‘You know you did this on purpose, dog, didn’t you?’
My Jack Russell pricked her ears up at my tone and gave me a look that was all so innocent. This could be true for any passer-by, but for me, her owner, she knew exactly what she was doing.
This was her revenge.
What was her revenge? I was looking at it, three huge poop bags full next to my car door.
My dog decided to projectile vomit all over the inside of my new car. And she knew the perfect time and place to do it.
She waited until I was on a dual carriageway when it happened. So I couldn’t pull over.
She knew I was anxious of having her in the car. I mean, who loves dog hair and the lingering smell of something they rolled in?
She decided to do so in the middle of nowhere where I wouldn’t find any cleaning materials.
So what could I do? I only had her poop bags with me and I could only clean up the worst when I found a parking bay. She decided to roll around in the back seat while I cursed and muttered under my breath.
Okay, okay, you’re probably thinking, why does a revengeful car sick dog is related to this travel blog.
It all started thanks to a little seaside town called Withernsea on the East Yorkshire coast in the UK…
You’ll probably say that you haven’t heard of Withernsea and you’d be right too. Heck, I’ve heard it all the 29 years of my life and I haven’t even been! After all, it’s only 30 mins drive away from Hull, my hometown, and Withernsea is a beach! Surely, the inner child in me wanted to build sand castles and squeal at the waves (I still do).
But thanks to its popular and arcade loving sister to the north, Hornsea, my family opted to head there instead.
So what is Withernsea and why should we visit?
Well, Withernsea is a seaside resort town, famous for its caravanners, in the East Riding of Yorkshire in England. It’s the accepted general meeting place for all the communities in Holderness (yes, another sub-region in the UK) and this is where village life still continues to this day.
According to the elders of Hull, Withernsea had the option to become a vibrant seaside town full of eager and shrieking tourists, much like Hornsea is today. However, the council there decided to remain private and keep to its East Yorkshire roots. So, like a stealthy travel blogger wearing bright orange trousers ready to discover the delights of Withernsea, I decided to take a break from the computer screen and spend an afternoon in this secretive seaside town.
Oh, I also decided it was about time that my dog could go travelling with me.
With a wagging tail, she jumped into my car and stuck her head out of the window, tongue lolling. This was a dog ready to go travelling. I bet she wouldn’t mind having her own backpack.
We were both excited and this would be a trial partnership that could see a possible and exciting double act. Little did I knew…
But what could Withernsea offer for the tourist spy?
- Withernsea Lighthouse – Possibly Withernsea’s most famous landmark. Marked visibly in white, this inactive lighthouse now houses a museum to 1950s actress Kay Kendall who was born in the town.
- Valley Gardens – Holding a huge square, it’s the perfect place to hold outdoor events for local activities and celebrations.
- Greenwich Meridian – The Prime Meridian Line passes just off the coast at Withernsea. Perhaps you can straddle east and west here?
- RNLI Lifeboat Museum – Find out about the exploits of the brave lifeboat teams guarding the treacherous seas of the East Yorkshire coast.
- Muggies – arcades managed to creep their way into Withernsea and often call themselves ‘muggies’. So if you have a few coppers and silvers to push in the machines, this is where you should be.
But as I arrived in Withernsea with a sleeping dog on the seat next to me, the clouds opened up above Withernsea and chucked down big fat raindrops in all its glory, splattering car windows with a clean sheen of pure water. This was April showers teasing us with only short burst of sun rays between long showers.
So I made the choice to visit two Withersea attractions within walking distance of the sea front after passing through the small town centre. This would be the Pier Towers and beyond that, Withernsea Beach itself.
If I could get my dog out of the car to face the rain, that is.
The Pier Towers was the grand entrance to a great pier that was built in 1877. Visitors from Kingston Upon Hull and beyond flocked to visit this 365 metre long pier bringing a huge boom in tourism to this seaside resort town. However, the pier was besieged with problems thanks to impacts by local ships, reducing the pier to rubble. It all started with the Saffron in 1880 followed by another in 1888 and by a Grimsby fishing boat in 1893. The death blow was delivered also in 1893 by the Henry Parr leaving the pier a wreck at 50 metres long. Finally, the pier was removed in 1903 leaving the Pier Towers as a reminder.
