#1

Harrogate

in Where did you go, what did you do, who did you meet? Wed Nov 20, 2013 5:11 pm
by Randa france | 7.177 Posts

Well, to borrow a well used phrase and totally turn it inside out to describe this “Camping” year, the year came in like a lion and is going out like a ............lion. Many of us will remember last April and the high winds and rain and a hint of snow at Fforest Fields, well Welcome to Harrogate.

We have never used the Eriba this late in the year before but because the other one of us wanted to attend a five day exhibition in Harrogate, we needed to be here.

However, because of financial restraints, and armed with some good advice from those all year campers the Frantones (and a few others) we decided to give it a go.

Monday. Day minus One. We had to wake up the sleeping Troll and expose it from under its lovely warm, weatherproof cover. Also there was the task of loading it up with all the things we thought we’d need for the expedition and the exhibition with a huge consideration of the weather forecast which was telling us to expect a sharp drop in temperatures and the prospect of heavy winds, some snow and ice. So unlike our previous trips, it was a case of selecting winter clothes and wellies as well as posh clobber for the show.
Because of the wet conditions and the position of the Eriba in her storage area relative to the house, as always we decided to load the car with everything and drive around to the field at the rear of our house before sorting everything out and finding a place for it all.
That didn’t prove too easy however. About two months ago we had the field levelled and access expanded but as yet, the promised hardcore has not arrived and the grass had barely had time to re-grow. Therefore, in out attempts to hitch up in readiness for an early morning start the car and caravan were very non-responsive with clods of mud being churned up from under the wheels. Similarly, we were trying to move stuff from car to caravan in muddy boots which as many of you might know, is a thankless and almost impossible task to carry out swiftly and quietly. We also had a bit of bother trying to remove the turkey proof fence that a friend had recently erected to protect the caravans.

Tuesday 8:30am. Day One. The sleet and snow starts falling and we’ve not yet left home. In view of the fact that we are in a relatively mild climate and we have to travel 280 miles in a generally north direction it doesn’t bode well. Across the Heads of the Valleys road with snow lying on the ground. Why was I talked into this? The rest of the journey however was brighter although bitterly cold. We made good progress and arrived at the Caravan Club site at Knaresborough in 5 hours flat.
What a nice campsite it is. It’s a bit out of town but there are approx. 40 pitches, all very large hardstands with surrounding 3’ high beech hedges and....no orders regarding “nose in”. Toilet block is quite modern and very clean with underfloor heating. There’s a privately run small bar and bistro on site as well. The caravan site is nearly full but everyone else here appears to either have a caravan that is twice the length of ours or a huge Motorhome.
Soon after we arrived, the temperature plummeted and by 5pm we were putting extra layers on to keep warm. We didn’t resort to the Truma gas fire however as our small oil filled radiator, coupled with a warmth of the microwave which was busy cooking our meal, was enough to warm the van up.
We had decided to bring our Soplair Pyramid shaped sun shade as we didn’t want to be drying out a full awning or to worry about the fine nylon sun shade that serves us well in sunnier climes. Suddenly, at about midnight, a strong swirling wind started up and, accompanied by squally showers, persisted all night. The sun shade remained in place but the constant flapping of canvas kept me awake most of the night. At one point I was considering going out to take it down or to strap it to the roof rail of the car.
This year we have experienced so many incidents of wind that I’ve lost count. I hate the wind as I’m always anxious about the damage it could do to the camping equipment. At Fforest Fields, we had to nip home and do a repair job on our nylon sun awning that was seam ripped almost in two by the Saturday night gale we experienced. Throughout our three month vacation in France we were troubled by a very angry “Mistral” at several of the camp sites. On the Gower in September some of the off shore winds were quite strong and here we are, suffering and worrying about it all over again. The Frantones had advised us not to bother with an awning but it’s very nice to have something, anything, that can keep the rain off the door. It brings back memories of our tenting days when we used to talk for hours about tent design and the intrinsic weakness of most tents we’d owned which was the doorway when open, was always exposed to the elements.

