Zeebrugge to Hull - Yorkshire trip : January 2017
Day 1 :
Today was going to be very easy as I woke up around 11.00 and prepared some last things to pack for my trip, after a last lunch at home I left around 13.00 and went straight to Knokke-Heist where I walked around the replica of the old lighthouse at Lichttorenplein, I wanted to do this for a while now but never got around to actually going there and since the weather was cold but dry and sunny I was able to get some good shots. A few km back in the direction of Zeebrugge you can find the 2 old lighthouses of Heist, they are restored and unfortunately not open to the public but located at a small nature reserve where the upper lighthouse dominates the landscape, the lower lighthouse altough very small is located on the other side of the main road and accessible via an overpass designed for walking and biking only, the foothpath is lined up with the line of lights that would have been visible when the lighthouses were still operational.
By the time I had refueled the car, and checked in at the P&O ferryterminal it was time to get onboard the Pride of York. P&O had informed me yesterday that instead of sailing on Pride of Bruges I would be sailing on Pride of York, somehow the York is the better ship of the 2. Even before I was checked in I got a phonecall from P&O to inform me that due to refurbishment the Brasserie would not be available for my dinner reservation but they had given me an automatic voucher for The Kitchen instead, because of this inconvenience they had refunded me the amount for this reservation, so far I think P&O customer service is doing great!
When I was finally onboard I noticed a lot of P&O trailers with equipment on the cardeck, also some containers and ther were all opened, clearly there was some work going on but P&O try their best to offer a relaible and quality service even when things go a bit wrong, the starbucks was open, the lounge was open and even the shop, the staff was friendly and the number of passengers on this voyage seemed a bit low but given the time of year this is probably normal.
By the time I was having my dinner in The Kitchen the ship was ready for sea and a bit later we were moving out of the port of Zeebrugge.
These ships are perfectly equipped for this route as you can have dinner in your own time and nothing is rushed, the bars remain open late in the evening and so I sat down for a long time with a hot chocolate and my prebooked wifi time of 90 minutes.
Day 2 :
I woke up to the intercom message that the ship was entering the Humber and would soon arrive, I got ready and went for breakfast in The Kitchen and after a chat with a fellow passenger I got my things and went to my car, when I left the ship I drove to Paull, a small village East of Hull. At this time of year there not much to movement in this sleepy little village but from the old lighthouse there is a perfect view on the river Humber with the P&O ferries in clear sight. Further East there is a nature reserve with 2 old lighthouses and today I was lucky enough to have fantastic sunny weather backing me up. Around noon I arrived in my cosy little B&B in Bridlington and after a nap I went back out again, to Flamborough Head where the old Chalk Tower lighthouse and the current lighthouse dominate the landscape above the rocky shores. When evening fell and my stomach was rumbling I went back to Bridlington to park the car near the B&B and get out on foot to a local restaurant called Busy Bees for some classic Fish & Chips with a great chocolate dessert. Since in this time of year there is not much to do I went to my room to finnish my writing and plan for tomorrow.
Day 3 :
Since the sky was dark and gery this morning and I wasn't feeling great I decided to sleep a little longer today but by noon I was on my way to Scarborough Castle, this castle is located on top of a rocky peninsula that overlooks the 2 bays of Scarborough. Below is the small harbour with the lighthouse, I noticed that even in this time of the year this little village is still pretty active. When I was back in Bridlington I decided to explore the direct surroundings of my hotel from the town center to the beach with the harbour and small lighthouse (altough it is more like a lightmast). I went for diner near the beach and finished with a Whiskey before walking back to my hotel.
Day 4 :
This morning I checked out (this little hotel is great for it's location, friendly owner and classic interior, the downside is the lack of parking space so you have to park in the road with a voucher that the owner will give you, also there is no breakfast included) and went straight to Spurn Point, when I was here in 2012 I could drive all the way to the lighthouse, today this is not only forbidden but also impossible, since a large section of the road has been removed you would need a good 4x4 to be able to get to the lighthouse. I had to walk about an hour to get there but it was worth every minute, this is a fantastic nature reserve to spend some time in. When I got back to the car the weather wasn't as good as when I arrived so I went to Hull center to get something for lunch and a walk around Victoria Square where a wing of an offshore windmill has been displayed temporary in the middle of the square to promote green energy. Finally back at my car there wasn't much time left so I went to the P&O terminal where I didn't have to wait long to get onboard Pride of York again. With my car secure on deck 3 near door 1 and my baggage in cabin 1039 I was already in the bar by 17.00. By 19.00 we had left the lock of Hull and passed the Pride of Rotterdam, we were on our way out to sea and I was enjoying it with a good drink. Around 20.00 I went to The Kitchen restaurant for my pre-booked dinner and altough I usually stay away from buffet restaurants I liked this one because of the wide variety of choices. The evening was still young so I decided to take a shower first and then spend some time in the bar with a good drink.
Day 5 :
Once the restaurant was open I went to collect the bottles I bought yesterday and then took my breakfast. By 08.00 I had taken my belongings and was waiting in my car to drive off the ship, the trip was a succes!