Clitheroe Food Festival, Ribble Valley, Lancashire

Sooo, a food festival.   What’s not to like?

We were back in Clitheroe a couple of weekends ago to experience the Clitheroe Food Festival  which we’d been meaning to visit several times but always seemed to have other trips planned.  We made sure that we made it there this year.

We stayed at Clitheroe Camping & Caravanning Club Site .  It’s situated in an idyllic location beside the River Ribble at Edisford Bridge just a mile or so outside the town centre.  We often stay at this site and this time noticed a big improvement in that the old plastic mesh matting pitches have now been replaced with gravel hard standings.  This is a big improvement as this site is so close to the River Ribble it’s prone to water logging and flooding.

Our weekend had begun Friday lunchtime when our nephew, George, who had been staying with us for a couple of days helped us to collect Jolly from storage and joined us on board as we took him back home on the way.

For Friday night, we’d pre-booked ourselves a table at The Red Pump Inn, Bashall Eaves So, after a chilled afternoon on Jolly (it was raining quite heavily outside) we rang for a taxi up to the Red Pump, which is about 2.5 miles outside Clitheroe.  It’s in a peaceful location with good views of the surrounding countryside.

We’d heard before going that the steaks here were top notch, and although there was plenty on the menu that could easily have turned our eyes, noses and taste buds, we both decided to go for a steak.  We ordered a fillet steak with garstang blue cheese sauce and a 90 day dry aged rib-eye steak with chimichurri sauce.  Both were cooked to medium rare perfection, served with tasty chunky hand cooked chips and a side salad. The food portions were just right too, comfortably filling.

In fact, the whole evening was pretty perfect – great staff, service and atmosphere.  We can recommend this one without hesitation.  It made an interesting change for us too as we usually go into Waddington which also has great pubs/restaurants – The Higher Buck, Waddington Arms, and The Lower Buck.

The next day the sun came out of hiding in time for the Food Festival and the town centre was buzzing with a large turnout of people who were treated to a festival offering an impressive display of different food/drink/produce stalls.  There was plenty of live street music, entertainment and food demos too.  This Festival is rated as one of the most successful of its kind in the North West of England and in the top 10 throughout the country, and this was its 7th year.

We enjoyed our afternoon wandering through the town centre then ventured down to another place that put on a great day – the Bowland Brewery at Holmes Mill just down from the town centre.  There were food stalls, their new food hall was open, live music, ice cream shop and of course some great ales to be enjoyed.  For us, this place is an absolute must to drop into whenever we’re over Clitheroe way.

The town’s festival was rounded off perfectly at approx. 4pm when the Red Arrows treated everyone to a fly-over display on their way across to the Blackpool Air Show.  It was a spectacular finish to the event.

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Clitheroe Main Street

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Red Arrows Flyover (photo by Zoie Carter-Ingham)

Afterwards, we cycled back down from town to the Edisford Bridge pub which is just over the bridge from the C&CC site.  We grabbed a pint and some tea (because we hadn’t actually eaten at the food festival!?) before heading back to our pitch to await the arrival of a couple of good friends and fellow campers, Mo & Lee, who were coming to see Jolly and have a few drinks with us.

We sat out for a couple of hours chatting, laughing and drinking before the evening chill finally beat us and we retreated inside Jolly for the remainder of the evening.  Our next outing will actually be back in Clitheroe but a group social gathering with Mo, Lee and another couple..  We’re really looking forward to that one.

Great weekend! 😊  Til next time ..

ONWARD!>>>>

Suzie & Bri

Haltwhistle, Northumberland

Recently back from an enjoyable weekend at Haltwhistle.  Our first time at the Camping & Caravanning Club Site there, which is situated by the River South Tyne.

http://www.campingandcaravanningclub.co.uk/campsites/uk/northumberland/haltwhistle/haltwhistle

Our pitch was beside the pathway down to the river which, along with birdsong, was pretty much the only sound we heard on site.  We believe this pretty little site to be the quietest we’ve stayed at so far.  Bliss.

Haltwhistle is a small town in the North East of England just over the border from Carlisle, lying in Northumberland.  It is described as the geographical centre of Britain (although the village of Dunsop Bridge in the Ribble Valley, Lancashire is also often cited as the centre of Britain).

http://www.visitnorthumberland.com/haltwhistle

It is a couple of miles into Haltwhistle from the site and we cycled down the old railway track which can be accessed not far from the entrance road to site.  It’s a tarmac pathway with a gradual decline going and, obviously, more pedaling required coming back.  It follows part of the old 13-mile railway route from Haltwhistle to Alston (the highest market town in England).  The line was opened in 1852  to transport minerals from Alston Moor, and it closed in 1976.  By 1983, there was a narrow gauge railway operating along a small section of the line with plans to possibly extend this at some point.