Wednesday Day Two. Still very windy this morning and we had to rush out to the Exhibition Centre to hang the exhibits. As we started the car a couple rushed towards us, flagging and waving for us to stop. Oh, oh, is this the site manager who has possibly noticed that our tow bar is on the wrong end? No it was a lovely couple from the north of Scotland who have been driving their campervan north from AL in Poole and were desperate to talk to someone who owned an Eriba. They are really interested in a 420 but we think they enjoyed their guided tour around a very untidy 530. Hello to Linda and John.

R and A

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Last edited Wed Nov 20, 2013 5:17 pm | Scroll up

#2

RE: Harrogate

in Where did you go, what did you do, who did you meet? Wed Nov 20, 2013 5:54 pm
by ellen | 518 Posts

Hope the winds die down for you very soon, glad to hear a good report about the site as it's one we fancy trying next year. Ellen


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#3

RE: Harrogate

in Where did you go, what did you do, who did you meet? Wed Nov 20, 2013 6:03 pm
by Aaron Calder | 3.083 Posts

I'm surprised how busy the site is for this time of year. I'd have thought you'd have had the place more or less to yourselves.

Don't miss Mother Shipton's Cave and the Dropping Well.

If all goes well you may get a genuine snow-covered Troll picture.

Have fun!


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#4

RE: Harrogate

in Where did you go, what did you do, who did you meet? Wed Nov 20, 2013 6:03 pm
by Pop540 | 1.543 Posts

Randas welcome to sunny north Yorkshire, yes really, the sun warmed us up about 9.45am and excessive Michelin man gear was removed, wind? we had a slight breeze up here.
we had to venture out on an errand and decided to have a hot chocolate that took 15minutes to make!! for some reason it was cold
well as soon as the sun went down the wind has got up from the north east and its stair rod raining at the mo
did you hear any thunder between 4am and 7am there was a rumble up ere
I would try the ultraheat if you have it
and perhaps put the roof down, open bathroom window on night catch till you get the space warm


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#5

RE: Harrogate

in Where did you go, what did you do, who did you meet? Wed Nov 20, 2013 6:30 pm
by Randa france | 7.177 Posts

Good advice A. Thanks.
Forgot to mention that the new back rests are working a treat. Hugely more comfortable now.

PILLOW TALK

Won't have time for much sight seeing we're afraid but Old Mother Shipton's cave is just a mile or so down the road from the camp site.

R


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Last edited Wed Nov 20, 2013 6:31 pm | Scroll up

#6

RE: Harrogate

in Where did you go, what did you do, who did you meet? Wed Nov 20, 2013 6:47 pm
by Steamdrivenandy (deleted)
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Looks like you're in the pitch we used a couple of years back when we returned to the area just after we moved here from Burton Leonard. An excellent, if a bit sanitised site and regrettably the little bar/bistro was closed when we were there. As you probably realise the site is called Knaresborough but is actually in Scotton, birthplace of Guy Fawkes.

In our family Knaresborough is referred to as Knarsburg (as prounounced in Carlsberg) because that's the way a Belgian family we met years ago pronounced it. It's all excellent walking country round there and lots and lots of places to see and things to do. Of course the one thing everybody who visits Harrogate has to do is visit Bettys tearoom http://www.bettys.co.uk/. Trouble is the queues will be horrendous with the Knitting & Stitching Show on.

As an alternative you could try the Bettys out at the Royal Horticultural Garden at Harlow Carr on the edge of Harrogate the queues shouldn't be too bad there this time of year. Fat Rascals are recommended but really anything Bettys make is superb and regrettably expensive. Our old ex next door neighbour used to be housekeeper to the family that own and run the Bettys and Taylors Group.


