March 8th to 11th
First of four trips to York this year.
Rowntree Park, Caravan Club Site
Terry Avenue, York, Yorkshire, YO23 1JQ
After a short visit home from our trip to Scotland, we set off again for Rowntree park in York, as you know by now one of our favourite places.
On a rainy day, we got settled in and met up with Nicole, Tim and the girls for lunch, we went to the Pizza Hut near the law courts, where the service was the worst we have ever had at Pizza Hut. But we were out of the rain.
After Nicole, Tim and the girls set off for home, we looked for somewhere to watch Middlesbrough get beat 2-1 by Everton (but we didn't know that at the time), A pub not far from Pizza Hut, the Stone Roses, had the football on and at the bar the prices looked very good but when I paid it was much more. To get the cheaper price, you had to buy some form of loyalty card form behind the bar, anyway I made the beer last until halftime and then we moved on. A couple of buildings down the road is the Lowther a much larger bar, although there were no seats where we could see a TV. But the girl behind the bar, directed us to the upstairs dining room where there was plenty of seating and a large TV and we had a couple of beers during the second half.
After the football we moved on and I had a couple of beers in the Kings (see previous visits to York).
The weather was much better today and in town, we went and looked for parts of the wall in the museum gardens, parts that we had not seen on our previous wall walks but had found out about, while researching the wall for our walk page. Once we found all we were looking for, I took some photos to add to the description.
Also I did not have a photo of Bootham Bar, so we entered the old city that way to do some sopping.
Dot had to go into one of the big shops (BHS I think), to change the new coat she had bought in Edinburgh, and I wanted to look in Oddbins to see if they had any beers I hadn't already had. Eventually after a day shopping or looking around the shops, we did the usual and had a couple of beers in the Kings.
Dot's birthday and another fine day.
Dot wanted to have a walk, so we headed through Rowntree park and crossed over the river Ouse via the Millennium Bridge. From there, we went straight up the street opposite the bridge, heading away from the river where we ended up on the A19, not a nice walk but by turning left we ended up at the city walls.
At the wall we took another left turn to Fishergate Postern and even though we hadn't planned it, we had lunch in the Postern Gate a Wetherspoons pub. I think it was a food offer, on a board outside the pub, that got us in there and the selected beer was only £1.00 (Ruddles County).
After lunch we continued to walk through the city's shopping streets to the Minster, and then towards the river where we walked around the museum gardens in the sun.
Then over the river via Lendal bridge and followed the outside of the wall passed the railway station to Micklegate Bar. This part of the walk enabled me to take photos of the arches cut through the city walls for roadways and railways during the nineteenth century.
At Micklegate Bar, we popped into the city's other Wetherspoons pub, the Punch Bowl, although it is a nice pub the clientele was not. The three men sat closest to us, talked about their time in prison and where to get drugs.
We had one beer (still a £1.00) and moved on, down Micklegate back to the river and the Kings arms, where we sat outside, in March.
We did have to move inside when the sun went down, we were in the Kings to meet Josh (like we need and excuse), who was coming to see Dot on her birthday. Josh arrived and we had another beer before all moving back to the Postern Gate for food.
September 5th to 9th
Rowntree Park booked in January, Mick and Bren would also be in York for the first two days.
Got set up as usual and had our lunch before setting off to meet up with Mick and Bren, who were stopping on another site about a mile further out from us, on the outskirts opposite York race curse.
Mobil phones are very useful when trying to find friend in a city centre, so we met up easily even though the centre was very busy. It is unusual for us to be in York on a Saturday as we usually only book, Sunday to Wednesday, although Sundays are usually fairly busy anyway.
So what did we do, we went in a Sam Smiths pub, The Hansom Cab, where I knew I could get a pint of draught wheat beer, Dot also had one and the others a bitter.
We managed to have another before we had to move on to watch the football (no televisions in Sam Smiths pubs), an international friendly between England and Slovenia. Well we knew just where to go and didn't make the same mistake as last time we wanted to watch football in York.
This time it was straight to the Lowther down by the river, we got seats in the upstairs dining room again where there was plenty of room and a large TV. Not a great game but we won 2 - 1 and that's not bad, after the match we moved to the Kings, as usual.
Later we all walked back to the campsite together but from there Mick and Bren still had another mile to their site.
We walked trough Rowntree park, then up to the main road and by the race course to meet Mick and Bren at their campsite, it didn't seem to be too far out and we thought it could be an good option when Rowntree is fully booked. In the park a "green" festival was just getting underway and the band who were playing sounded to be very good, so after a nice lunch, made by Mick and Bren, we headed back to the park for some free entertainment. York Green Festival is a celebration of sustainable living, campaigning for change and a better way of living.
