Introducing our new travelling companion 🎸

We’ve a recent addition to our future adventures in the form of a Taylor GSe mini acoustic guitar.  We already have a uke which Suzie’s teaching Bri to play.

Suzie’s been beside herself with excitement since researching acoustic models and reviews before trying then buying this beautiful guitar – not quite full size which makes it easier to transport and carrying the Taylor mark of quality that any guitarist will be familiar with.  It plays like a dream!

Sweet music!

ONWARD!>>>>

Suzie & Bri

Taylor GSe-mini rosewood electro-acoustic guitar

Taylor GSe-mini rosewood electro-acoustic guitar

it was love a first sight/strum ❤️

it was love a first sight/strum ❤️

Sunny Southport, Merseyside

Wow, we were truly blessed by the weather for our mid-week Jolly jaunt to Southport this week.  The sun shone from start to finish, and it felt as if we were miles from home rather than only an hour’s journey away.

Arriving into Southport, the pier in the distance

Arriving into Southport, the pier in the distance

Southport is a Victorian seaside town lying on the Irish Sea coast of North West England.  It has the second longest pier in the UK (the longest being Southend Pier), refurbished in 2002 at a cost of £7 million pounds it has a quite modern design with a cafe and Victorian-style penny arcades at the end.  Surprisingly, we didn’t actually visit the pier during this trip despite having fully intended to.  There were just too many other things to cram into a two-night break.  Great excuse for a re-visit though! 🙂

http://www.visitsouthport.com/

We stayed at the Caravan Club Site on the Esplanade along the coast.  It is a short walk into the centre of town from the site.  The site is very popular for visitors to the annual Southport Air Show, and we came home just before the weekend of this event during which the site is fully booked.   We pitched on the recently added phase of the site, which has increased the number of hard-standing pitches and provided an extra facilities block.  This work was completed earlier this year.  We booked a pitch with awning and were impressed by the pitch sizes which felt more spacious than other sites we have visited.  It is a very friendly, spacious, clean, and open site which we will definitely return to in the future.

http://www.caravanclub.co.uk/caravanclubapps/applications/uk-caravan-sites-and-parks/SiteDetails.aspx?csid=21981

We spent the afternoon of our arrival just relaxing in the sunshine on site.  It was very hot, and we had to make the most of what sunshine is left of this summer.

Taking time to enjoy the sunshine on site

Taking time to enjoy the sunshine on site

Despite the site being quite busy it was pleasantly very quiet.  We later walked into the town centre (approx. 15 mins) and visited a beer bar and bottle shop Bri had read about called The Tap & Bottles.  They have a wide range of cask and craft ales and offer homemade beer-tapas snacks for the hungry.  It’s a cosy place with a friendly and relaxed atmosphere.

The Tap & Bottles on Cambridge Walks in the town centre

The Tap & Bottles on Cambridge Walks in the town centre

Cosy interior

Cosy interior

Varied selection of cask and craft ales

Varied selection of cask and craft ales

We didn’t eat there, instead we opted to move on for a Turkish meal at the Havin Turkish Restaurant on Coronation Walk.  It was a Tuesday evening and so very quiet in town and we were the only customers in the restaurant.  The service was great and the food even more so.  We couldn’t fault it and would recommend a visit for something a little different if in the area.

http://www.havinrestaurant.co.uk/

Out on the town before a tasty Turkish meal

The day after our arrival we awoke to blazing sunshine and geared up ready for a 22.5 mile bike ride, a map of which is provided in the information room on site.  The ride takes you from site to part of the the Transpennine Trail: Cheshire Lines, then along part of the the Liverpool 20 trail to Lydiate.

Lydiate is approx. half way along the ride and a good place to stop for refreshments at either the Scotch Piper Inn or Hayloft cafe which are just a few yards apart from each other along the main road.  We opted to stop for a little liquid refreshment at the historic Scotch Piper Inn which is the oldest pub in Lancashire.  The thatched Grade 2 listed building dates from 1320, when it was originally known as “The Royal Oak”, and sections of the trunk of the oak tree around which it was built are visible from the tap room.

