A few more days on the Moors and seeing the Transporter Bridge

We did a lot of walking in the North York Moors – even when we were ‘going’ somewhere!  So this post will deal with 1 of the days that we were, sort of at least, heading somewhere and I will do a separate post for the days we actually set out just to walk (to the top of Roseberry Topping and to see Captain Cook’s Monument to be precise).

On day 2 in the Moors we headed to the nearest decent sized town, Stokesley, which turned out to be extremely pleasant.  The parking system was disc parking and, not having a disc, we drove through and parked as soon as we could, giving us a short walk back into town.  There are an awful lot of old buildings in Stokesley and the centre has a really nice feel about it, with lots of independent shops and several butchers, bakers and greengrocers.

We also found a dedicated running shop here (I needed a new water bottle).  The 1st bottle they showed me was £35 – I politely explained I wasn’t actually THAT much of a runner!  I did get what I wanted though, and then realised that I recognised the couple from my previous morning’s ‘run’ – I had stopped to wait for them to pass me with their 4 dogs as I was embarrassed by my shambling and didn’t want them to observe it!  These 2 are proper runners – he went up the hill like it  was a Sunday afternoon stroll, whereas I had to bully myself up this hill (all 20m or so of it…).  The shop is called Let’s Run, and they are very involved in coaching and getting beginners out with groups.

From here we headed towards Middlesborough as we both wanted to see the Transporter Bridge that crosses the Tees there.

We found it, and we went across the river on it (£1.30!), a very quick crossing after which we found ourselves in an area called Port Clarence, which used to be very busy, but which is now less so.

We had a quick drive around Middlesborough and were impressed by the evidence of past grandeur, and also the clear evidence of ongoing regeneration.

Making our way back the, slightly long way, we saw another bridge that appears to lift.  I have since discovered this to be the Newport Vertical Lift Bridge which is no longer in use, so no chance of seeing it in action unfortunately 😦

A couple of days later we decided to head south through the moors towards Helmsley.  Continue reading “A few more days on the Moors and seeing the Transporter Bridge”

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Richmond & Leyburn

On our last day in the Dales we decided to go to Richmond, but on the way we stopped off in Leyburn to do some washing.

Whilst waiting for this to finish we first of all did a bit of shopping in a local supermarket, Campbells (actually a CostCutter but also a family run grocery store), and then a quick wander down to ‘The Shawl’ (I was intrigued by the name 🙂 )

We got some wonderful meat in the grocery store (which made us both a wonderful beef stew and a somerset pork casserole).

We found the initial part of the shawl to be playing fields leading up to limestone terrace that extends for almost 2 miles (but we didn’t have time to find this bit).  Romantics like to think it’s called The Shawl as Mary Queen of Scots  dropped her shawl in the area whilst escaping from her imprisonment at Bolton Castle.  This may well not be true! But the views are amazing 🙂

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We moved onto Richmond, where we drove around for a while trying to find a parking space – eventually parking halfway down the hill towards the old station.  Before heading to the castle we had a drink overlooking the market place, followed by a quick mooch around a little market in the old Victorian market hall.

Then onto the castle that dominates the town.  It’s not huge but is a pleasant enough way to pass an hour or so.  The views from the top of the keep are wonderful : Continue reading “Richmond & Leyburn”

Harrogate and Knaresborough

In between our 2 visits to York we had already decided to go to Harrogate.  Harrogate is an elegant spa town about 20 miles west of York, and it has a rich history as such.

We parked a little way before the town centre, paid our £2.80 for 2 hours, and walked in, keeping an eye on the time as we went.  There are numerous beautiful buildings and grand streets and hotels.  These were built for the hordes of wealthy Victorians, although it has been a spa town for much longer than that.

You can visit the Pump House museum for just a few pounds each, and it’s a very interesting visit, dealing with the growth of the town as a popular spa.  There are almost 100 thermal springs in the area, each of them providing different health benefits.

Other places of interest include The Royal Hall (originally named the Kursall, but re-named Continue reading “Harrogate and Knaresborough”

Bolsover and it’s Castle

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 🙂 Continue reading “Bolsover and it’s Castle”

Finding a little gem right on our doorstep – Warblington & cycling the Hayling Billy

During our time at home, as well as meeting with family, friends & work colleagues and helping Louise to celebrate her birthday on the actual day, we also managed to find a hidden gem right on our doorstep.

This happened on our very last day at home, the very hot Bank Holiday Monday 🙂  We were to meet up with Calv’s daughter, husband and grandchildren at the beach in Hayling, and Calv thought it would be a good idea to cycle there.

He had often told me that the little lane on the left, just before you joined the A27 from Emsworth towards Portscmouth, had a house that had ruins in it’s garden.  So we decided to start our ride from there.

