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

Kirkby Lonsdale, Cumbria

Jolly recently took us to Woodclose Park approx. half a mile outside the pretty, historic market town of Kirkby Lonsdale, on the border between the Lake District and the Yorkshire Dales.

Woodclose Park is beautifully laid out and immaculately maintained with excellent facilities.  We stayed in the circular touring section on pitch number 2.  The pitches were well spaced and fully serviced with water, electric, grey waste drain & tv hook-up points.

It was a busy weekend there but the atmosphere remained chilled and very peaceful.  All of the staff were friendly, especially Rick who we spoke to a couple of times and who gave us some recommendations and info about the area.

Kirkby Lonsdale is such a lovely town with an array of shops, cafes, pubs and restaurants.  There’s a Market day on Thursdays and a Farmers Market on the first Thursday of the month.  They also have a Victorian Street Fair during the first week in September.

In 2013, the town was used as one of the filming locations for the BBC drama ‘Jamaica Inn‘ We didn’t watch the drama but have googled it since to see the transformation of the town centre that was carried out.

The best walk from site into town takes you over the ancient 3-arched Devil’s Bridge, which crosses the River Lune and dates back to the 12th/13th Century.  It’s a popular site for tourists and has a butty/brew van and an ice-cream van parked up there.  It’s a favourite haunt for motorcyclists and we also noticed that several motorhomes stayed overnight in a parking lay-by nearby.

After the bridge, turn right and follow the path along the riverbank until you reach the 86 ‘Radical Steps’.  These steps take you up into St Mary’s churchyard and some gates lead out into the town centre.

According to a sign we read along the walk, the ‘Radical Steps’ came about in 1820 when Dr Francis Pearson, a man who held very strong Liberal views, obtained an order to divert a public footpath that ran through his garden at Abbots Brow.  Many locals were opposed to this and as a result the flight of steps that replaced the footpath became known as the ‘Radical Steps’ in reference to Dr Pearson’s radical politics.

After climbing to the top of the steps you reach St Mary’s Churchyard.  If you turn right at the top and walk just a little further along you come to ‘Ruskin’s View’.  It’s the point from which the famous artist JMW Turner painted the River Lune in 1822.  His painting moved the poet John Ruskin to write:

‘I do not know in all my own country, still less in France or Italy, a place more naturally divine’

Ruskin was so impressed with the painting that he described the panorama as ‘one of the loveliest views in England, therefore in the world’. The painting became known as ‘Ruskin’s View’.

The story of Ruskin’s View

The Norman St Mary’s Church and attractive churchyard is lovely to wander through.  We also went into the Church to look around and to light candles before walking out of the churchyard down an alleyway past the Sun Inn (well, we say ‘past’, we never pass a pub 😉).

We walked along Salt Pie Lane (formerly Cattle Market Yard).  This is where cattle used to be sold in the town, which led to a local lady deciding to make and sell hot salted mutton pies to the traders.  This salty pies created quite a thirst in the traders who would then visit the Green Dragon pub (now the Snooty Fox) to quench their thirst.  Apparently, the landlord of the pub was a relation of the pie-lady – great business idea!

There’s no shortage of great drinking holes.  To name a few we called into:- The Royal Hotel (serving Bowland Brewery ales), The Red Dragon Inn, The Sun Inn, The Kings Arms (live music), and The Orange Tree.

Bowland Brewery ales at The Royal Hotel

Be sure to call into the Kirkby Lonsdale Brewery in the centre which also serves some great local ales.

We enjoyed food at both The Red Dragon Inn and The Sun Inn during our stay.  We only ate from the bar menu at the Sun Inn but we’ll make sure we book in for an evening meal next time.  It’s a very popular place and they were having to turn people away as they were fully booked.   We also spent a few hours listening to some live music in the Kings Arms across the road from the Sun.  Great atmosphere!

It’s a pleasant stroll back to site from town and as we walked back over the bridge one night, we saw a humongous salmon jump twice down below.  We decided we’ll definitely have to buy a visitor’s permit and fish there some time!

