Friday, 18 November 2016

Bowness-on-Windermere, October 2016

Time away with the girls for half term

This trip, unlike the last one has been booked for quite a while, it is to meet up with Nicole, Tim and the girls for a break at half term. The site, Park Resorts Fallbarrow Park, right in Bowness is perfect for visiting but very expensive. I would normally give a place that costs this much a miss (it was nearly twice as much as most sites) but we were meeting up with the girls and would have them in the van for the last two days. It is right on the lake though.

29th Oct to the 2nd Nov

Saturday 29th October

We were supposed to meet up with the others for dinner but got a message on the way there to say they were going out and would meet up later. So that gave us time to get there and get set up, it also allowed for the Sat Nav to take us down all the smallest roads it could find on the way there.

Looking over the lake

Park Resorts, Fallbarrow Park

After we arrived and got set up we had something to eat and watched the practise for the Mexico Grand Prix. We then wandered over to see the others, their log cabin was really nice. Nichole, Tim Dot and Me took the dog for a walk (they have a dog now, Sydney and he is really nice), the girls would not move so it was just us.

We walked into town and went to the The Angel Inn, for a beer, we are on holiday, we got a table outside in the rain for Sydney but it stopped almost straight away. We sat with another lady with a dog and chatted about the area. We didn't stop out long as we got a phone call from the girls asking when we would be back, as they were hungry.


We went straight to the bar on site for supper but it was fairly full, noisy and there was no room for the dog. So we all went back to the lodge and ordered pizza from a takeaway instead. We had plenty of beers with us, so that was all sorted. We watched TV for a while before we left for bed, back in the van.

We were not very pleased with all the noies coming from the bar area until midnnight and then all of the noies coming from the campers making there way home, some sounded like very young childeren. It seems that the more you pay for a campsite the more noisy it is on a night.

Sunday 30th October

After breakfast, we went over and met the others, then set off towards the lake to catch a ferry up the lake to Ambleside. Luckily we arrived just as one was getting ready to go, although we had to queue for a short while though. It was about now that I realised I didn't have my camera with me, so today it was just my phone camera to use.

When we arrived at the top end of the lake, we took the longer walk into Ambleside, following the side of the lake. We came across the ruins of a Roman fort facing down the lake, I did not even know that these were here, there is not much left though.

Next we next went for some dinner, and again sat outside the pub, the White Lion Hotel, a nice place. Three of us has Sunday dinner and three of us had a large burger, I had a burger and wish I had had the Sunday diner, I never get it right. Any way it was warm sat there and we had a couple of beers with our food, I had Black Sheep, Ember Inns Pale Ale, a beer brewed just for Ember Inns, not a bad beer.

Black Sheep, Ember Inns Pale Ale, England

From there we did a bit of shopping before making our way back towards the boat, we went back the quicker way and just missed a boat. Anyway we were first in the queue for the next boat and it didn't take very long to arrive anyway. We got a seat at the stern and it was very cold but enjoyable on the way back.

Emily and Syd Ferry

That evening back at their chalet after supper they all went in the hot tub but as I was feeling very tired and just watched some TV. Later when the rest were all cleaned up we watched a film before me and Dot made our way back to the van.

Monday 31st October

Nicole, Tim and Sydney were off home today and they had to be out of their chalet for ten but they were allowed to park their car on our pitch for the day.

First we had a wander down to the lake on site, and early in the morning it looked fantastic, although the views from here are good all of the time.

Looking over the lake

So it was not long after ten, when we set off for a walk. Out of the site we headed north and walked along the road until we came to a place were we could get down the the lake. I wandered off to find a toilet then met up with the others down by the edge of the lake. Emily went in for a plodge and even got Sydney to go in, it took quite some time though.

Sydney and Georgia

We then had a walk along the lakeside, then up the bank following a stream and then back along the top of the hill, it wasn't a very long walk but it was far enough for me. On the way up the hill we passed lots of mushrooms (or toadstools) growing by the side of the path.

Walking along Wynlass Beck More Mushrooms

Back in Bowness we went to The Albert for a late lunch, well it was after two and we sat outside again in the sun. Me and Dot had the Halloween burgers and I also had a new beer a Robinsons, Unicorn, not bad at all.

