It’s not all grim up North…9th Oct 2020

After a lovely fresh morning run through the wind farms just outside Lutterworth we showered, breakfasted, packed up and headed up to SAP in Doncaster where we were booked in to get our jacks and air suspension serviced on the Tuesday morning. We arrived just after lunch and as they were crazy busy, they actually decided to squeeze us in on Monday afternoon instead of waiting until Tuesday. Happy, we left them the keys and headed off to the supermarket to do some shopping and only when we were back chatting to one of the guys about adding another LPG tank did we think about trying to extend our booking up in Harrogate for an extra night as there are nicer places to stay overnight than an industrial estate!

Tania at The Cud Life (£20 a night inc. Elec) was quick to respond so at 5pm we were on the road again and we finally parked up just as it was starting to rain and get dark – hadn’t thought about the evenings closing in so early but I guess we are in Autumn now!

We woke to blue skies and beautiful sunshine so having seen the forecast for the next week, decided to get some washing done before we headed into Harrogate to explore… boring stuff, but it has to be done.

Harrogate is a beautiful city with lots of green spaces, it reminds me of a large Clifton in Bristol – elegant and refined, yet a bit quirky. We found some lovely deli’s, glared through the window at Aunt Betty’s tea rooms – I am sure there are better ones – and ate our sandwiches on a park bench taking in a bit of autumn sun after stopping for a coffee. It was lovely to see the huge quantities of people, both young and old, eating ice creams in the Valley Gardens whilst sitting on benches or walking around….definately a lovely feel to the place…when the sun is shining at least!

Wednesday had been forecast for rain but we managed to get a run (me) and exercise (Keith) in as well as a lovely walk to Ripley before lunch and the heavens opening…. always a bonus but we had loads of work to catch up on anyway so can’t really complain I guess!

Ripley is a strange little village with only 221 habitants. Everything revolves around the castle which, along with the pub, store and who knows what else is owned by Sir Thomas Ingiliby – it is an immaculate village and apparently in the top 20 places to live in England… if you could afford it! Lovely to visit though and beautiful to see how well kept it is… they even have a gin distillery, although I am over my quota at the moment as I already have two in the motorhome ….

On Thursday the rain cleared and we ventured over to Knaresborough – slightly further but a lovely walk all the same through the Yorkshire countryside with beautiful views out over the rolling hills. Knaresborough is quite a bit smaller than Harrogate and not quite as plush or ‘village-y’ but pretty all the same, especially the parks and river. It is the home of Mother Shiptons Cave – Mother Shipton being the prophetess who apparently spoke of the Great Fire of London and the Plague before they actually happened – among other prophesies. It is however also apparently famous for its bed race…. yep, teams run 2.4 miles around the town and into the river in fancy dress costume once a year…. been going since 1966 – not a bad claim to fame! In addition to the above however, the remains of a castle look out over River Nidd and there is a beautiful viaduct as well.

Finally having decided what we were going to do after Harrogate – nothing like planning ahead – we did a shop at the farm for fruit and veg before heading into Waitrose for the rest and hitting the road, direction Whitby…

We had booked ourselves into the York House Hotel and Caravan Park (£17 a night) which is about 3 miles outside Whitby and 2 miles from Robin Hood Bay, just off the Cinder trail. It would not be somewhere we would have chosen normally as it is quite a large site, mostly made up of static homes but we got a pitch right at the top, from which, on a clear day you could see the sea… it was also very quiet and close to a really good pub!

We had booked four nights to explore the area a bit more whilst also acknowledging the fact that it was going to be pretty grim on Saturday so decided to right it off as a pub day. We actually got lucky and managed to walk over to Robin Hood Bay on Saturday morning whilst we could actually still see more than 10m in front of us – the way back was something else but at least we got a taste of what was there. Our hearts went out for the runners who were doing a 55 mile ultra though as by about 11:30am visibility was really poor.

Lunch was amazing, although it lacked an open fire. We had booked into The Hare and Hounds in Hawsker as the reviews were good and we both fancied some local fish and chips – well apparently whilst in Whitby … however contraversially, Keith went for pie… possibly one of the best pies he has had apparently – along with the whole meal. I don’t think I have had fish that good for a long time either.

Needless to say we needed to walk the meal off in the rain in the afternoon.

The sun came out on Sunday and after a rather hilly and puddly run we set off into Whitby along the Cinder trail to explore a bit further.

Whitby is a beautiful fishing town with an Abbey up on the hill looking down over it. It has lots of cobbled streets and due to its setting – and possibly its fame for fish and chips – it is pretty touristy. We were lucky as it was a beautiful – albeit fresh – day, although that meant that it was busy.

We stopped and had a coffee, ate our sandwiches looking out onto the estuary and explored a bit more before as the clouds came in, heading back to the motorhome, arriving just before the heavens opened again.

Obviously Robin Hood Bay had no desire for us to visit it whilst dry as on Monday the clouds came in again and although we had a lovely walk we still don’t have any photos to show of the real beauty that it held.

A quick hop down the coast on Tuesday – we are just happy to be able to be close to the sea again – and we arrived at our next stop, Crowsnest Campsite (£30 a night inc.) which is half way between Scarborough and Filey. I had only booked the previous day but when we arrived no-one was around apart from a groundsman who told us to just go park up and check in later as everyone was at a meeting. I had cheakily asked for sea views on my booking form and as the spot was free we parked up on the best possible pitch…. unbeknown to us it had been allocated to us – happy days!

The campsite is another that is majority static homes but thankfully they kept the seaview pitches for us nomads – I can’t say that the views were like the above for the whole stay but we did at least get a good few hours of sunshine … just enough to get our washing done – although we are grateful that none of it blew away as it was forceful to say the least!

We ventured south on the coastal path both on Tuesday, just for a short walk to Filey Brigg (2 hours round trip) and Wednesday – washing day – into Filey itself. Filey is a small seaside town with a beautiful long beach – a little like Woolacombe in Devon – with an excellent beach, lots of cafes, restaurants and promenade but the town itself is a little run down unfortunately…. all the same a lovely place to eat fish and chips and ice cream!

It started to rain and blow a hooley on Wednesday night and was still at it on Thursday morning. I said I’d go for a run and leave Keith to do exercise inside but that if I wasn’t back in an hour to send out the search parties… it sounded that bad from inside the motorhome. When I actually got out it was fine but the last 900m from the road back up to the motorhome – yes, I do mean UP – I was pretty much running on the spot… I think that the people in the cars that passed me by must have thought I was absolutely nuts… ok, fair point! Despite the rain clearing we stayed local on Thursday, only venturing to the local farm shop and cafe and then North to Cayton Bay on the coastal path so as not to get too wet.

With the winds still fairly high and grey clouds we bit the bullet this morning and headed into Scarborough along the coastal path. Keith hadn’t ever been before and I think I was here with my parents when I was really young but have very few memories – it’s a well maintained, pretty seaside town.. I just had to try and capture the victorian picturesqueness…. I did say try!

Possible because we were here mid-week, possibly because it’s larger than Whitby, but it had a very different feeling to it. Apart from the sea front itself which is full of rock shops, arcades and fish and chips – the espanade and above is elegant and well kept, worth a visit if you are close by.

and despite the heavens opening on us on the way home we found our little pot of gold…. unfortunately Keith didn’t fancy swimming out to get it though… not sure why??

Only a couple of new recipes this week I am afraid … well we have to eat some of the other delicious ones occassionally too…

Traditional Goan Korma – Vegan – another delicious curry which has loads of flavour but not too much spice

Lentil Ratatouille – not my normal ratatouille, but very good all the same.

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