The disused section from the campsite now forms part of the 26-mile South Tyne Trail (for both cyclists and walkers) which runs from Tyne Head to Haltwhistle.  It takes in the restored Lambley Viaduct, built to cross the South Tyne River.

http://www.gps-routes.co.uk/routes/home.nsf/RoutesLinksWalks/south-tyne-trail-walking-and-cycle-route

Haltwhistle is rich in Roman history and approx. 2 miles away is the central section of Hadrian’s Wall, which is the location of the best preserved section of the wall.  For around 300 years, Hadrian’s Wall was a frontier sprawling 73 miles coast to coast from Wallsend in the East to Solway Firth in the West.  It was built by approx. 15,000 soldiers on the instruction of Emperor Hadrian in 117 AD to protect the roman empire against barbarians, and was finished in under 6 years.

http://www.english-heritage.org.uk/visit/places/hadrians-wall/

About 5.5 miles from Haltwhistle is the Vindolanda Roman Fort and Settlement with museum.

www.vindolanda.com/

It’s one of the North East’s most famous tourist attractions, particularly noted for the Vindolanda Tablets – considered some of the most important archaeological finds of correspondence (written on wooden tablets) discovered anywhere in the Roman Empire.  Speaks for itself that this is worth a read-up on and a visit.

We had great September weather during this trip and spent a lot of time cycling through the beautiful countryside.

For food and a good pint, Bri had researched The Black Bull Inn, in the centre of town.  It receives excellent reviews and we had planned on trying here, but by this time our travels had taken us away from town.

https://www.tripadvisor.co.uk/Restaurant_Review-g616269-d1544997-Reviews-The_Black_Bull-Haltwhistle_Northumberland_England.html

At the end of our full day there, after covering several miles, we finished off along the South Tyne Trail, a little further on from site to call in at the Wallace Arms, Featherstone.

https://whatpub.com/pubs/TYN/6852/wallace-arms-featherstone

We arrived there half an hour before opening time, but the landlord saw us and opened up early to pull us thirsty cyclists a couple of pints 🍻  Nice one Mr Landlord!  👍  We had planned to eat our evening meal there but discovered that they don’t serve food.

Instead we sat outside and enjoyed the last of the day’s sunshine, a couple of real ales from a local brewery, and chatted at length with one of the new occupants of this now family run pub.  There were lots of lazy, grumpy wasps around as there are at this time of year, which we both spent a while dodging … until Suzie eventually jumped up dancing around, shaking her t-shirt to get rid of a wasp that had got inside and stung her armpit!  😖  Another pint eased the pain though 😃

On arrival back at site we ordered fish and chips from a takeaway in Haltwhistle that provided delivery.  The info and menu for this is in the site information file.  Good fodder before turning in for the night and our journey home the following morning.  A thumbs up for Haltwhistle.

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September sunset

Our next Jolly jaunt is back to Uttoxeter Racecourse where we went last year for the Marston’s Beer Festival.  This year we’re returning for the Oktoberfest weekend in … err … October funnily enough.  Roll on October!

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Home time

ONWARD!>>>>

Suzie & Bri

Charmouth, Dorset – Jurassic Coast Adventure Pt 4

Day 8 – and our final destination for June’s ‘Jolly’s Jurassic Adventure’ was a 45 minute (25.5 miles) drive further westwards along the coast to Charmouth, near the border with East Devon.    We’d booked a pitch at the Charmouth Camping & Caravanning Club site.

http://www.campingandcaravanningclub.co.uk/campsites/uk/dorset/nrcharmouth/charmouth

This site is located at Monkton Wyld Farm, about 3 miles outside Charmouth itself, and is a beautiful, spacious site located down a quiet country lane away from traffic noise.  It was a good job we had our bikes on board as there isn’t much in the immediate area of this site so you do need to be able to walk a distance even to access public transport or have other means of getting out and about as most things to do are a short drive/ride away.

By now, the weather was beginning to turn and the glorious sunshine that had welcomed us on our arrival into Dorset had reduced to sporadic periods of sunshine through cloud and rain showers, some heavy.  This didn’t in any way dampen (pardon the pun) our Dorset experience, however,  and there was still adventure to be had!

During our stay here, one day we jumped on our bikes and cycled an approx 18 mile round trip to Seaton in the Axe Valley, East Devon, for the afternoon.  It was a pretty welcome into Seaton as we rode over the bridge and alongside the River Axe.   We locked the bikes up at Seaton Tramway and took a ride on one of the narrow gauge heritage trams from Seaton to Colyford and Colyton.  The track runs alongside the River Axe estuary, giving great views of bird life.  We aren’t very knowledgeable on birds but we definitely saw a buzzard on the overhead line as we passed beneath!  The tram driver was clearly very happy in his job and made it a fun and entertaining journey.

http://www.tram.co.uk/

We rode the tram up to Colyton where we disembarked for a stroll around the village.  It was pleasant walking through the winding streets.  We enjoyed a real ale as we sat outside the Gerrard Arms (freehouse) while listening to an impressive ringing of bells from St Andrew’s Church next door.  It was a very quintessentially old English village feel to the moment.  We later called in at the Kingfisher (freehouse) too before walking to catch the tram back into Seaton.

By this time it was late afternoon and we headed off on our 9 mile ride back towards site.  Unfortunately, the weather quickly changed and we found ourselves riding, often uphill, into a head wind with the rain pelting down.  It was quite a challenging ride!

