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Fabulous Cottage Weekend in Whitby for 19

Last weekend we spent a really fun 48 hours in Whitby at a Cottage (Mansion) arranged for us by Sykes Cottages.  The house slept 18 (plus 1 in a provided travel cot) so was perfect for us and our best friends and the 11 kids we have between us!  We’d decided some time before to try and spend a weekend all together but it is more difficult than you might think to find a house that would fit all of us in!  Sykes  however stepped up to the challenge and found us a house perfectly located in the centre of Whitby.

Ahead of the weekend the emails and contact I had from my both Sykes and the owners was very good. The emails were detailed, they had good driving information on, and in the telephone call with the owners to pay the £200 security deposit (which I got back with no quibble) they helpfully arranged parking permits for the 3 additional cars we were arriving in (there was space for 2 already). The parking permits cost 50p each for 4 days and were a saving grace as parking in Whitby is notoriously difficult!

So we all packed up and met in Whitby at different times on the Friday night.  Now travelling all the way across the country to Whitby on a Friday night from West Kirby (literally the other side of the country) is not fun. I did ask myself a number of times was it going to be worth it. But to arrive to a warm (too warm initially) and welcoming house was fabulous.


One of my friends had arranged for Tesco to deliver a food shop, so I was given a glass of prosecco when I walked in (good start) and I had brought with me a slow cooked dinner of Fårikål for us all to try as we were all arriving at different times. I was notionally cooking this as part of Inntravel’s campaign to raise awareness of their Norway Holidays, but to be honest it was just nice to have something easy and tasty to eat when we arrived. To win a voucher so you can try some food yourself do enter the competition at the bottom of the post.


We managed to get the kids into bed at various times and  settled down to far too many glasses of wine.

As the house has so many bedrooms (9) and beds were very comfy, the kids all slept well.  They made their way down to the lounge at various times between 7 and 8 and caught up with each other by showing each other their new apps on their various tablets.  The two lounges were both on the first floor and had plenty of seats for everyone.  At one point there was 9 of the kids all in a row on their tablets. It was a good job we knew the rest of the weekend was going to be pretty active.

Amazingly (probably some sort of Midlife Crisis) 5 of us went out for a morning run and enjoyed a stunning run into Whitby and across the cliff tops.  Who knew Whitby was so hilly!


We then had bacon and egg butties (thanks Dean) and took the scooters out to Pannett Park (5 minutes away from the house). It isn’t often that I would suggest a park needs so many photos but the variety of things on offer in that park warrants a lot of photos.

We spent over an hour and and half there and it kept the kids between 2 and 9 entertained. The only downside was no access to coffee! After the night before we could have done with a rather large Starbucks!

We scooted back to the house for lunch and after a production line of ham wraps and crisps we all sat down round the huge dining room table which comfortably seats 18. Not squashed in, actually comfortably.

After lunch we drove to Runswick Bay. We couldn’t believe our luck with the weather. This was October yet the kids were able to run about in t-shirts and no trousers which was lucky as they got absolutely drenched!  They went crabbing, made a huge sandcastle and ended up having lots of running races!


After we finally dragged them away we took a very short walk onto the Cleveland path as the sun was setting. The light was stunning.

We had booked dinner for 5.45 and whilst I’m sure The Runswick Bay Hotel could have done without the noise we created we had some good food and wine before heading home with 11 exhausted but happy kids.

We sat around chatting in the large lounge for the rest of the evening and reflected on a really really fun day!

The next morning we had another lazy start with more bacon sandwiches and really nice granola. Lots of tea ( Yorkshire of course) and then we wandered down to the front. The house was literally 5 minutes away from the front and we took the opportunity to play around the gardens (otherwise known as train track) drink some coffee and then a walk into Whitby and up the 199 (150) steps to the Abbey.

After we had wandered up to the Abbey and eaten ice cream at the top, it was time for us to find somewhere to eat fish and chips (we were in Whitby!). The famous Magpie was out due to the very long queues (even in October) but we found a place that served very good fish and chips, even if we did have to eat it in a rather unglamorous location!

The queues for the donkey rides were however mercifully short so all the kids had a go on those before returning to the house to pack up.

We had a much better journey home and I asked some of the kids and adults to tell me what were there favourite things.  So in no particular order:

Comfy Beds, living room well out of the way of the bedrooms, great for hide and seek, great because near Pannett Park and Beach, really clean, very well stocked, sandcastles on the beach, full breakfast, sunset on the cliff tops, scooters in the park, big kids looking after little kids, just one more glass of wine before bed, crabbing in rock pools, wheeelbarrow races on the beach, listening to kids giggling and playing, good times with great friends!

What they would have liked – servants (!)

What might have been useful – towels, stair gates, more than one hairdryer.

Thanks Sykes Cottages we had a ball.  To win £40 vouchers to spend on food from Scandikitchen so you can make your own Scandinavian/Norwegian foods just enter our competition below.

