Tuesday, 30 April 2019

Amber's Birthday Trip, April 2019

18th to the 26th April

This should have been our second trip away in the van this year but .........

Well we had booked to go to York in the motorhome as usual for our birthdays in March and we had managed to book about eight days to get both our birthdays in. Something we had not managed to do in the past, we had only ever got my birthday or Dot's in but never both. The booking was made in April 2018, very early as you have to be.

Then on the 8th of February we got a email from the club canceling the pitch, this was less than a month before we were due to go. The council were doing work on the road into the site and it would be closed. We got an apology that meant nothing, we were not even offered a different date to use the site, only sites close by but useless to us in the van.

Click here to see what happened in March.

This was our usual trip to see amber on her birthday and even though it was over the bank holiday we got on to the Ferry Meadows site no bother. We had also managed to book three day in the York site on the way back home.

Peterborough 18th to the 23rd April

Thursday 18th April

A very bussy drive down to Peterborough, it was the day before Good Friday but we arrived nicely and got a good hard standing pitch on the old field.

The difference this year was that me and Dot would be on our own for the first day. We got set up as best we could, the TV point was not working and I gave up with ariel. So we went for a walk into the park, as we got to the bar there, it was just after five thirty and it was supposed to be closed but the girl in there let us have two Stella Artois in plastic glasses.

Dot in Ferry Meadows

We sat outside in the sun and drank them but it was getting cold before we set of back to the van. As we had no TV we found an old DVD to watch before bed. I also had plenty of beers in the van so we were alright there.

Friday 19th April

It was just after dinnertime when Amber and young Ralph arrived, I had got them to get bread buns on the way so we had enough for a birthday BBQ. Ralph also got beers for himself, I had plenty for me already. Amber then said that her sisters and boyfriends were popping around to see her, so we rang them to bring more buns and burgers.

Ambers Birthday

The food went down well, me and Ralph listened to the Boro and they managed to win but only just.

Birthday BBQ

Later when the others had gone we watched a film or two before bed.

Saturday 20th April

Unfortunately young Ralph had to be away today and just after we finished the food from the BBQ he was off. So me Dot and Amber had a walk into the park. Amber had already been to meet a friend there but she had to leave so Amber came back.

By the time we got to the bar (the one from yesterday) it was really full and while I went in to que for the beers the others found a nice seat outside. I got a new beer in there today, it was off the other day, Lacons, Pale Ale, not too bad.

Back at the bar

With the weather being so good, the park was really full, with plenty of BBQs on the go, many of which were burning the grass under them.

Back at the van and after tea, it was time for films again before bed.

Sunday 21st April

After lunch, Amber's Mam came for her, so me and Dot went out for a walk. We walked towards the Nene Valley Railway but didn't go no, insted we turned and walked towards the Botolph Arms. Its 1.7 miles walking to the pub but we had nothing else to do.

It was very sunny at the pub but we got a good seat outside, I say good but the people on the next table were very noisy. Inside the pub wasn't much better as one of the people seving just wandered of to collect glasses. There were four in the queue when she wandered off, by the time I got served they were queuing out the door, about fifteen or more of them.

Dot outside the Botolph Arms

Anyway it did get better, the noisy people went, people started serving at the bar, in fact it got a lot better. I think we had three beers before we set of back to the van, we did call into the Co-op for something for supper though on the way back.

Monday 22nd April

After lunch we went out for another walk and again and as it was a bank holiday again, it was very busy. So we walked along the quiet path by the railway line and into the park further along. It was the same as last time, BBQs all over and hundreds of people out in the sun.


We did go into the bar again and we did get good seats on the lake side again but I didn't have to queue this time. I had two pints this time, the sun was really nice and the young ones were playing in the lake, many fully clothed.

Me at beer time

Back at the van we had food, watched a film and had an early night, moving on tomorrow.

York 23rd to the 26th April

Tuesday 23rd April

Moved on to York today, it was about 125 miles but the roads were very clear unlike the other way, as an accident had blocked the A1 and the tailbacks were enormous.

In York, got parked up on the campsite, had a shower and set off into town.

We walked straight into the center, over Skeldergate Bridge and as usual, did some shopping but also as usual, pretty soon got tired of that and went to the pub. As last time we were there, we chose The Market Cat, our new favorite pub in York. Even though the pub is on the end of the market, the views from the upstairs seating is very good.

Upstairs in The Market Cat

We both had the wheat beer (Weihenstephaner Hefeweissbier (Hefeweizen)) as I did not fancy a hoppy beer. In there we had a conversation with a local farmer about his health problems but we had worse than him. We didn't just have the one beer though, we had three before we set off back to the van. Only we didn't get back straight away, first we popped into a Tesco Express to get something for tea, then popped into The Kings Arms for another couple of beers.

