Friday, 25 March 2011

Insured for another year

Went with the quote I got from the broker, even with a 1% surcharge for using a CC for payment, it was still the best.

Ran the van motor for a while today, as we are not taking it out on the road for another month.

Monday, 21 March 2011

Van Insurance

Today I am cleaning the van out after our week away. As our next trip away is without the van, several things need to be found in the van and transferred to suitcases.

Just got a call from the van insurance company, to let me know that it is that time of year again.  £235 including UK recovery (not using it overseas this year), sounds good to me.

Saturday, 19 March 2011

River Walk

Durham Day four.

As usual here, we were up early and as it was nice and sunny, we went for a walk along the river before lunch.

We set off towards the city but crossed over the river at the baths bridge and headed back in the direction of the rowing club but on the other side of the river and continued all the way to the village of Shincliffe. At Shincliffe we crossed back over the river and walked back to the Van passed maiden castle, in time for lunch.

I will do a proper detailed description of the walk at a later date.

Later in the afternoon we walked back to the city but as my feet were very painful, we didn't walk for long and eventually settled down in the Swan and Three Cygnets for a couple of beers and a rest.

Durham to Sunderland Line

Thursday, 17 March 2011

England v Scotland

Durham Day Three

Woken early again by the rowers, so got up and took some photos. If you need the toilets or showers, you need to find someone with a key for the clubhouse, luckily I never had a problem finding someone though.

After Mick and Bren left for home we had our lunch and set off into the city to find somewhere to watch the England v Scotland game.

We bought a TV aerial in the £ shop (with little hope that it would actually work) and then popped into the Market Tavern just as the game was kicking off. Good selection of beers and I though it was cheap but he barman hadn't poured a drink for Dot. It was expensive (by my standards anyway), so we had the one and moved on to the Half Moon at half time, for a couple of beers there. England won, the Scots played very well and if they could be up for it like that in every game and not just against the English, they would be much better team (in my humble opinion). After another couple of beers and a laugh in the Swan and Three Cygnets we arrived back at the site for tea and the TV aerial worked.

Durham Amateur Rowing Club

Wednesday, 16 March 2011

Cathedral and Beer

Durham Day Two

Up with the birds (six am), not as idyllic as it sounds though, these noise birds belonged to the rowing teams arriving and preparing boats for practice (there were also mens teams).

Before lunch we made a visit to the castle and cathedral. Durham cathedral is one of those that do not allow photos to be taken inside, I have been in some of the biggest cathedrals in the world and they are not bothered about it, we had a quick look and wandered of, it is very beautiful though, if a bit rugged. From the river it is a very impressive sight and that is where we went next.


Wetherspoons, Water House for lunch and a couple of new beers, then we had to find somewhere to watch the rugby. The girls went shopping and Mick and I found a rather nasty pub to watch Italy v France, so at half time we moved to the Half Moon. Later we had food in Mick and Brens van and watched a video, the club bar was closed for a private do, it went on late and was very noisy.


Durham March 11th to 15th

Durham, was a longer drive than I expected, nearly two hours, AutoRoute reckoned on about an hour and a quarter but the A1 had lots of roadworks.

City Boathouse, Caravan Club Certificated Location.
We were on the Caravan Club CL at the Durham Amateur Rowing Club on the banks of the river wear, 10 min walk from the centre of Durham. Electrics are available as are toilets and showers when the club is open (most of the day).

City Boathouse, Caravan Club Certificated Location.

Durham Amateur Rowing Club CL,
City Boathouse, Green Lane, Old Elver, Durham DH1 3JU

Day One

We set up on the on the car park as grass was very wet and messed up after the snow during the hard winter we had. New hard standing are to be laid soon but the price will rise to £12.50/night then. Tried the satellite but big trees blocked the signal, so gave up.

Had lunch and set off along the river into the city centre, after a short time in the shops, we got a call off Mick and Bren to say that had arrived and were heading in to see us in the pub. We arranged to meet in the Swan and three Cygnets, a good idea for two reasons, it was raining by now and it was a Sam Smiths pub. After one, we moved on the the Half Moon for more hand pulled beers and then on to the campsite bar for more hand pulled beer.

Tuesday, 15 March 2011

Dot's Birthday

Back home and on line again after four days in Durham with no internet connection.

Our last day in York was Dot's Birthday and after walking around looking at all of the many eating places in York center and having a few beers in the Kings. We ended up at curry night in Weatherspoons Postern Gate, that way we were as least guaranteed good beer. After food, we met up with the others for a few more birthday drinks. First in the Slip Inn, we had passed it many times but never been in before and then the Swan.

Birthday Cheesecake

Wednesday, 9 March 2011

In York

Second day in York and the sun is out, rain forecast but for now it is warm. Off out for a walk soon and maybe a beer later.

Tuesday, 8 March 2011


Off to York soon, if I can get online I will blog from there, if not, back on here in about a week.

York Minster Cathedral.

Monday, 7 March 2011


Getting the van read for our first trip away this year (we have been using the van but not stopped in it overnight yet), we are going on our usual short visit to York for Dot's Birthday, followed by a few nights in Durham.

Unlike every year since 2002, this year we will not be taking the van onto mainland Europe. Fuel cost have made it far too expensive for me to justify using the van for trips down into France. I have been able to book a trip to France using the car at a fraction of the cost of using the van.

We still plan to use the van as much as we can but even then campsite costs are getting to be very expensive. So we may be using more Caravan Club Certified Locations (CLs) and exploring other ways of camping on the cheap. I do not like "wild camping", I like some security and also like a drink before bed and therefore do not want to be in the situation of being moved on in the middle of the night.

I have joined The "Brit Stops" scheme, based on the very successful "France Passion" scheme, a variety of hosts (vineyards, farms, farm shops, breweries, pubs, etc.) offer an invitation to members of Brit Stops to stay overnight in a safe environment and for a maximum period of 24 hours, free of charge! We will have to see how that works out. Brit Stops

Sunday, 6 March 2011

Low Budget Motorhoming

I am not sure if I am going to replace my web site with this blog, or have it running alongside the web site.