Tim and Sydney Lunch

Sydney was really well behaved again, it seams like they have got a very good, very nice dog. After our food we had a walk around the port area before heading back to the van and Nicole, Tim and Sydney headed off home.

We spent the rest of the day and night just watching TV before bed.

Tuesday 1st November

After a morning in the van, we set off to do a bus tour, we had seen them around since we had been there. We got on near the boat jetties and the bus took us to Ambleside, it was not even a very pleasant drive but it got us there. Don't get me wrong, it was a open top bus and some of the views were very nice but it did stop everywhere and it stopped at Windermere train station for ages.

Above lake Windermere

In Ambleside we wandered around the shops and had a good look around the place before wandering along to the big garden centre on the way back to the port. It had one of the best Christmas displays I have seen and we had a good look around in there. After that it was back on the bus to Bowness, it left from just outside the garden centre and just as we got there.

When we got back to Bowness the girls wanted to go back to the site but we went for a walk to the cable ferry anyway.

The Girls Emily and Georgia

The girls enjoyed themselves anyway and we had a sit by the lake while they played.  We eventually made it to the ferry, watched it move off to the other side then made our way back. We took the quicker walk back into town and made our way to the pub for tea.


Back in The Albert, we sat inside for our tea this time, the girls would not let me take photos of them in there, so I only have blurred ones.

Wednesday 2nd November

We had to be back to see to the dog so we set off fearly early. We took the right road out of the lake area this time but from Kendal, we got it wrong again. We took the whindy road to Tebay rather than the Motorway. It didn't take much longer it was just annoying to get it wrong. The rest of the drive home was pretty normal.

Well that is it until January, when we are off back to York after a long miss there.

Thursday, 20 October 2016

Hawes, October 2016

A trip to Hawes Caravan Club Site 2016

I like Hawes and have been there many times and I really like it there, so left on my own at home one day, I booked us in there for a few nights.

16th October to the 19th

Sunday 16th October

We arrived around one o’clock and got booked in and settled, had a pizza for dinner, I do not think the grill is working properly but it was just edible.

Although it was raining at home and most of the way there, it was sunny in Hawes, so about three, we got ready and went for a walk.

In Hawes we did the usual walk around, looking in the shops that were open but eventually set off to a pub for a drink. We did take some photos of the old railway just behind the houses, there are hopes to reopen it one day but it doesn't look like it will be soon.

Old bridge Old Bridge

After the first drink, I was not feeling that good and we were going to set off back to the van but we got another beer instead, and just stayed. Eventually I felt better and we even had our tea in there. We both had mince and potato pie with mushy peas and chips, very nice.

We were in the White Hart, the forth pub in the town, the other three are all in a line farther along, we will use them later in the trip, probably. In there though I had a Black Sheep, Baa Baa, the new one of theirs, drinkable but not that nice, so moved on to Theakstons, Bitter, weaker but a nice beer.

There was a very nice full moon on the walk back to the site, but I was unable to get a photo, I do not seem to be able to drink and take photos anymore.

Monday 17th October

The weather was on and off today and we just spent the morning sat in the van watching TV. We had bacon for breakfast, as we usually do when away, but the buns we had with us were dreadful, they were doughy, teach me to use a big name, Kingsmill. Will just use Aldi for bead next time.

We were going to walk up to Simonstone Hall for something to eat but the weather was that unpredictable we just walked into town. It was nice and sunny now but who knows how long it will last.

View from Hawes The edge of Hawes

On the way in we popped down to the old station and had a walk through the old rope factory, its a bit since we did this and it is very new in there now. After a walk through town, we ended up right up at the Wensleydale cheese factory and wandered around tasting the cheeses in the shop. It then started to rain so, in a break we managed to get back into town and into the first pub.

Changing Weather in the Dales

The Old Board Inn is nice, we stayed there many years ago.  There was a nice big fire going in there and we got a seat close to it. Had another pint or two of Theakstons, Bitter, in there and a chat with the others sheltering from the rain.

From there we moved on to the White Hart and had another couple of Theakstons, Bitter and a meal, this time we both had the Chicken Kiev, again it was very nice. In there we also talked to others from the campsite, now with a separate 120 pitches on the campsite, I can see how this very small town can have four pubs doing so well.

Tuesday 18th October

It rained all night but got fine during the morning. Spoke to early as around dinner time it started to pore down, so we just sat in the van watching TV again.

