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Saturday, 24 November 2012

November- Castleton again


We collected the motorhome from Brownhills at Birtley, Durham where we bought it. Over the summer, the business has changed hands and is now run by Marquis. The staff appear to be the same and are just as friendly and helpful as when we collected it in March. John from the service department was really knowledgeable and had sorted some little problems we had. I'm not moaning because I love the motorhome but things like locking pins on the door going rusty after six months and preventing the lock from working doesn't seem quite right and neither does a bit of floor delamination, however, hopefully they are now fixed. 

We loaded up and set off for Castleton Caravan Club site to meet friends. We stopped at Ladybower reservoir for a coffee then got pitched up on site. John and Jen arrived from Nottingham and Andy and Carol arrived from Portsmouth so we had to have a few drinks in the van with Phil before going to the Nag's Head for amazing sausages and good beers....next to a very roaring fire....!

 A late morning walk took us to the Old Hall in Hope. We walked back into Castleton where Carol and I ab'scone'ded for a scone and a cup of tea while Phil, Pete and Andy sampled the delights of the Cheshire Cheese pub. When we met up with them later in the Peak, they regaled us with the tale of being given free beer so that they would be quiet while a tv crew filmed an episode of 'Four in a bed'...something to do with people who own bed and breakfast accommodation trying out each other's rooms and not something more x rated. Everyone fitted into our van with the help of a borrowed stool from Phil and we had a lovely meal.........and then helped John empty some of his whiskey bottles!

The next day, John and Jen went home and Phil took Molly dog out walking while the rest of us walked to Hope, had a stop in the Old Hall then got the bus to Hathersage. We took Andy and Carol for a little tour and went to see 'Little John's Grave' up at the church. Luckily there wasn't anyone around to see Andy lying on the ground comparing his height against that of Little John. We discovered a pub we hadn't been in - The Scotsman's Pack' where we had delightful baguettes and good beer. We were slightly perturbed by the barman who had a bad case of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder and was arranging the cutlery and menus on the tables relentlessly. It's a difficult job for someone with OCD as these dreadful patrons keep moving things and Pete- the bad lad- put his glasses on the adjoining table- it almost sparked a heart attack in the poor chap! We had a healthy low calorie meal in Carol's that evening but we had lots of high calorie wine to minimize the effects.

Mel arrived for an  overnight stay with us and we saw Emily Tom and baby Sophie who had come for the day.  The Vickers family went off for a walk while we had to check out the outdor shops and the George. A  meal in the Castle pub next to another fire was a lovely way to spend an evening  followed by cheese and biscuits in our van. 

Sunday is big breakfast day and we had to keep the tradition going....Mel went home and Andy, Carol, Pete and me did a medium level height walk round to Mam Tor. It was quite cold and windy but it didn't start to rain till we were on the road back down into Castleton- very convenient. We took shelter in the  Nag's Head and discovered that they had Pete's current favourite beer- Belgian Blue from Bradfield Brewery. It does have a blue tinge to it and it's only brewed in the winter. Our landlord Andy at the Huntsman in Thurlstone sells it and it's very popular. Carol and me left the 'boys' to have another one as we went back to nice warm vans. We ate together in Andy and Carol's van and talked about how good it is to go away even when the weather is not sunny and  warm. It's very different from everyone sitting outside sipping chilled wine in the sunshine but it's still great to be away and with friends enjoying the scenery, fresh air and log fires in warm pubs!


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