The sun decided to appear for our journey home

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

Appletreewick, North Yorkshire

We recently had our first less than impressive camping experience … some very good points to the trip too though!

We stayed for 2 nights at the Mason’s Campsite in Appletreewick, North Yorkshire.  It’s a private site in the heart of Wharfedale with the River Wharfe running along the bottom of the site.

http://www.masonscampsite.co.uk/

In hindsight, a check of the reviews prior to the trip would’ve been a good idea and would’ve informed us that it isn’t one for our tastes, particularly at weekends.  Unfortunately, we just touched on the weekend, having spent a pleasant Thursday afternoon and evening and Friday afternoon there before all hell broke loose.  It’s quite a thing to leave a tranquil, idyllic, riverside site behind as you head out for a late afternoon walk for tea and then return to an inner city car park with cars & tents crammed almost on top of each other as far as the eye can see.

First things first though, we had a good journey in.  The sat nav took us along quite a narrow road at one point but thankfully there were plenty of passing areas.  People towing a caravan would’ve struggled so check your route carefully.

Positives: Staff on site were friendly & welcoming, it was a scenic riverside location, ideal for walks to suit all abilities (Burnsall, Bolton Abbey, Grassington), two good pubs in Appletreewick just a few minutes walk from site .. erm.. and the sun shone!

Negatives: Despite being popular with families there were no facilities or space for children to play on site without invading other campers’ space, insufficient toilet/shower facilities for numbers crammed onto the site at weekends, free for all pitching with no respect for pitch boundaries and no staff enforcement of rules, animals allowed to roam freely on site – we saw one dog foul on the grass of an empty pitch while being walked by its owner and another licking from the clean water tap while its owner watched (!), and finally the noise – not the expected countryside sounds but banging music.  It appears there are site rules but nobody to ensure they’re adhered to at night.  We were disappointed by the lack of consideration for customers in that respect.

It has to be said, however, that many reviews for this place are glowing as well as not so glowing like ours.  Personal taste.  We’ll leave it at that 😉

Of course we still enjoyed our break.  This included visiting the 2 pubs at Appletreewick, both just a 5-10 minute uphill walk away (The Craven Arms & The New Inn).  The Craven Arms was our favourite and by far the busiest, selling good ales and pub grub.  We also walked along the river bank into Burnsall (approx. 1.5 miles) and enjoyed some liquid refreshment at the 16th century Red Lion pub after meandering around the village.

http://www.yorkshire-dales.com/burnsall.html

http://www.redlion.co.uk/

Country lane walk into Appletreewick from site

Country lane walk into Appletreewick from site

The Craven Arms, Appletreewick

The Craven Arms, Appletreewick

Weather stone at the Craven Arms

Weather stone at the Craven Arms

Craven Arms ~  'Gateway to the Ales'

Craven Arms ~
‘Gateway to the Ales’

The New Inn, Appletreewick

The New Inn, Appletreewick

This feathered beauty kept nicking our nibbles ... 'Robbin' Red Breast'

This feathered beauty kept nicking our nibbles … ‘Robbin’ Red Breast’

Riverside walk to Burnsall

Riverside walk to Burnsall

Bri in Burnsall village

Bri in Burnsall village

Red Lion at Burnsall

Red Lion at Burnsall

Burnsall bridge.  One of the most photographed bridges in the Yorkshire Dales.  Local man,  William Craven, who left the dale, was apprenticed to a London mercer and became mayor of London in 1611 used his newly created wealth to endow Burnsall Grammar School, restore the church and bear the cost of rebuilding the bridge. “a good bridge and all paved” was a description of Burnsall bridge in 1752 which again needed rebuilding in 1884 following severe flood damage.

Burnsall bridge. One of the most photographed bridges in the Yorkshire Dales. Local man,
William Craven, who left the dale, was apprenticed to a London mercer and became mayor of London in 1611 used his newly created wealth to endow Burnsall Grammar School, restore the church and bear the cost of rebuilding the bridge.
“a good bridge and all paved” was a description of Burnsall bridge in 1752 which again needed rebuilding in 1884 following severe flood damage.