Went for a shower and discovered that the site will be closed next year, basically to do the toilets and what looks like a few other small things, it will be closed for six or seven months. From January until July, it is now the middle of October on a Tuesday and the site is just about full, the working of the Caravan Club sometimes baffles me.

And thinking about it, I hope the pubs in town manage over this period, without money from the people on the campsite coming in.

The sun came out latter in the afternoon and we set off into town, just for the short walk and a drink.
We went to the shops for some stuff we needed and then went to the pub for tea, it was still very early, about half four.  As it was still early so we got something off the before five menu and it was as good as anything else we had had in there this week but half the price. We had the food and a couple of pints in there, then set off back to the van.

On the walk back we noticed just how much water was flowing over the falls in town, you can see compered to the photo from the day before.

Falls in Hawes Next day the Falls in Hawes

We were back in the van early and just watched some TV, had another beer before we gave up and went to bed early.

Wednesday 19th October

We were up at the usual time and took our time getting ready to head home. We were not in a hurry at all and took our time all the way home but we had to be back to go and met the girls from school, just like the old days.

The next time we are away is in in a couple of weeks, we are off to the Lakes with Nicole, Tim and the girls. They are in a cabin and we have the van at Fallbarrow Park, lake Windermere.

Friday, 30 September 2016

Two Days at Thirsk Racecourse Caravan Club Site 2016

Dot was still off work so after her Dads birthday, we looked for somewhere else to go for a couple of days, unfortunately we had to be back for physio and dentist appointments after then. So we just booked the Caravan Club site in Thirsk on the racecourse for the two nights.

20th September to the 23rd

Tuesday 20th September

We arrived in Thirsk not too long after twelve and for the first time ever, we were given one of the three pitches facing over the racecourse. A very nice spot to be pitched in.

We got set up and only used the aerial for the TV, it was not worth bothering with the sat. Eventually we went out for a walk, we went through the town, looked in some of the shops, then wandered over one of the bridges. It wasn't that long before we crossed over the other bridge back into town and continued with our shopping. I bought a couple of new beers from the off licence near The Three Tons pub and we got a couple of other things close by.

Eventually though it was time for tea (I have just recently realised that the word tea and its meaning for the early evening meal, is not widely known, anyway we wanted food), so we went into The Three Tons. Yes another Wetherspoons pub but they are very cheep and most are very nice places, this one is anyway.

After tea and a couple of pints, I had Arcadia, Thunder Trail, from the USA (actually from the Caledonian brewery Scotland), dot had lager, we made our way back to the campsite. We called into Tesco on the way back but we didn't need anything except milk.

Wednesday 21st September

Not as sunny today as yesterday but not cold at all so after lunch we went out for a walk again. This time we wandered off towards the church and then down by the river. We were going to have a longer walk but Dot didn't feel to well, so we sat by the river instead.

After the sit we made our way into town and Dot got an ice cream, I on the other hand bought some more bottled beer (I wonder where that went, I put is somewhere). We then sat in the town square while Dot ate her ice cream and we decided what to do next. Well we had another wander about the shops before giving up and going back in to Spoons for tea.

The White Horse Cafe

Tea was good as usual and I tried a different beer, Naylor's, Origaninal Liquorice Libation, this is what I wrote 4.4% black in colour with a nice head, the aroma is blackcurrant and something strange, the taste is a stout with Iiquorice and blackcurrant not that good at all, went back to the one I had yesterday after that one.

Soon it was time to wander back to the van and watch TV.

Thursday 22nd September

We had plenty of time to get ready to head off home but we just sorted stuff out and off we went.

Two Days at Akebar Park

Dot was off work and we were not out this Saturday, so we looked for somewhere not too far away to go in the van. Akebar Park was a place we used quite a lot when the kids where little but have not been much at all recently, I think we went with the twins ones, a long time ago though. Anyway we booked two nights there.

17th September to the 19th

Saturday 17th September

We managed to book in for the Saturday and Sunday, we had to be back home on Monday for Dots Dads 92nd birthday. We arrived at the site, booked in and found a site, it was quite busy with a lot of tents but not too bad. The tents I am on about are bigger than the van, even bigger that any of the caravans but thankfully most of them were quiet at night.

