We woke early, packed our bags and watched Hattie get lifted up onto the ramps for her cosmetic surgery to begin.
After a quick demo of the E&P Hydrolics and VB Air Suspension that she was about to have added, we headed into York on the train to our little Airbnb between the Shambles and the shortest road in York which is called Whip ma Whop ma Gate (or as it used to be Witnourwhatnourgate). I hadn’t realised it when I booked but apparently the Shambles (better known as Diagon Alley) is where part of Harry Potter was filmed – where they go to buy their wands and wizardery bits. Our Airbnb was a house above one of the shops which we were sharing with Sean (the owner) and his dog, rather strangely Sean’s surname was Potter ….
It has been about 6 years since Keith was in York which was for work – I however, haven’t been here since I came with my parents 35+ years ago. Both of us were keen to come back, I have distant memories of the railway museum and the smells from the Viking tour! Needless to say we didn’t re-visit either but may be back again as we had a great time.
We couldn’t have asked for better weather or food – either we completely lucked out on our random choices or Yorkshire really is food central as everything from the bread to the curry was delicious. We walked the city over the three days we were there, around the wall, along the river Ouze (in both directions) and through all the interesting streets. I also managed to go for a run each day along the river … impressed by the quantity of people who cycle to work, although I appreciate that the weather helps.
We obviously did our best to try out the local taverns as well and ate out in three completely different places … all were fantastic. The Rose and Crown, where we watched the footie on Tuesday night served up whale sized fish and chips and a fantastic Japanese Curry along with good beer, wine and a win for England. The Coconut Lagoon, which is an amazingly place just outside the city wall serving Southern Indian Cuisine where we had a mixed starters to share, Keith had a Thali to follow – which was almost enough to feed a small family – and I ordered a Prawn Curry which was spicy but creamy and delicious…. this would definitely be a local curry house if we lived in York.
On the third and last night we found a lovely little place called Bistro No. 8 where the food was local and equally delicious….fish cakes, Beetroot and goats cheese salad, Slow Braised beef, Pork Belly and to finish, the most deliciously rich – but not too sweet – Chocolate terrine… properly spoilt!
On Friday, after a last walk through York we headed back to see whether Hattie was ready for us, alas not and the TV wasn’t working either so Keith’s plan to watch the 3pm game on the big TV whilst waiting went out the door …. so too did most of the 7pm game as Hattie had a problem with the auto reset which is supposed to kick in when she gets up to 26 mph, thankfully Keith caught the key bits of the games on his mobile.
The team at SAP were amazing and carried on working until 8pm but called it a day and decided to come back at 7:30am Saturday morning with fresh eyes …. a task reasonably quickly resolved after a nights sleep!
It was late by the time we got back into Hattie on Friday night and thankfully we had planned a fairly simple dinner as we also ended up sharing it with someone else who also hadn’t planned on staying the night ….. a new recipe from The Minimalist Baker, Mushroom and Lentil Stew served on Mashed Sweet Potato – really flavorsome, although I think next time I am going to add some squash to bulk it out a little as well.
After a good play with the new suspension and hydrolics we finally got on the road from the SAP workshop just after lunch …. pushing it a little to get to our CL for the England game. The drive was smooth and solid demonstrating the new Air Suspension was worthwhile and although the ground we originally parked on was slightly too uneven for the automated hydrolics, we moved slightly and set it to manual and had a play … very sturdy! All in, only missing the first five minutes of the game.
The CL was Holly Tree Cottage in Upper Denby (£14 per night inc) which is owned by a lovely couple who keep the site in top order and are really helpful. The field was beautifully tranquil, stunning views with a couple of overly friendly chickens and a mixture of varieties of sheep …. including two who were hand reared in their kitchen so behaved a little more like dogs than sheep! Unfortunately we only stayed two nights due to my bad planning but we did manage to get in a lovely circular walk on the Sunday. We will be back to take in more of the area as the rolling hills just go on and on.
After both completing a morning run on Monday we headed North from Upper Denby to a pretty little village just outside Ripon where we are staying at Ivy Bank House (£12 per night). Until recently it was a CL but between the time we booked it and when we arrived, it has changed to be a Caravan Club site. Its a very nice field though, has a bit of a slope which is good for the ongoing testing of the hyrdolics, has sheep which is a bit of a theme now and is incredibly peaceful but the surrounding area is very hilly….. which is a bit of an issue for my poor legs and running!
The campsite is just on the edge of Kirkby Malzeard, 6 miles from Ripon so we have been out on the bikes today and Tuesday …. first time in ages so that’ll be it for a few days now! We have also headed cross country on a few walking routes taking on the stinging nettles as they are particularly on form at the moment and tomorrow we are planning to walk to Masham …. the home of both the Theakstons and Black Sheep Brewery – might just be a taxi back then!
Just as a reminder I have started a new map as well for 2018/19 so you can follows us – have a look here if you want to see more