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#7

RE: Harrogate

in Where did you go, what did you do, who did you meet? Thu Nov 21, 2013 10:34 am
by Randa france | 7.177 Posts

Hiya Mate.
No I didn't know that Mr Fawkes was born here until yesterday lunchtime when I spied a sign to a pub called "The Guy Fawkes" so thought there may be a connection.
Wouldn't fancy the grub there though because I hear the bangers are a bit off although I understand they do a good roast for those with catholic tastes

Wow, the sun is shining here this morning.
R


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#8

RE: Harrogate

in Where did you go, what did you do, who did you meet? Thu Nov 21, 2013 10:46 am
by hob (deleted)
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I think the windy weather you had passed through here overnight ..........still a bit like that now and very overcast.



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#9

RE: Harrogate

in Where did you go, what did you do, who did you meet? Thu Nov 21, 2013 2:02 pm
by Pop540 | 1.543 Posts

its really sunny with rain that's falling from clear sky very odd,
we are sailing, we are sailing, across the floods again to get t'other side
wheres me wellys
am going to see if I can find me wiggle stick to unblock the drains again
theres no song pun intended honest


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#10

RE: Harrogate

in Where did you go, what did you do, who did you meet? Fri Nov 22, 2013 3:00 pm
by Randa france | 7.177 Posts

Thursday Day 3. This morning the weather is bitterly cold with sleety showers. The entrance to the camp site is flooded to a depth of about 9". After dropping the boss of at the show, I spent a few hours with my new toy. A Kindle Keyboard which Mr Frantone suggested I purchase. Blimey, I can actually read a book without the use of specs although there's only about 6 lines of text on each page
The weather has improved so have been able to keep the van door open to air it out a bit. Do others suffer from condensation in their Eribas at this time of year? We've not noticed it before but of course we've never used it this late in the year before. One or two of the overhead lockers are particularly damp (ish).
5pm and an Eriba had parked behind us. A couple who used to live in Knaresborough, but have since moved to the Isle of Wight. They have a really well cared for 1993 Triton 430. They are off to the show.

Friday Day 4. Still very cold this morning but with a little bit of sunshine. We have this morning off so decided to take up SDA's suggestion and visit Mother Shipton's Cave. Typical Yorkshire trick however, we pay the money to park the car only to find that the cave is closed from October for the winter.
Isn't that just our luck. According to Wiki this attraction has been open to the public since 1640 and as soon as we decide to give it a go it's shut Only joking about the car park though as there was a nice walk from there that eventually led us up to the town by way of the castle. Spent a pleasant couple of hours wandering around the place.
While we were away there's another Eriba arrived. According to our new IOW friends, they're from York and are also here for the show. Will to try and catch up with them later.
R and A
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Last edited Fri Nov 22, 2013 3:05 pm | Scroll up

#11

RE: Harrogate

in Where did you go, what did you do, who did you meet? Fri Nov 22, 2013 3:21 pm
by Steamdrivenandy (deleted)
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Did you know that the first Knaresborough railway viaduct collapsed soon after it was built. Nasty.

There is, or maybe now , was, a specialist beer shop called Beer Ritz in the market square. All the beers you've ever heard of and many you hadn't.

I hope you had a walk down the street from the market square to the station, it's the beautifully named 'Water Bag Bank'.

Knaresborough used to be the junction station for a line that ran across to Boroughbridge and on across country to join up with the ECML a fair distance north of York. Closed pre Beeching.


Amber a Lunar Quasar 464 Sussex Amberley Sussex Caravans dealer special pushing a '59 reg. Kia Cee'd 3 SW 1.6 CRDi Automatic, a rough towing ratio of 86%.


Last edited Fri Nov 22, 2013 3:21 pm | Scroll up

#12

RE: Harrogate

in Where did you go, what did you do, who did you meet? Fri Nov 22, 2013 3:25 pm
by Randa france | 7.177 Posts

Blimey, didn't know that Andy. Are you a railway buff by chance?????