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River Cottage HQ appearing through the mist on our way home

Just as we were on the verge of losing our will to live, and looking like drowned rats, we reached The Hunter’s Lodge Inn, just about a mile from site.  We were pretty knackered and had never been more ready for some pub grub and a pint.  As Suzie headed to the toilet, Bri went to book a table but was told there was no room at the Inn! 😱  There was a pub quiz on that evening and all bookings had been taken for this.  As luck would have it though, as Suzie returned and was informed, the barman took pity on her pitifully sad, disappointed, exhausted expression  … and managed to squeeze us in!  RESULT! 😃👍

We would definitely recommend that you book a table if wanting to eat here as they seem to regularly be full.

http://www.hunterslodgeaxminster.webs.com/

Another day, we decided to go fossil hunting on Charmouth beach as we had read that it is one of the best areas to do this.  After the previous day’s bike ride, and as the weather remained wet, we decided to unhook Jolly and take him into Charmouth.  Obviously with this, you are more limited with parking but this wasn’t a problem at a car park just up the road from the Charmouth Heritage Coast Centre at the beach.  At the Heritage Centre, we were able to watch a video on fossil hunting and saw some very impressive fossil collections.  We weren’t successful with fossils that day but had a good couple of hours wandering the beach and searching 🙂

http://www.charmouth.org/chcc/

On our way back we were thinking of possibly having a wander around West Bay, one of the locations used for the filming of ITV’s crime drama, Broadchurch, but by this point it was quite late and we also discovered that motorhomes weren’t too welcome in the car parks we looked at which was disappointing but not entirely surprising.  I think Station Yard Car Park, West Bay allows some motorhomes, not sure how many.  We’re usually on bikes so hadn’t really experienced this difficulty before.

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A flying visit to West Bay harbour

This site is helpful re. parking in Dorset:-

http://www.motorhomeparking.co.uk/dor.htm

No worries though, we headed back to Jolly for our tea before an early night and a long journey home the next day.

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Final checks, then homeward bound 🚐

We waved goodbye to Charmouth and set off on the 265-mile return journey back up North to Lancashire, after an absolutely brilliant time on our 10-night Jolly Jurassic Adventure and got a real buzz from touring.  We just want to do more and more.  Here’s to the next one which will be June 2017, destination yet to be confirmed.  Until then …

ONWARD!>>>>

Suzie & Bri

Corfe Castle, Dorset – Jurassic Coast Adventure Pt 1

On 5th June, 2016, after some preparation and planning, Jolly was loaded up and fuelled ready to head off on our 10-night Jurassic Adventure.

The Jurassic Coast is a World Heritage Site on the English Channel coast of Southern England. It stretches a distance of 95 miles from Orcombe Point near Exmouth in East Devon to Old Harry Rocks near Swanage in East Dorset.  The coastline reveals 185 million years of our Earth’s history through the Triassic, Jurassic and Cretaceous periods.  We planned on covering the majority of the coast, from it’s Eastern-most point near Swanage to Seaton towards the West.

http://jurassiccoast.org/

Map to plan

Jurassic Coast map

It was a 300-mile journey to Part 1 of our Adventure, our first destination being Corfe Castle on the Isle of Purbeck, not an actual island but a peninsula in Dorset noted for its spectacular cliffs and land-forms, which include Lulworth Cove and Durdle Door.  Corfe Castle is the name given to the village as well as the Castle itself  (built by William the Conqueror and dating back to the 11th Century).

We had a clear run down, arriving in good time to glorious sunshine as we checked into Corfe Castle Camping & Caravanning Club Site.  With the sun beating down and a sunny pitch allocated we thought it only appropriate that we set up and sit out for a few hours rest after the journey and to allow time to take in the scenic woodland setting of our home for the next 3 days & nights.

http://www.campingandcaravanningclub.co.uk/campsites/uk/dorset/wareham/corfecastle

corfepitched

Jolly pitched up in the sunshine

We later had a walk into the village of Corfe Castle, an approx. 20 minute countryside walk from site mostly downhill.

There are a number of shops, cafes and pubs in the village and we enjoyed a drink in The Greyhound before a lovely evening meal at the 16th Century Bankes Arms Hotel.  Both great pubs with friendly and welcoming locals.

http://www.greyhoundcorfe.co.uk/

http://www.bankesarmshotel.co.uk/corfegreyhound

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Corfe Castle Village map

corfecentre

The castle silhouette from the village centre

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Sunset in the village

During our stay at Corfe Castle we enjoyed excellent weather and so jumped on our bikes for a day, initially intending to cycle the leisurely 5.5 mile Rempstone Short Loop.  However, after finding the directions for this a little confusing and the ride not the most inspiring, we made up our own route.  Not before having to negotiate a field containing a bull though.  Suzie’s never cycled so fast! bikeridebull

We eventually ended up further afield than originally planned at Knoll Beach at Studland Bay, which is a beautiful area to spend some time and was well worth the effort.

