Wednesday, 1 September 2010

Great North Fun Day 35

Today was a trip along memory lane, well it was for Steve with many of the days conversations starting "When I were a lad...". For me it was a lovely introduction to the area around Grange-over-Sands on the northern edge of Morcombe Bay.  Grange is an old Edwardian town refreshingly free of the usual high street names and having gorgeous views out over the bay.  It also boasts "Britains Best Butcher" and a stunning bakery. We took a lovely stroll along the prom with it's well maintained and interesting gardens down to the sadly disused outdoor swimming pool.  After that we headed over to Kents Bank and had a wonderful lunch of Huntsmans Pie (from the butcher) and fresh coleslaw (from the bakery - long story) before moving on to Alithwaite and Steve's first school.  The whole area was green and lovely with many gorgeous views down over the bay, as a girl bought up in the city I was very envious of the environment Steve had around him as a child.  Thing is I don't think you appreciate stuff like that at the time and it's only when you look back you realise how lucky you were.

Ken'ts Bank Station
After all the wonderful reminiscing it was time to head towards Blackpool with one minor detour to the Ribblehead Viaduct along the way.  I have an inexplicable interest in large bridges and tunnels and am fascinated by the stories behind them.  This one didn't dissapoint and looked stunning amongst the Penine landscape.  We don't build bridges like that anymore, these days the focus on keeping costs down means we end up with endless ugly concrete constructions.  Imagine how architecture of the past would have suffered if they'd had the same mentality back then. "Don't bother faffing with the ceiling Michelangelo, a pot of emulsion will be quicker and cheaper."

Inside White Scar Caves
On the way back from Ribblehead we passed the White Scar Caves so nipped in to take a look.  An 80 minute tour cost £7.95 and although interesting and very 'cavey' was not that spectacular - but the guides were happy to answer all the questions we had.  Mine centred on the construction of the walkways through the caves which must have been a real challenge to build. Hmmmm...maybe I was Brunel in a previous life?

All done with Yorkshire we headed out of the countryside and into Blackpool. Today's CL has apparently won awards from the CC. The site is absolutely immaculate, has pristine toilets and a shower and the owners are incredibly friendly and helpful.  Whilst I can't really fault the site I much prefer something a little more quirky and isolated.  To be honest the site is so immaculate I'm almost scared to step outside Delores in case I mess anything up.  I'm also surprised that the site has regularly been described as "peaceful and tranquil" when it's next to Blackpool Airport and within barking distance of a kennels.  Maybe after so many weeks away from big towns I just need a period of readjustment.

Over the next few days we'll change pace completely and immerse ourselves in the tacky tourist culture of the Vegas of the North.  The big question is whether I'll brave The Big One.  I may just settle for a candy floss and a ride on the Ghost Train instead!

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