Akebar Park

Akebar Park
Wensleydale, North Yorkshire

If you do not have a car there is plenty of walking to do there but we went just there for a rest. We just sat around most of the afternoon, reading and watching TV. Later we went for a walk up to the bar, only it was too full, so we just wandered back to the van.


We had plenty of beer back there anyway. So we just spent the night down on the site by the van sat in the sun, then moved in to watch TV.

Sunday 18th September

Another quiet morning sat in the sun reading, very relaxing. Eventually we wandered up to the bar again and this time it was quite empty. As was most of the site, many people had moved off this morning, most to be back at work tomorrow and kids back to school. We had a couple of beers sat outside in the sun before wandering back down to the van.

Akebar Park The bar Akebar Park

Back there we had our tea before we watched the F1GP repeat on CH4 and the Paralympics before bed, the satellite wasn't working, something to look into later.

As I said it was a very quiet relaxing two days away and I enjoyed it immensely.

Monday, 22 August 2016

Whitby, 2016

Not been using the van much at all this year (I think the car being written off had something to do with it though) but we did use it to take the girls away for a few days. We booked a site in Whitby, not one we had used before but one closer to the centre, Airy Hill Farm Cottages and Caravan Park.

14th August to the 17th August

Sunday the 14th August

A nice simple drive down to Whitby, the traffic wasn't bad at all and the van went well. The campsite was on the right, the last right turn before the A171 passes over the river Esk. The site is very small with mainly static vans but there is room for a few Motorhomes or Caravans. The toilet block is acceptable and clean but nothing special. Just over the A171 there is a path down to the town along the railway and it isn't very far to walk, although is is rather steep to get up and down from the A171.

Airy Hill Farm Cottages and Caravan Park

Airy Hill Cottages, Airy Hill Farm
Whitby, North Yorkshire, YO21 1PZ

We arrived at the site and phoned the owner (who was out in his car), he asked just to park up on one of the hard bases where static caravans had been.

We had a sandwich for lunch and then set off into town. It was only a short walk down into town, we crossed over the railway lines and along by the river to the centre. When we got there Amber wanted to look in the shops on the north side of the river but we didn't get anything.

Next thing we did was pop into one of the jewellery shops on the other side, to have two of my gold rings altered, so that I could use them again. It was actually my wedding ring and my signet ring, both very old now and my fingers have grown. I have been wearing silver rings as a replacement over the last few years and usually forget to bring the gold ones whenever we come here. Anyway in The Black Market Jewellery Work Shop, it was only £15 to have them both made bigger, a bargain I reckon, they would not be ready until tomorrow though.

From there we wandered about the other shops on that side looking for a ring for Dot. Eventually though we wandered along to the beach.

Amber and Emily Emily in Whitby

After a sit on one of the piers, the kids decided that it was time for tea, even though it wasn't long since our lunch. Georgia and Emily even decided where we were going for tea, Hadleys Fish Restaurant, they like it there and so did we.

Whitby Emily, Amber and Georgia

Dot, Georgia and Me all had fish and chips, Emily and Amber had sausage and chips, we also had mushy peas, all very good.

We walked back on the opposite side of the river to the way we came in, the climb back up to the bridge is worse on this side. The views from the bridge are pretty good though.

The Girls Looking Down on Whitby

When we got back to the van, we set up for the night, watched a film and then the Olympics until we were all too tired to watch anymore.

Monday the 15th August

We had a nice easy morning in the sun and then after lunch, set off into town. We walked down the same way as yesterday and I took photos of the steam trains and the boats along the way.

BR Standard 4MT 2-6-0 No. 76079 Fishing boat repairs

As yesterday and headed straight to the jewellery shop to get my rings.  After all these years my gold ring fit me again, Dot had another look at getting a ring but they didn't have one to fit her.

From there we headed to the beach for the girls to play in the sea. We crossed back over to the north side of the river and along to the pier, then down to the beach.

North Pier Whitby Amber and Emily

We spent the rest of the day down there, the tide we just starting to go out when we got there but was still fairly high when we decided to move on.

We wandered around to Spoons for tea but it was that busy in there I decided we would go back to the van and have a BBQ for tea. So we moved on to the Co-op, bought some thing we needed (beer for me) and made our way back to the site. There we had our food and sat out in the sun until we moved in to watch a film and the Olympics again.

Tuesday the 16th August

Quiet morning again then after lunch we set off for town, only this time we left via the back of the site and down onto the old train line. I had walked this line before, back in 2008 but that was a much longer walk we had done back then.