Wednesday 24th April

The weather was still good, so in shorts, we walked anticlockwise around the Walls, well we walked from Fishergate Postern Tower around to Bootham Bar gate. Were we came down from the wall and wandered into the center, to do the usual shopping. I did take a photo on the way to the wall and messed with, it is now my version of a Monet.

My Monet

But we soon gave up that and went to the pub again and yes it was The Market Cat. Dot had the Weihenstephaner again and I changed to Thornbridge, Lord Marples, which wasn't bad. I then had a Thornbridge, Pollards, yet another good beer, well stout.

After that we moved on to The Angel On The Green, Dot got a free third of a pint of wheat beer (it want off before the half was poured), and I had a nice stout, Yorkshire, Blackout, it was very good. While we were in there it started to rain, but luckily it stopped before we left. We got a couple of meals from the shop close by on the way back, we were going to eat in the Angel but didn't fancy anything.

Thursday 25th April

The rain kept off all morning, it kept off until we set of into town, then the skies opened and we got soaked. My new coat did not work at all and I got soaked, we sheltered until it stopped, then finished our walk in.

We didn't shop for long I got some shorts and then we gave in and went to the pub. Dot stuck with the usual and I had a Moor, Stout, very nice. Tonight we thought we would eat in the pub, so we had pizza and a chicken salad. I moved back to the Weihenstephaner again along with dot.

After that it was back to The Kings, were we had a conversation with a couple we had met in there a couple of days ago. That meant we had to have more than one beer in there before we left.

Friday 26th April

Up early, got ready and went straight home, I say straight but we did have to find diesel first, this ment we left York a different way. But it was one of the best drive homes we have had.

Sunday, 25 November 2018

York November 2018

19th November to the 23rd November

This would be our last trip away this year, as York is our favorite place to be, that is where we were going. Our next trip booked for next year is again to York but that is not until the usual March trip for our birthdays.

Monday 19th November

The drive down was very reasonable and we arrived with lots of other vans and caravans but it didn't take long to get checked in. We chose the first plot we came too, it's not worth messing about. Got set up and had the sandwitches Dot had got in the garage on the way here.

Then it was a walk to the train station to pick up our train tickets for our trip out to Leeds tomorrow. When we got the tickets I had ordered from the machine, we discovered I had got early tickets, 09:16, so we would have to be up early in the morning.

From the station, we popped over the road into The Maltings pub, where Dot had a Leffe and I tried a local beer. But it was still early, so next we went for a look around the shops.

After that we went for food and popped into Kennedys Bar, were it was buy one get one free (on most things). We ordered steak pie with chips and peas, only there was no crusts for the pies so we had a bowl of meat, a bowl chips and a bowl of peas. The whole thing was strange, we didn't get anything off the price and the beer was not that good either.

So we moved on to the House Of The Trembling Madness, went upstairs and got a seat in the very small room. Dot had a Wheat Beer and I tried the 6.0% Wander Beyond Brewing, Great Rift Milk Stout and it was nice.

Lights York

Next we moved on to the tent bar in the middle of Parliament Street at the end of the Christmas Market. Thor's Bar as it was called was nice inside and warm but the choice of beer was very poor.

Thor's Bar York

Then it was back to the van, we had to be up early in the morning, my mistake.

Tuesday 20th November

Got up early, went to the shower and got ready to go, actually got the the train station with about half an hour to spare. Sat waiting for the train we had a chocolate biscuit each, we would have breakfast properly once we got to Leeds.

Training Train

When we got there it was raining but we wandered around the shops popping in and out of the different arcades to keep dry. Eventually we made for The Cuthbert Brodrick, one of the spoons pubs, in time to get a breakfast in there. However we only had orange juice with it though, the beers could wait until later. So we carried on with our shopping but both of us became tire and packed in.

Tree in Leeds Leeds

We went to an old pub Whitelock's Ale House, down a very narrow back street, were we got an Ilkley, Gregory Porter, for me and a small wheat beer for Dot. In fact we had two beers in there, the one I had was a Kelham Island, Easy Rider, Dot again had the wheat beer.

From there we popped into a Samuel Smiths pub, The General Elliot, this was a mistake, what a grotty little pub. We did however have a very good beer but the place was horrible. So we moved on and found an empty pub, Mook, there was nothing special about the place or beers but it was far better that the last place.

Then it was back to the train station and the Wetherspoons in there, Dot said it was too late to get a pint but a half would do. I got a pint of Butcombe, Chris Moose but had to drink it fast, very fast.

