Wednesday, 7 December 2011

York update

You know how I said we were done with York for at least eight months, well we now have two more weekends booked there before the closure. I just looked to see if there was an indication of when it would reopen and noticed there was room this month. Too good an opportunity to miss.

Friday, 2 December 2011

Another Three Days in York

As I said in the last post, it will be a long time until we are back in York (Rowntree Park Campsite closing for eight months), so we had to make the best of our time there.

We were late arriving at the site, gale force winds delayed our start and even then the drive there was a bit scary at times. We had wanted to arrive early to get to the last day of the Christmas market but the wind scuppered that idea. We made up some time, by eating lunch on the move, then as soon as we arrived, we just parked up, set up the sat (to record the F1) and walked into town.

I was very busy with Christmas shoppers (recession???), we decided the shops could wait until tomorrow and we would just do the market today. Dot got some very nice Silver and Amber ear rings from one of the stalls but that was about it. Had a couple of beers in the Kings, before heading back to watch the F1 with our Sunday dinner for supper, if you know what I mean.

Next day we wanted to pop into Sainsbury's (long story), so we walked anticlockwise around the outside of the city walls to get there. As we passed by the river Foss I noticed a new bridge, so I had to stop to get a photo.

New Footbridge over the Foss

We got sandwiches in Sainsbury's, which we ate by the Minster, before heading into the shops and it was still very busy. I was glad to get to the Kings for a rest and a few beers at the end of the shopping. Back at the van, we had bought lasagne, garlic bread and coleslaw, then an early night (think I am coming down with something).

Even after the early night was still had a sleep in and I was still tired and feeling a bit under the weather. A walk in Rowntree park in the cold but bight sun livened me up a bit. Back at the van we had bought cottage pie and peas before heading to the shops for one last time this visit. Yet again it was very busy, I sat outside the first shop and let Dot wander round on her own. This was a good plan, to let me rest while Dot shopped but it didn't last long. After the first shop, it started to rain and there was nowhere dry for me to sit, therefore ruining that plan.

Tree York

Made our usual stop at the Kings on the way back to the van but instead of it being the usual friendly place, it was like a freak show in there. This happens about once every ten visits and the landlord usually moves on the offenders. He did but latter they came back so we left early. Cheese and biscuits for supper and watched a film, before an early night.

With the teachers on strike, we had to head straight home in the morning, to help look after the girls. We went out for a fish & chip lunch and had nice a walk in Preston park.


The van will be laid up now until March, when our next trip will be to Melrose as York will be closed for our usual birthday treat there.

Tuesday, 29 November 2011

Last visit to York for a long time

We are back in York, for our last visit for a long time, the site will be closed for eight months for updating (or something like that). Pure madness to close the best site in the country for so long. I have heard all the arguments as to why it has to close completely and for so long but can not help but think, it could have been done a lot better.

I will complete the blog when I get home.

Sunday, 13 November 2011

Bonfire Night at Stockton

As in previous years, we booked the motorhome in to the Caravan Club site at Stockton for bonfire night, that way we didn't have to bother with all the traffic, before and after the event. We arrived early and had a walk along the river into Stockton centre, where we bought lipstick (well Dot did). While trying to find the Boro match on my phone radio, I realised that it was the late game and on TV and on Sky Sports 2. I always take the satellite dish away with us, but as we were only away for one night I didn't bother, how stupid can you get. However you can now get Sky TV on your phone or laptop, so I had to pay for extra internet access at the campsite, to get it on the laptop.

Stockton, Infinity Bridge (2009)

Jonathan, Lorraine and the boys arrived at half time and we had sausages, beans and baked potatoes, while we watched the second half, before setting off to see the display. Much warmer than past years and I saw much more than I usually do, as I didn't try to take photos for a change. A very good display, a big thank you to our local authority for still supporting things like this.

