January 2, 2014 by talkaboutyork
To celebrate the end of 2013, we headed off to the North Yorkshire Moors and Yorkshire coast for a two day mini adventure.
It was brilliant.
The boys got to be boys the way boys are meant to be. They got muddy. They yelled a lot for no apparent reason other than because they could and there was no-one nearby to get annoyed by it. They whittled sticks. They made fires. They chased sticks on the beach like small, bouncy dogs.They looked for fossils and treasure and geocaches. They ate their body weight in chips (and ate squashed ham sandwiches and Jamaica ginger cake in the rain and thought it was a treat.)
While we spent the first day walking the rail trail alongside the North Yorks Railway line, along the original tramway designed by George Stephenson in 1836, we needed somewhere to spend the night that was low cost and didn’t mind that we were only there for a night (so many places insist on a two night stay).
I booked us into the Youth Hostel at Boggle Hole, outside Robin Hood’s Bay. I had tried all of last summer to get us into this hostel because it got such great reviews but it was always fully booked. Now I know why.
If you are a hostel virgin (as I was) let me tell you that you are missing a trick. They are fab! Boggle Hole is situated right on the beach between two outcrops of land. I think it may have been an old smuggler’s cove. You can’t drive down to it (that’s how close to the sea it is), but you park up a hill and follow the road down (with a torch if you arrive at night – all part of the adventure).
The hostel is decked out in a pirate theme, brilliant for kids. Skull and cross bone flags flap everywhere and an assortment of pirate and seafaring decorations festoon the walls. In one of the loos, you’ll find Lady Ophelia’s closet of curiousities, which has a strange assortment of things – like a hand clutching a candle, a scary sea creature floating in water in an old fashioned jar and intriguing old books. There are loads of little quirks all over the place – like a tiny floor board down low on the wall with a sign saying: Hobbits.
We stayed in a private room which had two bunk beds. The room had a hand basin, but we had to use a shared loo and shower (suitably called the Poop deck). But I never saw anyone but us going anywhere near the loo as there are several dotted all around the place. The whole building was spotlessly clean. The furnishings in the room are basic, but continue the pirate theme. They supply sheets, duvet and pillow covers, all clean and crisp, but you have to make the beds up. When you leave, they ask you to strip the bedding off and put it in an intriguing box downstairs titled ‘Davey Jones’ locker’, which emptied into a room below – the kids loved doing that.
We didn’t have dinner there, but we could have done. They even sell alcohol! There is also a self-catering kitchen which again is immaculate and great if you want to cook for yourself. We had breakfast in the communal dining room. £4.99 each got us a huge breakfast of sausage, bacon, egg, hash brown, tomato, mushrooms, toast, croissants, cereal, yogurt, coffee, tea and juice. Again, once you have finished eating, you help by clearing your plate onto a trolley. It feels a bit like school, but in a really nice communal kind of way.
There is a cosy playroom packed with dress up clothes and toys for kids, hobby horses to ride on, a library full of books and plenty of little quizzes and word searches for the kids to do.
Walking straight out of the hostel, you hit the beach with a great cave to explore, lots of rock pools to look in and fossils to search for. There is also a sandy stretch heading towards Robin Hood’s Bay (which is about a ten minute walk from the hostel along the beach). You can also access the Cleveland Way, a walk which runs from Helmsley to Filey and which has beautiful sea views. We even spotted a seal cavorting in the waves when we were up there.
For a private room for four, it cost £45. It’s not a hotel. It’s a hostel so it is basic. There is noise and the beds are pretty hard. But it’s warm and fun. And for a relaxed night or two with kids who can just be kids and have a great time playing on the beach, I can highly recommend it. If you haven’t visited a youth hostel since your school or backpacking days, I suggest you give them a try.
We’ll definitely be going back in summer. I just need to get my skates on and book!
(This is not a sponsored post. All views are my own and are not paid for)