Friday, 30 October 2015

Autumn escape to the North

We've just returned from a few days rest in the North of England. Jee whizz how I longed for and needed just a few short days away from the hustle and bustle of everyday routine. I longed for this little break at the end of the Summer and dreamt of the beautiful heather on the moors....arrr! That was the pull. For some reason I had to see the heather in flower!
Well, our dear (usually very reliable) little Blueberry car let us down back them at the end of the Summer and swallowed up the funds set aside for such an adventure, plus once the dear little motor car was fixed, the Summer and all our days of freedom had gone and the new term with all its commitments was right there upon us once again. I was disappointed but knew that our time would come. To cut a long story short, I got browsing 'as one does' and stumbled across a lovely static caravan between the North Yorkshire moors and the Dales, it was perfect and amazingly was available for three nights this week for fun and adventures (of the family kind ;-))!!

I love Yorkshire! I've always loved it! Tim and I used to holiday there often. I recall well those days when we would drive up onto the moors and just marvel at the views...of course some of those views included the rather scrumptious Nick Berry during the filming of 'Heartbeat'. I used to love the innocence of that programme, plus the vintage era in which it was set.

For this trip the heather was the draw. We left on Tuesday morning and trundled up the M1 North. It didn't seem to take that long (three and a half hours passes quickly when you jabber on)!
It was peeing down with rain upon our arrival. In fact literally once we had ventured out of sunny beautiful Oxfordshire it seemed to start and persistently continued for the entire time we were away.
We kind of guessed that might happen and although it could easily have completely destroyed our plans, it did in fact make us laugh and laugh some more!

All the rain brought mist too, so upon driving out to see the spectacular views we saw this......

This was in fact a pretty clear view! Much of the time we actually couldn't see more than about twenty feet in front of the car! No views!!

Once the mist did finally clear usually later in the day.......WOW!!! The views were indeed breath taking.

Our static caravan was nestled up close to a farm house on a 200 acre sheep farm. You can see the details here. For just £136 for three nights and an extra tenor for the hound, I thought that was a pretty good deal and a whole lot cheaper and cosier than the Youth hostel or camping barn I initially looked at. It even had a bath!!

We had planned to venture out for some grand walks around the reservoir that lay in its glorified beauty at the foot of the farm. As I already mentioned on that first day we couldn't even see it! But my oh my, when the mist cleared........

The first day we just bumbled around the local area trying to find our bearings. I love to escape house just occasionally, to run away from the distractions of the many things that need doing and dare I say it?......'The internet'. Oh the joys of not being able to surf and check emails! They did trickle in occasionally as we hit wifi hot spots but the pure bliss of not having that constant persuasive pull of Facebook and work......arrrr!

We visited the lovely old market town of Skipton on our second day. Skipton was just sooo quaint. Lovely little independent stores and a busy street market, plus the serene canal. I am always drawn to the inland waterways.

The oldest sweet shop in England in Pateley Bridge

Little Jenny dog came too. She was thrilled I could tell, to be allowed to join us on our family adventure. Yorkshire was very doggy friendly :-) Not sure what she thought of her soaking though. None of us remembered to bring waterproofs and I was very reluctant to purchase more when I have a bag full at home!

Day three was a day of railway adventures. We drove a good hour east to the very picturesque market town of Pickering and spent the day 'train hopping'...on a paid ticket of course!
Jenny had to have a ticket too and felt sure that entitled her to a seat, naturally!

Our first stop was Goathland or Aidensfield as it is known in Heartbeat land. The kids loved the sheep on the road. I drove through this place very quickly way back in 2012  on our 'Trip to the North' back then following our disastrous event. I remember we had the threat of snow on the moors back then and had been advised to get across the moors as quickly as possible. We did just that and luckily made it with hot chips in bellies from Whitby at the same time!
It's funny how sometimes memories seem so good and when you attempt to relive them or in my case  introduce your children to something that was special to you, it doesn't always seem to have the same effect. Tim and I holidayed in Goathland several times during our formative years. We camped and explored and it was fun. Times change and move on and I very much felt that although still a lovely place, it was the TV show Heartbeat that brought people to the area. My children don't know anything about it, it isn't even shown anymore, yet all the gift shops were packed with souvenirs and postcards of the characters. Filming can do a lot for a place but as the memories slip, then what becomes of them? This place had become commercialised as a result of its TV connection but what now? What is the future for such a place that prior to the show was just another pretty little village on the map?
We had a bite to eat and hopped back on the train bound for Grosmont; just a ten minute further up the line.

Each of the little stations has been restored to a different era of railway history. I'm not a train spotter but there is something rather lovely about the slow pace of the engines, the smell of the soot and steam and the noise of those whistles!
Our homeward journey back to Pickering was most enjoyable. The children are so grateful for everything I do for them and always thank me profusely for all they receive no matter how small.
The rain eased to a spit and the mist cleared giving us incredible views across the moors. That heather was BROWN and .......sleeping! The bracken was stunning though in its orange/yellow hues.
You can discover more about the North Yorkshire Moors Railway here.

Looking out of the window 'selfie' pose!

Evenings were spent playing board games by the heat of the fire and snuggled up on the huge sofa crocheting my latest Winter blanket (I've finally started my Attic 24 Harmony blanket!) and watching the World gymnastics championships from Glasgow - in my element!!

I've had my fill of Yorkshire for a while now. I do love the area but as always am eternally grateful to return to the place we call home.

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