Then it was back to the van to finish the beers we had started with our supper, the first was an old favourite, Grolsch, Premium Weizen but bought for £0.69/bottle. I got it on offer from B&M Bargains, when asked how many I bought, I said all of them, Jonathan had done the same in his local B&M. I had eleven bottles, Jonathan had nine bottles, I won,

Next morning, after breakfast, we moved the van to a car park by the river and went for a walk. Even though the white water park is now open again after major upgrades and was being used by many canonists, there are still fences stopping the pubic from getting anywhere near. Hence no photos.

Teasel on the River Tees

The weather was amazing for November and after a walk along the river one way, we retuned to the van for lunch, before walking the other way. It as nice to see so many rowers out on the river, we also watched a couple of seals near the barrage catching and eating fish, big fish.

Infinity Bridge  Tees Bararge

Unfortunately, my feet started to hurt, so the walk was cut short and we headed for home. Only one day away and only a few miles from home but a very enjoyable trip.

Monday, 24 October 2011

York Again, three

Oct 11th

My back was improving all the time but was still very painful if I moved the wrong way and the main trouble was, I didn't know what was going to be the wrong way, until it hurt.

Again it was after lunch before we headed off into town, and with improvement in my back we had a longer walk. Dot looked in quite a few shops while I sat outside, this way I got to rest my back and we could go further. We walked right through the centre, out via Bootham Bar and along the outer walls of the old St Mary's Abbey site. We followed the walls round to the river, then through the Yorkshire Museum Gardens (the grounds of the old St Mary's Abbey), where we has a sit in the sun.

York  Red Box York

That didn't last long as it looked like it was going to rain, so we headed for cover in the pub, where we had a good drink with good company.

Next morning as were getting ready to leave and feeling better than I had for four days, I leaned forward and did whatever it was to my back again. The pain was incredible (I do not take pain well) and I only just managed to drive the van home. I have done next to nothing for the two weeks since then. Even typing has been hard, today though I am totally without pain in my back.

York Again, two

Oct 10th

My back was still hurting but not quite as bad, that is as long as I didn't try to move too fast or bend over and I was taking a lot of painkillers.

The weather was poor so we left it until well into the afternoon when the rain stopped, before we set off to walk into town. I managed about an hour walking but that was long enough for the day. I took some photos in the Shambles while Dot bought an ice cream, then it was back to the Kings for a sit down, I must have been feeling better, as we had more than one beer this time.

Chocolate Heaven

Every time we walk back to the van in the dark, I stand on Skeldergate bridge, look at the river and think, that looks like it would make a good photo. What a waste of time, I have never taken a good photo from there, I think it's a combination of a poor camera and drink, but I try.

York at night

I managed to get into the proper bed tonight and it was a lot better than the night before, although I still didn't get a good nights sleep.

York Again

Oct 9th

The afternoon before our trip to York, I did something painful to my back and could hardly move, On the day we were due to go, I phoned the site and said we might not be able to get there, the warden said if I was not going to come, that we should phone about 17:00, to let them now for sure.

Well I wanted to go, so with me full of pain killers we set off, the pain wasn't too bad on the drive down. As we arrived later than usual, all of the pitches on the main site had gone and we had to pitch in the overflow riverside section. We had never been in this section before and had never wanted to, it always looked so dark and dingy, anyway we thought we could always move in the morning.

I had always thought there was no satellite resection in the riverside but there was a guy setting one up as the parked, I asked if he had a signal and he did. I did have to move to another pitch as the one we chose originally, didn't have line of sight to the satellite. In the end it is quite nice and very quiet in there.

Dot did all of the work getting set up and I had to move very gingerly but managed to get the satellite and TV working. After a sandwich, we set off into town, it was very slow going and it tool quite a long time to get to the Kings Arms, that was as far as I was wiling to go. We got a beer in the Kings but I felt a bit sick and generally unwell (probably caused by the constant dull pain in my back), we left after just one to walk back to the van.

A note on the Kings Arms, it is probably one of the friendliest pubs in the world and even though we only visit York four or five time per year, as we entered the pub the landlord greeted us with "hello strangers long time no see". The Beer is also very good and very cheap.

