‘I told you to wear your swimming shorts!’
My mum scolded me laughingly with a sparkle in her eye as both my cousin and I stood before her in the kitchen of our holiday home in Keswick in the Lake Districts, soaked to the skin and dripping water all over the floor. Our outfits for the day, a jumper, t-shirt and shorts were utterly and completely drenched.
I pointed at Katie, my cousin, and blamed her for our misfortune for falling into the river that serenely glided by our chalet. No matter what, we kept falling in throughout the week long stay we had there. Learning our lesson after our first soaking, we donned our swimwear the next day and we didn’t fall in. So, the next day after that we went in the river, traversing on wobbly stepping stones to check out the fish and creatures that coursed through this water body. This river was our playground, a source of amusement and fun, and the ultimately beautiful counterpoint of one of my favourite UK holidays that saw this pair of nine year olds experience the nature of Great Britain at its best deep in the heart of the Lake Districts in north west England.
Yet, that day we still fell in.
I claimed Katie pushed me in, but this prideful boy didn’t want to admit a mistake. But we all fell about laughing as I sheepishly admitted to it under the watchful glare of my mother, who couldn’t contain herself from laughter as a pair of sodden and flustered kids tried to bicker between themselves.
But it’s one of those memories that I bring my mind back to everytime I think about my favourite UK holidays as a child.
Keswick was amazing. Still is! We took a holiday home here as it was the site for all outdoor adventures for kids. Whether we climbed up mountains in our woollen jumpers or cardigans, knitted by my beloved Grandmother, only to run shriekingly downhill with my dad chasing us, we could also be walking across the sun lit countryside, sweeping our hands through the fresh hay that ticked our palms or experiencing the rural life of farmers and countryfolk that offered a warm hello to my family.
These memories will forever be cherished.
Furthermore, throughout my childhood, my other favourite childhood holiday definitely has to be in Whitby, in my mind the place place to take childhood holidays in Yorkshire.
Four strong memories bring to my mind from my time in Whitby when I was seven.
The first has to be the old Sweet Shop in Whitby, a few long streets away from our holiday house in the city. Packed to the rafters of sweet jars, filled to the brim with sugary goodness and snacks that had both Katie and I licking our lips as our eyes were magically electrified to wonder just what we would spend £1 each for a hundred sweets. I always plumped for the fizzy cola bottles or even the gummy bears. Katie sometimes varied and I would often sneak a few of hers out of her bag when she wasn’t looking. Naughty! But it wasn’t the fact that going to the sweet shop that excited us. It was the fact that both my parents allowed us to skip merrily to the sweet shop on our own. We felt so excited! We could be trusted to go to the sweet shop on our own providing we come straight back. What a sense of responsibility and achievement!
The 199 steps at Whitby is my second memory, Unbeknownst to me at the time, my parents told me when I was way older that they used to get both Katie and I to count the steps up to the top. One of us would proclaim ‘201!’ And the other would say ‘197!’ If we got it wrong, then the whole counting would begin again. It was a very sneaky way from my parents to tire us both out for the evening so we could go to bed early! Shocking! But jut remembering doing this, I could feel myself being wind-whipped as we climbed up to the top by the bracing sea air only to be greeted by the stunning sight of Whitby town at what seemed to be clinging on precariously at the edge of the limestone cliffs.
Whitby was also the first place where I stayed in a bunkbed! I was just so excited that we had a bunkbed that both Katie and I used to fight tooth and nail who would get the top bunk. It was only when my dad had to separate us from wrestling each other further that we reached a compromise that we would swap every night. So who would get the first night? That’s another fight!
The fourth is Dracula! Mwah hah ha ha! I vant to suck your blood! Now, that’s enough of my impressions that I did to Katie, who would scream and punch at me. Whitby is the birthplace of Dracula and in Bram Stoker’s Book, many scenes are played out in this northern Yorkshire town. I do remember being freaked out as Katie and I clung on to each other peering, in fear, dark corners of the Dracula Experience, as the sun went down only to have monsters and scares jump out at us. I distinctly remember my dad laughing like hell!
What are your favourite childhood holidays in the UK? Let me know in the comments below. Or you can find out more about childhood holidays with Parkdean Holidays where you can take a trip down memory lane: Take Me Back