Sometimes a staycation is as good a mini break as any other
The change of scenery and surroundings can help to make you feel rested and recharged yet the proximity to home can often make it a more affordable option.
With the bank holiday weekend qpproaching I booked a last minute, coastal getaway for my sister and I, to Whitley Bay, just 13 miles down the road from our parents house.
We were both in need of a little rest and recovery and it seemed like a perfect opportunity to spend some quality sibling time together.
We couldn't have been luckier with the weather and I immediately felt relaxed as we walked beneath the pretty blossom trees on Marine Avenue, catching our first glimpse of the sea on the horizon.
There aren't really any design hotel options in the area so I booked a room at Premier Inn because of it's sea front location.
On checking in we were happy to discover we had been allocated a sea view room with blue as far as the eyes could see.
Great location, super comfy beds and a late checkout of 12 midday, we were pleasantly surprised with our home for the night.
Down on the beach, the sun, sea and sand were calling so we wasted no time in setting out to explore.
Heading North up the coast, a 40 minute stroll away, is St Mary's Island.
Reached between the tides via a short causeway, this tiny little island complete with picture perfect lighthouse awaits.
Round the back of the island we spied a herd of seals through a telescope, gathered on the rocks, snoozing and soaking up the late afternoon sun.
Check out how smug this little one looks with his prime sunbathing spot, I swear he smiled for the camera, poser!
By the time we walked back we had worked up quite an appetite and I had just the place in mind for an early dinner.
Omni cafe is a popular local seaside cafe with an emphasis on an ever changing, Asian street food menu.
There's a no reservations policy so it's advisable not to turn up too late in the evening or you may be disappointed!
Their Summer opening hours have just been reviewed so you can pop in for breakfast/brunch/lunch between 10am-3pm and dinner between 4pm-8pm.
Anyway, back to the food. Totally delicious and worthy of all the hype!
We over ordered naturally because the piglet in me got a bit over excited and wanted to try a little of everything.
Vegetable dumplings in soy and sesame broth, salt and chilli fries with dipping sauce, ginger and soy rice with fried egg, lamb, crispy potato and peanut curry and Tofu with sticky ginger, soy and spring onion rice.
With happy tummies we wandered back to the hotel and could see our little lighthouse on the horizon from our window, set against the pretty hues of the Spring time skies at magic hour.
While my sister took a bath, I made tea and gazed out at the waves, mesmerised by the sway of the tide.
I find water so peaceful to be around and daydreams of living by the sea began filling my head.
After a restful nights sleep we woke to more beautiful sunshine and headed out in search of some breakfast.
We revisited Kith & Kin, a lovely little cafe on Park View in Whitley Bay, serving up all day brunch and lunch in a relaxed, informal setting.
I fuelled up on their bacon butty before we took off for another beach walk, this time heading South along the coastline through Cullercoats, Long Sands and ending at King Edwards Bay Tynemouth (taking around 50 minutes)
It's such a lovely stretch of continual coastline as one sandy section of beach rolls on into the next.
As the sun beat down there was just enough time for an obligatory ice cream stop at the hatch at Mister Woods on Front Street, Tynemouth before walking back barefoot along the sand.
The sunshine, long walks, sea air, good food and relaxation did us both the world of good and we returned home feeling thoroughly soul soothed.