When we got down into town and after the girls looked in the shops, we decided to walk along the north pier (known as the West Pier). It was quite windy and cool along there but that didn't stop us, we did shelter behind the lighthouse for a while though .

Whitby West Pier End of the Pier

After our walk, Dot made for the jewellery shop again and bought the ring she had been looking at, although it would have to be posted out to us later. After that I fancied beer so we popped into the Abbey Wharf, it was fairly full but we got a table ok. Only I queued for a while when a member of staff from the restaurant asked the barman to get the manager. So he wandered off and so did I, what sort of service is that.

We moved on to The Dolphin at the Swing Bridge, got a table in the window facing the bridge and I got served easily. In the passed we had sat there before and as last time the bridge opened up to let boats through. From there we moved on to the Spoons pub again, The Angel Hotel and got a table upstairs, it was a bit quieter than the first time.

Spoons Whitby Spoons Whitby

We got served all right, the girls seemed to enjoy the food and drinks and it was very very cheep. Then it was back up to the van and the usual before bed.

Wednesday the 17th August

The one thing to report on our way back home, we stopped at Scaling Reservoir and got Hot Dogs and Burgers from the van there. I mention this as it only cost less than £6 for three big Hot Dogs and one Cheese Burger. They were well worth it.

Friday, 22 April 2016

Peterborough, Ambers Birthday 2016

Peterborough, Ferry Meadows Caravan Club Site, April 16th to 20th

Day one, Sat April 16th

We set off early, we had to be there before 12:30, for me and Ralph to go and watch the Boro live on TV. First we had to stop for diesel, witch took ages, some people are just too stupid to let out on a Saturday but eventually we filled up and set off.

We managed to arrive at the site at about twenty to twelve but again were held up by idiots enquiring about checking in in the future and eventually we booked in at about twelve.

Ralph and Amber arrived and me and Ralph shot off to watch the football in Ralph's local. I had a couple of pints wile we watched us win (just say) over the bottom club in the league, getting the winner in injury time.

Back at the van it was unusually cold (it was last year as well) so we just stayed in and watched TV. At tea time we went out to the pub, The Granary Beefeater Restaurant and had a cheep meal from the before 6:30 menu. Amber had the children's menu and afters, all that with a couple of beers was about £40.

After the food Ralph drove off and me Dot and Amber walked back to the van, only it started to rain and we got wet.

Day two, Sun April 17th

Not very good weather again we didn't do much, Ralph turned up at diner time then we watched the F1GP.

After that we went for a walk through the park to the Lakeside Kitchen and Bar, where we had a beer and Amber had an ice lolly.

By the time that we got back to the van, the sun was shining and we had a BBQ for tea outside the van.

Tea Time

It was getting cold again by the time we finished and we were strait back into the warm van until it was time for Amber to get back home, school tomorrow.

Day three, Mon April 18th

Ralph was going to pick up a new car today, I phoned to see if he was OK for a lift and he was, said he would see us latter.

Ralph arrived eventually in his new BMW (well a few years old), a very nice car. Its a convertible with a hard top, which all folds neatly into the boot.

Ralph dropped us off in the town centre and would be back to pick us up with Amber in a couple of hours. Dot did some shopping for clothes for the wedding we are going to in the next couple of months. I even managed to get a few polish beers (or somewhere lick that), now all I have to do is remember where I put them.

Had a look at the Cathedral while we were there but soon it was time to go back to meet Ralph and Amber, for our lift back to the site.


Then is was back to the van for tea, a slow cooked chicken dish, that was far better than we expected it to be. I had put it on, on the morning before we went out and it was good. Soon it was time for amber to go again.

Day four, Tues April 19th

Ambers birthday today but we would not see her until later, after school. So we had lunch, the rest of the chicken and went for a walk around the park. We ether need to get out walking more often, or I am getting old, walking really wears me out.

Later Amber and the others all turned up (it was Ambers Birthday) and when they had gone we went to The Granary again for tea.

Birthday Food

It was latter today so we had to use a different menu and it cost us about £20 more than last time. Although we did have two coreses each.

Day five, Wed April 20th

I though we had gone past the days when we had to be back to look after Georgia and Emily but we did, although it was much latter than it used to be. So we took our time getting ready then set off home.