The Scotch Piper Inn at Lydiate. The oldest pub in Lancashire 🍻

The Scotch Piper Inn at Lydiate. The oldest pub in Lancashire 🍻

Interior of the Inn

For more on the history of the Inn and old photographs, check out this link:-

http://web.archive.org/web/20110629163337/http://www.fortunecity.com/millenium/ellerburn/53/

From this short pitstop we cycled on, passing over the Leeds-Liverpool Canal and a blustery 4-mile stretch over Plex Moss.  This stretch would be quite challenging on a windy day, as it was quite blustery on a calm day due to its wide open, exposed track.  We got our heads down though and pedalled through! 🚴🚴

Scenic cycle ride

Scenic cycle ride

Hay harvesting

Hay harvesting

Nice day for it 🌞

http://d5r9gdi4mky31.cloudfront.net/media/18005854/southport_cycling_route_map.pdf

Most of the afternoon was spent on the scenic cycle ride before tea at the Fisherman’s Rest on Weld Lane which is just around the corner from the campsite.

http://fishermens.rest/

We enjoyed delicious meals here, Bri opting for the slow cooked beef shin and Suzie for the Thai red fish curry.  We later headed to the front so that Suzie could catch a few sunset shots, although we’d left it a little late and only caught the last of the sunset!

Just in time for the last part of the sunset

Just in time for the last part of the sunset

Southport is so handy for us and we will return without hesitation, next time to the pier and more of the centre of Southport.

Our next Jolly adventure is to the town of Ulverston, South Cumbria, the birthplace of Stan Laurel, one half of Suzie’s favourite comedy duo, Laurel & Hardy.

Laurel & Hardy

Laurel & Hardy

ONWARD!>>>>

Suzie & Bri

The City of York

Our latest Jolly jaunt took us to the ancient walled city of York in North Yorkshire.  We have visited several times previously between us, and have already visited many sights and tourist attractions.  These include the impressive York Minster, Jorvik Viking Centre which is built on the site of an ancient viking settlement, and the actor-led, interactive York Dungeon.  All are worth a visit in our opinion.  Our last trip to York had been a B&B stay in freakishly hot March weather a few years ago.  We took a boat ride along the River Ouse and it had felt like the height of summer.

As you can imagine, York is steeped in history and definitely worth reading up on prior to visiting in order to get the most out of your stay.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/York

http://www.visityork.org/

En route to York

Scenic route to York

This was our first visit to York in Jolly, and we stayed at the Rowntree Caravan Club Site, approx. 15 minutes walk from the centre of York.

Entract to York Rowntree Caravan Club Site

Entrance to York Rowntree Caravan Club Site

Arrival on site

Arrival on site

We had heard previously that this can be a difficult site to book onto due to its popularity.  Therefore, we booked this trip early in the year and there were very few dates left even then but we managed to squeeze a stay in.  It’s well worth regularly checking the site though, as there are often cancellations.  We spoke to a couple of caravanners on the pitch beside us and they had booked last minute in this way.

The site is ideally situated on the banks of the River Ouse, providing pleasant strolls from the entrance.  Unfortunately, this also means that the site is prone to flooding which is apparent as soon as you arrive and see the reception & facilities building high up on stilts!  There are 3 grinding wheels outside the reception which are remains of the old Rowntree chocolate factory that used to be based where the site now is.  Previous years’ flood water levels are shown on here.  Thankfully, despite considerable rain, there were no flood sirens and early morning wake-ups requiring us to flee during our stay! 🙂

To the rear of the site is a 5 minute walk into a nice area of the city which offers a supermarket & a varied choice of restaurants (eat-in or take-out).  This is very handy in bad weather and we made use of a take-out one night after a late return from a cycle ride when the rain had set in and it seemed a more appealing proposition for the evening than to venture out and traipse around town getting soaked.  Staying on site is sometimes good wind down time when you’ve been on the go.  We felt the benefit of this, enjoying our meal beneath the wind out awning before deciding to cabin up in Jolly when it became quite chilly outside.

