Winter adventures and Festive Fun; York

Ruby the VW Campervan is parked up on her lonesome at Granchester Caravan Park on the outskirts of York.

We’ve had a busy week of concerts and Christmas gigs, but come 3pm on Thursday it was instruments down and time to declare the Christmas holiday OPEN. Our final gig of the season was handily located on the A11 in Thetford, and so van packed with presents, camping accessories and gig stuff we set off in the direction of Kelham for a Christmas evening with Dad and Jenny. We had a lovely meal at the Fox and it was a great if not slightly boozy evening.

Friday arrived with thankfully no sore heads, that was a close one, and by 09.30 we had hit the A1 for an hour and a half’s drive to York. We’d been told by the owner that the campsite was quiet so to pitch wherever we liked. On arrival it was clear we were the only ones there! At just £17.50 per night, with lovely hot and clean showers and bus stop to York directly outside the gate, we couldn’t have picked a better base for the weekend.

We wasted no time and hailed the next bus, the 31x and was thankful for the contactless payment as we realised we had no cash! Be warned, the 29 bus which also stops here doesn’t take card and is cash only.

The bus stops at exhibition square which is really convenient for the minster and city centre.

We spent some time wandering the beautiful lanes, having a drink in the oldest pub in York, the Star Inn, and also the Christmas market on Parliament Street before grabbing a late lunch at Zizzis. We had a lovely drink in the really atmospheric Viking tipi bar in the centre of the market and even (possibly) made a tv appearance on BBC Look North!

There was a cracking beer and gin shop near the cathedral.

We met up with the Customer Service manager of Great Rail Journeys later on – Gary personally looks after us so well when we book our worldwide tours we wanted to meet him and buy him a beer to say thanks for his great service over the years. We had a lovely hour chatting in the really cool Pivni’s, a stones throw off The Shambles-which is just one of the most wonderful streets we’ve visited in England. It’s got tons of character, and you feel like you’ve walked straight in onto a panto set.

Before heading back to Ruby we tried one more drink in The Golden Fleece, rumoured to be York’s most haunted pub. As it was the last Friday before Christmas, it was beginning to get rowdy and we were starting to get tired, so we headed back to Ruby in an Uber (£10) as we’d missed the last bus home. A great day.

Saturday dawned a nice crisp winters day – my favourite, and a welcome relief as yesterday had been a bit wet. We had a fairly lazy morning, taking advantage of the fact that the first bus of the day didn’t arrive until 11.30. As the weather was lovely we decided to do the City Wall walk. We’ve been to York before but are fairly sure we didn’t get to do the whole circuit. York has the best preserved town walls in England, and there are over 2 miles of masonry with a walkway on top. There are several gatehouses to admire and some fabulous original portcullises to see too.

The walk was lovely, and just what we needed; we were feeling rather overindulged!

Towards the end of the walk there was a lovely looking beer garden with a great view of the minster so as it was almost 2pm we decided to have a swift one. I tried the Yuletide gin which was gorgeous.

We’d spotted a nice looking lunch option yesterday- a Yorkshire pud wrap, so we popped into The York Roast co and had an amazing roast turkey and all the trimmings Yorkshire pudding wrap. Honestly it was amaaaaazing!

We had another wander around the city taking in all the decorations and the Christmas market again before having a beer at the Shambles Tavern, which was literally like being in A Christmas Carol.

We’d had such a lovely couple of days, and had re fallen in love with York, especially at this time of year. We were however aware that the last bus back to Ruby was at 18:10, so we made the decision to head back for a relax before travelling back to Norfolk Sunday morning. Our journey home ended up taking place ridiculously early as we woke up at 3am! By 04.45 Keefy was packing as much of the van up as possible, whilst I was trying to sleep, so we gave in and left at 6am, aiming to beat the inevitable traffic. The journey home was in terrible weather so we ended up travelling at 40 most of the way, getting home just before 11am. What a lovely weekend though.

Have a fabulous Christmas everyone. Who’s away in their vans?

Until next time

Lx

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