Saturday, 26 March 2016

Second Trip, York and Barnard Castle 2016

March 5th to the 15th

Our second trip away this year was in March for our birthdays, we went the day after my birthday and a few days before Dot birthday. This trip was for a good few days in York then a few more in Barnard Castle, both using Caravan Club sites.

Sat March 5th

Back in York, the day after my birthday, I have not been well for a couple of days so really missed my birthday. Dot was ill for a few days before me but is feeling a lot better now, hope I do tomorrow. As its Saturday York is very full and we are not giving the drunks another chance to spoil out time away. So we parked up and watched some TV, a film on channel 4.

Eventually went for a walk along the river and back through the park and took some photos of just how high the river was.

River Ouse

Later we walked out the back gate to get something to eat, but as nether of us was that bothered about eating we just popped into the nearest pub for a beer. The Swan and Signets was full but we got a seat (we do not like the centre of York on a Saturday night as it is very full and a little bit rough, so that why we went in there) but after a couple of beers we decided to go back to the van.

On the short walk back, we got a bag of chips some curry sauce and a couple of buns, not what we would usually get but we didn't fancy anything much. Afterwards we decide that we could have done without the chips as they were not that good at all.

Had an early night and a real good sleep.

Sun March 6th

Nice sleep in and morning resting watching TV (Sunday Brunch), after lunch we went for a shower each, before setting off into town.

The river had dropped a little bit today but it is still very high. As the Flying Scotsman was in town today, we popped into the Railway Museum to see it. Last time we were in there to see it (long time ago) its number was 4472 now it is 60103. The numbering of this Engine has been 1472, 4472, 502, 103 then 60103, it may now be the 60103 but to me it is still the 4472.

The Flying Scotsman

From there we walked through the town centre just as all the shops were closing but Dot managed to buy some new gloves.

Then it was off to the pub for tea, in the Spoons the The Postern Gate, we had tandoori chicken wraps, very cheep and not bad at all. We also had a couple of beers but then went back to the van, we are still not at all well.

Mon March 7th

Nice quiet morning in the van and didn't go out until after lunch. It was a walk we really wanted to do, so we set off along the town walls. We got up onto the wall at the Victorian turret, at Baile Hill and walked along clockwise (I have covered the wall walk many times see here). But we came down at Micklegate Bar and walked along and down Micklegate into town (or as it is, the city centre).

We had a look around the shops (avoiding people from the red cross collecting) and went for a cup of tea in the British Home Stores, never again though the place was in a really disgusting state. The tea was ok but the place could have done with a good clean, floor, seats, tables well everything, it was disgusting (British Home Stores closed for good later that year).

After that we continued shopping, ordered some jeans in Next (have to pop back in tomorrow for them) but eventually popped into a pub The Pivni for a rest. Had a beer in there but Dot only had a soda water.

From there we went into The Slug and Lettuce to get something to eat. Half price Monday in there, we got a seat at the front with a nice view of the river. We both had Italian Chicken, not bad for half price and a full price beer each.

We then moved down stares to the Kings, it was not open on our last trip after a flood, this time it had been flooded when we arrived in York but was now open. The ladies toilets were closed and the till went off while we were in there but they had beer.

On the way back we popped into the new Sainsbury’s, to get some things we needed for tomorrow.

Tues March 8th

After lunch and late on, we set off into town, we went the quick way across Skeldergate bridge and straight to the shops. Dot had a look at some shoes and handbags before we went for the jeans from Next.

From there we went shoe and handbag shopping again but managed to look into one of the expensive beer shops. Didn’t get any beer in there but eventually we did go into the The Pivni for a beer or two. We started with a wheat beer, which unfortunately went off before we could get another, so we had to try something different. In the end we, well I had three different beers, although I did give Dot half my wheat beer.

As we were walking back to the van, Dot suggested that we pop into the Smiths pub in the centre, The Burns (the old Hansom Cab), so we did and she had another wheat beer (a pint) while I had an Old Brewery. The price of both our beers in there, was about the price of one beer in the pub before.

On the way back we popped into Tesco to top up on different cheeses for our tea.

Wed March 9th

Wednesday morning it was bucketing down so we just stayed in the van and watched TV.

It stopped raining late in the afternoon and we went out to get a card for Dot’s birthday tomorrow, but the shops local didn’t have anything nice. So we just went back to the van and had a night in, we did have wine and beer back there though.