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Knoll Beach, Studland Bay

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Refreshments at Knoll Beach before the return ride

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On our return journey we had a bizarre encounter on the cycle path with a naked rambler …

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THE Naked Rambler?

Another full day was spent on a trip to Swanage.  We travelled to Swanage on the preserved steam railway from the quaint old-fashioned station at Corfe Castle which itself takes you back in time and also houses a small museum.

http://www.swanagerailway.co.uk/

Swanage is a traditional Victorian seaside town with the attractions you would expect from such a resort, including a blue flag beach.

http://www.visitswanage.com

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Swanage seafront

We took a boat trip along the coast into Poole Harbour, which allowed us to take in the famous landmark that is Old Harry Rocks, the first major point of interest on the eastern side of the Jurassic Coast.  The weather was kind and the view of these chalk stack formations was pretty impressive.

The boat trip also took us past Sandbanks which crosses the mouth of Poole Harbour.  Sandbanks apparently has, by area, the fourth highest land value in the world, the properties here, therefore, being popular with the rich & famous.  We didn’t have time to explore Poole Harbour but it looked well worth a visit – maybe next time.

All in all a great part 1 of Joly’s Jurassic adventure!  Our next stop was an overnight seaview stay at Durdle Door, near Lulworth.   ONWARD!>>>>

Suzie & Bri

Shrewsbury, Shropshire

Our most recent stay was at the Cranberry Moss Camping & Caravanning Club Site last week.  The site’s situated approx. 8 miles from Oswestry and 10 miles from Shrewsbury in the opposition direction.  Conveniently, there is a regular bus service (hourly to Oswestry and 2 hourly to Shrewsbury) with a bus stop right outside the site entrance.

http://www.campingandcaravanningclub.co.uk/campsites/uk/shropshire/oswestry/oswestry

As it was half-term week we were expecting the site to be full but on arrival we were pleasantly surprised to find a good choice of empty pitches.  The site staff were very welcoming and keen for us to find the right pitch for us, so much so that as we were only staying 2 nights, they offered us an area sectioned off for some planned work later in the week.  As a result, we had a beautiful, private, quiet top corner pitch area all to ourselves.  That’s certainly going the extra mile. Big thumbs up to that!

Excellent pitch! A private corner all to ourselves.

Excellent pitch! A private corner all to ourselves.

Friendly pheasant snapped to the rear of our pitch

Male pheasant wandering by the rear of our pitch

We were blessed again with only light rain during our stay, nothing that prevented us from getting out on the bikes and also exploring the nearby town of Shrewsbury.  We didn’t have time to visit Oswestry too, so will save that for a future visit.

http://www.oswestry-welshborders.org.uk/

So, we arrived on site mid-afternoon following a longer journey than planned due to several traffic hold ups.  We had our customary relaxation time on site before taking the bikes off and cycling (approx. 10 mins) to the nearby village of Nesscliffe.  Had we not had traffic hold ups and got there earlier we would have cycled around Nesscliffe Country Park where there is an iron age hill fort, quarries which supplied stone for some of Shropshire’s’ castles and churches, and a cave hewn into the sandstone, which it is claimed was the hideout of a medieval outlaw called Humphrey Kynaston, Shropshire’s answer to Robin Hood.  However, as the nights are drawing in earlier now this wasn’t really practical during this visit, but we will fit this in when we return to this lovely site and visit the town of Oswestry.

http://www.shropshire.gov.uk/outdoor-recreation/parks-and-countryside-sites/nesscliffe-and-the-cliffe-countryside-site/

We cycled for tea at The Old Three Pigeons in Nesscliffe, spending a relaxed evening sitting in a quiet corner playing cards and chatting with a fellow camper from the site before enjoying a good meal.  The Old Three Pigeons is an early 15th Century public house and it is claimed that it is haunted by Humphrey Kynaston …

http://www.3pigeons.co.uk/

The Old Three Pigeons, Nesscliffe

The Old Three Pigeons, Nesscliffe

A chilled out game of cards (Suzie won … again! 😉)

Good wine list and an extensive food menu

Good wine list and an extensive food menu

We spent the next full day visiting the local town of Shrewsbury, birthplace of Charles Darwin, catching the bus from site. On arrival into town you pass the striking ‘Quantum Leap’ sculpture which was unveiled in 2009 to mark Darwin’s bicentenary and in representation of his pioneering ideas and influence on science.

http://www.discoverdarwin.co.uk/quantum-leap/

There are lots of higgledy piggledy old streets and alleyways to explore in this interesting town around which the River Severn flows.  In better weather, a Sabrina boat trip along the river would be an enjoyable way of seeing some of the landmarks and hearing about the town’s history.

http://www.sabrinaboat.co.uk/

We were happy to meander around town, dodging raindrops as the showers came and went.  It’s advisable to pick up a map of the centre from the Tourist Information Centre, based inside the Music Hall within The Square. Or print one from this link –

http://visitshrewsburymap.co.uk/

Town centre

Town centre

Most of the town can be covered quite easily and at a leisurely pace without having to walk your socks off.  We stopped for lunch at The Quirky Coffee & Gift Shop at the top of Grope Lane (ooh err!).  We had a light bite which was fine and the coffee served there was excellent.  The young man serving was extremely chatty and full of enthusiasm re. the town’s history on which he seemed quite clued up.