During our stay, one day when the rain held off until evening, we decided to ‘Cycle the Solar System’, an approx. 13 mile return journey along the old East Coast main-line railway. The ride begins not far from the site entrance, and the directions/information leaflet can be picked up from reception.  This ride gave us the opportunity not only for some good exercise, but to take in a couple of detours through surrounding villages along the way, such as Naburn, Bishopthorpe and Riccall.

https://www.york.ac.uk/solar/

Map of Solar System Trail

Map of the Solar System Trail

Millennium Bridge which you pass under on the way to the cycle trail

Millennium Bridge which you pass under on the way to the cycle trail

Passing the old Terry's chocolate factory

Passing the old Terry’s chocolate factory

Part of the trail crosses Chester racecourse

Part of the trail crosses York racecourse

The Fisher of Dreams (man or woman) with bike and dog, sitting on Naburn Bridge along the cycle trail

The Fisher of Dreams (man or woman) with bike and dog, sitting on Naburn Bridge along the cycle trail

Bri on Naburn Bridge

Bri on Naburn Bridge

We only spent a little time in the centre during this stay, dining and a few drinks in a couple of the older pubs and in the Shambles area.  We also grabbed a moment to visit the infamous Dick Turpin’s grave in St George’s graveyard.

The grave of Dick Turpin (John Palmer)

Dick Turpin’s (John Palmer) headstone

Dick Turpin’s grave

The time just seems to fly on our two-night Jolly jaunts.  We took a few pics along the way:-

History all around you as you pass through York

Historic York

Clifford’s Tower, the largest remaining part of York Castle. http://www.english-heritage.org.uk/visit/places/cliffords-tower-york

On our first evening, we enjoyed a tasty meal at Wilde’s Wine Bar & Bistro. http://www.wildeswinebar.co.uk/

The Three Tuns Inn, a tourist destination in it's own right http://www.visityork.org/thedms.aspx?dms=3&GroupId=3&venue=1506384#

The 300 year old Three Tuns Inn, a tourist destination in it’s own right
http://www.visityork.org/thedms.aspx?dms=3&GroupId=3&venue=1506384#

History of the Three Tuns Inn

History of the Three Tuns Inn

The Golden Fleece, claiming to be the oldest and most haunted premises in York … http://www.thegoldenfleeceyork.co.uk/

History of The Golden Fleece

History of The Golden Fleece

Cosy and beautifully lit inside. We didn't see any ghosts during this visit ...

Cosy and beautifully lit inside. We didn’t see any ghosts during this visit …

The Shrine of Margaret Clitherow, a sacred site in the Shambles, a small medieval house believed to have been the home of Margaret Clitherow - a 16th Century Catholic martyr. She was knighted in 1970 by Pope Paul VI who called her

The Shrine of Margaret Clitherow, a sacred site in the Shambles, a small medieval house believed to have been the home of Margaret Clitherow – a 16th Century Catholic martyr. She was knighted in 1970 by Pope Paul VI who called her “The Pearl of York”
http://www.sacred-destinations.com/england/york-margaret-clitherow-shrine

 

We had a strange encounter on the way back to camp, while walking by a roundabout.  An old double decker bus hurtled around the bend causing an old hand bell to fly from the door and practically drop at our feet.  It happened quickly, no idea which bus company it was. so we thought it’d make a nice memento of our trip.  Let us know if it looks familiar to you, you know, if it rings a bell … (sorry!).

Our interesting souvenir handbell which we'll keep on Jolly.

Our interesting souvenir handbell which we’ll keep on Jolly.

 

Route back to camp

Route back to camp

Night walk by the River Ouse

Night walk by the River Ouse

A welcome return to Jolly after a busy day/night

A welcome return to Jolly after a busy day/night

Another fun trip.  Next time we plan to spend more time in the centre of York itself .. whenever that will be.  Watch this space!

ONWARD!>>>>

Suzie & Bri