Monday, 15 April 2013

Past Trips, UK 2009 York Trips

This is the last of the past trips from 2009

March 8th to 11th

First of four trips to York this year.

Rowntree Park, Caravan Club Site
Terry Avenue, York, Yorkshire, YO23 1JQ

March 8th

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).

March 9th

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.

Bootham Bar

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.

March 10th

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.

Fishergate Bar

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.

Week 28-52 Beers, Chill Out

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.

September 5th

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.

Something funny?

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.

Dot and Bren

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.

Kings Arms

Later we all walked back to the campsite together but from there Mick and Bren still had another mile to their site.

September 6th

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.


September 7th

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.

Calm Waters, River Ouse

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.

September 8th

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.

Walmgate Bar, York

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.

Looking rough

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.

September 9th

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

October 3rd

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.

Dot  2009

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.

October 4th

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.

Josh 2009

October 5th

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.

October 31st

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.

November 1st

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.

November 2nd

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.

York November 2009

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.

November 3rd

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.

Saturday, 13 April 2013

Past trips, 2010 part two, Peterborough, Harrogate & Appleby


April 17th to 21st

Booked the Ferry Meadows site for Amber's birthday again but for four nights this year.

Peterborough Ferry Meadows, Caravan Club Site
Ham Lane, Peterborough, Cambridgeshire, PE2 0UU

Day one, Sat April 17th

Arrived about one and there was no room on the main site and we had to go to the other field. We have been for this weekend for the last three years and it has been quiet, obviously the Easter holidays have over run this year. Also the staff are usually quite nice but this year they were fairly unfriendly, maybe they were very busy, no excuse really though.

The other field tuned out to be very nice and we were right next to the children's play area, very handy for Amber.

Ralph came over with the girls, Amber, Chelsie and Saffron and we had a BBQ in the nice warm sun.


Amber stayed over in the van that night.

Day two, Sun April 18th

First thing Dot and Amber were over to the children's play park.


Ralph and Chelsie came over after lunch and we went for a walk in Ferry Meadows, it was very busy on a warm Sunday, plenty of families out walking like us.

We had a beer outside the Lakeside Cafe at the Watersports Centre, the girls had ice creams.

The miniature train was running (The Ferry Meadows Railway), so the girls rode that back to the visitor centre and we walked back.

I think we had another BBQ fro tea. It was Ambers birthday tomorrow but she stayed with us anyway. Ralph would pick her up for school in the morning.

Day three, Mon April 19th

After opening all her presents Amber went off to school with her Dad. We would be meeting up again later after school for her party.


Dot and I decided to pass the time with a walk and we though I would be good to follow the path of the Nene Valley Railway.

We turned right left out of the campsite and headed towards the Ferry Meadows Train Station. At the level crossing we turned right and followed the path that runs alongside the line. It is rather a long straight path and for the first part the campsite is on the right. Just after a road bridge over the railway, the path veers away from the line for a short stretch but if you keep left you soon get back to it.


Next the footpath crosses over to the other side of the line at a small level crossing and then we crossed over the river Nean via a footbridge attached to the rail bridge

Railway over the river Nene

We continued on this side to the next road bridge and the about half a mile further but then turned back as we had gone far enough for today and we had to meet Ralph for a lift to the party.

We went back the way we came but when we got back to the part of the path veers away from the line, we followed the road that led to the Lakeside Cafe, as we were walking Ralph phoned and agreed to meet us there. We all had a beer there before setting off to see Amber.

Ambers party was in one of those warehouses filled with kids climbing frames, slides, etc.  Great for kids lousy for adults.

Amber on her Birthday

Ralph took us to the Botolph arms for a beer on the way back to the site.

Day four, Tues April 20th

As Amber was going to be a school all day, Dot and I made a Picnic and sett off for a walk around the lakes in the Ferry Meadows Country Park. The weather was slightly warmer than the previous day and the sun was shining.

We turned left out of the campsite (right if you are on the main site) and walked into Ferry Meadows Country Park. At the visitor centre we turned right and followed the path round the lake. When we came to a fork in the path just before a bridge, we took the path to the left over the bridge (we would take the right hand path at a later date). There is a board with map of all the walks here, so I took a photo of it for future reference.

Ham Bridge

Over the bridge you can either turn right and walk around the lake, or turn right towards the river, we had done the lake before, so we turn right for the river (from the map we knew there was a walk by the river). We crossed over the river Nene via Bluebell Bridge and tuned left to follow the river.

Bluebell Bridge

Part of the walk is along a boardwalk.

We had a very pleasant walk along the river bank, you would think you are in the middle of nowhere but if you take one of the sets of steps up the hill from the river, you are in the middle of sports complex. We did that just to see what was there.

River Nene

We eventually came to Milton Ferry Bridge, an old toll bridge over the river Nene, we crossed back over the river and thought it would be a very good place for our picnic. The only trouble was there was nowhere to sit and the grass was damp so we had to move on.