Looking up from the bottom of Grope Lane, named either because people had to grope to find their way up or because it used to be a red light area. Our guess is probably the latter!

Looking up from the bottom of Grope Lane, apparently named either because people had to grope to find their way up in the dark or because it used to be a red light area. Our guess is … probably the latter!

Bear Steps, viewed from the window seat of the Quirky Coffee & Gift Shoo

Bear Steps, viewed from the window seat of the Quirky Coffee & Gift Shop

One of many old narrow passageways throughout the town

One of many old narrow passageways throughout the town

The autumnal colours added to the beauty of this historic town

The autumnal colours in the grounds of St Alkmund’s church added to the beauty of this historic town

The old buildings along Fish Street

The old buildings and St Julian’s church along Fish Street

Henry Tudor House. Built in the early 1400s, it was originally a collection of shops, houres and a brewing inn. Henry Tudor (aka Henry VII) sought refuge here on his way to the Battle of Bosworth,

Henry Tudor House. Built in the early 1400s, it was originally a collection of shops, houses and a brewing inn.  Henry Tudor (aka Henry VII) sought refuge here on his way to the Battle of Bosworth

Pictures of pop/rock stars in Tudor dress adorn the walls

Pictures of pop/rock stars in Tudor dress adorn the walls

St Chad’s Church, not far from the town centre, is worth visiting to see the grave of Ebenezer Scrooge which was placed there during an 80s filming of A Christmas Carol in the town.  When filming was finished the grave was just left there.

Ebenezer Scrooge's grave at St Chad's Church

Ebenezer Scrooge’s fictitious grave at St Chad’s Church

There really is plenty to occupy anyone in this town and we had a great time here, managing to catch the last bus back to site early evening.

This is a campsite and area of the country we fully intend to return to in the near future.

Until then, our next Jolly adventure will involve a dressed up day at the races with slap up meal and champagne.  Hopefully also a few lucky wins too! 🏇🏇🍴🍸.  Can’t wait.

ONWARD,>>>>

Suzie & Bri

 

Segway Experience at Ripley Castle, North Yorkshire

We’d been looking forward to this trip for some time, keen to try out the current craze that is Segway.  Suzie bought this last December for Bri’s birthday and we thought we’d book it somewhere we could incorporate another Jolly jaunt.  Any excuse. So we chose Ripley in North Yorkshire.

We stayed at the Ripley Caravan Park, a Listed Site (LS) with the Camping & Caravanning Club but not under their jurisdiction.  As with many private sites, we have discovered a personal preference for using them mid-week/out of holiday seasons for a quieter experience, because come Friday mornings the sites literally take on a whole new look and ambience.  We thoroughly enjoyed our stay here, only just touching on the weekend.  They cater well for families too, with a playground and a swimming pool on site.

We spent the first afternoon of our break relaxing on site when the sun made an occasional appearance, then walked into Ripley (10 mins) using the public footpath which is accessed by walking back to the site entrance where there is a gate on the right, walking through the field, across two roads at the roundabout, and along the footpath into the village.  It’s the best route to avoid the busy main road from site.

Sunset over the fields on the walk back to site

Sunset over the fields on the walk back to site

Ripley is described as one of the most picturesque villages in Yorkshire and is located just a few miles north of Harrogate. It is apparently based on a french model village with unique architecture.  There are food shops, a local farm shop, ice-cream parlour, Post Office, florist, and an Art Gallery.  The main attraction and focal point of Ripley, however, is the historic Ripley Castle, home to the Ingilby family for 700 years.  It’s a must to visit if in the area and offers a wide array of activities for all.

http://www.ripleycastle.co.uk/

Ripley Castle and grounds

Ripley Castle and grounds

Ripley Castle

Ripley Castle

Sir Thomas Ingleby (c1290-1352) married the heiress Edeline Thwenge in 1308/9 and acquired the Ripley Castle estate with its medieval manor house as her dowry. His oldest son, also called Thomas (1310-1369), saved the King from being gored by a wild boar whilst on a hunting expedition and was knighted in return with the boar’s head symbol as his crest.

Hence the name of the sole pub in the village, The Boar’s Head, where we ate on both nights.  It’s an old Coaching Inn that is part of the Ripley Castle Estate and listed as one of the great Inns of Britain.  We were not disappointed.  Although not the most extensive menu, the food is made using fresh produce from the Castle kitchen gardens where possible, and is deeeelicious.

Chef returning with fresh produce from the Castle

Chef returning to the Inn with a basket of fresh produce from the Castle

There is a short history written above the bar, describing previous pubs in Ripley village – apparently there were once 3 pubs, until their closure and a period of 70 years sobriety (sad times!) until the re-opening of the Boar’s Head (Hallelujah!).

http://www.boarsheadripley.co.uk/

The Boar's Head, Ripley Castle

The Boar’s Head, Ripley Castle

Fancy forgetting our sunglasses.  Doh!  *face palm*

Fancy forgetting our sunglasses. Doh!
*face palm*

Between us, we made a right old mess of this Eton Mess at the Boar's Head Inn.  Yum!