We got the the platform just as the train pulled up and got on just at the right place for our seats, which were booked. The other thing was it was an express train and went straight to York. The train tickets cost £3.00 each to Leeds and £4.50 each coming back to York.

We had not had our tea/supper in Leeds, so we popped into the chippy just outside the site for fish and chips to take back to the van.

Wednesday 21st November

I had a sleep in to make up for getting up early yesterday. We had a quiet time in the van and just had soup for dinner, it was raining outside anyway. So it was late afternoon by the time we ventured out into town.

The Eight

As we went out late we didn't do much shopping and ended up popping into Kennedys Bar again, I know the food was not right last time but it was nice. But the burgers were half price today and that is what we wanted, so we went back. With my burger I had Titanic, Plum Porter, to drink, I am drinking more Porter/Stout as most new beers are just hoppy lagers.

Next we moved on to PivnĂ­ York, were Dot had another Wheat Beer and I had Atom, Dark Matter, yet another dark beer. The toilets in there are two floors up though, not good at all.

We then moved on to The Kings Arms, had not been for a while, it was full when we got there. That soon changed though when the ghost walk started and there was loads of room then. We moved over close to the fire and had another beer.

We also had another beer each when we got back to the van, a Grimbergen Blond that we had brought with us, gorgeous.

Thursday 22nd November

Today was a day we needed to do shopping, so we did, we got quite a lot but by five, I was worn out. So we went to a pub, for a sit down if nothing else. We walked down the market stalls again, thought about the tent but settled on The Pavement Vaults.

Christmas Market York Christmas Market

In The Pavement Vaults, Dot had a wheat beer again that's one reason we went in there, and I had a Vocation, Life & Death, not too bad.

We then moved on to have some tea, we were going to get a pizza but did not find the pub we wanted but found another christmas market, so we had a walk around there. After that we just made for Spoons, we were nearly there anyway. Got three drinks in there, the cider was two bottles for £5.00 and I got another stout, The Tapped Brew, Dry English Stout, another not bad one.

Dot in Spoons in York

When we got sat down, we discussed ordering our food using the phone and started to set it up to work but found we had already done it. So we ordered using the phone, Dot ordered the leg of lamb and me the beef curry with onion bhajis and we also got a white wine and another beer. The drinks arrived almost immediately and the food was not much longer. I even ordered another drink later while Dot had her wine. This all worked much quicker than having to walk over to the bar, que up, order, pay, and wait for drinks, then walk back to your seat.

Friday 23rd November

We were going to go the the designer outlet for more shopping but my heart had not been right during the night. So we just got ready and drove home, again the roads were not that busy.

Sunday, 4 November 2018

Trip to Wales (part two), September 2018

28th August to the 8th September

Today we are off to Wales for the second part of this trip away, to meet up with the others, Nicole, Tim, Georgia and Emily, in Tenby. They had an apartment there and we were on the Haven Holiday Park campsite, ferly close to them.

Saturday 1st September

The drive from Bath again wasn't too bad, A48, M4 West, across the new Seven bridge, A48 (again), A40, A477 then A478 to Tenby.

Crossing to Wales

Through Tenby we found the Haven site, got booked in, parked up and got set up even got an aerial connection for the TV.

Train at Tenby

Kiln Park Holiday Centre
Tenby Wales

The Holiday Park is just behind the train, anyway after we booked in and set up, we got a BBQ ready for the others, who weren't allowed into the apartment until latter. Only they were allowed in early but still walked around to see us and have food.

After that we walked round to Nicole's place, we had bags that we had brought for them and it was quite a long way but not too far.

Their place on the beach was really fantastic, I will put photos on later.

Great View From The Apartment

Tim was very tired, he had been on nights and come straight there, so that night we had a very quiet time.

Sunday 2nd September

After lunch we walk over to Nicole's place following the railway and then setoff up the hill into town. At the top we walked along the front to a gate in the old walls to get into the old town.

The path into town Tenby Walls

We had a good walk around the bay and then headed up into the shops for a while. I found the local brewery on our walk and headed back that way to see what they had. The brewery was down an alley between shops and the beer was for sale up metal stairs Me, Dot and Emily wandered up while the others with Syd (the Dog) headed off shopping.

Harbwr Emily and Dot

After the beer, a Tenby Harbour, RFA Sir Galahad not bad, Emily phone the others and we met up again, before wandering back down to their apartment.

