Once Christmas and New Year were out of the way the time would come again for a Podding trip. One of us has never been to York so as this is only a hop, skip and a jump away.. 1 1/2hrs to be precise this seemed like a good option.
There’s a few sites in the area but we wanted one as near to the centre as we could, thereby eliminating the need to use transport; taking the car and paying for parking and likewise waiting for the appropriate bus to come along, but if it meant taking the bus this was the lesser of the two evils.
After a bit of research we found York Rowntree Park Caravan Club site and it looked like it couldn’t get any nearer to York centre without encroaching the mighty stone wall that surrounds it.
The decision for York was made well in advance of January our chosen month, July in fact, and we were about to book it through the club when a huge ball dropped, one of the concrete type that had the capability of shattering our plans into tiny pieces.
The Caravan Club have a policy that the following years sites can only be booked in advance after the first week in the preceding December. A very annoying policy, from previous experience we’ve noted when the highly promoted ‘booking date’ arrives it has proven difficult to book any site in January, especially any that included weekends, but the site had been decided upon so we bided our time.. till December.
Lots of trips planned and completed in the mean time but before we knew it December arrived and a couple of days after the initial booking date arrived we eagerly logged onto the clubs page to begin our 2017 adventures.
First of course we checked York to discover as we’d thought all of January and February weekends had been been taken, all brightly coloured yellow so no mistaking it for anything else. We knew it was a popular site but none of the week dates were coded yellow and this discovery resulted in a debate around the booking policy of the club, but lets not go there, not today anyway, it just meant our 5 day break would be reduced to 4.
Date of departure arrived and the weather seemed to be neither here nor there, not particularly dry, cold or windy, just a constant central theme of a little of everything.
Arrived at the site as the clock in the car past 1pm, there were two arrivals in front of us and we were met by a member of staff at the gate who quickly ticked us off the sheet and allowed us passage through.
After a slow trawl round the site we found a pitch on the far side, the site isn’t huge so any pitch is in easy reach of the facilities. Pitches are of a fair size and we found it easy enough to pull onto and manoeuvre Pod into place, she looked all grown up with the GB sticker on the back, already for her Irish trip in June.
We were soon set up and the new Thermal Wrap was added to the pop-top roof. Vlog was completed, in one take (thankfully), although MrB did slip on the step and managed to remember he was being recorded and eliminate the need for a ‘bleep’ machine, we then set about making ourselves comfy for the next few days.
Now, LB has come by an old knee injury which has prevented us from doing too much walking, not even a good leg stretch never mind one of our mammoth walks, so a slow potter round the site, up the path that runs along the River Ouse to the bridge and into York to get a taster for the place was called for.
Didn’t take long to find a suitably haunted pub, The Golden Fleece, whilst enjoying a pint of Hobgoblin and Yankee pale ale we soaked up the atmosphere along with taking in all the historical pictures that surrounded us, no unusual visitors though, thank goodness.
We were soon on our way back to Pod for dinner, but not before passing Yorks shortest street, Whip-Ma-Whop-Ma-Gate, which depending on what you read translates to ‘neither one thing, nor the other’ in Anglo Saxon and was the site of York’s pillory, a post criminals were tied to for humiliation and punishment, much like the stocks.
Once back at the site we passed the office and facilities, these are all in one block and up on stilts, the reason for this became apparent when we also passed three large stones from Rowntrees old Cocoa bean grinding mill, two of which displayed flood markers. The earliest and lowest being from 1947 and its most resent flood, the middle marker from 2012. It would seem the River Ouse can get closer than you think.
Dinner eaten we availed ourselves of the facilities and they were of a really good standard, new, clean and the showers were of a great size, hate it when the shower curtains sticks to you, none of that here.
And we did, we slept solidly, the wrap was a resounding success and once a cup of tea was in hand we took a peek outside to see it had rained over night and after watching the weather forecast it seemed drizzle looked set for the day.