Between us, we made a right old mess of this Eton Mess at the Boar’s Head Inn. Yum!

The first evening it was warm enough to eat outside in the sunshine and we got into conversation with a couple from the North East, the female of which informed us that she was a white witch.  We then spoke at length about her experiences.  It was quite a bizarre conversation at times but quite interesting nonetheless.  She was also quite interested to learn that Suzie hails from Clitheroe in Pendle Witch country!

During our visit we called into the local All Saints Church directly opposite the Boar’s Head Inn,  There’s an interesting history to the church which contains the Ingilby family vault and tombs of certain other local people of note.  We each lit a candle and had a moment’s quiet reflection.  It’s all too easy sometimes to walk past such wonderful buildings and we often like to take some time to do this on our travels.

http://www.allsaintsripley.org/

All Saints Church, Ripley

All Saints Church, Ripley

As mentioned, we had booked a Segway experience (through Segway Events) and thought the Ripley Castle setting would make it extra special.  Beforehand we had a little wander, saw a wedding taking place in this stunning setting and had lunch at the castle cafe before our activity.  We enjoyed a Ripley Platter and Bri particularly enjoyed the beer they served here – ‘Crackshot Ale’ by Daleside Brewery.

http://www.dalesidebrewery.co.uk/home.html

A Ripley Platter for two and a bottle of Daleside 'Crack Shot' a 17th Century Ale

A Ripley Platter for two and a bottle of Daleside ‘Crack Shot’ a 17th Century Ale

It was a fab experience and one we’ll definitely try again because once you find your feet/wheels, it just doesn’t feel you’ve long enough to play on them!  The training was given by Josh who was very friendly and informal, followed by a ride down to a field to take part in some friendly team competitions involving various tricks and skills training.  After that we rode up to a track and were left to have our own little ride around.  Unfortunately by that time, we only had about 5 minutes to enjoy testing our new found skills before our hour was up.  A few people expressed disappointment at this.  Maybe less time on the team comps and more free time would’ve been a better experience but it was still a great introduction to Segway.

Bri:

Bri: “Look, no hands!”

Suzie showing off her one handed slalom skills!

Suzie showing off her one handed slalom skills!

The group's response to

The group’s response to “Who’s going to fall off first?”  Luckily nobody did!
Good group, great fun 🙂

Another fabulous local adventure.  It’s amazing how many places there are to discover just a couple of hours from home and we’re loving exploring as many as possible until such a time as work and responsibilities allow us to venture further afield to explore more of the UK, Ireland, and Europe.

Our next adventure is to Hayfield in Derbyshire, birthplace of one of Bri’s favourite TV personalities and characters – Arthur Lowe aka Captain Mainwaring of Dad’s Army.  I think Bri’s affection for this programme stems from some of his experiences during his time managing his local retained fire station for nearly 30 years! Haha.

*Cpt. Mainwaring voice*  YOU STUPID BOY!

ONWARD!>>>>

Suzie & Bri

Delamere Forest, West Cheshire

From the moment we arrived at the Delamere Forest Camping and Caravanning Club Site, we knew we were going to have a very enjoyable stay.

http://www.campingandcaravanningclub.co.uk/campsites/uk/cheshire/northwich/delamereforest

The site staff couldn’t have been friendlier on arrival, full of good wishes when they learnt we were newlyweds, and a good sense of humour.  Just one teeny weeny niggle, we were shown to an area of pitches but given a choice of only 3 apparently larger ones which looked the same size as several other empty pitches.  We were then told it would be preferable to them if we used a certain pitch as some people visited with other families and often preferred to be pitched next to each other.  We don’t think pitches should really be suggested in this manner.  Whether you travel alone or with friends, everyone has preferences.  Anyway, it was no problem when we instead selected a quieter corner pitch with good sunshine.

We sat out for a few hours after pitching up, enjoying the sunshine and a celebratory bottle of bubbly!

Celebratory bubbles :)

Celebratory bubbles in the sunshine

Late afternoon/early evening we unloaded the bikes and cycled a short distance (approx. mile) into Oakmere to the Vale Royal Abbey Arms.  A quite traditional pub, the building 200 years old and listed.

https://www.oldenglishinns.co.uk/our-locations/the-vale-royal-abbey-arms-oakmere

We had already looked up and planned to eat at The Fishpool Inn, and so later we cycled a little further on to get there.  We had definitely made the right decision!  The interior is beautiful, cosy, and oozes class!  Even though we were in cycling gear, however, we felt totally at ease and welcome here.  According to the website the place underwent a multi-million pound renovation in 2012/13, and is now one of Cheshire’s most popular gastro inns and has been awarded the much sought after accolade of ‘Best New Pub’ in the UK at The Publican Awards.  We had to try a famous hearty, home-made, hand-crafted pie it sounded just too delicious to resist!