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Mini Travellers

Mini Travellers

Karen Beddow founded Mini Travellers in 2014 while doing what she loves most...going on holiday!

Mini Travellers is for parents looking for holiday ideas, destination reviews, days out and things to do with the kids. We also have family travel tips, activity ideas and all other things family holiday related. Take a look at some of our latest reviews for holidays and day trips in the UK.


  1. October 7, 2015 at 7:39 am — Reply

    wow – looks and sounds FAB. How wonderful to find somewhere for such a large group to meet. I’ve never been to Whitby – we are in Manchester so it is a long travel for us too, but I have heard good things and it’s a place I hope to take my two at some point in the not too distant.
    Sarah Doyle – let them be small recently posted…A Little Hedgehog & a Greedy DragonMy Profile

  2. October 7, 2015 at 8:27 am — Reply

    What fun you had. I went to Whitby years ago. I loved the Abbey. Did you see Dracula’s grave? We also went to the Draculat experience and visited York. All round a fun trip.

    Sally @ Life Loving

    Life Loving recently posted…Bedgebury ForestMy Profile

    • Mini Travellers
      October 7, 2015 at 9:41 am — Reply

      No we didn’t see that. What a shame the older kids would have loved that.

  3. October 7, 2015 at 9:38 am — Reply

    I lived in Whitby for a little while when I was younger and remember the beach very well – it all looks exactly the same! #whatevertheweather
    Crummy Mummy recently posted…5 baby items you really DON’T needMy Profile

  4. October 7, 2015 at 10:40 am — Reply

    Fantastic review! Looks like you had an amazing time. I’m going to Whitby!

    Sykes cottages are fab. Karen, you’ll be staying in a Sykes Cottage again next weekend ;-).

  5. October 7, 2015 at 11:21 am — Reply

    That’s a lot of people in one house! Sounds like fun. We’ve never been to Whitby and the nearest we’ve been is to Scarborough. Whitby looks like very picturesque! #Whatevertheweather x
    Baby Isabella recently posted…My Autumn AdventuresMy Profile

  6. October 7, 2015 at 2:17 pm — Reply

    Wow! What a great place to stay and spend time with friends! Looks gorgeous! Linking up with you at #whatevertheweather 🙂
    Rebekah recently posted…The Reality of Homeschooling with Multiple ChildrenMy Profile

  7. October 7, 2015 at 7:23 pm — Reply

    Wow, that sounds like a fabulous house, great that it can fit so many in as well! You certainly seem to have managed a lot of fun in the weekend, Whitby is a great place to visit and it’s lovely you could go in such a big group with friends, the kids must have loved it!
    Thanks so much for linking up to #Whatevertheweather 🙂 x
    Jenny recently posted…Whatever the Weather Linky #13My Profile

  8. October 7, 2015 at 8:21 pm — Reply

    Looks like you had such a great weekend! You’re brave to share a house with so many kids. We love Whitby and I agree, that park is fantastic. #whatevertheweather
    Erin @Yorkshiretots recently posted…Win your family ticket to a hilarious half term with Halifax Comedy FestivalMy Profile

  9. October 7, 2015 at 11:41 pm — Reply

    What an amazing holiday – with 11 kids – WOW! They are probably going to remember this experience forever! I love the photos of the children that you have taken, you’ve really captured the moment. Whitby looks really picturesque. I’d never considered it for a holiday, but may look into it for next year! Sabrina xx #whatevertheweather
    Sabrina (The Mummy Stylist) recently posted…An Autumn Seaside Toddler Trip to… BrightonMy Profile

  10. October 8, 2015 at 9:06 pm — Reply

    Amazing! And I’ve bookmarked it. We always take a week away with family … currently 12 adults and 2 children …. and struggle to find anywhere large but nice enough for us all. It seems that only Scotland has house big enough but Whitby could also be a contender now!
    Rachel @ The Ordinary Lovely recently posted…Spooooooky baking (and a simple recipe from days of yore)My Profile

  11. October 9, 2015 at 7:11 am — Reply

    I love Whitby!! The park is amazing isn’t it, there’s a little deli just down the hill, we stopped there for coffee on the way to the park every morning last time we were there.
    Susie recently posted…Cheeky Autumn GiveawayMy Profile

  12. October 9, 2015 at 2:04 pm — Reply

    The kids look like they had SO much fun!! What a fantastic getaway. Love the pictures and what am impressive sand castle – wow. #pocolo
    Elizabeth (Wander Mum) recently posted…The Chedi Muscat, OmanMy Profile

  13. charlotte
    October 9, 2015 at 8:00 pm — Reply

    We love Whitby! Haven’t been for a while though so we will have to go again soon! x

  14. October 9, 2015 at 9:52 pm — Reply

    Whitby looks beautiful, I’d love to go, its not even that far from us and I’ve never been!! I probably wouldn’t do the early morning walk though 🙂

