator 20130425 (16) BK Bluebird Senator 20130425 (17) BK Bluebird Senator 20130425 (18) BK Bluebird Senator 20130425 (19) BK Bluebird Senator 20130426 (20) View from Limekiln Road penthouse in Bridlington 20130426 (21) View from Limekiln Road penthouse in Bridlington 20130426 (23) The Grand Hotel main staircase 20130430 Walk from Golden Acre Park (1) 20130430 Walk from Golden Acre Park (2) 20130430 Walk from Golden Acre Park (3) 20130430 Walk from Golden Acre Park (4)

SUNDAY 21 APRIL – We’re even later today waking at 9.30am.  Steve is still pretty achy and declines and invite to go to Claire’s for lunch but sends me off alone.  Natasha’s friend is there too and they make some delicious chocolate chip cookies.  Mid afternoon I return home to find Steve enjoying sport on TV so I crack on and get the windows cleaned outside.  It’s the first day we haven’t had the heating on all day but we still need it early morning and late afternoon when it gets chilly.


MONDAY 22 APRIL – Steve is still a bit achy and doesn’t want to do much.  Another first is that I manage to get the washing hung outside to dry or nearly dry as I gather it in just as the rain starts.  Sandra calls round in the afternoon and we have trouble fitting in a day to be together as she and Keith have such a hectic schedule.  To gather more information about moving into a static caravan by the coast I make arrangements for us to go on inspection tours including an overnight stay for £25.  I book us into Barmston Beach for Wednesday and Skipsea Sands on Thursday with a lunch and viewing at Spring Willows on Friday.  This should give us some idea whether it is a viable option or not versus buying or renting a bungalow over there.


TUESDAY 23 APRIL – We need a bit of exercise so walk down to visit Mom & Dad and I even throw in a few 1 ½ minute jogs include some uphill.  I call the hospital late afternoon and we are delighted to hear that the blood test from Friday shows no CMV detected meaning we can go away.  I book us a room at The Grand Scarborough for Friday night (£29 B&B) and we have Wednesday and Thursday provisionally booked at 2 different static caravan parks.


WEDNESDAY 24 APRIL – Steve’s still a little achy and out of sorts but happy for us to go away.  The Satnav wants to send us a strange route via Bradford and this does us a big favour as we get a call from BRI to say they want Steve in now for blood tests.  St James has contacted them to say they want to re test Steve’s liver function.  It’s good to see familiar faces again and they all comment on how well Steve looks.  An hour later we are back on the road and arrive in Bridlington just after 1pm and pick up the keys to the first property we want to view.  En route we call in to the clothing shop where Cousin Karen’s ex Mark works.  He offers us some info on the better areas of Bridlington to live in and talks about Far Grange where he used to live.  By 3.30pm we have viewed 6 bungalows but nothing grabs us.  We head down the coast to Barmston Beach Resort where we have an overnight stay for £25 to take in an inspection viewing tomorrow.  The static we are put in is a new one and really nice although too basic for what we are looking for.  Our wish list is for a 2 bedroom with a bathtub, kitchen and dining area separate from the lounge, movable lounge furniture, double glazing and central heating.  We walk around the site and quickly realise that this particular park is unlikely to work for us.  It’s too big to be a quiet haven but not big enough to have decent facilities.  This coastal area is suffering a lot of erosion evident by roads leading off the cliff top and eroded paths.  Reckon you could buy a property a good few yards inland and bide your time until it was waterfront!  We walk into Barmston Village for our evening meal at the local pub.


THURSDAY 25 APRIL – Before leaving we have a quick chat with John who agrees this park is not for us.  We’ve time to kill so call in at Far Grange where a lady called Amanda Houlden shows us around.   It is a 5 star park and really attractive.  As an owner’s only park with no subletting allowed they have control over who visits, the downside from our point of view being that we cannot get an income from it if we are not staying there.  The facilities on offer are pristine and include Jacuzzi, sauna’s, Turkish baths, indoor pool, snooker, relaxation lounges, entertainment venues, numerous restaurants and a beach location.  They also have lots of activities advertised that are right up our street – card games, come dine with meal meals, zumba classes and for Steve fishing and bowls.    Site fees are higher than the other parks but you can certainly see what you get for your money.  Unfortunately they don’t stock a second hand van that meets our wish and to get one that does it would be a brand new Willoughby Winchester at £49,000 so a bit of a non starter.  At least we think we have found the park we like and also a nice plot within it but need to crunch some numbers to see if the figures stack up.  We make arrangements to return and stay on Saturday night by which time Amanda thinks she will have located a suitable caravan.  Just up the coast is Skipsea Sands where we know they have a second hand caravan to suit, the Atlas Sherwood Super.  It’s really nice but the heating is blown air which does not appeal so much.  However you can rent out caravans from here and the park does have good leisure facilities albeit mostly aimed at families and some nice sites.  All sounds good but in truth the facilities are a bit old and tacky.  John has managed to find us a better van located at the sister park of Barmston Beach and offers to take us up to view.  Steve is weary so settles into the van whilst I head off.  I don’t know about Steve feeling weary my head is positively swimming.   The ABI van meets all our needs although the price is creeping up so will need more thought.   John has kitted us out with a welcome pack so instead of going out I cook up our evening meal.  We’ve bought a local paper and we are intrigued by an advert for a penthouse flat in Bridlington (overlooking the beach) to rent at £550 a month so make an appointment to view tomorrow.


