Uncle Jim’s birthday weekend: Retford, Nottingham, Doncaster

Not this weekend but the weekend before, we had a wonderful time celebrating my Uncle Jim’s birthday. Please continue reading for a description of mine, my Auntie Gina, her son Rich and Uncle Jim’s travels to; Ye Olde Bell Hotel & Spa in Retford, a day out in Nottingham and another trip to Yorkshire Wildlife Park in Doncaster. Hope you enjoy!

We went for a posh meal on the Friday evening at Ye Olde Bell Hotel & Spa, Retford. As you can see, we dressed up nice for the occasion! The food was delicious, I opted for the lamb which was very succulent. Our original choice for dining out was Spencer’s On The Square, Retford, the venue for Uncle Jim and Auntie Gina’s wedding a few years ago – however due to covid confusions, we changed to the place they have celebrated their subsequent anniversaries. Ye Olde Bell certainly didn’t disappoint on a taste point of view, even if we did have to wait a little longer than expected for our meal to arrive – annoying!

Of all the UK cities I’ve visited over the years, I have never been to Nottingham, so I was super excited to go on the Saturday! We started off at the Victoria Shopping centre. I was quite smitten with a quirky fancy / alternative dress emporium lol. We moseyed leisurely around the shops, enjoying a latte and cake break half way. Unfortunately Auntie Gina couldn’t find a particular hair accessory salon, to her dismay and Uncle Jim’s best efforts! The weather was slightly changeable in Nottingham city centre; one moment overcast with clouds and the next we knew, rays and beams of sunshine! Nottingham City Hall in Old Market Square proudly displayed a Union Jack flag, which would then be in excited anticipation of the England football teams’ upcoming Euro 2020 games. We decided it would be fun to take some typical tourist photos with street performers and in Seaside themed comical booths, hehe. Furthermore, Uncle Jim was delighted to get a photograph with his lovely wife in front of the Brian Clough OBE statue! We finished off our great day with some more retail therapy, something Auntie Gina relished 🙂

Sunday – yes, another venture to Yorkshire Wildlife Park, haha! We were so disappointed when we arrived because the new Point Lobos enclosure for Californian Sea Lions was closed due to essential maintenance. We were however able to see the new mother polar bear Flocke and her three triplets at Project Polar 2, which was fantastic! I managed to get some pretty decent photographs of the tigers and meerkats which I was chuffed about, although it was a shame Uncle Jim was unable to catch a glimpse of his beloved, timid red pandas lol – likewise the giraffes unfortunately were not visible in their indoor huts. So though it was a sad we were unable to see some of the wildlife, it was still a brilliant day seeing all the other amazing animals. I think we walked for about four and a half hours in total around the park, I was knackered afterwards, haha – it definitely didn’t help I was suffering from a urinary tract infection and on antibiotics at the time. I was slightly relieved when we entered the gift shop at the new Yorkshire Hive at the end of the day. I bought my beautiful mum a red panda and a zebra teddy 🙂

Thank you so much for taking the time to read / view my latest travel blog post!

I just wanted to mention, it is a misfortune that we didn’t win the Euros last night, especially so cruelly on penalties – but I think the England lads did terrific in the tournament, and brought joy to so many people this Summer, in such awful, dark and unprecedented times. Well done, thank you, and bring on the World Cup!

Further reading:

https://www.yeoldebell-hotel.co.uk/retford-restaurant-bistro-bar (Accessed 12th July 2021)

https://www.yorkshirewildlifepark.com/ (Accessed 12th July 2021)

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© 2021 Lauren Parr / https://unicornpostbox.com

Newcastle, Gateshead, Tynemouth: A Collection of Photographs (and musings) 2017

For my 26th birthday this year in March 2017, I was lucky enough to visit the gorgeous city of Newcastle for the weekend…

On my actual birthday, I went to see ‘Mamma Mia: The Musical” with my mum, at the Theatre Royal. It was absolutely amazing. At the end of the performance everybody in the audience got up dancing, and singing to Abba songs. Such a great atmosphere…

Saturday was our main day for sightseeing. The touristy attractions we visited included the Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art and the Life Science Centre museum, both were fantastic. The Baltic exhibited three artists’ works, Mare Nostrum – raising awareness of refugee and migrant journeys across the Mediterranean Sea – Holly Hendry’s ‘Wrot’ exhibition, and my personal favourite, Rodney Graham’s humorous and witty ‘That’s Not Me’ collection of photographic images.  The Life Science Centre showcased a Maker Faire the weekend we visited Newcastle, featuring a whole array of geeky, techy and robotey stuff, as well as talks and performances, really cool stuff. Me and my mum also mooched around the city centre of Newcastle, the main shopping areas, and popular Grey Street. Our hotel was very close to Quayside, so we had the opportunity to take some nice photos of Tyne and Millennium Bridge too…

At night we went out for a few cheeky cocktails, hehe. I have never felt more like a sardine than in Newcastle’s Flares, it was honestly so hectic! It must have taken us at least 5 minutes to squeeze from one side of the room to the other! After a while we decided it would be much more comfy and relaxing to head back to the hotel bar, for a couple of refreshing and fruity bottles of rose 🙂 …

Sunday we caught the bus at Gateshead Interchange to go and see Antony Gormley’s ‘Angel of the North’, it’s HUGE! and HUMONGOUS! 😛 A very impressive piece of art. We then hopped on the metro to the beautiful and quaint little town of Tynemouth. At this point in the day, the clouds had cleared and the sun was shining, so made for some lovely photographs. We dined and drank cider at a posh fancy restaurant before making our way back to Gateshead…

I thoroughly enjoyed my trip to Newcastle, and I would certainly go again in the future. I definitely recommend it to anyone who is considering going. Every single Geordie I spoke to was ‘canny’ friendly, easy to talk to and welcoming.. and if you needed help with anything the response was always ‘nee bother pet’…

‘Propa belta’ of a time! 😀


http://www.balticmill.com/ Accessed: 03/04/2017

https://www.life.org.uk/ Accessed: 03/04/2017


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© 2017 Lauren Parr / http://www.unicornpostbox.wordpress.com