We headed off on our travels again following the August Bank Holiday. We’re beginning to make our way to Northumberland via York, the Yorkshire Dales and North York Moors. But first we had to go to Sheffield as Calv was able to book a medical here to renew his entitlement to drive HGVs (no appointments until mid-September at home…)
So it was that we found ourselves at a Camping and Caravan Clubsite in Teversal. We don’t usually use club sites as they’re too expensive but they are generally fantastic (as was this one!) We intended to just stay the 2 nights, but ended up extending this by an extra night so that we could visit Bolsover Castle.
I have to say that we were pleasantly surprised by how lovely this area is. The site we were on is directly opposite access to Silverhill Trails, 1 of many off-road trails that link up throughout the area. On the site of an old pit you can see chimneys used to allow gases to escape from underground (we guess), plus here there is a rather wonderful sculpture at the top of the hill (not to mention the views).
Having seen to the business of Calv’s medical, and also spotting the trams in Sheffield – many disconcertingly running down the middle of the road – we headed back to the van to finish the paperwork. Followed by a quick trip into the nearest town of Huthwaite to post the form, and then onto Sutton in Ashfield to do a spot of shopping.
Our extra day was spent visiting Bolsover Castle and Stainsby Mill (part of the Hardwick Estate which was, literally, on our doorstep 🙂 ). We didn’t visit Chesterfield, but did see the famous twisted spire (caused by lead being laid on top of unseasoned timbers – apparently), as we drove past.
Anyway, I digress. We found the castle at Bolsover but there is a small car park right next to a Weatherspoons pub, which was full to the hilt. So we drove left and left again to bring us up behind the castle and found plenty of free parking on the main road.
We were really impressed with Bolsover Castle; (English Heritage) there are 3 separate, and quite distinct, areas within the complex – the stables, the terrace range and the little castle. All very impressive in their own way. In particular the ‘little castle’ which is complete (as we’re fond of saying – ‘you could move in tomorrow!’) Take a look at the photos below 🙂
When we’d finished in the castle we had a little look around the town (and found a couple of bargains in a couple of the shops before wandering back up to the car, taking in some of the old houses on the way. Charming 🙂
We had already spotted a sign for the smallest village in England on our way home, Ault Hucknall. This got us wondering what actually constitutes a village? We decided that it had to have a church, a shop and a farm. We drove through Ault Hucknall – in that we saw the sign on the way in, and the sign on the way out and no roads off the 1 we were on. The only other things we saw were a church (quite large considering), a manse (the vicar’s home) and a farm. On a little more investigation I discovered that there are apparently 3 houses – we obviously missed 1 of them!
From here we visited Stainsby Mill (National Trust), which is a working mill on the Hardwick Estate. As ever the volunteers are very knowledgeable and happy to share this knowledge. This keeps Calv happy as he loves to see how things work – and you could see the workings of the waterwheel clearly 🙂 For my part I loved to see the smocks hanging on the wall – they reminded me of Windy Miller from Trumpton/Camberwick Green days 🙂
We were pleasantly surprised to have enjoyed our couple of days in this area so much – it just goes to show that we should keep an open mind about everywhere that we’re intending to visit. Just saying – don’t always assume the stereotypes you see on the tv are true to life 🙂
From here we were heading to York, where we met up with Steve and Denise (who we 1st met back in Spain). During this weekend we found a new pleasant surprise in Knaresborough – I’ll tell you about it next time 🙂