12 in 12 Challenge – February

This year I’ve told Patrick that we are going to make sure and do something out of our ordinary routine at least once each month. We often go out for tea and go to the theatre here in Hull so those things won’t count towards our 12 in 12 challenge. We do however spend lots of our weekends at home, we’re not sitting around idle, I’m sewing or some other crafting, or perhaps working on my family history website and Patrick will be writing or messing about in the garage making something, but sometimes I think we just need to do something different. It doesn’t have to be huge – a day out on the train or a walk somewhere new to us. On the other hand it can be something bigger, a holiday or weekend away. Let’s see where it takes us!

Raven Hall Hotel at Ravenscar, between Scarborough and Robin Hood’s Bay is somewhere I’ve wanted to stay for many years but never got around to it so we decided to make it our February outing. Now, there is absolutely nothing in Ravenscar apart from lots of space to walk so we were hoping for a cosy hotel with nice, comfortable and warm public areas to sit and enjoy a drink and a nice restaurant to have our evening meal. We weren’t disappointed, it was just as I’d hoped. As we so often are, we were very fortunate with the weather, the previous few days had been very wet but today was bright and sunny but cold.

On arrival, we were a little early to check in so we went and sat in the cosy lounge, which had a roaring fire and was incredibly warm for such a large room. It was next to the restaurant which had a spectacular view of the bay. We had a sandwich and a coffee before heading up to the room to drop our bags. Anyone can go into the hotel for drinks or meals, you don’t have to be a resident.

Heading out for a walk, we had a wander around the hotel grounds first. It was a bit wet and muddy underfoot but what an amazing garden it is with, what on first appearance seems to be an old fort built into the cliffside. A previous owner of the hall had some mock fortifications built in 1829 and the hall and garden has quite an interesting history.

Patrick on the old fort in Raven Hall gardens
Jill in Ravenhall gardens – looking across the bay

Next we headed to a public footpath that we thought lead down to the actual beach but instead it took us to the ruins of the Alum Works, there isn’t an official website but an informative blog post here giving the history of the works. There were information boards telling the history of the site and it was for me, quite fascinating and well worth a visit, although the steep walk back up to the hotel had me reconsidering! We had definitely earned the beers we enjoyed back in the lounge.

There was apparently a wedding the next day and a lot of the guests had arrived and were in the bar and lounge. Without being too nasty, some of them were a bit on the loud side of the spectrum so to speak, so we had a little explore and sat in one of the other public areas, a little room off the reception with another glorious view.

Next it was back to the room for a nice hot bath to soothe my aching legs before getting dressed for our evening meal.

The restaurant was fairly quiet and we were seated quickly. The food was very nice, we both had fishcake to start and Patrick had a sirloin steak with chips and for me it was a pan fried chicken breast with a crispy parmesan and bacon crumb topping, with chips and a side salad, we enjoyed a bottle of shiraz between us too. We declined pudding as we were both stuffed. After a couple of drinks ‘for the road’, we headed up to bed for a comfortable night’s sleep.

The next morning we were back in the restaurant for breakfast which was included in our room price and could truly appreciate the views from this room, last night being dark we obviously couldn’t see out of the windows. There was plenty of choice on the buffet, cereals, fruit, yoghurt, pastries as well as the usual cooked fare. The coffee was very good and very welcome! We took another coffee along to another public room with a view and enjoyed relaxing there for a little while before checking out and heading for home.

All in all with the room and breakfast at £95.00, dinner at £30 each for two courses and our drinks and wine, we spent about £200 on our night away but it was a lovely experience and worth it in my opinion, you can pay more than that in a so called budget hotel. I would definitely recommend Raven Hall for anyone wanting a nice getaway or even just a drink and a snack if you are up there walking. Oh and I almost forgot to mention, the views are absolutely wonderful across the sweeping bay to Robin Hood’s Bay. 😉