A band was just ending their set, when we got back to the park, so while one of the organisers when on for far too long about the good work they are doing, we looked around the stalls selling "green" products and even got some ecologically friendly cycling freebies. We looked in the solar-powered cinema (an eco film was on), we watched a cycle-powered Scalextric race (looked like fun but hard work), then made our way back to the stage. We sat and had a Stella, Mick had them in his bag, and eventually the next band came on, unfortunately, they were not as good as the first band. After another tune and bottle we wandered off into the city centre leaving, the York Green Festival 2009, behind us.
As per the norm, we had beers in the Kings, chattered to the locals and the not so locals and had more beer than we intended, then back to our van for supper.
Mick and Bren had gone home, so after lunch and a morning sat in the sun (yes in the hot sun) reading, about mid afternoon we set off for the centre. After a mooch round the shops it was time to go to the kings but we only had the one and headed to the Postern Gate for food.
We had the burger and a beer offer, well we got the offer when I went back to the bar and pointed out I had been overcharged. There were also some very good beers on offer as well.
We started walking the wall again for some exercise, we started from Fishergate Postern and headed the opposite way to usual. At Walmgate Bar we came down off the wall so I could get some photos of it from the outside, all I had were from inside the wall. Down there we happened to pass a chip shop, I say pass but actually I went in and got chips and gravy, just what I needed.
As we where down on street level we continued round off the wall to the Red Tower, which I also needed photos of, in all I got photos of three places I needed for the Walk page. Looked in the big wine shop there and then popped into Morrison's supermarket as we passed, very useful for toilets, I think I may have mentioned that before. We then got back on the wall at Lathorpe Tower and walked to the next gate Monk Bar, where we came down again and headed into the centre.
Here we looked around the market stalls in the sun, yes like yesterday it was very warm. So taking advantage of the unusual weather we got a seat by the river and had a couple of beers, only to cool down you understand and watched the narrowboats going up river.
Also I had been having trouble with the muscles in my legs aching (I believe it was the drugs for high cholesterol causing it), so we were not walking as far as usual. In fact you can see from the photo below, that I look to be in pain, well that my excuse anyway.
At tea time we once again we walked along to to the Postern Gate for tea, I had the burger and a beer again, it wasn't on special but it was only a few pence more anyway. Again there were some very good beers on offer and if anything the Postern Gate is slightly cheaper than the Kings for beer, if you are careful what you buy.
On the way home we did think about popping in to the Ye Olde Punch Bowl the Morrissey Fox pub but we weren't sure exactly where it was. So we stopped off in Boroughbridge instead, we had, as we found out later, passed very close to the Punch Bowl but we also found out that it was no longer with Morrissey Fox.
In Boroughbridge we parked over the bridge by the river Ure and walked in to the centre and the shops, to get something for lunch. Back at the van we made sandwiches and had them on a picnic table, by the river in the sun. After lunch we walked along the canal to the weir on the river, something we had not done here before, then we walked back along the canal to Milby Lock, about half a mile. After this lock, the short length of canal rejoins the river Ure
Then it was the short walk back to the van and off the get the girls from school.
October 3rd to 5th
A new site in York for us, Manor Farm Caravan Site, is on the outskirts of York opposite the racecourse about 1.5 miles walk from the centre of the city. Meeting Mick and Bren, who have already been there a couple of times and like it.
For those getting bored with us doing the same old things in York, besides the new campsite, we also find a different pub to visit and we have Jazz the dog with us (Mick and Bren's).
Manor Farm Caravan Site
Middlethorpe, Bishopthorpe Road, York, YO23 2QA
Very, very, windy, was not sure about the drive, but set off anyway but did avoid a high bridge on route. The drive was horrendous and even though it only took about an hour I was worn out when we arrived, the roads were also very busy.
We were supposed to be on hard standing but when we checked in, the owner putt us on grass, as he was worried that the roof would blow off the barn next to the hard standing pitch. When Mick arrived. he was pitched next to us and his drive down had been as stressful as ours.
We had to meet up with Nicole, Tim and the twins in town and Mick and Bren were going to drop Josh off at his digs, so we cadged a lift into the centre with them. However the traffic was that bad, that half way in, Dot and I got out and walked the rest of the way, it was quicker.
The city centre was busier than I can remember seeing it before, but we met up as arranged and managed to do some shopping, I even popped into Oddbins and got some beers. Then we went to visit Clifford Tower, I did not want to look around so I looked after all the shopping while all the others went in. While they were looking round I arranged for us to meet up with Mick Bren and Jazz (the dog).