Cosy charm of The Fishpool Inn

Cosy charm of The Fishpool Inn

Starters

Starters

Delicious hearty, homemade, hand-crafted pies.  The pastry melted in your mouth - yum.

Delicious hearty, homemade, hand-crafted pies. The pastry melted in your mouth – yum.

Suzie was beaten at this point, but Bri managed a cheeky Knickerbocker Glory

Suzie was beaten by this point, but Bri managed a cheeky Knickerbocker Glory

There is also a very good selection of Real Ales, as they serve permanent local ales and a variety of guest cask ales.  Even the toilets, wow! they do say a lot about a place though!  The Fishpool Inn is a must to visit if you stay at Delamere. It is clearly popular so maybe book to be on the safe side although we were seated no problem.

http://thefishpoolinn.co.uk/view-pictures/

The following day we spent cycling in and around Delamere Forest.  The campsite is surrounded by the forest and the visitor centre is just out of the gates, over the railway bridge and to the right.  You can travel to other places from here, including Chester and if we had been staying longer we might have used this service to explore further afield.  However, for our 2-night stay there was more than enough to keep us occupied.

Delamere Station Cafe

Delamere Station

The station cafe

The station cafe

All sorts of activities here for different abilities/interests:-

http://www.forestry.gov.uk/delamere

We opted for a 7 mile bike ride through the forest, making it more 8.5 miles as we took a slight detour from the forest route to call in at The Carriers Inn on the banks of Hatchmere lake for a spot of lunch.   The 17th-century original smithy building is believed to be haunted …

http://www.thecarriersinn.com/

Bri meets and chin tickles the Gruffalo

Bri meets Gruffalo

The 7-mile White Moor Trail through Delamere

The 7-mile White Moor Trail through Delamere

Trail scenery

Trail scenery

Forest den

Suzie at one of many forest dens

Always time for a selfie ...

Always time for a selfie …

The Carriers Inn, Hatchmere

The Carriers Inn, Hatchmere

Lakeside beer garden at The Carriers Inn

Lakeside beer garden at The Carriers Inn

Refreshment (Hobgoblin real ale & a thirst quenching cider)

Refreshment (Hobgoblin real ale & a thirst quenching cider)

Early evening we cycled back to site.  There is a fish n chip van that visits the site at 5pm on Saturdays, but we didn’t make use of this service as we had already eaten.  We sat out until sun down with cheese, biscuits and wine and playing cards until it became chilly.  Then we decided to cabin up in Jolly after another thoroughly enjoyable break.

Oh, and on our return Suzie had a quick lesson driving and maneuvering Jolly ready to start driving him a little more in preparation for longer journeys.  Exciting!!

Suzie let loose at the controls

Suzie let loose at the controls

Our next trip is back to an old favourite of ours, Ravenglass.  That’s just a few weeks off.

ONWARD!>>>>

Suzie & Bri

Boroughbridge, North Yorkshire

In mid-November we stayed at the Camping & Caravan Club Site in Boroughbridge, North Yorkshire. The 85 pitch site wasn’t busy this time of year.  It was clean with good space on pitches.  Some people have commented on the noise from a local refrigeration plant but we weren’t particularly bothered by this.

We had originally booked this site as there was fishing available on the River Ure which runs alongside the site. Unfortunately the fishing pegs and river access were in disrepair and we were informed that this was the last year fishing would be offered at the site.  That said, we still managed a day’s fishing, finding space for our chairs amongst the overgrown river bank.  Didn’t catch much though, just a tiddler (caught by Suzie – yay!).

We didn’t do a great deal.  Spent some time chilling on site but one foggy afternoon/early evening we cycled into Boroughbridge for a look around.  There were a few shops and pubs.  We had a couple of drinks in the Crown Hotel, a traditional coaching inn.  It was clean & well furbished. We then nipped across the road to The Three Horseshoes which was more like your traditional local pub and was bouncing with music, had a good friendly atmosphere and served local ales.  We decided to pick fish n chips up from the Battered Friar on the High Street on the way home and ate them back in Jolly.   No complaints with the food – yum!

Although we enjoyed our stay, its not a site we will be rushing back to for any particular reason, however, it would be an ideal night stop over location when travelling further afield due to it being situated just off the A1 and we might use it for that.

Looking forward to the next outing, returning to Grassington in December for a Dickensian weekend.

ONWARD!>>>>

Suzie & Bri

Chair set up - check Line cast in - check Gin & Tonic - check!

Chair set up – check
Line cast in – check
Gin & Tonic – check!

(only) Catch of the Day! We're not sure but think it's a Ruff

(only) Catch of the Day!
We’re not sure but think it’s a Ruff

A skein of geese flying overhead heading South to warmer climes

A skein of geese flying overhead heading South to warmer climes

Beautiful Keswick, Lake District

On the road to Keswick

On the road to Keswick

Site at sundown

Gone fishing ...

