Sunshine on the Norfolk Broads

Bluebell the motorhome is back home and emptied after a lovely weekend up on the Norfolk broads.

We had two meetings this weekend, one in Norwich on Friday afternoon and one in Hingham Saturday morning, so decided to turn it into a micro break- this is why we adore living here! Luck was on our side as the forcast was good too!

We set off Norwich bound Friday after a gig, and headed for the Toys R Us carpark just off St Benedict’s st, as we knew that had no height barrier. We left Jazz guarding the van and darted off to the city to make our 4:15 appointment (top secret) ๐Ÿ˜€

An hour later and we were back at Bluebell and heading round the ring road towards Wroxham. We consulted our ever trustworthy BritStops book prior to leaving and as luck would have it, one of our faves was listed in the 2014 guide and was right near where we needed to be for our top secret meeting on Sat morning. We arrived at Brit Stop 235 just before 6pm, double checked we were ok to stay and booked a table for dinner. After a quick shower and a leg stretch for the pooch, we hot footed it the hundred yards or so across the car park and got ourselves a pint of Nog each and the menu.

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This is one of our faves because it serves the most amazing locally sourced food- every time we’ve been we’ve had the venison pie, it is gorgeous and tonight was no exception! We both chose a starter too- I had black pudding Bon bons and Keith had mussels cooked in Ale. Both were mouth-wateringly good – the mussels working surprisingly well cooked in ale!

We managed to sink a few pints of nog in the process of eating and we both were mildly tipsy by the time we hit the sac a couple of hours later! We even managed to buy 4 pints of nog to takeaway ๐Ÿ™‚ brilliant and another reason why we adore using BritStops. We paid far more than we could have for one night on a campsite, but enjoyed a great meal and some beer and don’t have to drive! The pub made ยฃ70 out of it- Win win

Next morning we arose with a slightly sore head I’m not going to lie, but a bacon bap soon sorted that and we hit the road towards Hingham, where we were meeting a man about a boat ๐Ÿ˜‰

Hingham is a gorgeous little village and we spent a great 3 hours or so exploring and chilling in the beer garden of the Swan Hotel, watching the world and his wife go by (I was still hanging so was on the coca cola!) Keefy however was living by the “hair of the dog ” prophecy and enjoyed 2 pints of Adnams Broadside which he tells me worked like a treat.

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Around 2pm we checked our ever trusty Bible (ie the BritStop guide) and found a little pub not far away that we hadn’t been to before. 15 mins later we were installed into a nice quirky type pub and enjoying a cream tea.

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This, along with a 2 hour nap(!) fixed me so at dusk we took Jazz out for a leg stretch and to take in the sunset.

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We had a great nights sleep despite our two hour afternoon nap and awoke fresh as daisies this morning. We had passed a very pretty village yesterday, Coltishall, so headed there for an hour before heading home in the glorious sunshine.

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Until next time
Lx

Yorkshire Dales- The final Chapter

Bluebell the motorhome is currently hurtling down the A1 Southbound, somewhere between Doncaster and Newark! We’ve decided to head homewards today as we both fancy going to the village fireworks event tonight, but my gosh, we are heading home fully relaxed, well fed, watered and a little stiff round the knees from the walks we’ve enjoyed!

We had a fantastic 2 nights at Brit Stop no 713 (near the viaduct ๐Ÿ˜‰ ). We asked them if we could do 2 nights, as there were two walks that we fancied trying out and they were more than happy for us to stay. It was win win- we must have spent ยฃ70+ on their legendary a Station ale the first day alone, and day 2 we drank them out of the Ale (whoops!) and enjoyed a hearty 3 course meal off their huge menu! For us, it was really nice to not have to drive, and we found that even after a rather immense walk we totally chilled down and felt tons better for it (if not slightly hungover!!)

We did two walks near Ribblehead, one at took us under the viaduct and another that took on some of the Ribble Way. The latter was really adventurous! We found ourselves having to try out some survival skills fresh off the tele- on finding ourselves at a river that needed to be crossed, with no sign of a bridge, we remembered a tip from one tv prog, take off your boots and socks before wading through- it keeps them dry. So off came our boots and socks, Keefy lobbed them across the river (thankfully he’s got a good aim!) and off we went! It. Was. Freezing! Luckily we got through despite a near miss with Jazz where the current dragged him off and he almost slipped out of his harness! And we were very pleased to have dry socks and boots to put on the other side!

After our two nights at 713 we travelled south to Malham and parked up at the tarn. We had a walk that took in all the main sites, the Tarn, the Cove- a huge natural limestone pavement on the top of a big gorge, the pretty village, Janet’s floss waterfall, and Gordale Scar crag. At 6.5 miles (and a lot of challenging paths) it was a great walk but very tiring, although we were really lucky with the weather! After the walk we headed for our final BritStop of the week, a farm shop about 2.5 miles away from Malham. We enjoyed looking round the shop, and stocking up on the essentials; bacon, beef steaks for tea, local cheese and some veg! All the ingredients for a hearty local tea, beef in reed wine stew from my new campervan recipe book- thanks Sam! ๐Ÿ™‚

We had a lovely evening chilling and enjoyed listening to the tawny owl that was on the tree above us. Sadly we couldn’t see it, but it was a lovely sound to hear.