A mixture of indoor and outdoor activities were decided upon and all had to be within a short distance of the site, so once breakfast was eaten we headed out of Pod and went on the hunt for a local legend. Thanks to google, this wasn’t too hard.
John Palmer, otherwise know as Richard ‘Dick’ Turpin, we found his headstone in a very small bleak graveyard in an unremarkable spot, surrounded by office blocks and housing it didn’t belay itself to anyone of importance, or maybe, considering his history and lifestyle some would say it’s the befitting end to someone like him. Even the sight of the grave can’t be confirmed as the expect spot although he is believed to be in the churchyard of St. George’s somewhere.
Next stop was York Castle Museum and in order to reach this we passed Clifford Tower, we believe the view from the top would have been spectacular but at a price of £5.00 each it seemed a little steep and we don’t just mean all the steps needed to walk to the top. We’re not penny pinching, just want value for money.
The museum on the other hand was worth every penny of the £10.00 each we paid. It took us along a wonderful timeline through the history of the castle, the raging ‘60s and up to the present day. The fashion exhibition and the old world village were brilliant, the memorabilia was incredible and of such good quality, all heavily detailed with their own individual story.
After a good few hours we eventually left the museum in search of food. There were lots on offer and a huge variety of eateries on offer but we decided upon The Yorkshire Roast Company, the image of the huge pieces of cooked meat on display through the window may have had a baring on our decision but it proved to be the right one.
Once ordered we sat upstairs and tucked into two huge Yorkshire Puddings stuffed full of roast potatoes, vegetables, red cabbage, stuffing, gravy and on one roast pork the other more vegetables. All washed down with two huge cups of Yorkshire tea, so filling and so very welcome. Not bad for £8.00 each we thought.
The walk back to Pod took us along The Shambles, today wasn’t the day for the exploring this but we couldn’t walk past Roly’s Fudge without calling in.
At this point we seemed to loose all reason and control over our actions, we did slightly run away with ourselves and left the shop with over 1kg of fudge! Great variety within the bag, so not that bad really is it?! On leaving the lady behind the counter did say it would last a few days if in a cool sealed bag but the chances of any of it lasting any longer than our stay were very remote.
Dinner consisted of sandwiches and of course the fudge, after our wonderful lunch neither of us had much room for anything else.
Our last day arrived and we decided to head to York Minster, it towered above all of the shops, rightly so and it had to be seen didn’t it.
Another walk along The Shamble and we were amazed at the buildings, their overhanging timber structures were incredible and in such good condition, including the shelves at their fronts which had apparently been used by the butchers of the past to display their wares.
We walked to the entrance and looked for a sign which would display an entry fee, we expected something, if not a fixed price a donation of sorts. Nothing to be seen, so in we went. This was as far as we got, sadly. The price of £10.00 each for us was too much and unethical, if you wished to go up the tower it was an addition £5.00. A place of worship and prayer should not only allow admittance upon a fee being payed, whilst we viewed the inside from the entrance we were passed by others on the way in and out again who thought the same.
We would gladly of paid £10.00 for the both of us as a donation but not as a condition of admittance. The church itself is by no means a pauper and they have cut themselves off from those who do not have deep pockets and wish to visit and experience its history and atmosphere.
For those wishing to visit, from tripadvisor it seems the tickets do last 12 months and if you say you are going into pray you are allowed in for free. How true the latter is we don’t know, but be aware… you may be watched and for those who like to do a little research, we visited the West window, from the outside and did the deed ;).
Food again came to mind and bellies, stodge was the order of the day so we called into Byron Burger bar and ordered two huge burgers, one being the vegetarian option, as a little treat a Boilermaker was ordered too, certainly warmed the cockles.
Last morning arrived and we soon had Pod packed away, everything on the outside was wet so it took a little longer to do. We like to wipe everything down as it goes in, that way she is ready to go as soon as we get home. Things have been bad, who likes to go home and back to work, but that is yet to be tested.
We left York eager to come back as we had only scratched the surface of its history, architecture and its shopping heaven, for us it would be October, the Powwow, pals old and hopefully new.