Don’t go getting your hopes up – it’s the final instalment of this trip’s adventures, not the final instalment ever… You don’t get off that lightly!
We’re having such a good time after so long without a Vince trip, that we’ve added on an extra couple of days. One of the things I do to get to know our new home area of North Yorkshire, is zip off on my motorcycle now and again to explore random towns and villages. That’s how I found Pateley Bridge in Nidderdale, located unsurprisingly on the river Nidd. Boasting England’s oldest sweet shop, it’s very picturesque in a tranquil Yorkshire village-y kind of way. Driving through the village on the way in, it looked very well-kept. Spotting some tasty-looking pork pies in the family butcher’s window as Vince lumbered by, I made a mental note to sneak back there unsupervised when I could.
We did wonder if we’d made the right decision to stay though. We had to set Vince up in the Riverside Caravan Park in lashing rain, and it was getting more than a little breezy too. On days like that the only sensible thing to do is turn the heating up, make a hot drink, and dig out a good book. Thank goodness we took the kitchen coffee machine with us! It’s not something we’ve tried before, but knowing that we’d be hooked up to campsite electricity on all our stopovers we thought. why not? Great decision!
All we managed on day one was a quick look round during a break in the showers. We enjoyed looking round the local arty shops and the floral displays and had our usual gaze at all the houses we can’t afford in the Estate Agency windows. When the weather relented a second time, I was able to pop out for our fish and chip supper – we definitely need to go on reduced rations when we get home.
Fortunately the rain died away overnight which allowed us to get out for a river bank walk the following morning. A breezy five miler took us along the Nidd on a well-made gravel path. I hadn’t realised how well camouflaged the humble British duck is until one gave us the fright of our lives! We must have woken her up from her nap on a dry-stone wall. Flapping and quacking she chased us well out of range of her nest!
And would you believe – just as in Barnard Castle, we happened on yet another mill conversion project. Yorkshire seems to be full of them. Restoration was still in progress; the main building was complete, and mostly occupied. There were still some dilapidated outbuildings around it which look like they’ll become detached houses. One in particular caught our eye, as its roof seemed to be sitting on an uninterrupted wall of rotten sash windows. It could be spectacular so we’ll check back on that one in a few months.
The weather closed in yet again after lunch, so I generously spoiled Gill by leaving her in the peace and quiet and heading off on a rainy explore. I’d found a route online which took me up the valley side and along a disused railway, dropping back down into the village after a few miles. And when I said up the valley side the most important word in that phrase is UP. There were no forgiving bends or twists and turns; this path was perpendicular to the slope – straight up. The heart-rate monitor on my watch kept giving off worried sounding beeps as I trudged higher and higher. The views down the valley were beautiful, even with a few hailstones thrown in. Well worth the heart-attack risk!
At one point I came across an innocuous gap in the wall beside the path so I stepped through it and found myself on a tarmac platform with iron railings, overlooking a long drop down to the river. I’d inadvertently stumbled on The Rock – a viewpoint constructed to celebrate Queen Victoria’s Golden Jubilee in 1887. The town renamed the road I was walking on to Panorama Road when construction was complete. I could see why.
As the plaque quotes:
The Panorama Walk… was thronged with delighted sight-seers, and in every direction the seats placed by the local Improvement Association had occupants engaged in expatiating upon the beauty of the surrounding scenery.Nidderdale Herald 24 September 1887
I engaged in a little expatiating myself, before completing the walk back to Vince via the family butcher I mentioned above. Ooh, that pork pie was delicious! It was guilt-free too as we can keep it to ourselves can’t we? Gill need never know. Oh, hang on…
It was so good to discover such a nice camping spot close to home. I have a feeling we’ll be popping back there every so often on those weekends when we find ourselves with not much to do, and a bit of sunshine in the forecast. It took less than an hour to get home, where I scrubbed the big fella sparkling clean then returned him to his storage spot. We’ll head back over there in a day or two to give him a good hoover and tidy inside too. It’s great having him a little closer to home in his new place.
So that’s it for now. Final instalment done. We’re keeping our eye on the latest travel restrictions now that Portugal is on the green list. Unfortunately we’ll have to wait until Spain lifts restrictions before we can head over there. Until that happens, this latest trip has shown us that we can still have great trips in the UK, and not even too far from home.
Thanks for coming along with us, it wouldn’t be the same without you. Hopefully it won’t be too long before we head off again 🙂
See you next time,