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The ocean's in motion

Last Reviewed 06/10/2017


Today was one of those days when we just packed the kids into the car and drove to one of our favourite places, Whitby.

'Do you want to go the wild way or via the outskirts of Scarborough?' 'Wild way!' was the response, and so it was that we found ourselves navigating the hairpin bends between Hackness and Silpho. A road worthy of the name 'rollercoaster alley'. Then through the purple moorlands before beginning the descent into Whitby itself. We parked at the West Cliff. Parking free for blue badge holders which is always a happy moment. Fed Flossie her dinner while the rest of us had sandwiches and sausage rolls, and then it was time to do what we came for …

Down the West Cliff Lift, through the echoey tunnel where we all whistled and made noises and then to Nirvana (otherwise known as wheelchair beach buggy hire)! Flossie's wheelchair left as deposit, Flossie strapped into her new wheels and off we went, past the beach huts and down onto the beach, Flossie giggling along the way, as Col took her straight down to the sea. Ben refused to take his shoes off so we stayed at the edges, we adopted false posh voices: 'I can’t quite see the sea, should we get a little closer'. We’d tiptoe towards the sea, then as a big tide rushed in we’d shriek: 'Oh no! The seas coming, Run! Run!', and run we did.

About an hour was spent doing these shenanigans, just walking and running on the beach. Just being a 'normal' family, having fun on the beach instead of being stuck on the sidelines … What a difference a wheelchair beach buggy makes …

We found a spot to rest for a while. Flossie on a blanket with me. Col building sandcastles with Ben. Chilling out in the sunshine. Then Ben wanted to be off. Back we walked along the beach, back the way we had came. A chap came over to chat: 'where had we got the beach buggy from?' He had a sixteen-year-old daughter with disabilities and he’d never seen one and he’d not been able to take her onto the beach for years … Information exchanged, and I hope that soon a sixteen-year-old girl will get to dabble her feet in the sea for the first time in years …

Back to the wheelchair beach buggy depot and we got Flossie back into her normal chair and then back up in the lift. Just five minutes away at Whitby leisure centre there is a Changing Places toilet facility so that was our next point of call. Staff were friendly and great. The Changing Places loo was ginormous, and it also looked like the hoisting system can be used to get into the pool as well, fantastic!

We headed down the Khyber Pass into Whitby. Fed Flossie by the bridge and then decided to go on a boat trip. No wheelchair accessible boats here that I’m aware of, given that you have to descend harbour steps to get to the boat, but while Flossie is still small enough and while we still can (a constant mantra in our lives), we carried her down to the boats. 'The Ocean’s in Motion today' remarked the boatman. He wasn’t kidding. Once we left the harbour the boat caught the waves, up and down, kids were squealing, the sea at one point splashed over the boat - it was fun. Just glad that the ocean wasn’t in commotion otherwise we might have been hurling instead …

Back on dry land, fish and chip supper, a couple of fairground rides and then the journey home, back along the wild way …







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