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Sunday, 11 December 2011

December trip to York


December trip to York
We usually have a trip to York in December to meet friends and go to the Christmas Market. We have stayed at various sites and certified locations but this time we stayed at Manor Farm Caravan Park. It’s fairly convenient as it’s opposite the Racecourse on Bishopthorpe Road and about a mile and a half from the centre of York. It’s a flat walk or cycle along the riverbank, which is pleasant – even though we didn’t have good weather this time. There’s a lovely Millennium bridge, which is very pretty when lit up at night. 

This small site is hidden behind tall hedges ( a requisite of the Council so that nasty vans and caravans can’t be seen from the river) and has a couple of ladies’ loos and one shower, a couple of gents’ loos and a shower, waste emptying, recycling bins and a tap near the entrance. There are two fields with hard standings. It was impossible for us to empty waste water as our hose wouldn’t reach the drain so we had to wait till we got home to do it. The toilet block is ‘heated’ but a dimplex heater on the wall wasn’t really adequate to heat the area in the awful weather and we preferred to use the shower in the van- much warmer.


We had the first afternoon and evening in the van and I had made soup and Katie cooked salmon in a lovely marinade so we ate well and chatted and laughed as usual with friends Stewart, Tom and Lucille.
The next day, we walked along the river into York. We all went our separate ways before meeting up in the Royal Oak for a drink. Sadly, the Christmas Market is now housed in a collection of little wooden chalets. It must be better for the stall holders as they can lock their things away and it must be a bit warmer for them but for us, the atmosphere was missing. We missed seeing the sausages sizzling, the fabulous smells of the food stalls and the bustling stalls. It seemed just a bit sterile though there were some lovely things to buy.....though I didn't buy much at all!
We managed to avoid the worst of the rain and got back to the site without getting wet. Lucille cooked a big Shepherd’s pie for dinner and again we had a lovely evening.
We were hoping to be joined the next day by some more friends but it was snowing, then there was sleet and our friends had car trouble so they didn’t come. I cooked a big brunch then once again, when it was dry, we braved the walk and the temptations of the shops.We stocked up on lots of little necessities in a wonderful hardware shop which seemed to go on forever behind a small shopfront. We met up again at the Royal Oak where we had a wonderful meal.  It rained really heavily in the night. In the morning we all gathered in our van to book next New Year’s eve. We thought we would like to come back to York and stay in Rowntree Park- the Caravan Club site – which is always busy. It was the day that bookings were accepted for next year and we all tried to ring the Caravan Club office to book. Luckily Katie had her call answered so we all got booked up for next year.   We had a wet and miserable drive home but as it’s only an hour, we didn’t mind too much but Pete got really wet walking home from where we park the van as the car was still in the car paint shop getting some scratches removed. It won’t be too long before we are off again for New Year at Hawes.



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