Triptracker June 2015
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Trip June 1st - 12th 2015

Bletchley Park, Crich Tram Museum, Chatsworth House, Buxton (Dales), Failsworth (Place of birth), Yorkshire Moors, Malham Cove, York, Sherwood Forest, Blenheim.

At last, a couple of weeks away! We plan to take the motorhome North, taking in Bletchley Park, Crich Tram Museum, Chatsworth House, my home town Failsworth, Malham Cove, York and Sherwood Forest.

Leaving home after the morning rush hour we headed for a short ride along the M3 to the A34, M40, A43 and A421arriving at Bletchley Park just before lunch.

There are two museums, one related to the Codebreakers and the other to computers. We just took in the Codebreaker part, quietly wandering the gardens and viewing the various huts the were used during WW2 by the various groups who provided the enemies signals to the code breaking team.

After a nice lunch at the sites restaurant we visited a live demonstration of Colossus which was both interesting and informative. I could imagine the scene as the Colossus whirred and clackety clacked the many decoding wheels in some sort of magic sequence.

It was very interesting to see the sort of working and living conditions the groups had in the course of their duties and the old motorbikes and vehicles that were used to expeditiously distribute the decoded signals to the appropriate authorities. The visit was good value for money. We left Bletchley for our first overnight stop at Boycott Farm at Stowe.

 

 

Boycott Farm is a free Britstop farm shop. It has basic facilities and the breakfast was excellent. We would visit here again.

We had a restful day before moving on toward Crich.

Our overnight stay was at The Firs, Belper (Caravan Club). A very good site with all facilities.

 

 

After breakfast we were on our way again in the direction of Crich Tram Museum. It was a fairly short distance and we arrived just before lunch. The museum is brilliant and I have never seen so many working trams in a true to life setting. We paid our 'old' penny fare for a ride on a tram up and down the line before having a snack lunch at the sites cafe.

One sad point of the visit was that there was a funeral for one of the museums engineers.

After Crich we headed for the campsite at Chatsworth Park in readiness to visit the house.

 

Again a very nice site and good facilities. With time on our hands it gave us the opportunity to put together our plans for the next parts of our trip.

Chatsworth House was a delightful place and excellent value for money. Lunch was impressive too. One of the best stately homes we've visited.

 

 

Our next objective was The Cat & Fiddle where I used to cycle to, as a teenager, from Manchester. The pub was still there albeit a little grubby and tired looking so after quick beer and elderflower water we moved on.

 

Journeying through Buxton turned out to be eventful when a delivery van travelling in the opposite direction broke my offside wing mirror. Thankfully it was only my mirror that was broken, but usable.

The short journey to Spray House Farm took us through the open dales of Derbyshire with marvellous views The farm was on top of a hill with stunning views of Derbyshire and the valleys around us. The farmers wife was very friendly and helpful and although the facilities were limited to electric our stay was very pleasant. Ben, our dog, loved it.

We also met a man with two people searching sheepdogs. It was impressive to see him training them to seek out the hidden training lures.

Being on top of the hill on a windy night was quite a new experience with the noise of the wind howling and the motor home rocking about. Nice to be tucked into our warm bed with a cup of hot chocolate and the heater on.

We were up bright and early, having been wakened by the aircraft coming into Manchester Airport, and set off to look around my home town, Failsworth.

 

 

Failsworth was hardly the same but I did recognise the house I was brought up in.

We moved on toward Huddersfield via Oldham and Greenfield my youthful stomping ground. Stopped on the moor top at a pub for lunch before moving on to Dearne Head Farm.

It turned out that the farm was a rescue centre for Great Danes and horses. Lovely place to stay and a bit off the beaten track. The dogs were huge and they and the horses were smart enough to know when it was feeding time; they made their way to the yard ready to feed.

 

 

Having had a very nice stay at Dearne Head Farm we set off in the direction of Malham Cove in the Yorkshire Dales. We managed to book into a very popular Caravan Club site at Grassington.

This was the best site we have visited so far and had all the facilities. We reckon we will try and stay for longer next time.

We were up early and took the van to Malham Cove village. Having not walked so far for a couple of years I took a chance and made the effort to walk the mile or so to the Cove. It was well worth it and I was delighted to make it in both directions. The scenery is unique and impressive with the stream running from the foot of the cliff. There were also quite a number of climbers at various heights on their pitches - it took me back to my youth.

On our way back to the motor home we stopped to have afternoon tea at a local cafe. Good Yorkshire tea and a generous helping of home made cake.

Back on track to Grassington we took the opportunity to take in the local country views by taking the back roads.

 

 

Grassington to York was a pleasant journey and the weather was just great. Luckily we managed to get into the Caravan Club site at York for three nights. The site is just a 5 minute walk from York centre.

Our first job was to get our bearings before settling down for a peaceful evening and good nights sleep.

 

 

The walk along the river side was lovely and we were on the bridge into town within five minutes. Another five minutes and we were at the entrance to York Minster.

After paying our entrance fee and then being told that the east part of the Minster was closed - Argh! we took in what was available, heading for the entrance to the crypt and tower. The extensive work carried out on the foundations is impressive and very well presented. Having been told the eastern part of the Minster was closed for a private function I was ever so disappointed when told it was extra to go up the tower; Oh! and we would have to trudge back to the entrance to purchase the extra admission tickets. All in all, not good value for money!

After the disappointment of the Minster we spent the next day visiting the York Museum. Excellent value for money and absolutely tremendous visuals, it was like returning to the 1800's. Our stay in York was good and the weather was kind to us. Would certainly return to York but would drop a visit to the Minster. Our next stop is to be a camp site at Sherwood Forest. 

 

Couldn't believe the weather for our journey south, it was a really nice sunny day. The roads around York were quite busy but then eased off and we took in the views of the passing green countryside as we went along.

A quick bite of a light lunch at a roadside restaurant and then onward where we arrived at the Clumber Park campsite early afternoon. The site was quite large and spacious with great access to cycle paths and areas to walk the dog. Ben loved it, and I wonder why he didn't wear his nose out!

 

From Clumber Park we decided to proceed south and take one more stop before home at Bladon Chains near Oxford. Again the weather was kind to us and the roads not too busy.

The campsite is on the Blenheim Estate just outside the Palace garden wall.

Unfortunately, our pitch was next to the main road and therefore quite noisy. OK for a quick en-route stopover but, for us, that is about it.

 

 

The last leg of our journey was uneventful except that the traffic was significantly heavier all the way home.

We succeeded in getting to all the places planned and the weather turned out to be very much in our favour. I can't honestly say which of our visits was best, they were all very good with the exception of York Minster which although a great venue was over priced and poor value for the money paid.

Now it's back home to plan our next adventure somewhere in the UK.

 

This page was last updated: Tuesday, 24 October, 2017 12:38 by Richard Spencer