Once we were all together we went for a drink, looked in at the Kings first but it was very full and a bit rowdy with drunken Stag and Hen nights (and it was only four in the afternoon) in fancy dress, the language was bad as well. So we moved on Yates Wine Lodge, the beer garden looked farley quiet so we stopped there but Tim had a look inside and said it looked bad in there. Anyway we eventually got drinks, then some drunks in fancy dress game outside and where very obnoxious and oblivious to anyone else around them. One of them even stood on a chair and urinated on a table, just about then the whole group were thrown out. Someone from management did apologise to us but he didn't know about the urinating until we informed him. It was only four in the afternoon and these people would be out all night, the mind boggles. In my humble opinion, York should be doing more to discourage this sort of thing. The manager asked if we wanted another drink, we declined and left and may never be back (2013 now and we haven't).
We set off for the Postern Gate but once there Nicole and Tim decided they would just set off for home, we had to sit outside with the dog but through some deception we managed to get a seat just inside the pub. Had a couple and set off on the long walk back, on the walk we passed The Swan, a pub we have driven passed every time we have been to York, but have never been in, until now that is.
Mick went in first to see if it was ok to take Jazz in and it was, what a gem of a pub. An old style pub, with plenty of hand pulled beers and mostly friendly customers and staff, although the beer is more expensive.
Wind dropped and after lunch we wandered into town, the intention was to walk the walls with Mick and Bren but by the time we got there, no one could be bothered to do anymore walking. So we called Josh and arranged to meet him for a drink. In other words we did nothing, well we went to the kings and then the Swan on the way back to the vans.
Nice warm day and we had to go home but before we left, we had a late big breakfast sat out in the sun.
October 31st to November 4th
Back to Rowntree Park
Mick and Bren had managed to get on our site this time, I say our site, because that is what we have started calling them, Rowntree Park is our site, Manor Farm is their site. We were booked on for four night Mick and Bren for three nights.
Just us today, the others not arriving until tomorrow, after getting all set up including the satellite we wet off to see what it was like in town. It was Halloween and the street entertainers were out in force as were may people in Halloween costumes.
It was bit like last time we came to York on a Saturday, people very drunk very early in the day, will have to give Saturdays in York a miss in future (we have). We moved on from the kings to the Postern Gate where it was a bit more sedate even though there was a beer festival on. Unfortunately I must have chosen the worst beer on offer. Strawberry Republika and it put me off drinking for the night, so we left. We did intend to stop out until late but we were back at the van about seven.
It rained all night.
Tried to save a pitch for Mick but it is against club rules, we could have just cheated and put a "pitch in use" sign on the one next to us but we were polite and asked and that gets you nowhere. When they eventually arrived the closest good pitch was about five away not to bad. We got lunch ready while they got set up and after food we set off into town.
This is unusual for me but I have no photos of the day and am not sure what we did, I know it involved Christmas shopping. I know visited the Hansom Cab to get a pint of draught wheat beer but it was off, also the Kings and then the Swan, where there was no room where we usually sit so we sat in a less nice room but that is all I remember.
When we got up the river level had risen alarmingly, I think it was slightly higher than I have ever seen it before (we have seen it higher since 2009), there were worries amongst us, that the Kings could be under water.
I think that is why we were ready and out before lunch, heading towards the Kings, panic over the pub was still above the level of the river but not by much.
After we had made certain that the pub was ok, we took Mick and Bren for a walk around some of the places in York they had not seen before. We followed the course of the river Foss through the centre (see details of our previous Foss Walk), I took photos along the way, as it was an awful lot brighter than the last time Dot and I walked the Foss. At The Kings Fishpool, we looked in the wine shop and then in Morrison's but you are limited as to where you can go with the dog, we took turns going in these shops.
After the shops we though we would do the short length of Wall between Lathorpe Tower and Monk Bar, only to find a "No Dogs On The Wall" sign, I thought we were a nation of dog lovers, well as far as I can see, we can love them but not take them anywhere. Se we walked round the outside of the wall instead.
Then we went in to the centre via Monk Bar and got sandwiches for lunch, we actually got them in Poundland with crisps and a drink. Then after a very short time in the shops we ended up in the Kings arms, surprise, surprise. The staff there informed us that it would probably be flooded tomorrow, that was according to the warnings they had received.
On the way back to the vans we picked up food from Domino Pizza, well it was expensive, slow and not very good, the chips from the fish and chip shop opposite were good though. Next night Domino Pizza were advertising, two for one, on thanks.
Much the same as the previous day, only the river was down and we didn't go to Domino Pizza. I have no photos at all.