Monday, 23 July 2012

Washing the van

Now that the bunk beds are made (see here), all I have to do is tidy up and put everything away.

Then I have to get ready for a trip away next week, so at the moment I am washing and polishing the van and I am warn out. I have only stopped for a cup of tea.

Sunday, 22 July 2012

Past trips, UK 2010??

Looking back while doing my past trips blogs, I have discovered that I do not seem to have anything written down for the 2010 trips in the UK. I have a few notes, a lot of photos and a couple of walk blogs, so will have to see what I can cobbler together. It will probably be a shorter version than usual. It will probably be a couple of weeks before I get around to it and we have a trip away in a few day, so there will be that to do as well. We will just have to see what I come up with.

Past trips, UK 2009 Leyburn

Leyburn August 16th to 19th

Last time we where in Middleham we could see a campsite on the side of a hill, facing Middleham, it was just outside Leyburn, so we looked it up and booked it up and so did Mick and Bren.

Craken House Camping Site 
Middleham Road, Leyburn, North Yorkshire, DL8 5HF

Day one, August 16th

Arrived and booked in, the owner is a very laidback lady and very friendly. Got set up and waited for Mick and Bren and also Nicole and Tim to arrive with the twins.

As soon as every one arrived and got ready we set off into Middleham for a Sunday dinner, we took two cars and got the last two parking places in the square.  I was going to look around but we just went into the nearest pub to where we parked. It was a very friendly pub and they got us seated in a side room but informed us that they were out of roast potatoes.  I fact we were very lucky as the next group that came in looking for food were turned away and it was only two.  Everyone was happy with their meal and they even found a few roasties for us, I say everyone but I am not that keen on the Sunday dinner out, I would rather do my own (I do not like lots of veg, so I do not get much choice).


After dinner we all went to have a look at the castle and the twins led the way, as we had been the month before.  Then it was back to the campsite for a cupper before Nicole and Tim set off for home leaving the twins with us.  The girls discovered that the field at the end on the campsite contained horses, so they would not come away from the gate. That night we watched DVDs and drank beer, the grown ups drank beer, not the twins.

Day two, August 17th

The girls were up early and off down to see the horses, they didn't even bother to get dressed first, they just went down in their pyjamas.

When we eventually got the ready, we made the obligatory picnic and all set off for Aysgarth falls, on the river Ure, in Mick's car.  We parked at the bottom of the hill in the national trust car park, which was very busy, as workmen were using part of it for storage.  Anyway we got a space and made our way to the falls, we all had cameras, Me, Mick, Georgia and Emily, to see who could get the best shot.


We decided that we would have food before we did anything else and luckily there was a picnic table free.

Picnic Aysgarth Falls

To win the photo comp, Mick, besides having the best camera, decided he would climb down to river level below the falls for a better angle. The rest of us were all ready to get a shot of him falling in but he didn't.

Mick, Aysgarth Falls Aysgarth falls
There was a good flow over the falls and they looked very impressive, in fact they usually do and we come here quite often.

Aysgarth falls

We walked along he river for a while, threw stones in it, skimmed stones over it and plodged in it and no one got overly wet. 

Mick Georgia

Then made our way back to the falls through the long grass and wild flowers and again took many photos. 

Wild Folwer Walk

On the way back to the car park we stopped to take photos of the bridge and crossed over to visit the shop in the old mill. The bridge is from 1539 but I think it may have been rebuilt at some time, as one side looks a lot older than the other side.


Yore Mill is a four-storey Grade II listed building, originally built in 1784 but it burned down in 1852, was rebuilt in 1853, and then extended in 1870. We got ice creams and it started to rain.

The Mill and Bridge at Aysgarth Falls

It stopped raining when we got back to the site so we had a BBQ for tea and Mick spent quite a long time on the roof of my van trying to get the internet on his phone.

One mans quest for internet access Beer and BBQ

Day three, August 18th

Spent the morning on the campsite and then after lunch, made the half mile or so walk into Leyburn, the first part of the walk up the lane to the main road is very steep. The main road is very busy so we had to be careful with the twins on the scooters.

Our first stop on the way into town, was Leyburn train station, sadly now just a tourist line and luckily there was a steam train in the station. So we went in for a closer look, the engineers and rail staff were very helpful and let us take plenty of photos.


From the station we continued into Leyburn and took photos back down on the station from the road bridge, I can not count the times we have been over this bridge and never realised the railway and station was underneath.

80105 (1955)

In Leyburn we spent time in the shops, before heading along the Shawl, to a large children's playground with fantastic views across Ure valley.  We also spotted the steam train on its way back from Redmire.

 80105 (1955)

While we let the twins play, Mick and Bren wandered off to the pub for a warm.  The girls seamed to play for ages and it was pretty cool out there in the open, I was glad when it was time to go back into town.


We mat back up with Mick and Bren in town and walked back to the site.  Later Mick and Bren  made curry for tea, very nice and as usual we had a few beers with it and a few more after that.


Day four, August 19th

Our 37th wedding anniversary, booked to take the girls on a surprise visit to the Forbidden Corner on our way home but Mick and Bren where heading off home earlier.

The booking wasn't until two, so we stopped off on the way, just outside Wensley, to have a walk along the river Ure. We did all of the usual things, took photos of the bridge, threw stones in the river, got wet, you know he sort of stuff. Unusually for this summer the sun was out and it was very warm.