Bird life on the River Wharfe

Bird life on the River Wharfe

All in all we had laughs and fun, as usual, but will not be returning to this particular site.  If you’re wanting to try it, steer clear of weekends when it’s like Glastonbury without the entertainment 🙂

Our next adventure is to the Caravan Club Site at Barnard Castle, County Durham.  Our first trip to this area which we’re really looking forward to.

ONWARD!>>>>

Suzie & Bri

 

Thornbrook Barn Campsite, Ingleton, Yorkshire Dales

Jolly parked up at Super pitch 5 and Bri returning from a hilly bike ride

Church of St Oswald, Thornton-in-Lonsdale

Church of St Oswald, Thornton-in-Lonsdale

The Marton Arms, Thornton-in-Lonsdale

The Marton Arms, Thornton-in-Lonsdale

Spooky formations

The Judge’s Head

Spooky formations – this was pretty gross, dripping water from the tongue

Entrance to White Scar Cave

Entrance to White Scar Cave

Mid-August we visited a private site – Thornbrook Barn, Ingleton in the Yorkshire Dales

http://www.thornbrookbarn.co.uk/

On arrival, we stocked up on some provisions at the Country Harvest shop just across the main road.  Then we checked in at the farmhouse on the way in along the driveway.  We stayed on super pitch no. 5.  Clean, modern facilities and a very spacious pitch.  Wish all sites offered this kind of space.  In the immediate area is a small, quaint hamlet, Thornton in Lonsdale.  We made use of the Marton Arms pub there on a couple of occasions. There is also the 12th century Church of St Oswald there in which Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (Sherlock Holmes author) was married.

One day we cycled to visit White Scar Cave in the Yorkshire Dales National Park.  Discovered in 1923, it’s the longest show cave in Britain and you cover approximately one mile during the 80 minute tour.  The at times steep uphill journey there was well worth the effort, not to mention an exhilarating downhill cycle back afterwards, after which we spent some time out and about in Ingleton.   There’s also the challenging 3 peaks walks to do in this area, covering Whernside, Ingleborough and Pen-y-gent.

The weather could have been better, but that said, we had a very enjoyable weekend, postponing the waterfalls trail for our next visit due to heavy rain and wind which wouldn’t have made for a good walk or good photography

http://www.ingletonwaterfallstrail.co.uk/

We highly recommend this site.

Next stop beautiful Keswick.

ONWARDS!>>>>

Suzie & Bri

Grassington, North Yorkshire

Wildlife on site

Wildlife on site

Wildlife on site

Wildlife on site

Wildlife on site

Wildlife on site

Wildlife on site - a regular  visitor!

Wildlife on site – a regular visitor!

Wildlife on site - Cyril

Wildlife on site – Cyril

 

Bri chilling on site

Bri chilling on site

The Gamekeeper's Inn

The Gamekeeper’s Inn

View from the top of Threshfield Quarry

View from the top of Threshfield Quarry

Suzie windswept!

Suzie windswept!

Knocked up a little memorial at Trig Point for Bri's Dad & my Aunt Lou.  when the feather flies away let their spirits fly free x

Knocked up a little memorial at Trig Point for Bri’s Dad & my Aunt Lou. When the feather flies away let their spirits fly free x

We returned to Grassington for a short stay in July.  First time in our motorhome.  It’s a warm, friendly and picturesque part of Yorkshire.

http://www.grassington.uk.com

There was a music festival on which we could hear on site from the village, wish we’d known about it beforehand we’d definitely have bought tickets.   Still, it’s an annual event so definitely one for next year …

We stayed at Wharfedale Caravan Club Site and didn’t actually go into the village this time, instead enjoying the scenery and wildlife on site (great photography opportunities), a nearby quarry walk and a meal at The Gamekeeper’s Inn.

http://www.gamekeeperinn.co.uk

We’re returning in December for a Dickensian weekend so will be back strolling the village’s cobbled streets then.  Hope it snows for that one!

Next stop is our longest trip so far to London.

ONWARD!>>>>

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

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.