Sunday, 11 March 2018

25th wedding trip

2018 February  25th Wedding Anniversary Trip

We couldn't decide what to do for Pete's 65th birthday and our silver wedding long haul to somewhere exotic? Do a city break? Go to Iceland/Venice/Paris? 
We puzzled over it so long. Then we asked ourselves 'where are we happiest?' and the answer was easy...'in the van'!...... Preferably in Greece but this wasn't the right time to go as we had also decided that this would be the year that we got a new kitchen and bathroom....and not ones that were new  in a van as has happened before. So we did last minute ringing around and here's the little trip:

Wintersett Lakes , Wakefield

We drove, not very far, to Wintersett Lakes, the other side of Barnsley. It's about half an hour ...and another world away. We rarely travel in that direction. The site is small but pretty and the owner is really helpful. There are portaloos and electric hook up but no showers and 6 amp electric- though we were on a 16 amp.  We had a really nice flat walk around Angler's Lake and watched lots of birds from the hides there. There is a country park information and visitor centre and a cafe though it wasn't open. We watched a stunning sunset over the lake before going back to the van to eat. 

We then went to the Angler's Retreat, a perfect pub, about 100 yards from the site. We were made so welcome in the small pub with locals and landlord chatting away to us. We were given snacks from people who had brought things in to share- marvelous. We had a short starry walk back to a very quiet site.
There was heavy rain the next day but we had a long lie in then set to having a bit of a clean. When it stopped raining, we walked to Haw Park Wood , down through the wood towards Cold Hiendley. It's a perfect place for walkers and dogs. 

There are lots of marked paths and cycle trails with parking at the visitor centre. After tea we had to go back to the pub to make sure it was as good as yesterday and it was! The landlord even remembered our names and we were given more snacks by the kind people who go there....we'll be back!

York Rowntree Park.
I had found one night vacant at the Rowntree Park site and as York has always been a special place for us, I was ridiculously pleased when Pete told me he had rung the site and got three more nights! It was like getting a present.

We were woken up by a woodpecker who seemed to be just outside the van. We saw him in the tree opposite. We drove little back roads to York arriving at the very busy site but happy to get a spot in a corner. We went to walk the walls but they were closed so we went to the Station pub- always a good place to drink and watch people.  We went in the White Swan for shared mixed fish plate as we had decided that we wouldn't cook much on this trip and treat ourselves. We walked a very long way round back to the site having to stop in Wetherspoons to revive ourselves.

We spent some time researching where to eat on Pete's birthday and walked round looking at places. We ate in Piccolinos on the bridge as Pete wanted a pizza after all the walking. 

On the actual day, we had a lovely time wandering around. Pete got a pasty- pasty hunting is a favourite pastime. We had a really lovely meal in the Olive Tree , opposite Clifford's tower. 
Unfortunately, I used hand soap on my face after the night out and had a very sore face the next day. 

Cavendish Arms Embsay near Skipton

We had a nice drive to Knaresborough where we have never stayed. We parked down by the river in one of the few places we would fit the van and walked up into town. We had a good look around though it was cold. 

We drove to  Embsay and had a lovely welcome from the landlord of the pub. We parked in the bottom of the car park .  We walked around the village and to the station at Embsay where there is a restored railway to Bolton Abbey. 

We had a good meal here, free overnight stay and a nice chat with locals. It was a quiet cold night.

Liverpool Marina

It was a long slow drive on the route we'd taken over to Liverpool. We met Karen and Phil there at the Yacht Marina where the fiddly ticket machine confused us for a while. We had a walk along to Albert Dock along the river. It's a good place to park overnight as you are very central and it cost £15.  I called in to a chemist for some antihistamine and cream for my sore face then we went into some pubs. The town centre was very vibrant with lots of people out on the town.

Southport Pleasureland via Crosby beach 

We drove to Crosby beach to see the Gormley statues 'Another Place'. We parked in the country park and walked along the beach where the tide was out and it was easy walking. The statues are amazing and there were many people out walking in the sun and wind. 

We had something to eat then drove up to Southport. We parked in Pleasureland for £8 overnight. There are only facilities to empty the toilet and fill with water but it was fine. The lady who looks after it, Barbara , was really nice. 
We walked along the front into town and met friends Richard and Jayne who were staying there for a few days too. We had a nice meal out together and it didn't seem far to walk back. We will come here again as we didn't really look around. My face was still sore and I had made it worse by being out in the sun and wind. 

 Jayne and Richard came round with some beautiful buns she had made for our anniversary so we had coffee with them before heading home.

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