The Deep

Toby, like probably every other 6 year old in the country loves watching YouTube videos, he has recently come across videos of aquariums after watching shark videos and asked if we could go visit one.

Toby loved the megaladon jaws replica

The Deep was our obvious destination, we live around 30-40 minutes drive away and having visited before we knew he’d love it.

It’s currently pre-booking only which was reasonably easy to do on their website and cost us £46 for two adults and one child. The tickets allow us to come back for another visit in 12 months too which is amazing.

Of course as with any day out its the added extras that cost you dearly – £3.50 for the sticker book, £20 for a couple of drinks and snacks in the cafe, £10 for a hammerhead shark soft toy… but is it even a day out with the kids if you don’t spend a small fortune on crap.

There are lots of weird and wonderful creatures to see, some are bloody ugly and others quite beautiful. The display of jellyfish floating around is mesmerising and calming in equal measure. Toby was thrilled to see sharks every single time although wasn’t impressed by the lack of blue whale.

My only complaint about our day out, and I can’t even blame the deep so it’s not even fair for me to mention it was the family behind us with a body odour problem. Seriously if you are leaving the house please get a good anti-perspirant.

There are many interactive displays which would be great but a few of them were not working when we visited. They were a bit old for Toby so it wasn’t really an issue but it could be for others.

I am always excited to see the penguins, they by far are my favourite creatures there but they weren’t putting on much of a show and just stood there for the most part. Still cute though. There was 2 that kept swimming about though and seemed interested in their human audience. Toby found them boring so we didn’t get to stay there for long.

The walls made of ice were a hit. Until he decided he might get frost bite in his fingers and we quickly left.

A nice add on is the amazon rainforest section with a variety of ants, frogs, snakes etc. Not my thing at all but Toby loved it.

We left at 6 when they closed and went to look at the sculptures outside, if you aren’t already walked to death then have a walk along the beautiful path along the Humber.

I’m sure the fact it was a bright sunny day and that the sun was coming down helped to make it look more beautiful. Its also a bike route we have earmarked for the future.

A short walk across the bridge is a variety of bistros and restaurants that I can’t offer any opinion on as we didn’t visit but I imagine you could finish a lovely day with a lovely meal.

View from the bridge

We finished the day with Toby telling us he’s going to work at The Deep when he’s older so its definitely made a good impression on him. We recommend with a score of 9/10 (only missing the 1 because or the faulty interactive displays).

Visit Flamborough

Flamborough is one of my favourite local (ish) places to visit. An hour up the coast it is a small village 4 miles north-east of Bridlington.

Flamborough is amazing for outdoor adventure lovers with its interesting rock formations, caves, rock pools to explore, and lots more. It is also home to one of the uk’s most famous RSPB reserves – Bempton Cliffs, where around half a million seabirds, including puffins, gather to breed and raise their chicks between March and October on the colossal chalk cliffs.

We’ve yet to explore so much of Flamborough but here are some of the highlights of our trips to hopefully entice you to visit and show this beautiful area some love.

Flamborough Head

Flamborough Head

Simply beautiful wherever you look with stunning views over the vast chalk cliffs and rocky ground, you can’t fail to have your breath taken. You can follow the coastal path along which will bring you on a visit here, or as we did, picked up the coastal path for a short walk to see this little beauty – The Drinking Dinosaur – an amazing natural rock formation caused by years of erosion by the sea. From the right angle it resembles a sauropod drinking from the sea.

The Drinking Dinosaur

We have visited this next section of Flamborough head twice now, accessible by some pretty steep steps it isn’t for everyone. Getting down is much easier than getting back up. But it is sure to bring out the explorer in you. Kids (and adults alike) will love the rock pools that appear when the tide goes out, seals are also a frequent visitor, and there are plenty of little nooks and crannies to explore.

There are so many interesting rocks to find too, these captivate Toby, my 5 year old mini explorer every time. You’ll see in some of the later pics above that his hoodie is stretched from the weight of his favourite rocks that he smuggled up the sheer steps.

Flamborough Lighthouse

This working lighthouse is a magnificent display acting as a waypoint for passing deep sea vessels and coastal traffic. Currently closed due to covid and we have only seen it from the outside but were fascinated nonetheless. We live opposite a lighthouse ourselves but it is no longer active so this was such a novelty. This lighthouse was built in 1806 replacing the previous lighthouse built in 1669 (which still stands down the road).

Danes Dyke

I absolutely love Danes Dyke, a beautiful nature reserve with lots of scientific and natural importance. It’s earthworks are believed to date back to the dark ages.

We love to park up in the car park and walk through the woods to the stunning coastal vista that greets you at the end but in the past we have walked for some time around the woods, discovering tree swings left behind by others. It’s one of my favourite places in Flamborough and Toby’s too as we don’t have woods like this near us for him to explore.

The pebble beach at Danes Dyke is made up of so many weird and wonderful rocks, the bigger the better when you’re 5, and you can also join the coastal path to admire the entire Flamborough coastline from the cliff top.

Thornwick Bay

Thornwick Bay

Our latest visit to Flamborough saw us investigating the natural arches and hideaways on Thornwick Bay. The first time we visited we arrived at high tide so couldn’t explore like we would have liked but yesterday the tide was out and we immediately set out to see as much as we could before the tide turned and started coming for us.