On the walk back, I got my second wind and we popped into the Postern Gate, a Wetherspoons pub. I did know that a beer festival was on there and had been looking forward to a few new beers in there during our stay. Well I was very disappointed with the selection, during the festival you can get three 1/3 samples for the price of one pint but they didn't have three beers worth sampling. They had two stouts, two ciders, two Scottish beers and two beers they always have on. Anyway I got it wrong and ordered a cider (Dot drank most of it), then got a Belhaven, St Andrews Ale, before leaving unhappy and didn't return for the rest of the trip.

Back at the van, even though we had the evening meal prepared, neither of us felt like eating a big meal, so we had cheese and biscuits instead and saved it for tomorrow.

There was no way I could get up into the over-cab bed, so I slept down on the single bed, I say slept but the pain kept me awake for most of the night.

Friday, 30 September 2011

Road Tax

Well paid for the vans road tax today, there's a couple of hundred quid I won't see again.

Pateley Bridge, day four

August 17, 2011

We would ususaly find somewhere to visit on the way home and we had several places in mind this time. But the sun was shining and the girls had a friend they wanted to play with. So I popped into reception to see if we could stay on site until the afternoon, we could but for a fee of £4.00. I paid and we had a nice relaxing day, until it was time to get the girls back home.

PICT0016  Emily and Snowy

Pateley Bridge, day three

August 16, 2011

I knew it was was to good to be true, good weather in August, well it rained all night and most of the morning but that didn't stop the girls going out to play. It cleared up on the afternoon and we headed into town, we got a mix of sausage rolls, pasties and pizza slices, from a nice little shop, for lunch. The plan was to go out for tea to one of the pubs, so I checked them out while the girls played on the park.


You may have noticed the title of this blog is "Low Budget Motorhoming", well £10 each for pub grub is not "Low Budget", do you know how much takeaway food you can get for that. I had promised Georgia and Emily a pub meal, so we would just have to pay.


When we could get the girls off the play park, we convinced them to go for a short walk, they were not keen as they had walked a long way the day previous. We went along the route of the old Nidd Valley Light Railway again but out of the town in the opposite direction. We didn't go very far (Emily refused to go any further and it was getting muddy anyway).

Walking  Nidd Valley Light Railway

It was teatime when we got back into town and the girls agreed they would rather have fish and chips than go to the pub, especially if it meant they had more time at the play park. So that is what we did, we ate fish and chips out of the paper wrapping in the park and it all coat less than one meal in the pub. Then Dot and I sat in the sun, while the girls played until it got cold, when we went back to the van to watch a film.

Pateley Bridge, day two

August 15, 2011

After breakfast, all the girls went to the play park, while I made the picnic ready for our walk, I also sat in the sun reading a book, I have not done much of that this year. It was starting to get towards lunch time, so I went looking for the girls but they were just on their way back.

We left the campsite by the side gate to the side of the river nidd turned left and then crossed over onto the opposite bank (Dot and I had done this walk to Wath before so knew the best way). The path is along the route of the old Nidd Valley Light Railway and basically follows the river Nidd to Wath (where there is a pub, the Sportsmans Arms).


With it being so late, the girls wanted their picnic as soon as we set off but we made them wait, until we had done at least part of the walk. We had a camera each and had a competition to see who could take a photo of the most unusual thing long the way. We didn't get many photos but it kept their minds off food for a bit.

When it was time for food we couldn't find anywhere to sit, the ground was wet and there are no seats along the path. Eventually, about forty-five minutes into the walk, we found a tumbled down wall to sit on and had the picnic there.


We where just outside Wath and I wanted a beer in the Sportsmans Arms, so I hurried everyone along, as I had the feeling it would close soon for the afternoon (I also had a feeling it might not be open at all). We got there just in time and had our drinks outside in the hot sun.

  Refreshments  Rest Time 
The girls had had enough walking but we convinced them to go a bit further to Gouthwaite reservoir, we had not got that far last time we did the walk. It was only a short walk and there is a lovely old dam there but you can not get a good photo of it. Also the walk across the top of Gouthwaite Dam is gated and locked off, bit of a shame really, as it would have been good to walk over.