Milton Ferry Bridge (1716)

We went stright on off the bridge away from the river, this path led to the Gunwade Lake and we could see Lakeside Cafe and the Watersports Centre on the other side. We turned left and followed the path around the lake, to the first right turn, onto the path leading to the Pontoon Bridge.

Pontoon Bridge

Here we eventually found somewhere to sit, picnic tables.  I was very hungry by now and it was a little bit windy where we sat but it was the only place to sit.

Picnic 2010

From the we walked back over the Pontoon Bridge turned right and followed the lake side path back over the first bridge we crossed. We then headed back along lake side path to the campsite, to meet Amber from school.

Swings 2010

Day five, Wed April 21th

On the way home, we stopped off at Boroughbridge for lunch and a walk by the river.


May 9th to 11th

Booked with a vouchers from a newspaper, in effect we had one night free.

Rudding Park

Rudding Holiday Park Follifoot
Harrogate, North Yorkshire, HG3 1JH

Day one, Sun May 9th

The weather wasn't that good when we arrived but latter it cleared up and we had a walk around the large campsite. We also walked to the village of Follifoot, I must not have had my camera with me, as I didn't take any photos.

In the early evening we had a beer in the campsite bar, it was very quiet.

Campsite Bar

Day two, Mon May 10th

We got instructions for the bus into Harrogate from resection, the bus stop is just outside the campsite gates.

We got off at the bus station in Harrogate, next to the main train station and set off into the centre.

The weather was very changeable, so we spent a lot of time in the shops.  Then eventually ended up  in a very smart Wetherspoons, for a couple of beers.

I am not sure but I think we ate in there as well, before geting the bus back to the site.

Dot, Ponders

Day three, Tues May 11th

As Harrogate is next door to Knaresborough and as we love Knaresborough, we drove there on the way home. We parked down by the river and went for a walk, following the river Nidd away from town, a direction we had not walked before.


When we came to a bridge we grossed over the river and started to walk back towards town.

We followed the path back to the main road bridge, it is not all along the river though, in total the walk is about one mile.

At the main road we crossed back over and continued along the river under the viaduct then up the steps into town.


May 16th to 19th

Wild Rose Camping

Wild Rose Park Ormside, 
Appleby-in-Westmorland, Cumbria, CA16 6EJ 

Day one, Sun May 16th

We were put on a very, how shall I put this, not nice pitch, this is what you get when you book using vouchers from newspapers.  The on site pub closed at three and was not due to reopen while we were there, same with the takeaway, although the shop was open and was very reasonable for a campsite.  The pool was closed for refurbishment.

There was no TV reception (I think it is probably all digital now and analogue switched off), so set up the sat and watched the F1 GP then the end of the Super Bikes. We got instructions from reception for a walk to Appleby but decided it was too late to do it today. So we just a had a walk into the village, some nice houses but no pub although one house looked like it was once and not too long ago.

Day two, Mon May 17th

We thought we would do the long walk to Appleby, so we packed a picnic and set off.

The full walk in detail (this was written and photographed over a couple of trips to Appleby)

It is rather a long walk (if you do it both ways) and not an easy one, you should rally do it in walking shoes, also not a good idea in wet weather, no it is a bad idea in wet weather, we have done it.

Today was fine though and it was a very pleasant, if long walk in the sun.

As this was our first time doing this walk, when we got to the town we were not sure which way to go to get in to the centre. From the river at the end of the path, we turned left along the road up the hill and by keeping right around the outside of the castle, we ended up at the top end of the main street.

After a good walk around the town (it is not very big) we went for a drink and sat outside the pub in the sun. 

We walked out of town following the main road towards the A66, at the time we were not sure where this would lead us.  We stopped at a Co-op for some provisions and at another pub as the sun was shining on the seats outside. 


Just opposite the pub is a church and a road leading back down to the river, to the spot where we had gone up the hill on the opposite side. Here we crossed over the river and followed the same path back to the campsite.

It was May and the weather was beautiful, so we took our time walking back and luckily some of the provisions we had bought was a six pack of beers.

By drinking these beers along the way, my backpack became a lot easier to carry.  In good weather this is a very enjoyable walk (but it is not for the fainthearted) and there are some wonderful views.

Viaduct over the river Eden

Day three, Tues May 18th

Another glorious day, another walk in the sun.  Out of the site we turned right and walked through the tunnel under the Settle to Carlisle railway.  

Tunnel View

Then just followed the road round until we came to the same village we had walked to on the first day.

We then followed a public footpath across some fields but as we where getting nowhere we headed back the way we came.   Then followed another footpath close to the rail tunnel,  We found a nice place to sit and eat our picnic on the banks of  Helm Beck, where I was surprised to see large crayfish in the beck.


We spent the rest of the day sat outside the van, in the sun reading, with the odd beer or two.

Day four, Wed May 19th

We stopped off at Barnard Castle on the way home. We parked by the river below the castle and had a walk around the shops.