Gone fishing …

Bri at Castlerigg Stone Circle

Suzie at Castlerigg Stone Circle

Suzie at Castlerigg Stone Circle

View of the Helvellyn range from the stone circle

Castlerigg Stone Circle

Suzie in a derelict railway man’s hut on the cycle way

Old railway cycle route

Old railway cycle route

Old railway cycle route

Keswick on market day

Keswick on market day

Stunning sunset

Stunning sunset

Wildlife

Wildlife

Scenic spot

Scenic spot

Bri having a chilled stroll with a (plastic!) glass of fizz

Bri having a chilled stroll & a glass of fizz

Campsite right on the edge of Derwentwater

Scenic spot

Scenic spot

Photographer's dream!

Photographer’s dream!

Bit of a gap between our last jaunt and this one, due to family commitments.  We were originally supposed to have visited Boroughbridge before Keswick but this has now been scheduled for mid-November.

Mid-September we were here at the Keswick Camping and Caravanning Club Site – which has to be one of our favourites so far.  Bri had visited before but it was my first time here.  The site, surroundings, and stunning scenery here are hard to beat.  The site’s situated on the edge of Derwentwater and a photographer’s dream location.  It has a really good feel to it too.  The first evening we took a bottle of fizz down to the water’s edge and just sat watching the sun go down.  It was surprisingly peaceful to say that the site was full.  We found our own little spot away from it all.

As you can see from the photos, our stay involved visiting Keswick town centre, including the bustling market, cycling the old railyway line to visit Castlerigg Stone Circle, and hiring a rowing boat to go out onto Derwentwater.

From this visit on we will be regular visitors.  This location has everything for a relaxing, scenic, getaway break from it all!

Next stop Hawkshead.

ONWARDS!>>>

Suzie & Bri

Knaresborough – “Gateway to the Yorkshire Dales”

Mother Shipton’s Cave – http://www.mothershipton.co.uk

Scotton Old Hall ~ once the home of Guy Fawkes

Scotton Old Hall ~ once the home of Guy Fawkes

Guy Fawkes Arms, Scotton

Guy Fawkes Arms, Scotton

Guy Fawkes Arms menu

Guy Fawkes Arms menu

Hammering our 20p into a money log/tree on the walk to Mother Shipton's Cave

Hammering our 20p into a money log/tree on the walk to Mother Shipton’s Cave

Lots of riverside wood carvings

Lots of riverside wood carvings

Boats beside our waterside lunch stop at Marigold’s

The House in the Rock

The House in the Rock

St Robert's cave

St Robert’s cave

Painted houses

Painted houses

Blind Jack

Blind Jack

Bri making a wish at the Wishing Well

Bri making a wish at the Wishing Well

Suzie making a wish at the Wishing Well

Suzie making a wish at the Wishing Well

Mother Shipton in her cave

The Petrifying Well

The Petrifying Well

Two-night stays are the theme at the moment.  Our most recent stop was at the Knaresborough Caravan Club Site which we have to say was pretty perfect for us.

On arrival we were told there were just a few pitches left, and we spotted an ideal one before going to fill up the water tank.  We thought that was the way things were done, just to see another motorhome arrive after us and drive straight to a pitch, leave two chairs out to bag the space and then go and fill up.  Fortunately for us, they seemed to misjudge things a bit, squeezing into a corner pitch and leaving us with a spacious grass pitch we’d already spotted (No.62) through the main site area up next to the play area (very quiet though, because the schools aren’t out for summer yet!).

There’s a cheerful little bar/bistro on site.  Varying reviews for it, but we found it convenient for our first night and decent food.  They’ll plate it up for you if you prefer to eat back at your pitch – which we did, sitting at a picnic table in the sun 🙂  The next day you just drop your plate back at the bar.

The next day we did some sightseeing by bike and by foot.  We cycled this route:

http://www.caravanclub.co.uk/media/12386128/knaresborough_caravan_club_cycle_ride_final.pdf

Points of interest: Waterside in Knaresborough has rowing boats, cafes, the impressive viaduct and Mother Shipton’s Cave. Abbey road in Knaresborough is home to The House in the Rock, Chapel of Our Lady of the Crag and St.Robert’s Cave. There is also Jacob Smith Park in Scriven.

Unfortunately, the House in the Rock & Chapel of Our Lady were closed the day we went, but we managed a brief glimpse of them.  We then stopped off at St Robert’s cave, walking a few steepish steps down.  As Bri ventured into the cave I heard a big splash followed by “oh, sh*t”.  It was pitch black with deep puddles so I decided to just view it from the outside, haha.  Blue plaques adorn the town which is full of people and places of historical interest.  We didn’t get into town to see the statue of Blind Jack, so we’ll have to go back again to meet him.

We had a delicious meal at Guy Fawkes Arms Pub in Scotton just down the road from Guy Fawkes childhood home and 5 minutes from our return to the campsite.  Then enjoyed a relaxing evening.

The weather was kind to us and all in all it was an interesting and fun couple of days.  Next stop Grassington.

ONWARD!

Suzie & Bri.

 

 

The oldest building in Knaresborough, apparently.

Impressive viaduct

Impressive viaduct

River Nidd