Gouthwaite Dam  Gouthwaite Dam

The girls really were tired of walking by now, so we headed back, we walked the same way we came and promised them they could play in the river when we found a suitable place. Its nice to have a splash about on a hot day.  We arrived back at the campsite, not too wet and even though the girls were supposed to be warn out, they still had enough energy to go and play in the park.

River Nidd

As for the photo comp, I think I won, with a fungus and dragonfly.

Fungus  Dragonfly

BBQ supper, you have to make the most of it when the sun is out.

Thursday, 29 September 2011

Pateley Bridge, day one

August 14, 2011

Looked all over to book a site during the kids summer holidays, they were either fully booked or very over priced. I eventually found somewhere reasonable and it was somewhere I liked Pateley Bridge. We booked three nights with the twins.


Riverside Caravan Park
Low Wath Road, Pateley Bridge, Yorkshire, HG3 5HL
Web Site

The site is on the bank of the river Nidd, a short walk from Pateley Bridge centre (about 500 yards), facilities are average but have been improved from our last visit in 2007. Pubs, banks and shops in the village and also two Indian takeaways and two chip shops. Good place for a relaxing holiday or for walking and exploring if you feel like it. One word of warning, this site does not take credit cards or debit cards, only cash or cheques.

Booked in on a hard standing pitch, I had worried about the ground being too soft, as we had had a lot of rain during the month. Settled in and had lunch before a walk into town, the girls went to play in the park while I did stuff like setting up the Sky TV.

  Pateley Bridge  Georgia  

The sun was shining and it was warm (unusually), I tried to get some photos of the bridge in Pateley Bridge but there are too many trees to get a good shot. After a quick look round and an ice cream, it was back to the park for the girls to play. I watched some crown green bowling as the girls played in the park and it is very different from lawn bowles but interesting to watch for a while.


On the way back to the van we had a short walk along the river and planned a longer walk for the next day, with a picnic lunch.


Tuesday, 27 September 2011

Have to catch up soon

If you have read any of my other blogs you will know, I have been on holiday with poor internet access and also been unwell for a couple of weeks. So I am behind with my blogging but I am trying to catch up and hope to be back up to date soon.

We are not due to be away in the van for a couple of weeks and then, we are only making one of our four or five per year trips to York.

Saturday, 16 July 2011

Hawes, Day five

The previous day, the bus had gone though the village of Gayle and there was a Mill, Bridge, Ford and Waterfall, there. Gayle was only half a mile out of Hawes and there was a footpath to it behind the church. I was feeling slightly better and it wasn't raining, so a walk to Gayle was a plan.

Well as soon as we started walking, it started raining again but it wasn't heavy. We had a look into the the Dales Countryside Museum and took a couple of photos of the train and bridge but it had stopped raining so we continued with our walk and gave the rope works a miss for today.

British Railways Class G5 0-4-4T, 67345

There is an alleyway just passed the church where the one way system ends, that leads to where the footpath starts. The path is paved all the way to the main road just as it enters Gayle, two chinook helicopters flew over as we walked, something you do not see very often.


Besides the aforementioned Mill, Bridge, Ford and Waterfall, there is very little else there and the mill only opens twice a week for visits.

FordGayle Bridge

It is quite a nice walk though and there are some very good sights and views from the village.

DalesGayle BeckGayle Mill

We walked back to Hawes via the road and even popped into the creamery again, mainly to get cover from a short shower and use the toilets. Dot also got a nice ice cream.

Feelin better there was only one thing to do next, especially on our last day, pub. We went back to the Crown and sat out in the sun but that didn't last long and we only just got inside before there was a rain storm. The pub soon filled with very wet holidaymakers.

After a second beer we moved to the Fountain and unbelievably, ended up outside in the sun again. We moved there as the Southern Comfort was on offer and Dot fancied one, or two. As we were ready to leave, we got talking to another couple and ended up having a couple more drinks than we intended.