FRIDAY 26 APRIL –We checked out the leisure facilities last night and they are really not our scene, much too noisy and family orientated.  We meet John and tell him he has the caravan we like but the park won’t suit us.  Spring Willows is an inland caravan park and eliminated from our choices as it is away from the coast, has a swimming pool but no other facilities and no lots we like.  In Bridlington we are surprised how much we like the penthouse flat with amazing views and also the flat below.  This certainly puts a cat amongst the pigeons in terms of decisions.  It’s still sunny when we arrive at Scarborough and check into The Grand Hotel.  It’s a little tired now but must have been magnificent in its day.  We are given a large family room on the front.  We manage to get to the far end of the bay before clouds come over and it starts raining.  Dodging in and out of the amusement arcades gets us back without a drenching.  In the evening we walk out and get an evening meal then head south over the bridge to wander the dilapidated spa area.  There’s a huge bathtub in our room, you could almost swim in it, and so we enjoy a good wallow before bedtime.  We talk over our options so far and feel we are leaning away from the static caravan choice due to the uncertain and heavy depreciation on the caravan in addition to the annual fees; however Far Grange was so nice it may still be worth paying this price!


SATURDAY 27 APRIL –We explore the coast near Scarborough by car.  Erosion is a huge problem and very little seems to be being done about it.  We’ve invited family over so Claire, Natasha and Azura join us at Far Grange to maybe help in our decision making.  Meeting at The Lakes area they are all immediately impressed by the facilities and standard of them.  We are offered hot drinks and shortly after free pizzas are distributed.  The kids are already sold on the concept!  In the main park Amanda shows us a second hand van she thinks may suit.  At first sight it looks lovely but in reality has no bath, an open plan kitchen area and fitted suite in the lounge but is more affordable at £26995.  Steve is feeling out of sorts so settles in the caravan whilst Claire joins me in reception to talk through figures.  The bottom line is that the park is superb but the depreciation on a caravan means it is not cost effective in the short term and with us being optimistic of getting our travelling life back at the end of next year it wouldn’t work so well.  The girls love the park and spend the afternoon in the swimming pool whilst Claire and I make good use of the gym.   There’s an area with show caravans where Azura and Natasha are sold by all the modern furnishings and decide the top of their wish list would be a caravan with a walk in wardrobe!  Steve is not particularly hungry and happy to watch TV whilst we drive the 4 miles to Hornsea.  After shopping at Tesco we stop at Boswicks and find the aptly named belly buster at £2.50 is amazing value.  You get a huge bread roll filled with fish pieces, chips, batter bits, and topped off with peas, curry or gravy.  The girls return to the entertainment centre for part of the evening then return to play board games.


SUNDAY 28 APRIL Claire & I put in half an hour in the pool before sitting in the Turkish bath.  On the Skirlington site next door there is a huge Sunday market which we wander around.  Checking out we explain to Amanda that we are not sure the concept is right for us at this time but we would certainly keep it in mind for the future.  Over at The Lakes side we picnic on the terrace overlooking the lake then move inside for the afternoon game show of Family Fortunes.  Heading home I can conclude that the 2 things we liked best were the apartment in Bridlington and Far Grange but the commitment and cost involved probably makes it better for us to stay in Keighley and do lots of trips away but it has been a fun 4 days, much like backpacking being in a different place every night.  Last week David bought something off EBay from a lady in Keighley and I have it here so he drives over to pick it up and we have a quick chat.


MONDAY 29 APRIL – Steve is still feeling a bit out of sorts and weary so I let him enjoy a lie in.  His eyes are really watering much more and he has pain down the side of his face and in his sinuses so may be heading for a cold.  We call the hospital for his liver test results and they say the levels are much lower than the previous ones and they are no longer worried.  Steve mentions the problem with his eye are they are not the least concerned – well they don’t have to live with it do they.  Keith & Sandra arrive for lunch and we spend a lot of time talking about the things we have investigated and analysing whether Far Grange may be right for them.  We certainly think we will see our England time out here in Keighley but I do go one line in the evening and book us 5 nights away at YSS Hull next month and we do have quite a few visitors booked in during May. Just need to have the weather to enjoy it all.


TUESDAY 30 APRIL – Sandra picks me up along with 2 other ladies for our Stumblers Walk.  It takes best part of an hour to get to Golden Acre Park where we have a drink in the cafe whilst waiting for the other 2 walkers to arrive.  Our hike takes us through the park then out into the countryside past a gold course, fields with lovely lambs (but sadly a dead one as well), a donkey sanctuary and en route lots of birdlife.  Finally the strong winds that have lasted many weeks seem to have dropped and it is rather pleasant with plenty of sunshine breaking through the clouds.  We complete the 7 mile walk at a leisurely pace then finish off with another drink before heading home.  Steve says it has been pleasant weather and he has spent a little time sat outside reading.




  1. Hi Glen and Steve, love reading your blogs with all your adventures. You seem to have settled into your life in Yorkshire very well and have lots of things to do all the time. Pleased to see that Steve is going well with all the tests they have carried out on him, I expect there is still a long road to go yet for him. Anyway just thought I would let you know I read your blogs all the time and catching up with all your adventures. Lots of Love Nicole and George xx

    • Hello Nicole. Thank you for your kind comments. Longing for the time when we are back on the road and can produce more interesting diaries but as you seem to understand this is a long road. They do lead us to believe that 2 years post transplant Steve should be as near back to normal as possible but there will stil be ongoing appointments to interfere with our travels. So very very glad we did as much as we could whilst we were both fit and well, not a moments regret. Hope you are enjoying your freedom now. Glen x

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