Easter 2017 – the Roecliffe Ramble

A lovely posh breakfast and a look around Boroughbridge started the day off quite nicely. Then it was off to Roecliffe a couple of minutes walk from the campsite for our first ‘hike’ with Pookie who all too often wants to be carried and really has little stamina for a decent walk. 

The route took us down a little grass lane past the church and across a field to the banks of the River Ure.


We followed the river through several fields, over stiles and bridges and into a bluebell wood, before re-emerging in a field of over-eager young cows. Pookie walked most of the way and impressed us with his stile climbing abilities. 


At the end of the cow field we reached the lock where boats bypass the river weir just west of Newby Hall. 


After a quick look we headed away from the river down a little farm track and picked up a main road back towards Roecliffe for a few minutes before again joining a bridleway away from the traffic. The walk back to Roecliffe was quiet and the pace a little quicker with Pookie on his Dad’s shoulders and we made it back in time for a pint in the sunshine outside The Crown and a little giggle at our not-so-impressive hike statistics. 


 After returning the dogs to Willamina and a quick change we were back to The Crown to sample their most delicious menu. 

Easter 2017

Our first trip away in 2017 has finally arrived. After having the caravan rewired for mains and 12V by our local mobile caravan man (J&J Mobile Caravan Services) we now have working tail lights and internal lights. Our Astra Estate has a new towbar and so it was my turn to drive.


I have to say, 5 hours later and I’m still feeling proud of myself having driven 82 miles without mishap and reversing into our pitch with the very helpful instruction of the Boroughbidge Camping and Caravanning Site warden.


Thursday afternoon was spent putting up the awning, having some lunch and then a nice gentle walk past some unloved vehicles to the village of Roecliffe for a quick pint in The Crown. 


On the way back we passed a lovely Little Library in a disused phone box and we took the liberty of borrowing a book titled Sam Sparrow. We’ll return it or replace it before we leave on Sunday. 


Tomorrow we’re off to the Harrogate RHS Flower Show. 

Willamina on Tour: The Shepherds Rest Campsite, Alnwick

Date: 1st September 2016

Location: Shepherds Rest Campsite, Alnwick Moor, Alnwick, Northumberland, NE66 2AHPrices: £22 per night + £2.50 for electric hook up
Total cost for our stay: £22.50
Our Stay: we stayed for one night in order to watch Robin Hood Prince of Thieves in the grounds of Alnwick Castle courtesy of the Luna Cinema – a truly magical experience! The little 5 van campsite a short walk (up a steep hill) from Alnwick town centre. It has one toilet and a shower (which we didn’t use so can’t comment on) which are both hiding in surprisingly well fitted out garden sheds accessed with a key we were given when we checked in. The pitches are clearly marked and each has a flagstone ‘driveway’. The site has tremendous views across the countryside and the Shepherds Rest pub is found at the entrance of the site. 

What we loved: the site is walking distance to Alnwick town centre which is steeped in history with plenty of little shops, pubs and restaurants. Nearby there’s Hulne Park to explore too (no dogs allowed unfortunately) and miles and miles of public footpaths. The fact that there was a pub on the site which served food daily was also a big plus (we didn’t eat there but did have a quick drink before we left). 
What could’ve made it even better: the site was a little run down and sad looking. Nothing that a few replanted planters, a quick tidy up and a little general maintenance couldn’t fix though. We thought it was a little overpriced compared to other sites with better facilities we’ve stayed on, but given that it’s the only site within walking distance of Alnwick, they have the monopoly on that one.


In summary: a great location to explore Alnwick and the surrounding Northumbrian countryside and a site with great potential of only it was given a little TLC. Would we go back…I’m sure we would! 

Towing Willamina.

There are a few things I’ve notice when we’re towing Willamina…

Cars are faster than us. HGVs are faster than us. Most cars towing caravans are faster than us. Ernie the fastest milkman in the west is faster than us!

Everywhere we go it’s slow.  

 


Corners seem tighter, hills feel steeper and I’m suddenly aware of escape lanes! 

 

We politely pull over every third layby to let our traffic jam past and flash lorries to let them know it’s safe to pull in in front of us. 
At a leisurely pace of 50mph there is no rush! We simply have to make sure on our little bimbles through the Great British countryside is that the journey is just as much fun as the destination itself!