Pot Haw Farm, Coniston Cold, North Yorkshire

Last week, we managed to link a 2-night Wedding Anniversary Spa break at the fabulous Coniston Hotel & Spa, near Skipton, North Yorkshire, with another Jolly adventure.

We had pre-booked an evening meal in the Huntsman’s Lodge restaurant at the hotel on the evening of our arrival followed by a full spa day the next day.  It was fab, a really lovely couple of days, but instead of staying at the hotel we made use of a Camping & Caravanning Club CS Site just a 10-15 minute walk away.  Heaps cheaper, but also our preferred option is ALWAYS to stay in our Jolly.

The site was Pot Haw Farm at Coniston Cold.  It’s an adult-only site based on a working farm, beside Craven Country Ride, an off road horse riding venue.  We have to say it was a real gem of a find.  For the first day/night we were the only unit on site and enjoyed total peaceful countryside relaxation.

Wide open views and good sized pitches, the facilities here are very impressive, pristine, and even include an AGA cooker in a communal kitchen/dining area.  The lady owner (Jacqui) greeted us on arrival and took us on a tour of the facilities immediately.  She takes great pride in the site which is lovingly kept.  The warm, sunny weather showed the whole area at its best during our stay.  Here are some photos taken during our stay:-

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By our second night there was a group booking of 3 more units pitched up and by the time we left the following morning the site had reached it permitted maximum of 5.   It seems to be a place people return to.  We can see why and will definitely return ourselves and venture out on our bikes, although not along the main A road that runs below the site.  The owner warned that it’s one to avoid as it’s very fast and not cycle friendly, or walker friendly as there is no footpath.  In fact the walk we did from our pitch to the hotel was one the owner recommended to us as a safe route through the farm fields.  Be sure to ask for those directions if visiting the hotel.  There are other walks from site too and apparently a bus stop a short distance away.

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So, for us, this was just a cheeky last minute accommodation booking for our anniversary celebrations, but it turned out to be quite a find.

We didn’t take any photos at the hotel as we had a phone/camera free relaxation break, but we can recommend it for a pamper day and/or delicious dining.

A big fat 10/10 for this trip.   Excellento! 👍

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… until next time 👋

ONWARD!>>>> 🚐

Suzie & Bri

Lynton & Lynmouth, North Devon

Firstly, I’ve finally discovered hyperlinks (!) which will enable better integration of links into blog posts from now on.  You’re welcome.

So, the final part of Jolly’s June Jaunt took us from the seaside and beach settings of Saunton and Ilfracombe to Lorna Doone Country, and the rugged, captivating charm of Lynton & Lynmouth on the coast of Exmoor National Park.  The scenery was truly stunning.

We stayed at Lynton Camping & Caravanning Club site just one (very) hilly mile outside Lynton itself, and arrived in glorious sunshine.  Our first day there was the hottest so far.  We were a little early but that didn’t seem to bother the laid back and very friendly wardens who told us a little about the local area and allowed us to choose our own pitch.  They were lovely people, chatty and full of interesting and helpful information on the area.

This is one of the prettiest, quietest and well placed sites we’ve stayed at.  It was immaculately kept and although there are several reviews about the facilities being dated, we found them to be spotless and perfectly adequate, although as usual we mostly used Jolly’s onboard facilities.

The weather was so good on our first day that we decided to have a lazy, sunbathing day but not before we hopped on the bikes and rode to a nearby farm shop – Caffyn’s Farm Shop about a mile away.  The café there was closed but the well-stocked shop allowed us to stock up for a BBQ later in the day and other provisions for the rest of our stay, including their delicious homemade cider which certainly packed a punch!  There’s also a camping site, accommodation and horse riding at the farm.  Although only a short distance to the farm and back it was a fairly hilly ride and that was the last time we used our bikes in this area, getting about instead mostly by foot.   There’s a bus service you can use to get around, the bus stop is just a little walk away from site (info available from reception).

 

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We had a fab time in Lynton & Lynmouth, walking from site and taking in the amazing scenery.  We passed a friendly couple who were digging in deep to get up the very steep hill section.  I think they stopped for breath as much as a chat.  They told us that they had recently settled in Lynton after wanting a change from their old life.  They apparently sold up and just stuck a pin in a map of the UK to decide where to go!  It landed on Lynton.  Wow, no messing about there.  They hadn’t regretted it either.

Lynton stands above the lower picturesque harbour village of Lynmouth and is connected by a Victorian funicular cliff railway.  It’s a must to travel up and down between the two villages on this unusual mode of transport.  The railway is water-powered and operates on a balancing principle.

 

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We took the railway down into Lynmouth, the village known as ‘England’s Little Switzerland’.

We visited The Flood Memorial Hall, where the moving story is told through video, photographs and correspondence of the devastating Lynmouth Flood Disaster of August, 1952 in which 28 people tragically lost their lives.

There’s also a model of the village within the memorial hall.   Entrance to the memorial hall is free and gives you a deeper understanding and appreciation of the history of this beautiful village and its people.

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You can walk from Lynmouth to Watersmeet House, a former fishing lodge by a dramatic river gorge.  It’s a National Trust property well known for its delicious cream teas.

There are many walks to enjoy around this area, including Watersmeet, Valley of the Rocks, Countisbury to name just a few.

There’s certainly plenty to see and do in Lynton and Lynmouth.   We finished our day searching for somewhere to eat after taking the railway back up to Lynton.

