Seaglass Hunting on Killiney Beach walk & Killiney Hill Playground

On Sunday, we had a short stroll on Killiney Beach looking for sea glass and the kids playing a bit of football.  The beach is very rocky and personally not one that I’d find enjoyable for swimming (I have sensitive feet and hate stepping on rocks with bare feet) but it is full of interesting shaped stones.

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After we took the kids to Killiney Hill Playground.  While it’s more suitable for younger kids, the views of Howth and Dun Laoghaire are beautiful and they did have some fun.
Finally, we drove over to Dun Laoghaire to walk around a bit. We stumbled upon People’s Park market which I loved -food trucks galore and artisan food.

I’d love to have this on my doorstep each Sunday. We’ll surely be back here!!  The market in Howth, while cozy, is just not the same.

Burrows Beach Walk & Sea Jaw Bone

Despite being October the weather yesterday was amazing – so we took a bit of a walk on Burrows Beach in the afternoon while it was still sunny and fairly warm.

When I got to the beach, I’m normally head down searching for sea glass.  While it was approaching low tide, this beach didn’t have any sea glass to find, it was shards of broken glass all over the place – terrible.  I would’t let the kids take their shoes off it was that bad at low tide.  While the surroundings and views are nice, I’d prefer to visit another beach next time.

With shoes on, the kids had fun.

A few races and then there was this attempt at who is the most goofiest! Soren clearly won.
During this trip a bone with a tooth in it was found, so we suspect it is a seal’s jaw.  We took a photo and sent it to Bone Identifier.  Indeed it is what it was – seal jaw bone.

Donabate Beach Walk

We headed up to Potrane Beach to walk along the beach and instead of going on the beach we normally go on, we decided to take the cliff walk to the right towards Donabate.  We have never been that way before but was pleasantly surprised.  At first I was a little skeptical of what was around the corner but all in all it was pretty safe and wide enough so you were not dangling on the edge of the cliff.  Our kids thankfully don’t run off ahead so the danger was lessened as they walked with us.  We passed a person in a wheel chair – not sure how far they got but, at places, it was pretty wide.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

After what I think was about a mile walk, we came to the Waterside House Beach Hotel (didn’t know it existed!).  There the kids explored rock pools, while I searched for sea glass along the pebbles. Being low tide, it was perfect and I found tons – most green pieces but a few blue.

As it was a bit chilly, we popped inside the pub to use the bathroom and we decided to have a drink. As Nils was checking it out, an older guy started talking to him.  So when we came in, the guy walks up to us and asks if we were Dutch and if he could buy us a round of drinks in honor of his 70th birthday party.  Nils replied, both Dutch and American – well the guy was thrilled.  He “loved the Dutch” and spent some time there from Utrecht to Amsterdam.  He also had a connection with Lowell, MA too. Such a nice guy – Martin from Swords.  He came over and chatted a bit and when he left, his wife came over and shook hands and said bye to us.

 

Two days later, we returned to the same beach to collect sea glass and the kids could explore the rock pools.  We didn’t visit the hotel pub this time, but it was tempting as it was chilly.   This trip we saw horses having a trek on the beach – turns out the hotel can book this for you. The kids would love that one day.

 

 

 

We’ll definitely be back to this beach as I think it’s a great beach at low tide, tons of pools for the kids to explore and bonus a pub for a snack, drink or hot tea if it’s cold.

Wells-Next-The-Sea, North Norfolk, UK

In late September 2012, when we moved from Boston to the UK, we discovered Wells-Next-The-Sea… the kids were so young and it was all so new.  Soren was very excited and asked to purchase the union jack flag – which of course I did and they were loving them for about two days until they broke!

It was also our first experience with the British Seaside and my new found love of beach huts… which at first I didn’t get but now would love one of my own.

Fast forward two years and MANY visits, we are area experts and despite even cold weather, find it a nice day to walk the beach…  Just two days ago we were wandering on the wide-open beach in search of the best beach hut while the boys explored the water … too mucky for us girls!

 

So many were badly damaged in the Dec 5th storm but nice to see most have been rebuilt back up and some new ones added in…

 

 

 

 

or crab with friends from The Netherlands..

or swim… and relax in the sun…

or play with your remote control car

no matter what the weather (well better not go when raining) it’s a great day out!!  And just today in The Guardian they featured Wells-Next-The-Sea as to “Let’s Move To” section.

Buggy Fun at Wells-Next-The Sea

Yesterday we took Soren’s new remote control super buggy to Wells-Next-The-Sea for the kids to run around and try it out.  They had a great time – loads of laughs, Christmas hats and eight muddy shoes.

As I said before, North Norfolk is so wide-open.  Yes there were others on the beach, but it was like we were alone with miles and miles of sand, water and blue skies.

As we were down near the water, Nils spotted some black seals popping around and playing.

The big winter storm of Dec 6th hit Wells beach pretty hard too.  You’ll see the two large mounds were reduced down to small hills and those hills, I’m sure saved so many of the huts on the far end.

There was loads of sand was pushed up to the huts and some of the huts were damaged quite badly and several were removed.  The ones when you first arrive on the beach were hit the worst.

And my favorite hut of all – the yellow and white stripped one had some damage done to it, but the huts on both sides were totally destroyed.

This above photo I took in May when we were there visiting with Jana, Philip, Stefan and Tobias.

Back to the reason for the trip – play buggy which was a huge hit.  The kids took turns riding it around, chasing it, etc.

 

Whale Watching in Cromer, UK

On Friday afternoon, a 25-foot Minke whale was found washed up on Cromer’s East Beach, not too far down from The Rocket Cafe.

Some specialists from the Sea Watch Foundation said they believe it was a young adult female and had been dead for one or two weeks.  While there has been porpoises washed up on that beach and about 20 years ago there was a dead basking shark on Sheringham Beach, a minke is a rare sight.  They speculated that the cause of death could possibly be ship strike because the whale’s upper jaw had a clean cut, but as it didn’t die on land, they would not investigate further.

These are a few photos and a video I found on the internet.

 

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=euO2oLwGU94

We took a trip over to the beach to see if we can see it too. But turns out that the NNDC took it away last night!

Even though we didn’t see the whale, the kids had fun on the beach, throwing rocks into the ocean and then running back.  Soren came so close many times and one time, he leg got wet.    Plus with a promise of a hot chocolate at the Red Lion, they had no troubles walking down.

 

 

I found a white rock with a perfectly round hole in it, which would be fun on the Christmas Tree.   Soren and I had a little fun with it while we walked towards Maebh & Nils who were farther ahead.

 

 

 

Speaking of whales, there has been a continued sighting of a humpback whale in the distance near Sea Paling and some fisherman have reported to see three of them.  Being from New England, I’ve been on many whale watch sightseeing trips.  In fact, the weeks before we moved from the US to UK, Soren, Nils & I went out on a Sunset Whale Watch from Newburyport.

Update:  Today, Monday, November 26th, another Minke whale was found dead.  It was in nearby Sea Palling Beach, which is about 1/2 south of Cromer.  That whale was a healthy, well-fed female and appears to have been stuck behind the reefs and couldn’t get back.  The same expert came to take a look and this time, they’ll do some tests.  Sad!