The rocky beach is accessed by steps and the view that greets you as you descend is sure to get everyone excited.

Descending the steppy path to Thornwick Bay

There are no dog restrictions on Thornwick Bay and you can swim and bathe here also. Sea shoes are a must for the rocky ground underneath.

We started by exploring a beautiful natural arch to the right before venturing under another arch at the other side of the beach round into a whole new beach. It’s a good work out scrambling across the uneven rocks and climbing the rocky steps that take you along the beach. If you do get caught out here by the tide, or just don’t want to walk back there is a precarious staircase that we ascended to take us back to the Thornwick Bay cafe. This path could be dangerous in anything other than dry conditions I think as it appears there’s been some shift in the steps and some are missing, but it was dry yesterday and we managed it easily enough with a 5 year old in tow.

If you are confident you have time on your side you can continue around the coast to discover further. We probably had plenty of time but chose to go back up to visit the cafe for a drink and ice cream.

Parking is £1.50 for the day and there is a caravan park nearby yet the place wasn’t packed with people which is perfect for us.

I’d love to know if you’ve been inspired to visit Flamborough by my post or if you already love the area where is your favourite place to visit? Any secret hotspots for us to discover?

Our Santa Special Experience With North Yorkshire Moors Railway

This year our littlest is 4. It’s his first year understanding the whole Santa/Christmas thing and so we wanted to make it a special one. We wanted an amazing experience that he/we would remember. He’s a typical boy – he loves all your stereotypical boy stuff including trains, so we just knew this would be perfect. We booked it at a price of £23pp. The eldest didn’t want to come, and he’s 17 so we didn’t force him.

The elves delivered this letter on the morning of our trip!

We started the day with a delivery from the elves telling Toby he was going on a train ride to meet Santa. This caused so much excitement, he was bouncing happy. We knew straight away this was going to be a good day. We got ready and left. Very early. We’re usually late for everything and we absolutely did not want to miss this.

We arrived an hour before our train was due to leave, we managed to watch the steam engines moving around the platforms getting into position and we saw another ride return that had been out for afternoon tea.

There were lots of staff (volunteers I believe) to help out at the station. We were greeted by several friendly faces who directed us to the refreshments area where we could have a complimentary hot drink, juice, fruit, mince pie and a shot of Irish cream (for the hot chocolate of course).

By the time we’d finished eating/drinking the other guests were starting to arrive, we decided to free up a table and made our way onto the platform to have a look around whilst we awaited our time to get on the train.

We found Santa!
We made orange lollipops – no idea why? When you’re 4 anything goes!

Eventually it was time to take our seats. I’m not going to lie, I was a little disappointed that we were on the back carriage, it was the only seats available by the time I had booked so we took them. I felt that it’d be a little rubbish as we’d be so far away from the engine pulling us. I needn’t have worried though as the train stops halfway through the journey and the engine is turned around to pull it back the other way. So we did the return journey as the first carriage! Winner!

I went off on a tangent there, on the train we were met by Crackers the elf. “Crackers by name , crackers by nature” he said. He wasn’t wrong. His Irish accent was the perfect addition to his character. He was genuinely happy, outgoing and funny, everyone loved him.

Don’t leave your phone lying on the table or Crackers the elf will take lots of selfies (or elfies?)

He had the entire carriage laughing, singing and taking part in games. He picked on our daughter who refused to shout something out after him (she’s 11, a little shy and too grown up now for Santa/Elves, or so she thinks). He named her the grinch for the rest of the journey much to her embarrassment.

The first games he played he chose my partner and another unfortunate dad to take part in a race in our half of the carriage, and two from the other half. They had to race to the middle where Crackers was waiting, doing funny runs and then run back. The whole carriage was in fits of laughter. The game was then repeated with ladies and then children. There was no opportunity to get bored.

The chosen ones!

Santa arrived on our carriage around halfway through our journey. He seemed a genuinely happy guy with friendly, smiley eyes. He happily chatted with the kids and didn’t seem rushed. It was at this point that Toby surprised us by asking for a robot. One thing he doesn’t have. Panic! He sat and posed for pictures before moving on to the next bay. Crackers the elf followed with gifts, which all seem well thought about. No generic selection boxes which you find all too often.

Toby got an emergency vehicle set which he was delighted with, Kaesey (11) got a make your own jewellery set – it came with clay and stampers to shape it and bake it. It was brilliant. Zak (12) got a science kit. It was almost as if the people that chose the gifts knew our kids. We were very pleasantly surprised.

Kaesey with her gift

Once the unwrapping was finished, Crackers came around with some activity packs – these contained things like colouring sheets, pencils etc. By this point we were on our return journey. We played a game of ‘finish the lyrics to the Christmas song’ and then sung along to lots of Christmas songs. It was over before we knew it.

We were all beaming and buzzing from our amazing experience and couldn’t thank the volunteers/staff enough. The attention to detail and event they put on was perfect in every way. I think Toby will talk about it for a long time.

Our journey lasted around 75 minutes altogether

It’s probably too late for any last minute bookings now but if you had considered going but wasn’t sure it would be worth it then I would say go for it! It’s not a cheap day out, but does represent excellent value for money in my opinion, and there’s plenty of time to save for next year!