We followed signs for the Forbidden Corner but ended up on a road that said private property, looking at the map it was a very long way round. I asked a car driver coming down the private road and was informed that it would be ok to go that way.

We had our picnic lunch in the van at the Forbidden Corner and then had to queue to get in, even though you have to pre book, have an allotted time to enter and pay in advance you still have to stand in a queue to get in, what wonderful organisation.

Forbidden Corner

The girls were very exited but Georgia got scared just going through the entrance and when we got to he indoor parts she we so frightened we had to come out and just look around the outside parts.

Forbidden Corner Forbidden Corner

There is still plenty to do and see but we did miss quite a lot, Georgia was a lot happier though. We sat on a wall for a drink and some chocolate and watched a herd of deer in the field below us. That cheered Georgia up and we continued exploring, getting wet in the process.


However we missed out some of the places and as a result, we were not there as long as we expected.  We left via the road we came in on and the only other stop we made on the way home, was to take a photo of Richmond castle

Richmond Castle

Past Trips, UK 2009 Ripley

Ripley July 19th to 22nd

We had considered and even tried to to book this site over the last couple of years and eventually got booked in with the twins during the school holidays, Mick and Bren also booked in with their caravan.

The time I tried to book before, I filled in their online booking form with the dates I wanted and eventually got a reply via email, with a phone number to book up, phoned only to be told it was fully booked, why couldn't they have just said that in the email.  This time we all booked on the phone but it wasn't straightforward, the person on the phone didn't seem to know the site systems.

Ripley Caravan Park 
Ripley, Harrogate, North Yorkshire, HG3 3AU 

Day one, July 19th

We arrived not long after midday and being friendly towards the man in reception, I said that as my brother had set off before me, he should already be here, "no he shouldn't" was the reply "no one should be here before two" and from then on he was very snotty with us.  Still can not find any mention of this fact anywhere on the website and we had received no booking confirmation from them.

Another guy (who didn't speak very good English) took us to our pitch and made sure we where the right way round (all habitation doors farcing the same way), then warned us not to change it round the other way.

Mick arrived not long after and while he set up his van we got the dinner warmed up and had it between the vans. After dinner all the girls went to the pool while me and Mick got our satellites working, well I did and Mick went to his fall back position and got the free view on. We also has a few cans of beer.

BBQ for tea, and several more beers, then discovered if we moved the satellite dishes to the front of the vans it all worked.

The Girls with beer

Day two, July 20th

Got a picnic ready and all set of for Knaresborough in Mick's car, we parked by the river and walked along it to the railway viaduct, where we had our picnic and fed the ducks.


It was beautiful day so the girls got an ice cream each, not that the weather makes any difference to wanting ice cream. Then we followed the river along to the next bridge and from there the hard walk up hill to the town centre.


In town the girls spent money (all of them) and I popped into my favourite beer shop and bought several new beers for my collection (and drinking tonight).

We then made our way to the castle.  There is not much remaining of what must have been a magnificent building but it was dismantled in 1648 because of an order from Parliament.  It had been on the wrong side during the civil war, now many town centre buildings are built with stone from the castle.

Knaresborough Castle Knaresborough Castle

From there we headed down hill, back to the river via the level crossing at the railway station.

Knaresborough Station

We then headed back to Ripley with the intention of looking around the castle there, the car parking is on grass but most of it was still firm.  The twins spotted their favourite thing on the walk into the village, horses, so we had to walk over to let them have a closer look.

At the castle there was a charge to get in and as we had already had a long walk today, none of us could be bothered to pay for another walk, so we just looked around the gift shops and retired to the village pub, the Boars Head Hotel (for a sit down you understand). Mick and I got the beers, Black Sheep Best Bitter, while the girls went of the another shop for more ice cream.


No photos of the castle, as there is no good view of it without paying for entry to the castle or its grounds. On the way back to the car we had to stop for the horses again and they came over to let the girls stroke them. 

Horse, Ripley

That evening it was another BBQ with my new beers and the twins playing on the play ground, or with a ball on the field behind the vans.

Meantime, Pilsner, England

Day three, July 21st

Mick and Bren had to get back to work, so it was just us and the twins today, it was a bit cooler so most of the day was spent in the pool or in the play ground.

Pool 2009

July 22nd

Off home today but a drive through the dales was planed, although I liked the this site and location, I would have to think very hard before coming back, some of the staff are pretty miserable though luckily we didn't have much contact with them during the stay. Anyway enough of that, we fed the duck and the site pond then set off on our drive.

We headed for Leyburn but made our first stop at Middleham for fish and chips and a look at yet another castle (we did stop a Masham but the chip shop was closed, very odd when the was a market on).


After lunch with the sun shining, we set off to see the castle, quite a lot more of this one than the last one.


After our walk, I wanted a photo of the single track road bridge between Middleham and Leyburn, so off we went, just as we parked as close to the bridge as we could, the weather completely changed.  The heavens opened and torrential rain started to fall, I sat and waited for a while but eventually put my waterproof coat on and set off for the bridge, while the others sat in the dry.  Back in the dry van we continued into Leyburn but it was very busy and I couldn't get the van parked, so we just went home.


As we had given Leyburn a miss we called in to the Wynyard Woodland Park (Castle Eden Walkway) for a while but it was then Dot remembered she had a doctors appointment and we had to rush off, so ending this trip (good job we weren't in Leyburn).