Thornton le DaleWell we arrived safely through a huge deluge and wicked traffic jam near York to the chocolate box village for a few days walking,cycling, eating and drinking. So everything much the same really except in a different location. We are only 30 minutes from the Cathedral City of York and yet the traffic over this side is minimal and the locals very pleasant. Another Adults only site and no you mucky beggars that doesn’t mean we get around buck naked and throw our keys in the middle, it just means no screaming kiddies running around the site. Don’t get me wrong kiddies are fine ( in fact we own a lovely couple ourselves, one of each in fact) but peace and quiet is much more pleasant during the UK’s 6 week holiday season.
Amanda was born in Yorkshire a few decades ago…….OK more than a few and is keen to find the best fish and chips and Yorkshire pudding on offer in these parts. So let the hunt begin! Oh and they brew some lovely real ale here so we are both on a little pilgrimage to sample some of their finest.
We have been told by lots of locals that Whitby is prime fish and chip testing area, so decided it was no good messing about willy nilly and just go straight for the best. Whitby is the birth place of Bram Stoker of Dracula fame and the first thing we noticed, is an abundance of bods dressed in Black and deep purple with various body parts sporting rings and things pierced through them (Goths). They look a little menacing but all smiled politely as we passed (from the other side of the street haha). To each their own. The ruins of a large Abbey sits atop the hill overlooking the Town and it’s the start of a fantastic Coastal path from Whitby to Robin Hoods Bay. An absolute cracker of a walk with fantastic views. It’s called the Cleveland Way National Trail and this section is a couple of hours walk>. Whitby is a mix of quaint and tourist tat and is trying to appeal to the masses and seems to be pulling it off as everywhere seems lively with plenty of dosh being spent. There is a great mix of people from hen and stag groups to families with the kids and dog in tow and some of the rougher looking types as well. So far Yorkshire is another wonderful English County with something for everyone and it continues to grow on us. The only thing I would change is a little more sun and a few degrees warmer but then I guess it wouldn’t have its charm and soft green rolling hills. These few pics below give you a taste of the area. Oh and the collage below of the Chippies are only a small sample of the many many Chip shops in Town. After reading the reviews and peering in many of the windows, Amanda finally made her selection. Hadleys was the choice and WOW I have to agree they were delicious. I left Amanda the judge to choose what to have. Large Haddock and chips, mushy peas, tea, bread and butter………it was sooooo good. Best 25 quid meal ever.
Part of what has made this adventure so special is the people we have met along the way, most of whom we have mentioned in this diary and Yorkshire is no different. We called in to “our local” we always find one in our chosen destination for a refreshment and tiptoed our way to a table through a group of doggies…..there are more bloody dogs in pubs here than humans……that’s impossible I hear you say. Not so, the humans are not happy with just one bloody doggy, they seem to have 2 or 3 each. Any way a group of 4 (husbands and wives) who only had one doggy between them oddly enough commented on how nice Amanda’s hair looked and how much it suited her (seriously hairdressing might be my new career haha) and that turned into a lovely couple of hours chatting with them at the pub, followed by drinks and laughs back at ours. Smashing crew and great company.Chris, Chris, Lynne and Paul (I think) I’m hopeless with names.
Pete and June aka our holibob friends from Javea, whom we caught up with in Lytham also popped over for dinner and drinks….with their BIG DOGGY Millie which is the softest big sook ever and joined us for a great meal at our local in Thornton le Dale…….another great evening with some drinks on board Pinot to start. Pinot is always open for business 😉
We’ve visited York before on a previous UK visit with my ageing parents and although they were both willing tourists, their limbs just weren’t up to a 5 hour slog around town. So we spent a beautiful afternoon wandering through the place and just enjoyed the sights, sounds, bubbles and history. We even took to the old City walls and did a quick walk on the top, which is only about 3.5k’s. York Minster pictured below is the Cathedral of York but actually it’s referred to as a Minster because during Anglo Saxon times, it was a missionary teaching church. Building started in 1220, almost 800 years ago, using Limestone ( a local stone used a lot around here).
Like most old Cities in the UK, the Romans are not far away and of course full advantage is taken of this fact for the tourists. The statue above is of Constantine the Great. Seemingly he arrived with his father around 305 AD and upon his death (Dads that is) the local soldiers immediately made him Emperor. He reunited Rome after years of poor rule and eventually became sole Emperor. He then proclaimed Constantinople (now Istanbul) as the new seat of power. He also converted to Christianity and much of the Roman population followed suit, so he really is quite a popular lad in these parts. Amanda above trying to sneak a peek up poor Connies toga………must’ve been a cold day when he sat for this sculpture !!!!
After a long day looking at old stuff, we sought sanctuary in the lovely walled gardens of a grand Jacobean manor……..well we did for 5 minutes before Amanda (true bloody Piscean) thought it might be nicer indoors. I think she had designs on a nice room with room service for the night bless her ! Anyway a couple of glasses of bubbles later and we retired back Pinot. Oh I almost forgot to mention, we passed a motorhome/caravan centre on the way back and popped in for a couple of small odds and sods and ended up booking Pinot in for a new roof (awning) so 600 quid later, all we need is some sunshine haha. (would have been far cheaper to have booked a night at the hotel.
Amanda found us another walk in The North York Moors and Dalby Forest which was less spectacular than the coastline but very nice nonetheless. There are endless miles of walks through forests, moorland and hills….oh and little attractions to keep the kiddies engaged (and Amanda) like find the various little monsters along some of the less challenging tracks.
We packed up and headed over the border once more to Newcastle as both Mum and Dad have been in pretty poor shape. Actually Dad had his new hip and prior to being sent home, Mum had some health issues and the poor man has been resigned to a couple more weeks in hospital whilst she recovers. His sense of humour has returned so hopefully they have a few good years left in them. They both feel they no longer have the strength for independent living so my brother Noel is seeking some assisted living options.Best solution for all under the circumstances.
Anyway off we go again seeking thrills on our way North. On route across the Yorkshire Moors, we encountered a small hill with a 33 percent gradient and some seriously tight little bridges to negotiate, with Amanda following in Merlot. On approaching our next stop whilst following that bitch of a satnav, it had taken us within 500 metres of the destination when oooops there was a bridge crossing with an opening of 2.0metres……now I’m about 2.3 metres wide. Unfortunately there was no warning until I had crossed the railway and was next in line to cross. So I’m out of the van politely asking the cars behind in pouring bloody rain…(it is Northumberland after all) to back up whilst I try to reverse 100 metres past some seriously pissed off oncoming traffic. What a farce. 16 k detour and we made it. Amanda fondly refers to the Satnav as Lucy…..She does love her little nicknames………ON days like this I prefer Lucifer or little bas*#d. A few pics below of our few days in Northumberland. Love and best wishes xx
Allen and Amanda.