Thursday, 3 September 2015

Border Country

We've recently returned from another holiday in the Scottish Borders. We stayed in the same cottage that we went to in March; we were very happy with it last time, and it's nice to know what kind of place you're going to be staying in, especially with a very active toddler! For example, when we were there before, Junior was obsessed with closing all the doors - it was a miracle that we never had any trapped fingers. Just to be on the safe side, this time I took some of those foam door stoppers that slot over the top of the door (I borrowed my mum's, but forgot to take ours). As it happens though, I think he's got over the novelty of closing doors now, or he realised that if he left them open there was more room for him to run around!

I took loads of photos, of course, but I'll just have to select a few of the ones that don't feature Junior.

We were lucky with the weather for most of the week, so we managed to fit in a few trips to the beach. Chris and I have never been bothered about beach holidays before, but we think that will change now that we've got Junior, as he absolutely loves playing on the sand and going for a little paddle in the sea.

There are three nice beaches in and around Berwick-upon-Tweed. The first one we went to was just off Pier Road, it was lovely and quiet, and Junior enjoyed throwing seaweed up in the air.

heart-shaped - found on the beach at Pier Road

Next, we went to Coldingham Bay. Back in March it had been deserted, but this time it was heaving! It's a very popular surfing spot, it seems. Junior was wearing a t-shirt and some denim shorts, which got quite wet and kept slipping down. As we walked back up the beach, Chris and I were swinging him between us, and on one swing I noticed he no longer had his shorts on. They were a few yards behind us, just sitting there on the sand, and his nappy was inside them too! Whoops - little half-naked boy! Opposite the car park is a surf shop, so after we'd put a clean nappy on him, we popped in and he came out in his very first wetsuit! He looks so cute in it, like a proper little surfer dude!

Later, we went to another of Berwick's beaches, which is near the golf club - there are a lot of steps down to the beach, but it was nice, and there were a lot of rock pools.

The third beach is actually just out of Berwick, at a place called Spittal. Doesn't sound very appealing, but it was actually a very nice beach, and again, quite empty.

looking left

looking right
Probably the best beach we visited though was Cheswick Sands. Again, there is a long walk to get there, but this time over huge sand dunes. It's worth it though, when you get to this:

They were all taken on the same day, despite the difference in the sky (we were there for a couple of hours though). I even dipped my toes in the North Sea, but nobody needs to see a photo of me with my jeans rolled up and my pasty white legs on display!

We had a few 'animal' adventures too during the week. We went back to Eshott Heugh Animal Park, near Morpeth. I showed you loads of photos last time (remember the peacock obsession?) so just a few this time.

forget your exotic animals, I was just happy to make friends with a cat

obligatory meerkat photo


oh no, not again...

how did a photo of me get in here?
On Thursday, we went to Edinburgh Butterfly and Insect World, which was very enjoyable. (It was similar to Tropical World at Roundhay Park in Leeds, which is the only other place like it that I've been to, but I'm sure there are many others around the country).

I've spared you the photos of tarantulas (they were behind glass and there was too much reflection, to be honest).

On Friday, we went back to Edinburgh, this time to visit the zoo. I couldn't get over it's location - on a very busy main road, nestled between hotels, houses and shops. Prepare for more animals:

baby meerkats


giant panda

looks like a chick?

not sure where this shifty lot were going...

dwarf mongooses

rock hyrax


Scottish wildcat



so cute - my mum's favourite

sun bear

 And just a few more snaps of other places

the River Tweed

looking the other way

Henderson Park, Coldstream
Norham Castle

I can also recommend a visit to the Heatherslaw Light Railway, on the Ford & Etal Estate, but unfortunately I didn't take any photos (other than of Junior).

So all in all, another really lovely holiday in the Scottish Borders.

Wow, that was a really long post wasn't it? I'm off for a lie down...

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