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

Leyburn, Richmondshire, North Yorkshire

Wall to wall Spring sunshine, peace & tranquility, wildlife galore, pretty villages, stunning scenery and one of the best Caravan & Motorhome Club sites we have visited so far.  All in all we’ve just spent a pretty perfect weekend in the lower Wensleydale area of North Yorkshire.

Our approx. 2 hour journey took us up the M6 to Junc 34 then across to Ingleton, up through the Yorkshire Dales National Park, past the White Scar Caves (visited previously – see our ‘Ingleton’ post), and the impressive Ribblehead Viaduct, through pretty towns and villages such as Burton-in-Lonsdale, Chapel-le-Dale, Hawes and Aysgarth, then finally into Leyburn, where just a mile further down the road into Harmby we turned left at the Pheasant Inn and took the narrow road up to site.

It’s clear to see why it’s important for visitors to adhere to the specified arrival/departure times here as there would be no passing space for two units.  Big thumbs up to the Lower Wensleydale Caravan & Motorhome Club Site.  It’s a gem.  Set in an old disused quarry, which is now well-established with trees and wildlife, including LOTS of rabbits.

From the moment we arrived we were struck by the great welcome and bright smiles from the wardens.  They were also very helpful in pointing out the best available sunshine pitches.

It was a busy weekend on site, probably due to the great weather, and yet still so tranquil.  Facilities were spot on.

https://www.caravanclub.co.uk/

The Wensleydale Railway, which provides some tourist steam services and special event days, runs from Northallerton to Redmire and passes through Leyburn and along the bottom of the site.

http://www.wensleydalerail.com/

We spent our first afternoon soaking up some much needed sunshine before biking the mile or so along the main road into Leyburn via Harmby.

It’s a thriving market town which is quite big on tourism with a variety of things to do or visit, including many walks and cycling routes.

Rather than list them all, check out this Leyburn Tourist Information vid for a bit of inspiration:-

 

After some deliberation about food on our first evening (plenty of choices), we finally decided to eat at a gastropub called The Sandpiper Inn in the town centre.  Right choice!  This places gets great reviews and served us some fabulous food.  OK, not the cheapest but worth the money.   With happy, full bellies we cycled back to camp for the night and slept likes logs 🙂

http://www.sandpiperinn.co.uk/

The next morning, we awoke to birdsong and, wow, the sun really shone for Suzie’s birthday!  After a fried egg on crumpet brekkie, the breakfast of champions, we saddled up for a day out on the bikes.

Check out the link below for our ‘Jolly Wensley’ale Bike Trail’ we put together.  Let us know if you try it:- 🙂

The Jolly Wensley’Ale Bike Trail

Obviously drinking responsibly, the main aim was really to visit as many of the surrounding villages as we could in the day but with the added interest of calling into some olde worlde hostelries.

There is nothing which has yet been contrived by man, by which so much happiness is produced as by a good tavern or inn” ~ Samuel Johnson

With the scenic rolling hills, there was a good balance of ups and downs, the downhills always compensating for the uphill pushes.  The final stretch up Harmby Bank is definitely a walker though, unless you’re a real fittie 😀

Next day, another great weekend over, we enjoyed a brew in the sunshine before heading home from the Yorkshire Dales back to Lancashire.

The clocks have sprung forward now for British Summertime so bring on the summer adventures!

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

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

Hawes, North Yorks

The walk to Hardraw

The walk to Hardraw

Local wildlife

Local wildlife

Ribblehead viaduct on the way home

Ribblehead viaduct on the way home

Cosy Inn

Cosy Inn

Green Dragon Inn

Green Dragon Inn, Hardraw

Hardraw Force, England’s highest single drop waterfall.

Another two-nighter stay, this time at Hawes Caravan Club site North Yorkshire.  We walked and cycled our way around Hawes and the local area.

After pitching up we walked across fields, part of the Pennine Way, from the site to Hardraw to see the waterfall and eat at the Green Dragon Inn.  The waterfall was definitely a site worth visiting and is situated to the rear of the pub.  You pay at the bar, £2.50 each, and it’s just a 5 minute walk away.  The food was average but enjoyable and we had a few drinks before walking back to the site.  Bri reckoned the cask ales were on form and the choice was good.

http://www.greendragonhardraw.com

Next day we cycled into Hawes to the Wensleydale Creamery to see the visitor centre, creamery and museum.  At the end of the tour we tasted and bought a whole heap of cheese.

http://www.wensleydale.co.uk

We cycled on to the nearby village of Gayle where there’s a woodwork mill that has been restored.  However, we arrived between the hourly tours and overheard the guide giving a tour.  I’m sure it was interesting but it sounded a little ?.. Zzzz … So we cycled back to Hawes and had a wander round the local market, sweet shop, and pubs instead!

Another good break.  Couldn’t fault the site or location.

Next stop Knaresborough.

ONWARD!

Suzie & Bri

Sunny Settle, North Yorkshire

Settle

Settle

Bri on the cycle path

Bri on the cycle path

River Ribble

River Ribble

Suzie

Suzie

The big beast of a pudding!

The big beast of a pudding!

Giggleswick church

Giggleswick church

Old fashioned sweet shop, Giggleswick

Old fashioned sweet shop, Giggleswick

Black Bull pub, Giggleswick

Black Horse pub, Giggleswick

Just chilling by Jolly on site

Just chilling by Jolly on site

Settle selfie

Settle selfie

Enjoyed a few days in Settle, staying at Langcliffe Park Campsite.  We were lucky with the weather and came home with a tan 🙂

http://www.langcliffe.com

Settle town centre is approx. mile & half walk from the site,  Plenty of good places to eat and drink, we chose the Lion’s Den at  The Lion Pub on Duke Street.  We were not disappointed but were beaten by the size of the steak pudding!  Delicious.

We cycled and strolled around the local area, along the path by the River Ribble, spending an afternoon in Giggleswick, which has an old fashioned sweet shop well worth a visit.

For local walks in this area – http://www.walkinginyorkshire.co.uk/settle.php

Settle is so pretty and the campsite friendly and immaculately kept.  A definite for return visits in the future.  Had a great weekend.

Next stop Ravenglass.

ONWARD!

Suzie & Bri.