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#13

RE: Harrogate

in Where did you go, what did you do, who did you meet? Sat Nov 23, 2013 10:11 am
by Randa france | 7.177 Posts

Friday Day Four (continued)
Knowing it was going to be dark and probably quite cold when we returned from the show, we had decided to book a meal in the camp site bistro. Although it is described on-line as being independently run, it is, in fact, owned and run by the Caravan Club.
There were only a few people there and the menu is quite considerable for the size of the place. Talking about the size of the place, the plaice was huge. OK it was cod but didn’t want to spoil a good joke, which this wasn’t. The cod overhung a 14” oval plate and with mushy peas, chips, bread and butter, it was very good fodder and great value for money priced up at about chip shop prices. They offer take away as well. It would appear that this camp site is fully booked up for the Xmas week.
As the evening rolled on, more and more vans and motor homes kept turning up. Amongst the general background noise of people talking, dogs barking, shunting twin axles, whirring jacks down with electric drills, rolling water carriers about, we also detected some high pitched sounds, not unlike human speech, but far more demanding, featuring the occasional screech or moan. Finally, the noise died down by about 10pm.

Saturday Day 5. After a cosy night’s sleep and at about 8am this morning, the noises started again but most prominent of all was the continuation of this humanoid sound accompanying the sounds of a rolling water carrier or two. Time to investigate. Peeping through the window with gluey eyes, I could make out several shapes, one obviously an adult human but with several smaller shapes with larger heads, scurrying about making all sorts of noises to break up the peace. Fighting, running, arguing. Suddenly it dawned on me. Something we’ve had little experience of since our retirement. Argggg.
KIDS. Where did they come from? Just how many times can they pass by the rest of the caravans on this site with their empty aqua-rolls? Perhaps it’s Bob a Job week and they’re helping out the wrinklies? Oh wait on; they’ve discovered a new game. Waste water trolley racing. That looks fun After our rude awakening we discovered a cold, frosty but sunny morning. Things are looking up.
The camp site would appear to be full apart from one emplacement adjacent to us. It quite often happens that way when we camp in England. Must be the Dragon and Cymru stickers on the car and van. It works every time. A brilliant ploy to ensure a degree of privacy. Thank the Lord I’m Welsh. It’ll probably work for the Irish too.
R and A


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Last edited Sat Nov 23, 2013 10:15 am | Scroll up

#14

RE: Harrogate

in Where did you go, what did you do, who did you meet? Sat Nov 23, 2013 12:44 pm
by Aaron Calder | 3.083 Posts

Do you think the campsite is always that busy or is it because people are attending the same show as you?

Also, I have to compliment you on those beautiful, autumnal photographs of Knaresborough that you posted, Roger. They brought back some very happy memories.


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#15

RE: Harrogate

in Where did you go, what did you do, who did you meet? Sat Nov 23, 2013 2:09 pm
by Randa france | 7.177 Posts

Hi Brian. Yes I believe the camp site is possibly busy for most of the year. I don't think there are many here going to the show as many appear to be going out on walks etc and quite a few are remaining on site. In our case, we booked it about 6 weeks ago and were told then that it's a busy site.
As SDA suggests, it's a bit "sanitised" because it has huge gravel emplacements but each hardstand does have a degree of privacy because of the beech hedging. There are many trees surrounding the site as well and the garden/grassy areas of the site are well maintained.
It's the fifth CC site we've stayed at and it's definitely the best by a mile. I would even go as far as to say it's almost up there with Old Oaks and Fforest Fields and although I joke about it, everybody is very friendly here despite what they are driving/towing.
The cost at this time of year is about £18 a night and if you're heading up this way we would suggest you give it a bash.
I think if the photos are good then it was more by luck than judgement. The weather had a lot to do with it too
Randa


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Last edited Sat Nov 23, 2013 2:12 pm | Scroll up


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