The Glorious 12th

April 12th 2021. Not to be confused with August 12th – a controversial date if you’re not into game sports. No, the glorious 12th; the third date of the government’s lockdown easing programme. The date that you can legally stay away from home in self-contained accommodation as we ease out of Covid lockdown. Campsites across England have opened for the first time in months and the Slaws were champing at the bit!

And they’re off!

The Slaws should have holidayed in Barmouth at Easter, but that wasn’t happening. So, those days’ leave were added to a weekend away and, hey presto! A week’s road trip in North Yorkshire it is! Six nights over four sites – Wharfedale, Hawes, Rosedale Abbey and Cayton Village. All Caravan and Motorhome Club club sites. The Slaws do like a club site due to their proximity to towns and villages.

The morning dawned bright and dry with beautiful sunshine and blue skies. The journey did have a few hiccups, mainly down to Slaw thinking they needed to go up the M1. He still thinks he’s going to Leyburn; no matter how many times Mrs Slaw tells him they’re not 🤦🏻‍♀️ En route Mrs Slaw counted the caravans and motorhomes. The route certainly wasn’t clogged up as many nay-sayers on social media proclaimed it would be. 24 motorhomes outnumbered by 35 caravans. The site at Wharfedale was also surprisingly quiet. So quiet Slaw just couldn’t decide where to pitch 🤔 Round the site they went, twice, before settling on a pitch under a dry stone wall. The wall afforded a lovely windbreak from the prevailing icy North wind. The site has all the COVID precautions in place and feels safe. The toilet blocks are open for toilets only and only four people are allowed in at once.

A bowl of homemade soup later and it was time to head off for a walk. Right at the bottom of the site, by pitch 91, is a gate onto the moor. A very pleasant walk down to Skirethorns Lane, then over the B6160 onto a bridle way round on to the B6265 into Grassington. Grassington has many themed weekends to delight you! 1940s, Dickensian Christmas, Music and arts to name but a few. First stop for the Slaws today was the Devonshire; famous as The Drovers Arms from All Creatures Great and Small.

The Drovers Arms from All creatures great and small.

Mrs Slaw was slightly worried as the table outside the pub was right at the side of the road. It was a very small road and those passing tractors are very big! The Slaws tried the beer garden round the back, but the plastic flowers adorning the trellis and the piped music wasn’t to Mrs Slaw’s taste. So, much to Slaw’s disgust they all trooped back through the pub to the first table they sat at out front 🤣 Even though the sun had now gone from those tables, and the tractors kept on coming, Mrs Slaw was much happier out front. If Mrs Slaw is happy, so is Slaw! A couple of drinks and some Seabrook prawn cocktail crisps were enjoyed. Oh my! Seabrook beat Walkers hands down every time!

Mrs Slaw spotted a van in the town square liveried with ‘TV and film set cleaning’. A bit of people watching later and she spotted a man carrying a Henry across the square and into an empty shop. He was diligently hoovering one shop and then went next door. As the Slaws left, Mrs Slaw accosted said cleaner who told her he was cleaning in readiness for filming a new series of ACGaS!

Back up the hill to Threshfield and the Slaws next stop was the Old Hall Inn. Serving food in the back beer garden. This suited the Slaws just fine as this was a lovely sheltered garden with full sun and fire pits. The pits were more for fancy or kippering you if you were in line of the smoke 🔥 A nice touch though.

Back beer garden at The Old Hall Inn

Decent menu choices allowed Mrs Slaw a chicken and chorizo pasta with focaccia and Slaw had gammon egg and pineapple. Fair pricing too at 13.95 and 15.25 respectively.

Time to wend their way back to Helga. Walking back up the Lane, the gardens were full of rabbits and pheasants. Delightful! As they walked back up from the bottom to the middle of the campsite, Mrs Slaw counted 17 empty pitches. Hardly full, as all the nay-sayers predicted! The Slaws have had a thoroughly good time on the first day of their North Yorkshire trip. Tomorrow is another day.

King of Hearts

To break up our journey from Holmfirth to Great Yarmouth we looked for a motorhome stopover. Slaw found the King of Hearts; a village pub in West Walton near Wisbech. A quick phone call and it was agreed we could park in their carpark overnight. We arrived and parked up in the spacious, level, gravel carpark. Entry to the pub from the carpark was through the carvery area which was not in use at the time and looked like a store room – not very welcoming. At the bar, no sign of any staff. Customers advised us ‘he’s gone to get ice, but he doesn’t know the recipe!’ The landlord, Nigel, appeared and was very welcoming.

The pub was a very nostalgic trip back to the 1980s. Red velvet upholstered dark wood furniture on an Axminster carpet. Light fittings with fake candle and dripping wax bases. A copper fire hood and horse brasses. Ashfield and Simpson ‘Solid as a rock’ playing. My bubble was burst by a chino and Ralph Lauren clad young man asking ‘can I get a coke and a lager and do you have a card machine?’ No please, thank you or any sign of manners or cash!

We ordered the Friday night steak deal. Two sirloin streaks and a bottle of wine £25. Wine choice – Liebfraumilch (yes, really!) Rose or red. We chose red. Ah, no bottles of 750ml red in the pub, so we had to have three small bottles of merlot. Surprisingly a drinkable one. So disappointed the place mats in the dining room were not ‘Hunting scene’, but they were pictures of the church next door – nice touch. 

Our meal was very, very, nice. Slaw is renowned for sending steaks back, but this was devoured with pleasure! I took in more of the surroundings whilst listening to Mel and Kim ‘Respectable’. Fleur de lys wrought iron work and bulls eye glass panes in the doors. Sadly, in our time in the pub, there were only 15 people through the doors. I would be surprised if it is still open next year.

Our bill? £35 for the steak meal deal, two bottles of Peroni and a G&T. No complaints from us.