Friday, 15 July 2011

Hawes, Day four

If we had not paid for this bus tip I would not have gone but as we had paid, I made the effort and full of tablets, I hoped I would not need the toilet. It was raining as we made our way into town for the bus but we had waterproofs and big umbrellas. The bus was on time, a fourteen seatter, with Dot and I and ten old lades, off to the market. What an horrendous bus ride with a bad tummy, we went down bumpy narrow roads that I would have never considered in the van and it took an hour.

We had quick look around the market and the charity shops, I needed a cowboy hat and boots for a fancy dress party, got a hat off the market and boots from a charity shop, result.

Then we walked down to the Leeds to Liverpool canal to have our picnic, luckily the weather was fine for now.


After lunch we walked along the towpath of, Springs Branch off the Leeds and Liverpool Canal, to a spot below Skipton castle, with the canal on one side and the river on the other side. Then the havens opened, thankfully we had the big umbrellas and we made our way back to the shops for shelter.

TowpathSkipton Castle

Although by the time we got back to the shops, the sun was shining again. After another better look in the shops it was soon time for the bus back and again the journey was terrible on the tummy.

Off the bus it was straight in the pub for a beer, then sat drinking it in the now nice sun, I discovered I had left my new cowboy hat on the bus. Luckily the bus was due back through the town later. When it did I got up to flag it down but it pulled over anyway, so I ran over and retrieved my hat.

After another beer, it was obvious that I was still not well, so we headed back to the van for an early night.

Thursday, 14 July 2011

Hawes, Day three

We slept in today, so we had a big breakfast as it was getting on for lunch time before we were sorted. My feet were not too bad, so we went into town for the market and hopefully, fish and chips later.

We spotted a flyer for the Little White Bus and a trip to Skipton, it was going the following morning. Tickets were available from the community office, which turned out to be the library and as the weather forecast was not good for tomorrow, we bought a couple.

After walking round the market for a while, we got chip buttys and wandered up to the Wensleydale creamery, where we bought some cheese and beer. Then it started to rain, so we headed to he pubs for shelter and my feet were really hurting again by then anyway.

There are three pubs in a row, The Old Board, The Crown Hotel and The Fountain, we chose the Fountain as we prefer it for sitting inside. While we we were drinking, Dot read the drinks offers and found the Bacardi was on offer, so for the next round Dot had a short. We also moved outside as the sun was back out, a family started to tell us a story about their dog, it went on and on, well I almost lost the will to live, thankful their lift arrived just in time.


We ended up in the middle of the three pubs the Fountain (the one that nobody was serving in two days ago) and wouldn't you know it, it was cheaper by far than the other two. The selection of beers was almost the same in all three anyway. The rain even allowed us to have a seat outside for a while but when it cooled down we moved back inside


I was poorly during the night with stomach cramps and that along with the noise from the heavy rain, I didn't manage to get much sleep at all.

Hawes, Day two

It was sunny again so as Dot sat in the sun, I messed with the 12v system all morning but I think it has had it. I did get even more sunburnt while I was fiddling with it though.

When the sun went in, Dot made a picnic and we set off for a walk. We set off across the fields (it was a public footpath) to Hardraw Force a waterfall, reputedly the highest single drop in England. We got off to good start with a shortcut that got us on the wrong side of the river, so we had to retrace our steps. Back on the proper path, it was a relatively short, easy walk to Hardraw and the Green Dragon pub. More on the walk route to come later.


I mention the pub, as you have to pass through it an pay in there for admission to the waterfall. It had got very hot on the walk, so we cooled down with a beer, before continuing out of the back of the pub to the waterfall.

Green Dragon

We arrived a a busy time (nothing like it would be on a weekend though), so we had our picnic in a picnic area, while it quietened down. It is a short walk to the waterfall and even though there are signs along the way, saying do not walk behind the falls, there was a man behind the falls as we arrived. Just after he left, there was a rock fall where he had been standing, he will not even know how lucky or stupid he was, as he had gone before it happened.


Then it was back to the pub for another beer, before walking back the same way we came but with a slight detour to photo some bridges. My feet were very painful by the time we got back, so we didn't go into town on the night, we just watched a film in he van instead.