Thur March 10th

Slept in, then I made a nice big breakfast, did I mention its Dots birthday. We had a very easy rest of the morning, sat watching TV. Later in the afternoon we set off into town, we walked the quick way over Skeldergate Bridge and hit the shops.

Eventually we ended up at The Star Inn the City by Lendal Bridge and wandered in for a drink, the weather had improved that much we sat outside. As we had sat outside to drink, a few others also came and sat outside, we had started a trend. We had a look at the menu in there but did not fancy anything they had.

Happy Birthday Dot

So we moved on, we had to have a pint in the Smiths pub, that was for me to use the toilet and to have a dark beer, something they seem to have stopped serving in most pubs (I may moan about this again).

We ended up in the Cote Brasserie a French restaurant and had the set three course menu, we did have different dishes though and it was all ok. I had a couple of bottles of Pelforth Blond, not bad at all. The bill did come with a tip already added on, bit of a cheek I thought, the price was in small printing but with the tip was it was in large.

From there we went into The Pivni and again I had a yellow beer getting a bit sick of this now, I suppose the kids are the ones out, so it is their beer that’s for sale, shame they do not know what they are missing.

Fri March 11th

Up early today as we are moving on, got sorted and set off for Barnard Castle and arrived there just about twelve. There was lots of room when we arrived but by the evening the site was full.

After lunch we wandered of into town, quite a walk but not too bad. The footbridge across the Tees has changed the cables or pipes that cross the river here have been recovered with a plastic cover. Hope it is stronger then it looks.

We had a good walk about the shops, before going into the pub, The Three Horseshoes, the really nice pub and hotel. We had a few pints and even had food in there, Dot had the Steak & Ale Pie and I had the Homemade 6oz Burger. The food was very good but the beer was that gold coloured poor excuse again.

When we left we got a taxi back, it was £4.00, a bit poor when you can practically see the campsite from were we got it.

Sat March 12th

Well we could not be bothered to go out today, Dot was tired and my back was not too good at all. So we just stayed in and watched the Rugby on TV. Even after the Rugby we did nothing and even had an early night. By the way did I mention that England won, we beat Wales easily, only France to go now.

Sun March 13th

Foggy morning according to the TV, just watched the news and that's what it said, well it isn't foggy up this way, strange that.


After dinner we set off for a short walk, we wandered down the hill and along to the second footbridge over the Tees. The weather was now very nice now and we walked without our coats on. I do not have many photos of our walk as we have done it quite a few times in the past.

Up in town we had a nice sit in the sun and then a wander round the shops that were open. Before I wandered into a couple of pubs to see if the Boro match was on anywhere. We found one that said they would put it on, so we went into the Coach and Horses. They had the Rugby on one TV and put the Boro match on another one. Although after about half an hour they turned over and put the Man United match on, so we left. The language used by some of the other customers and staff in there was a disgrace and most seemed drunk early in the afternoon. This pub has really gone down hill over the last few years but at least we now know, not to pop in there again.

We went into another much nicer pub along the road the Cricketers Arms and watched the end of the Rugby. The Boro got worse as the game went on and they lost by two goals anyway. Eventually we crossed back over the road and went back into the Three Horseshoes for a couple.

On the way back to the van we popped into the Co-op and got a couple of curries to have for supper. We then walked back to the site in the dark, something we said we would not do again but it wasn't that bad.

Mon March 14th

My back was really bad this morning, it has been getting worse as we have been away but it was very bad today. Took a couple of pain killer tablets and in an hour or so it wasn't too bad.

The plan for our last day, was to go for a walk this afternoon and pop into the nice pub for tea later.

We wandered into town the same way as we did on the yesterday and wandered around the shops for a while. we soon gave up and went into the Three Horseshoes but sat outside in the sun for a couple of beers.

Dot in Barnard Castle

When the sun went down, we went inside and had our tea, we got the same as a couple of days ago only I had the Steak & Ale Pie and Dot had the Homemade 6oz Burger.

It was still early when we wandered back to the campsite.

Tues March 15th

My back was really bad again, hope it is not using the van that is hurting it. Took pain killers again and it cleared up slightly. We had a restful morning and because my back was bad (and it was raining, unlike the weather forecast, which said no rain), when we left we headed straight home.