Mick's brother, who we've not seen in person for three years, was visiting his mum, so we thought we'd gatecrash the reunion. As his visit would relegate us to the bunk beds, we took our own accommodation, in the shape of Bertie, and as we had a week free between commitments at home, it seemed wasteful to just do a there-and-back journey.
Friday 3 September - Yorkshire Sculpture Park
Where was Bertie? He spent the night at Savill Town Wharf Marina, a Caravan Club Certificated Location in Dewsbury, where it costs £13 per night, including electric (and allegedly toilets and showers, although we didn't investigate).
Weather: A disappointingly damp morning followed by a grey afternoon.
It has been a long time since we did anything cultural and Yorkshire Sculpture Park, being outdoors, seemed like a good choice. Alas, the fair forecast that had held steady for days (and even on the day) didn't come to fruition, so we got drizzled on during our drive and for the first hour or so of our visit.
Five and a half hours were spent in the park, during which we walked around 7 miles, yet still we left a large area and lots of exhibits unseen. We were in agreement in our verdict: it's well worth a visit, but probably best enjoyed by not reading the information signs about each sculpture (many an exclamation along the lines of 'what tosh!' was made about the narratives surrounding the pieces; relatively few such exclamations were made about the artworks themselves).
Saturday & Sunday 4/5 September - Halifax
Where was Bertie? He spent two nights sitting on Ma-in-Law's driveway, which is fortunately level and just big enough for a Bertie-sized vehicle.
Weather: Ummm. I have little recollection other than that it was dry, save for a few minutes of a shower at about 5am on Sunday.
An early breakfast on Saturday morning then a drive to Brighouse, where I ran my first parkrun since last January. The venue was selected for its flat course as I felt my something-behind-the-knee was probably up to a 5km run, but was unconvinced it was yet up to the undulations of Halifax parkrun.
My something-behind-the-knee voiced no objections and a good time was had, although I found it odd how few people were chatting and that no-one else in my vicinity thanked any of the marshals.
There's not much to report for the rest of the weekend, most of which was spent variously sitting on a sofa chatting or eating and chatting (and sometimes combining the two).
Monday - Wednesday 6-8 September - Lincoln
Where was Bertie? He was in The Lawns Car Park in Lincoln where it costs £8.80 for a 24-hour ticket or £3.80 overnight (6pm-8am). We got through two of the former and one of the latter to see us through 3 nights.
Weather: Spectacular! Sunny and 28 degrees.
In the persistent drizzle at the Sculpture Park on Friday we'd rued not packing Paramo trousers to go with our Paramo jackets and it felt like autumn was upon us after a disappointingly cool summer. By Monday evening I was ruing not having packed our it's-too-hot-for-the-duvet topsheet for the bed (topsheet+blanket being one notch down from the duvet; topsheet alone being two notches down), along with not having packed myself any shorts or sandals. (I found a spare duvet cover tucked away in Bertie that took the place of the top sheet and I resolved the lack of shorts with a £2 sale rail purchase.)
Back to Monday lunchtime though, when we parked up in a large layby outside Lincoln and frittered away some time with a walk along some waterways. The ploy worked and by the time we arrived in Lincoln at around 6pm there were parking spaces aplenty free in what would have been a full car park earlier in the day.
Our intended one-night stay became extended to three, during which we:
- ran a circuit taking in the school Mick attended and the house he lived in from 1968-1971, along with other sites of nostalgic value.
- wandered a lot (been here 3 times before yet was unaware of Brayford Pool)
- didn't visit the cathedral, because it was in use the whole time for university graduation ceremonies.
- ate a lot (including two meals out plus an order from Wagamama's that they successfully delivered to us in our car park)
- frittered away hours on shaded benches in the park behind Bertie,
- at one point found we could barely open Bertie's door due to the proximity of the motorhome parked next to us*.
Nostalgia points of interest in Lincoln
Thursday 9 September - Whisby Nature Reserve/Thorpe on the Hill
Where was Bertie? He spent the day at Whisby Nature Reserve at a cost of £2, and the night at The Railway Inn, just around the corner, at a cost of £15 including electricity, toilet and shower.
Weather: Murky start, clearing to sunshine, then clouding over to showers, some thundery. Still shorts and t-shirt temperatures.
Leaving Lincoln before 8am (the expiry time on our overnight ticket), we drove against the flow of traffic to the location where I intended us to spend the day, walking along the River Witham. Bertie breathed in to squeeze down the overgrown lane only to find the parking spot unsuitable for our purposes, so we turned around and headed back out. Gah! We were now heading back towards Lincoln with the flow of rush hour traffic. As we came to a standstill we pulled into the adjacent's restaurant's car park, from where we witnessed someone's failure to notice that the traffic in front of them was stationary, writing off their car in the process.
After an age of looking for somewhere to go, I settled on Whisby Nature Reserve which (once we'd battled the traffic) turned out to be a good choice. After a morning stroll around one of the lakes, at lunchtime we ran all of the waymarked trails.
Where to go for the night was the post-lunch question. Resources were consulted again and, due to our desire to shower, and due to a seriously dwindling quantity of water on board**, we opted for a campsite. That this one was 2 minutes away from where we were parked, and has a shower, it was the obvious choice, even though we may be in for a disturbed night (for two reasons, one of which is apparent from the name of the pub!).
**We left home with about 30 litres in Bertie's tank, which had sat there since the Lakeland 50 weekend at the end of July, having decided not to top it up as we expected to be at a campsite on Monday night. I'm not sure how many times we have to go through water shortages on this exact basis before we learn a lesson from it.)