Photographer of Families, Small People and Delightful Places. Travel and Lifestyle Writer and Blogger. Lives in Newcastle, Loves the North, Often Accompanied By A Beagle Named Holly Bobbins

Wednesday, June 05, 2019

Things to do on your great north staycation {AD}

This article contains a restaurant review where I was given a gift voucher towards a meal for two.

Last week I had a great north staycation, you may remember from my previous article that I'd worked out how to save money on lots of northern attractions, well I can confirm that it absolutely worked and I spent next to no money even though we were out every day from Mon through to Wednesday.

Things to do on your next great north staycation, mandy charltonphotographer, writer, blogger


RHS Harlow Carr


As an RHS Member, I got in free and I also got to take a guest free as well so Harriet and I had a wonderful day walking around the beautiful Yorkshire gardens. The borders were full of Alliums and Iris's.  It's a wholly beautiful day out and if you have children with you, there's so much for them to do. As well with wicker dinosaurs all around the gardens and play areas, there are long expanses where they can run and run and run.  What they also have is Betty's and that was a highlight, I'm thankful we had a £5 off voucher for that as we did enjoy a delicious lunch followed by cake.  We had the full Betty's experience and Harriet loved it.  She's from Yorkshire and had never been!!

Things to do on your next great north staycation, mandy charltonphotographer, writer, blogger


Wynyard Hall Gardens 


Definitely, worth a trip to the beautiful walled garden, we had a delicious and not too pricey meal in the cafe and a wander around the gardens, we paid a fiver for both of us and we've just bought a years pass for £6 each so we'll definitely be going back as the plants you could buy weren't too expensive and it gave me the opportunity to photograph flowers.  I'm not sure what it would be like if you have children, it does sell itself as being child-friendly but perhaps only if your children are called Timothea and Anunciata, most of the people when we were there were older couples and ladies, much like me, ladies of a certain age.  It's a quiet, calm and peaceful place, the farm shop had a big selection (I bought cheese), the homeware store was expensive but not completely ridiculous, let's call it aspirational.  The staff were professional but not overly friendly.  It does have a bit of an Alnwick gardens feel to it but maybe not quite so friendly.  As I said we've bought yearly passes and we'll definitely return but I don't think it would be worth paying £6 a time.  

Neither of those attractions is dog-friendly and that's proof that we still have a way to go in this country to embrace the joy of guests bringing along their cherished four-pawed companions, I think it's actually weird at outside attractions to not accept dogs on leads, and after all, our friends at the National Trust and English Heritage have no problem at all with dogs on leads so maybe it's time to take a leaf out of their books.

Things to do on your next great north staycation, mandy charltonphotographer, writer, blogger

Thaikhun



One of the other lovely things Harriet and I did was eat out at Thaikhun for dinner, we'd been invited to try the new menu and it did not disappoint.  we marvelled at every course and though we didn't drink any alcohol the cocktails did look delicious.  I think there's something special about Thaikhun, it gets the vibe just right between casual dining and going out for dinners, I love the atmosphere and the staff are always so utterly helpful.  I loved everything we tried on the menu, the Bangkok street platter with its assortment of magical morsels.  The main courses which were a stack of 3 different dishes plus Jasmine Rice and I couldn't have been more excited about the Unicorn Sundae.  We did receive a gift voucher to partially pay for our meal in return for an honest review but I regularly dine at Thaikhun anyway so believe me when I say, I've never been disappointed, although there was that comedy disastrous visit the first time I went with the kids.
Things to do on your next great north staycation, mandy charltonphotographer, writer, blogger

Things to do on your next great north staycation, mandy charltonphotographer, writer, blogger

Things to do on your next great north staycation, mandy charltonphotographer, writer, blogger


During the week we also went down to Yorkshire to meet up with Harriet's parents for lunch but it was raining and we really didn't do much after lunch other than discovering a weird garden centre frequented by the older generation which didn't even contain a single plant inside it but it did have a hairdressers and a full selection of comfortable shoes.  It was dog-friendly though so that's always a win in my book.

This summer we'll be off again on our travels but this time instead of Madrid or Barcelona we'll be doing a great British holiday starting in Cumbria and then continuing down to Wales and of course, I'll be taking my camera, Harriet and Holly Bobbins.


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New Girl in Toon said...

You've got me so giddy for our staycation! We have next week off and I'm so excited, honestly can't decide which direction to run in first I have so many ideas ... way too many to fit into the time we have! We're starting off with Llama treking in the Lakes, that's as far as I've got!

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