  15. October 9, 2015 at 10:01 pm — Reply

    Looks like you all had loads of fun particularly the kids 🙂
    Cathy recently posted…Sharing plates at the Real Eating Company LewesMy Profile

  16. October 10, 2015 at 7:06 am — Reply

    Oh I love Whitby! Looks like you had a fab break. we’d love to go back one day ourselves x x
    ghostwritermummy recently posted…Great Yarmouth’s seafront – the Golden MileMy Profile

  17. October 10, 2015 at 7:25 am — Reply

    Wow – Sykes Cottages sound amazing. Will have to look into a stay with them. I love the fact that you had 14 of you all staying together.
    Have never been to Whitby and know nothing about it other than that Dracula lands there interested book.
    Love all those photos of the kids having fun together. You obviously had such a great time!
    Karen (@karenjwhitlock) recently posted…Christmas in a Coombe Mill WonderlandMy Profile

  18. October 10, 2015 at 12:27 pm — Reply

    Ooh it looks fab, was the house nice ? we could do with doing this for a girls weekend x
    Sarah Christie recently posted…My Weekly Round Up, And A Big WalkMy Profile

  19. October 10, 2015 at 1:36 pm — Reply

    Wow, what a spectacular place to have been able to stay, it’s great you managed to find somewhere that could house all of you. It looks like a beautiful weekend away and you all look like you’re having a brilliant time! The photo of all the kids on the swing is impressive, that park looks like it could easily keep that troupe of kids busy for a while. Thanks for linking up with me on Country Kids.
    Coombe Mill recently posted…Country Kids from Coombe MillMy Profile

  20. October 10, 2015 at 3:49 pm — Reply

    What a really wonderful thing to be able to do. It looks like you all had a ball! I’ve entered the giveaway too 🙂 Thank you for linking to #PoCoLo x
    Verily Victoria Vocalises recently posted…The Abusive Money-Grabbers in the Quest for FertilityMy Profile

  21. October 10, 2015 at 4:32 pm — Reply

    Looks like an amazing trip! Lovely lovely photos and love the happy faces! #pocolo
    Merlinda Little recently posted…Harder Than I thoughtMy Profile

  22. October 10, 2015 at 7:47 pm — Reply

    Stupidly, because my husband and I took one of our rare holidays that didn’t involve travelling back and forth between our two countries on the Kent coast (Margate, specifically. Yes, I know), we have never been to Whitby because we’d ‘done’ Kent. I am pretty sure this is probably a mistake.
    Mama Herself recently posted…Gorodskaya Ferma at VDNH, MoscowMy Profile

  23. October 11, 2015 at 7:13 pm — Reply

    Oh wow what a great holiday!! Incredible that you managed to find somewhere where you could all stay together. I bet that was such a lovely atmosphere in the house and you could get some much needed adult time while the children all had each other to play with. It sounds perfect.

    I always wanted to ride on donkeys on the beach when I was younger and never got around to it so I am super jealous of your little ones getting to do this.

    It sounds like it was great fun for all of you. What a beautiful morning run as well. With those views (midlife crisis or not haha) I’d do that run too.

    I love your pictures, everyone genuinely looks like they’re having such an incredible holiday. Thank you so much for linking to #whatevertheweather. Yet another post that’s reminded me I really need to go on a staycation. x
    Chloe recently posted…#MYSUNDAYPHOTOMy Profile

  24. October 12, 2015 at 12:43 pm — Reply

    It is so great that you were able to spend time together with friends and their kiddos too. It looks like you had the most amazing time! We’ve also went to Whitby during the Summer, and I have to agree with you that parking is a nightmare!! #whatevertheweather
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  25. October 13, 2015 at 8:38 pm — Reply

    Whitby is one of those places that I’ve always wanted to go to but have never quite made it! It looks stunning.
    And I can;t quite believe the amount of children you had in ONE space…. and 9 rooms?! WOW!
    Loved this post xx

  26. October 13, 2015 at 11:00 pm — Reply

    What an amazing weekend. I was following all your pics on Instagram and it looked like you were having a wonderful time. I can’t believe you got up to go for a hilly run on Saturday morning. The house looks gorgeous and sounds fantastic for fitting 19. It is always great to have these weekends with friends and for you all to be in one big house is perfect. Fab pictures too. Hugs Mrs H xxxx PS I really hope one of the kids didn’t say “just one more glass of wine before bed”.
    Mrs H recently posted…Your current behaviour has got to stop!My Profile

  27. October 19, 2015 at 7:43 pm — Reply

    Wow I can’t imagine how much fun you all had with 19 of you enjoying a well deserved break. The house looks lovely, and its good to know that there are companies out there who will cater for large parties. I love Whitby but we have not been for around 11 years x
    Tracey Williams recently posted…Wagamama opens at The Trafford CentreMy Profile

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