The Great British Holiday II: Day 2 - Gateshead-Mablethorpe
[Continuing from Day 1]. Today we're up early and into Gateshead/Newcastle. I understand there is a difference now. The Get Carter car park is still in action but we park at the Sage and have a wander round. It's very nice inside, like an inside out Guggenheim. It takes ages to find somewhere to eat and we breakfast under the Tyne Bridge like common trolls. I'm hoping to see the Civic Centre, a modernist delight with seahorses round the top but we run out of time and go to the Baltic instead for the Spank The Monkey ("urban and suburban art") exhibition. There's a giant space invader in the window and a Takashi Murakami video thing. Tommy likes the man with his trousers down (by Os Gemeos). As art goes, it's surprising family fun.
Then it's on to the north-east's two largest pieces of public art - a photo opportunity at Antony Gormley's Angel of the North on the road out and then on to Victor Pasmore’s Apollo Pavilion in Peterlee, County Durham. One for the new town collection. It’s only supposed to be a quick stop but it gets even quicker when we park up. Peterlee is not one of England’s beauty spots. Bizarrely, the Pavilion is well-signposted but utterly derelict. I’ve read a few things saying how big it is so it’s a lot smaller than I expected. The point is not that it's too big, but that it's completely out of proportion to everything else around it. As a card-carrying member of the Twentieth Century Society I feel like I should like it, but I really don’t. It’s hard to know how this ever seemed like a good idea. Let’s cheer up a dingy council estate with some brutalist public art. It’s filthy and crumbling, straddling a stagnant pond. I feel a bit guilty for dragging everyone here, but Neil is studying town planning and this is a good example of what not to do.
We have lunch in Thirsk which is like its name suggests - bustling and brisk. Like breakfast, lunch in a Baker's Oven takes ages through incompetence and misunderstandings. Every interaction is like the “No need to be rude, dear” sketch from The League of Gentlemen. It feels like we'll never get fed. The plan was to stop in Hull but we’re running a bit late so it’s through the outskirts (bagging one cream phone box) and over the Humber Bridge. It costs £2.70 so it had better be good. We whizz through Grimsby and down the coast into Lincolnshire. The scenery is flat and featureless and we can't see the sea. We get to Mablethorpe and Golden Sands, our chosen destination just as it's getting dark. Our caravan is right at the back - a punishment for getitng it cheap, I'm sure. The place is deserted so we go out to explore. Mablethorpe is more commercialised than I expected (that's not saying much) and almost completely closed. I wonder if we've done the right thing. Make mental note not to come on holiday out of season again. Anyway, the chippie is open so we get some dinner and retire to explore our caravan. It's massive - three bedrooms so we've got a spare. It's not pretty but it's functional and comfy so we spend a night in watching telly, not quite sure where we've landed up.