But you know what? I adored the Pier Towers. It really made Withernsea stand out for me, particularly as I rounded the corner with the dog
pulling my arm off walking calmly.
Apparently, the Pier Towers are modelled on Conwy Castle in Wales. As I’ve already been to the place, I could see a resemblance but it didn’t stand out.
See More: Walking on the Walls of Conwy
I don’t think my dog was fussed. She just sniffed at a damp patch on the wall of a pier tower and growled at a seagull flying close by. She wanted to keep moving. A dog that is disinterested in history? Hmm…
But she was more into adventure and nature. Hence, why she pulled on the lead to lead me down the steps from the Pier Towers to the beach below…
Withernsea Sands Beach
Long, wide and sandy, this was the dog’s favourite place in Withernsea.
We were very lucky. We only had five days left to explore all of Withernsea Sands beach as dogs weren’t allowed on it between 1st May and 30th September. However, there is a dog exercise area north and south to the beach which is open all times for dogs.
That sounds reasonable to me. After all, no one wants to see a dog doing its bathroom business while slurping on an ice-cream.
Meanwhile, we had the whole beach to ourselves. It was no surprise seeing as the wet showers kept everyone away. Storm clouds built over the horizon where wind turbines lazily spun offshore. The dog a bit of digging to try and find buried treasure where the pier may have fallen but came to nothing. I just took a pew on the rocks and watched for the storm to come closer and closer. It was oddly therapeutic.
But after a while, I realised it was the first time I brought my dog to a beach therefore she had to try out paddling in the sea.
She was enthusiastic. Until she realised how fricking cold the North Sea was!
Soon, it was time to go. The heavens were starting up and it was high time to get a coffee. I think the dog wanted to get in the warmth! She was not a happy doggy. In fact, she was annoyed with me for subjecting her to this.
I thought all dogs loved swimming in the sea?!
The Dog Sicketh
Taking refuge at a cafe nearby, I ordered a coffee while the dog licked her paws in between giving me dirty looks. She offered a friendly wag of the tail at a family on the next table, their kids licking their ice-creams. But as I took a sip of my coffee, one of the kids’ ice-cream whippy suddenly slipped off its cone and landed on the floor in front of the dog.
It was all over in seconds as the dog took this extremely rare opportunity to scoop the ice cream in one bite. There was nothing I could do to stop it. I glanced at the kid expecting her to be upset but she was giggling at what happened.
Cool, that didn’t mean I had to buy her another ice-cream.
So jumping in the car, I fastened my dog to the seat next to me. She still kept giving me dirty looks while I told her off for being greedy. The rain splattered on the car yet again as we drove out of Withernsea on the highway through Holderness towards the market town of Hedon.
Turning on the radio to Radio Humberside, I bopped in my seat to classic hits on an empty dual carriageway when I heard the unmistakable sound of retching.
Oh, my word. Once I looked over, it was like something out of the Poltergeist.
I was so concerned that I pulled into a parking bay straight away to make sure that she was okay.
Reaching over, she jumped up, wagging her tail and gave me a lick on the side of my face. Ew. She bounded into the rear of the car and promptly laid down with a snickering grin on her face, knowing that I had to clean up after her.
Thanks. Really, just thanks.
She studied me laughingly (well, she was!) as I filled three poop bags full worth. The rest would have to be cleaned up once I got to Hedon. Jumping back into her seat, she triumphantly looked at me that she exacted her revenge as I started the car.
‘What do you think? Could we travel together? You’d have to be nice to me, you know?’
I asked her that question as she intently stared at me. It seemed we came to an understanding. With another wag of her tail she answered me this way:
She suddenly noticed the now damp sick patch.
She sniffed at it.
She licked it.
And licked my hand resting on the gear stick.
I guess that answers my question!