Friday, 30 August 2013

Holiday Blog Tour #5 - A Girl's Getaway

What a busy month August has been, I am never happy when my children go back to school as they are such wonderful company, but after our hectic month's challenge I think sitting with my feet up sounds fabulous!

For the final week of August and the last Blog Tour I was able to sneak away for a couple of nights with just my daughter.  I love all my kids and we have had an amazing summer but to have some mummy-daughter time is quite precious.  I left the destination up to her and thankfully she chose the walled city of York in North Yorkshire (and not Milan or Paris as my budget may not have stretched that far!)

A girlie trip is very different to a family holiday when my son's are with us, for a start my daughter didn't moan when we found the shops, in fact she cost me a small fortune in new clothes and I won't even tell you how many books she bought in Waterstones. 

For a girl's getaway, York is a fabulous city.  Obviously my daughter is slightly too young to hit the clubs and bars so I can't comment on the nightlife but we did walk our legs off exploring the walls which have defended the city since Roman times and the winding cobbled streets. 

No trip to York is complete without taking in the fantastic York Minster, one of the largest Cathedral's of its kind in Northern Europe.  I found an interesting website which reveals the work of archaeological excavations in the Minster and will shed light on York's dark ages, take a look at

There are plenty of museums to explore in York.  If I cast my mind back to my own childhood, any museum trip we took normally consisted of looking at dusty old stuff and being told to be very quiet.  At least today most museum's cater for children and the York Castle Museum is definitely one of them.  Open daily (except on 25th and 26th December and 1st January) this attraction is not to be missed.  The youngsters can tour the museum as detectives and find the clues hidden around the exhibit, there are plenty of staff on hand, dressed in Victorian costume, to help the budding Sherlock's. 

The museum has a selection of rooms from different periods of time together with a collection of toys from the 1900's through to modern times.  My daughter found it highly amusing to see my Sindy doll in the 'OLD TOY' section - I was not amused!

They have also recreated a Victorian street, complete with schoolroom, police cell and cobbled street.  Every shop on the street is based on a real York business which was in operation between 1870 and 1901.

Entry to the York Castle Museum is:-

Adult - £8.50
Kids under 16 - FREE
Concessionary Adult - £7.50


Close to the museum is Clifford's Tower, an impressive building which was the Keep of York Castle and built between 1245 and 1265.  During the school holidays there are plenty of activities going on and the view from the top of the tower is breathtaking.

One of my daughter's favourite shops could be found on The Shambles, a beautiful cobbled street in the heart of the city.  This was York Glass Ltd.  She bought herself a lucky black cat, handmade from glass and was then handed a challenge of her own - to follow the Fabulous York Cat Trail and find the 21 lucky cats that have been placed on buildings in York for around two Centuries.  The original cats were put up to frighten rats which could carry the plague but as time passed they became a beacon of good luck and good health.
The walled city of York is a magical place for a girl of any age and both of us thoroughly enjoyed our girl's getaway.

If you are planning a short trip we would both highly recommend this beautiful city. 

I asked my daughter which part of our trip she had loved the most, was it the Victorian street, the amount of history York has amassed in its two millennia of existence or the stunning Jorvik Centre which was built on the site where the well preserved remains of part of Viking Jorvik (York) were discovered?

Apparently all this heritage just couldn't compare with...'being with you mum'  Priceless!

To finish off my August Challenge and to celebrate the last Holiday Blog Tour I have a special treat for you all - Win a Holiday Competition.  Good Luck x

Come down to Devon with Red Spotted Hanky and experience a fantastic weekend with a little something for everyone!

Simply follow the link & pick your favourite Devon experience to be entered into the prize draw! Choose from an undersea adventure at a behind the scenes Turtle Tour at the National Marine Aquarium in Plymouth, a traditional steam train journey with the Dartmouth Steam Railway and Riverboat Co or Go Ape & fly down zip-wires in the Haldon Forest with Go Ape!

If you win, we’ll zip you and three friends or family to Devon by train - plus we’ll give you vouchers so you can book a lovely local hotel too!

So enter now for the chance to experience a fantastic fun filled trip to Devon you’ll never forget!


  1. Shelly, what a lovely blog post. I felt like I went on the trip with you. OMG the Fabulous York Cat Trail sounds like someone I would totally love. How wonderful that you and your daughter got to spend that time together and that that was her favorite part of the trip! I wish I could enter for a trip to Devon, gosh, that all sounds incredible, Heidi

    1. Thanks Heidi, glad you enjoyed it. York is an amazing place and if you ever visit our beautiful Island then feel free to call, I would be honoured to show you around! I know all the best faerie haunts :)