So now we are on the home run, having had a brilliant week of eating drinking sleeping and chilling! We are so glad we chose to do the Dales, we’ve seen so many awesome things here and it’s been nice doing a smaller scale tour with less driving.

BritStops once again has been beyond Marvellous. We’ve managed to centre our tour around a small area taking in local pubs and farm shops and we cannot recommend it enough to anyone.

Holiday highlights are Ribblehead, Fountains Abby and Malham ๐Ÿ™‚

Until next time

Lx

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This post is fuelled by the Station inn ale!! ;-)

Bluebell the motorhome is parked in the car park of our 4th Brit Stop of the week! We are high up in the Dales, where it is clear but blustery, that sort of weather where after a long walk, it only seems right to take advantage of the log fire in the pub!

We’ve had a brill couple of days, departing Harrogate yesterday morning and visiting Fountains Abby, which was stunning with the autumn colours in the trees. We spent a great couple of hours there (I actually think the ยฃ9.50 each entrance was more than reasonable with the Abby, the hall, the mill plus miles of beautifully landscaped gardens to explore- plus Jazz was welcomed in too!)

After our visit to NT Fountains Abby we stopped at Ripon to visit the cathedral to see the 6th Century crypt, very cool! And the prison museum, very creepy! We then carried on to Masham, home to Theakstons brewery and the MAsham sausage- both of which we sampled extensively ๐Ÿ˜‰

We then headed to our stop for the night, an old Brit Stop hotel/bar in the heart of Wensleydale. It had a fantastic roaring fire and we were able to continue our Theakstons and Masham sausage tasting into the evening as I cooked us a sausage stew from some local Marsham sausages, which we washed down with a couple of bottles of Old Peculiar… Hic ๐Ÿ™‚

Today, we got up bright and early, and tackled Buttertubs- a high pass that links Hawes to Thwaite. On the summit you can see these marvellous limestone stones that have been caused by years of acidic rain falling onto the limescale rocks to cause these 100 ft deep gorges. It got its name Buttertubs as legend says that in the olden days men used to store their butter there between market days, to prevent having to carry it down the hill then back up the next day.

We then made our way to Ribblehead, which is where we are now. There is this fantastic viaduct here which with the backdrop of the rolling dales, it’s very atmospheric. We’ve had a lovely walk this afternoon, and then a good session in the pub where we are staying tonight and tomorrow. It’s got some brill ales on, wine, whiskeys and food. What more could we want!!!

Until next time

Lx

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This post is fuelled by Theakstons ;-)

Bluebell the motorhome is out and about for half term, despite the weather warnings! We were supposed to go to Kent this week, but yesterday when we were due to leave we (luckily) caught sky news and learnt about this storm that was supposedly heading Kent way. Needless to say, after a few hours of umming and ahhing, we departed East Harling and rather than heading south, we decided to had north. To be fair, it doesn’t take much for me to consider visiting Yorkshire, it’s a well known fact I love it here, and any opportunity for me to carry on showing Keith that it’s not all grim up here, il gladly take.

3 hours later and a very very good journey traffic wise ( perhaps everyone else was taking the advice plastered on the tv- only make necessary journeys….) we rocked up into a rather large car park of the BritStop we had set the sat nav for- a 14th century village pub, promising log fires, real ale, and good grub. Perfect, just what we were after (who isn’t?!) We had a lovely night sampling their local ales, chatting to the very friendly staff and of course, being a Sunday night, catching up on Strictly! That’s right- the pub had strictly on their bar tv- can’t remember watching it in such a brill location- beer on tap, fire… yes I was in heaven.

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After a very good, long sleep we had a fry up, and set the motorhome towards Knaresborough. We’d read about its famous viaduct and knew that Mother Shipton, the prophet was born here. Nothing had prepared us for how beautiful it was. The viaduct and river was so pretty, and the old houses stuck out of the rock reminding me of Dinan and to some extent the Dordogne. It was lovely. The weather certainly helped- we kept hearing on the radio about the chaos in the south of England, but here we were in our sunglasses enjoying the autumn leaves and breeze. Lovely

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We visited Mother Shipton’s cave and the petrifying well. It was a great place to visit- we liked the fact that our pampered pooch Jazz could also enjoy it with us. The petrifying well was particularly amazing- basically anything that was hung there turned into stone by the minerals in the water after 3 months, and there were examples of teddy bears hanging, turned into stone, hats, gloves and even a lobster shell.

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We also enjoyed the Halloween figures dotted around the site…. Creepy or what?!

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After a really enjoyable day we headed towards Harrogate, where we found our next Brit Stop pitch within walking distance of Harrogate centre. It’s a not a pub, it’s a shop, but the owner was very friendly and also a motorhome owner. We enjoyed an evening stroll into Harrogate, which is where the Old Peculiar came in… Great night, great day! It’s good to back touring ๐Ÿ™‚

Until next time x