We discovered a little cafe (day)/restaurant (night) called The Vanilla Pod.  We were lucky enough to get a last-minute table, it’s a very popular place and gets great reviews on TripAdvisor.  Well, we soon found out why.  We had some scrumptious seafood washed down with a large glass of white wine.  If we lived nearer, we’d be there all the time!  You’d be wise to book if you’re ever thinking of going.

Our last evening was a perfect close to our North Devon Adventure.  We were blessed with a breathtaking and quite romantic sunset.  Perfect! 😎

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The next morning we packed up early ready for our 5 hour, 300 mile journey home and luckily the traffic wasn’t too bad.  Another great adventure and oodles of great memories.  Happy days 🙂

ONWARD!>>>>

Suzie & Bri

Moffat, Dumfries & Galloway, Scotland

So, our latest Jolly jaunt took us just over the border to bonny Scotland where the sun shone all weekend.

 

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We headed to Moffat, a Victorian Spa town on the River Annan, and stayed on the Camping & Caravanning Club Site which is situated just a 5-minute walk from the town centre.  It was a perfect two-night stop-over location.

http://www.campingandcaravanningclub.co.uk/campsites/uk/dumfriesgalloway/moffat/moffat

 

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This is a large 180 pitch site and most if not all pitches were occupied this weekend.  The pitches are well spaced out though giving a relaxed and open enough feel.  The wardens were very warm in their welcome and allow visitors to choose a pitch from a map on the reception wall before escorting you down to it.

 

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There’s a cycle hire shop just outside the main gate if you want to explore further afield by bike.  Our bikes stayed on the back of Jolly this time though as everything was within easily walkable distance.  There’s also a handy Co-op just outside the site entrance for any necessities.

Moffat is a town that relies heavily on tourism and therefore offers the expected array of shops, hotels, restaurants, and bars.  It also hosts a number of events throughout the year including the Moffat Sheep Races, Classic Car Rally, Christmas Festival and Gala Day.  More info can be found here …

https://www.visitmoffat.co.uk/

There’s a museum with free entry if you want to learn more about the history of the town.

The town is mentioned in the Guinness Book of Records as having the world’s narrowest hotel.  The Star Hotel dates from the late 1700’s and is just 20 ft wide and 162 ft long.  Moffat also claims to have both the narrowest Street (Syme Street) and shortest Street (Chapel Street) in Scotland.  We can vouch for a good pint in the Star Hotel 😉

The Famous Star Hotel – in the Guinness Book of World Records as the world’s narrowest hotel  http://www.famousstarhotel.co.uk/

There’s another tourist attraction in the town centre called ‘The Moffat Ram’.  It’s a fountain and a symbol of the town’s historical connection to the sheep and wool trade. The Statue was a gift to the townspeople by businessman William Colvin, and was originally a drinking fountain.  After William Colvin had commissioned the sculpture, there was a grand unveiling ceremony. During the ceremony a local farmer noticed the ram “Had nae lugs” and it is said he shouted out this fact to all the crowd at the gathering.

On closer examination, it was clear the Moffat Ram had no ears. This mistake became too much of a burden for the Sculptor, William Brodie, who supposedly committed suicide at the Annandale Arms Hotel across the road and is said to wander the corridors of the hotel on an eternal search for the missing lugs ….

Hmm, no ghostly noises or sightings for us but again we can vouch for a good pint at the Annandale Arms! 😉

http://ghosts.wikia.com/wiki/The_Moffat_Ram

 

In September each year the town marks the anniversary of the Battle of Britain, one of WWII’s most prominent battles).  It remembers a local hero who was considered to be a mastermind in the winning of the battle.  Air Chief Marshal Hugh Dowding was born in Moffat and there’s a memorial to him which stands in Station Park.

 

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Station Park looked beautiful in the sunshine.  There’s a little boating lake, putting green and plenty of benches to sit and chill out, which we did for a while.  That was after an eventful arrival into the park and one which amused Brian no end.  He had found a shortcut from the shop to the park down an embankment and across a precariously balanced plank of wood which he maneuvered across expertly.  Then yours truly had a go, only to lose my footing (and dignity) as the plank slipped, propelling me into the embankment.  Still, I got across! 😜

During our visit we ate at ‘The Beef Tub’, the restaurant of the Buccleuch Arms Hotel and thoroughly enjoyed our meal here – Heart-warming Traditional Scottish Stovies ~ a blend of beef, lamb, pork & haggis slowly simmered with potatoes and vegetables served with oat cakes.  Yum!  It’s worth booking though because this place seemed very popular.

http://www.buccleucharmshotel.com/

 

Another place which seemed to attract many people was Bombay Cuisine, so we tried this on our final night.  We had our meal as take-out and enjoyed it back on Jolly.  Big thumbs up to this meal too.

http://www.bombaycuisinemoffat.com/

Finally, Moffat became Europe’s very first ‘Dark Sky Town’ in 2016 after three years’ hard work to achieve this title.  This involved a push towards conversion to special street lighting which keeps light pollution to a minimum.  So, no doubt it’ll be a favourite with stargazers.  Actually, I was seeing stars after the embankment incident …

http://darksky.org/idsp/communities/moffat/

Anyway, Moffat was a delight and we’ll happily return at some point in the future, maybe out of season when the site is a little quieter, it’s open all year round.

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Homeward bound

We had a good journey home and it’s a couple of weeks now until our next Jolly adventure in June.  It’ll be a 9-nighter and as always can’t come soon enough  🙂

ONWARD!>>>>

Suzie & Bri