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.
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.
Entrance to York Rowntree Caravan Club 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.
Map of the Solar System Trail
Millennium Bridge which you pass under on the way to the cycle trail
Passing the old Terry’s chocolate factory
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
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.
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 of the Three Tuns Inn
History of The Golden Fleece
Cosy and beautifully lit inside. We didn’t see any ghosts during this visit …
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.
Route back to camp
Night walk by the River Ouse
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!
Suzie & Bri