We found that the lane stopped where the church, St Thomas a Beckett, and cemetery are located.  The church was a huge surprise, and rather special.  The huts in the graveyard (with the blue doors) were commissioned in the early 19th Century to enable a close eye to be kept on the churchyard to deter graverobbers – read more about this fascinating history here.

From here we headed back up the lane and took another lane (the only 1) on the left.  Going left again at the end we came to the beach where it was possible to cycle across (even when we returned at high tide there was enough beach left – I don’t believe that would necessarily be the case in the winter though!)

The path after the beach is quite busy and we did have to push our bikes for most of it.  But it takes you past a couple of duck ponds, an old mill (now a private house) before you come to a lovely pub, The Royal Oak, fronting the water.  When you reach the main road cross over and cross the bridge – this is where the Hayling Billy starts.   Click here for the route (although it’s easy to follow and is completely off-road.

The trail ends at the old station, now a theatre.  It is a very popular trail, and was particularly busy on this hot August Bank Holiday.  It’s wonderful to see so many families out enjoying themselves.

We continued on to the beach – also very busy!  We weren’t to stay too long as we had to get ready for leaving the following day, but it was a lovely afternoon with Calv spending time on the paddle board with his grandson and me making sandcastles (only for them to be immediately knocked over!)

My point is that we may well all be able to find a hidden gem, or two, on our doorstep – if we would only but look 🙂

Happy hunting!

Discovering more delights in Scarborough – North Bay and the Castle

This is a final mop-up of our time, so far, in Yorkshire (we’re heading back via York next week..), and it will cover a 2nd visit to Scarborough – to the North Bay area and the castle, a flying visit to Burton Agnes & the Rudston Monolith, the Muston scarecrow festival and Boggle Hole (visited on the way home from Whitby).

So let’s start with Boggle Hole (where the main picture was taken).  We just saw the sign on the way home and thought it was a good name and we’d have a look!  We took the lane, which turned out to be long and narrow, until we came to a small parking area – keep going, says Calv.  Only we couldn’t as there was a sign up advising against it!  The lane that we walked down was steep and led to a YHA hostel and the Quarterdeck café.  These were nestled at the top of a rocky cove where fossil hunts are regularly held Continue reading “Discovering more delights in Scarborough – North Bay and the Castle”

Tattershall Castle, with an impromptu air display. Then enjoying a film in the Kinema in the Woods

The day after we discovered Woodhall Spa we returned to watch a film, Dunkirk, in the Kinema in the Woods.

Very close by lies Tattershall, a very pretty village with an impressive church and a magnificent castle (now managed by the National Trust).

The film was starting at 5.15pm so in the afternoon we decided to visit Tattershall first.

As we left the car park we saw that there was also a row of Bede Houses (almshouses) in front of the church.  We’re convinced that these have each been doubled in size by knocking 2 into 1, as we thought we could see where some windows may have previously been doors.   This has actually been borne out by the bit of research that we’ve done.

The church was a really open space and we were told that it was originally very dark as the windows made it so.  It’s only been relatively recently that the windows were renewed and lightened.

After visiting the church we headed over to the castle (which is accessed on a path passing the church).  The first building you see is the guardhouse which is now the ticket office.

 

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The Guardhouse of Tattershall Castle

We started our visit in front of the castle exploring the moat and what did originally stand on the green area – there were actually many more buildings on the site, including the kitchens that were separate to the main castle.

 

Then before we went into the castle itself we heard the distinctive sound of a jet overhead.  We proceeded to enjoy an impromptu display with the jet doing barrel rolls and flying over us several times in the course of the next 10 minutes or so.  When he landed another one took off!  This was from RAF Coningsby which is very nearby.

What’s left of the castle is very up together – even more so than Castle Rising.  We’re convinced that you could hook up to the electricity, pop in a bathroom and move in..!

The only thing to spoil our visit was a group of screamy kids and extremely shouty adults with them.  We just headed straight up to the roof so that we weren’t on the same floor at any time and then worked our way down..

Here’s a few pictures of the castle itself.

 

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View from the roof of Tattershall Castle

From here we headed back to Woodhall Spa and straight to the Kinema.  We went straight in (having arrived hungry and cleared the shop out of sweets…).  We were seated in Row E, about halfway back – literally.

When the adverts were finished and just before the film was to start the curtains were drawn across and then drawn back.  And there was an interval!  Halfway through the film it stopped, across came the curtains and off people went to get their ice-cream!  What a wonderful experience it was seeing a film in this iconic building 🙂

We had already decided to go into the village for something to eat, and we headed straight for the Indian restaurant.  The food was great in the restaurant but we actually wished they had turned us away as they’d squeezed us in where people normally wait for their takeaway, and then pretty much ignored us.

This was a wonderful last day however, before we moved on to Flamborough Head in the East Riding of Yorkshire.