Monday 3rd September

Today we walked to Nicole's place a different way, we left from the side of the site and crossed the railway further in town. I think it was longer but we did pass another brewery and I had a look around and bought a couple of bottles from them. I also said that I would call back for more another day before we went home. Well I didn't, the two bottles I got were foul when I had them, hope they improve as I like this sort of endeavor.

Tenby Brewing Co Tenby Train Station

Today there was an ice cream van on the beach, if it was there yesterday I didn't see it. We walked back up into town again today and had a good wander around.

Inside the Gate The way in

From up on top of the town I took some long photos looking down towards the lifeboat station.

Long View The Pier and Lifeboat Stations

We then walked down to the bay and around the hillock towards the lifeboat station, well the younger ones did, Me and Dot stayed up high but followed them.

Lifting Bridge The Family down below

From there we visited the lifeboat station, not been close to a modern lifeboat and it was very impressive. Next to the lifeboat station was the old one now a house I believe. After that we continued round the coast and back into the town.

The Old Lifeboat Station Tenby Lifeboat Station

Popped into the Buccaneer (the pub connected to the small brewery we found) for a Tenby Harbour, North Star, another good beer, still more to go though.

Back at nicole's I had the beers I bought this morning, luckily I had bought more in town and that would take the taste away, although I did drink them.

Tuesday 4th September

Nicole phoned this morning to say that were out for a walk along the beach passed us and as Dot was going for a shower I wandered over to see them. From the bridge over the railway I walked across the golf course to the beach. They had gone passed were I got onto the beach but I walked after them and met them on the way back.

Syd enjoying himself Beach Walk

When they went back to their apartment, I walked back to our van to meet up with Dot, but stopped on the bridge to take photos of the train.

Train 150252

After lunch we headed to their apartment but we went via the beach, the way I went earlier.

Way through to the beach Apartment

We just spent the rest of the day sat in the sun outside Nicole's place.

Time for Wine Syd, on holiday

Wednesday 5th September

As yesterday Nicole and Tim were going for a walk with Syd, only they phoned us first and we met up with them at the railway bridge. Then we followed the railway away from their apartment, until the path took us inland and into Penally. It was still early, before ten so the girls weren't with us, probably still in bed.

St. Nicholas & St. Teilo Church Penally, Station

In Penally at the station we headed back towards the coast, passed the rifle range and uphill to the sea. There were some fantastic views from up there to the left, to the right and out to sea.

Caldey Island

Long View Of Tenby Penally Cliffs

From there we made our way down onto the beach, which wasn't easy but we found our way down eventually. The long walk back to the apartment was very nice though, throwing the frisbee for Syd and plodging in the sea along the way.

Dot Plodging The long beach in Tenby

Back at the apartment I said that I would buy lunch for everyone, so when they were all ready we set off up the hill into town.

Walking up into town The Family & Syd

After a bit of a walk around, we settled out the back of the Buccaneer again and ordered beers and food. In fact I had a couple of Tenby Brewery beers, a Sea Horse and a MV Enterprise both ferly good beers. There was only Syd that didn't get anything but at least he was allowed in.


After our lunch and beers we went for another walk down to castle beach near St Catherine's Island and Fort.

The Beach St Catherine's Island & Fort

Back at the apartment the girls, Tim and Syd, went out to have fun on the beach and in the sea with their boogie boards. Me and Dot just stayed at the apartment and had drinks.

Thursday 6th September

Nicole and the others went out for the day, so we just got ready to leave tomorrow, we also watched TV for a while. But later when they got back they game round to pick us up, only Me, Tim and Syd walked down to their place. There we just had a quiet night in and watched TV and the nice sunset.

The Night Sky

Friday 7th September

Today we were off, so we finished packing, phoned the others to say we were going and left. By the way, we could only stay for six night according to the site, as we left it was nearly empty.

Instead of heading straight home we were stopping at Warwick Racecourse Caravan Club Site about half way home for the night.

We got booked in there and wandered into town about two fifteen and went straight to the shops, had a good look around but needed food. So we went into the Tilted Wig (we could have chosen the Spoons a few doors away but last time we were there it wasn't very good or at least the staff weren't), to ask if they had food on. They did so we sat down and had, Chicken, Sun Dried Tomato and Mozzarella along with chips, onion rings and slaw, very nice.

We had a couple of beers in there before we left, then Dot wandered back to a shop to get a dress she had seen, only the shop had closed. So we walked back towards the site and called into The Old Post Office for another beer.

The Old Post Office

We only had the one in there though, then wandered the rest of the way back to the van.

Saturday 8th September

Dot still wanted the dress she had seen yesterday, so before we left, we walked back up into town and got it. Then it was back to the site and away.

Surprisingly the drive home was pretty uneventful.