Bakewell 0 – Castleton 1

Sunday 5th May 2019

Bakewell was our 2nd C&CC rally and we have found the social aspect of both to be non-existent – it may be some time before we try another. So today we made the decision to move on.

We tried but couldn’t find a site that wasn’t fully booked (Bank Holiday I guess) so I had resigned myself to staying on the boggy show ground field for another night but my clever husband rang our next site at Castleton to see if we could arrive a day early. They said they had only one narrow pitch available – we jumped at it.

As we had been using our LPG for heating, cooking and running the fridge freezer for the last couple of days we checked our levels and decided we needed to top up on the way. This meant a rather big detour to a Shell garage near Derby but better to be safe than sorry we thought. It’s a good job we did as it turned out – we put in 36ltrs of gas (42ltr tank) so were pretty near empty.

We had a late lunch in a lay by and arrived at the C&MC Castleton site at about 4.00. They were very friendly and we found that (due to someone breaking down) a full sized pitch had become available for our now 4 night stay, so we wouldn’t have to move when pitched.

We did a quick trundle around the site picking up a few things in the Information Room before I let Nigel loose on our evening meal.

He does a pretty good job on a one-pot-wonder and after the washing up we just chilled and watched TV (happy to be on hookup again) before settling in for a good night’s sleep.

Monday 6th May 2019 (Bank Holiday)

The weather forecast warned of sharp showers from lunchtime so another early start (leaving the outside chores until our return later).

We trundled the half mile or so into the village of Castleton, stopped briefly at the little general store for a few postcards –the local pork sausages looked so good Nigel couldn’t resist –so that’s tomorrows breakfast sorted.

Onwards on the rather narrow pavement passed old cottages and a couple of pubs and Hotels. There were a lot of walkers/ramblers all with stout walking shoes and some with sticks heading in various directions – some toward the Castle others to Mam Tor –

we could see both but even though the Castle is maintained by English Heritage it’s only accessible on foot and you’re pretty fit. It was a struggle on the 2G’s to even get to the Visitors Centre but Nigel did – just to get a fridge magnet.

We explored the rest of the village finding the ‘Emporium’ (Antiques / junk) in what was originally the Rope Makers cottage and workshop.

Various other artisan shops for Jewellery and silk goods as well as the ‘Best Fish & Chip Shop’ – all were closed – for the Bank Holiday presumably.

There is a lovely brook running through the village which afforded some nice pics.

All too soon the clouds started to build and the cold started getting to us as well. We opted to get some fresh bread and return to Voyager for a warming bowl of soup – which we ate to the sound of drumming rain and hail on the roof.

Between showers Nigel emptied the grey and refilled the fresh tanks and dealt with the Toilet cassette. Now some Bloggers and You-Tubers seem to get away with emptying their cassettes twice a week – it must be all the medications we take that means we have to empty daily. That and Nigel refusing to pee in a bottle – unless he’s in hospital he says.

The rest of the day was relaxing – TV reading etc.

Tuesday 7th May 2019

The weather has improved (doesn’t it always seem to after a Bank Holiday) so today we are off to visit Chatsworth House and Garden. On the way we did another shop at Morrisons in Chesterfield – it took a bit longer than normal as we were not familiar with the layout.

Then as we left their car park Nigel noticed a warning light on the dash board. It was orange and in the shape of a bulb. We pulled over & Nigel jumped out to check the exterior lights were all working. They seemed to be so we pushed on. When we were parked up in Chatsworth Car Park (no cost for Blue Badge users – bonus) Nigel got out the laptop & looked up the lights meaning in the Fiat manual – basically an exterior light –  so we checked again and still couldn’t find any failure.

I sorted a quick sandwich for lunch while Nigel got the 2G’s out and ready for our exploration of the gardens.

We headed to the house first (not sure how much we would be able to see) and were met at the ornate gate by a couple of volunteers. We parked up our scooters behind their hut and borrowed a wheelchair for the house. Nigel pushed me up the fair incline to the entrance and in to the pay desk. No reduction for disabled or carer here – but we were quickly told that with use of the lift we could see the entire house (all 4 floors) the same as able bodied people so paying full price seems fair.

All the rooms and collections are very impressive and the guides in each of them are more than happy to pass on addition odd facts – I won’t spoil it for you but if you visit pay particular attention to the violin in the music room.

After the house we did the gardens (quick return of the wheelchair & pickup of the 2G’s first)  – very large with

a gravity fed cascade as well as statues,

Selfie 1



a maze

maze 1

and a rockery bigger than most houses with a wonderful waterfall feature.

rockery 1rockery 2

There is something of interest around every corner – truly amazingly breath-taking.

A wonderful day – and loads of photos and video taken.

Back to Voyager – drive back to site – get pitched up again – outside chores for Nigel while I sorted our meal.

Unload all the cameras to the laptops – and a quick scroll through the pics we took – looks good for a nice video on our YouTube channel as well as here.

TV & bed.

Wednesday 8th May 2019

Rain all day – so a total chill day with diary stuff for me and a bit of video work for Nigel – well a start anyway.

Thursday 9th May 2019

Our data expired on the 3 network SIM in the MiFi – Nigel thought we had another somewhere but we couldn’t find it anywhere. So just mobile data on our phones until we get another one.

That’s OK as its return home today – my next Dental appointment looms – as well as a pile of washing, then ironing and a bit of sewing on the fitted bedsheets so they fit better.

Oh and Nigel’s little grey cells had been pondering on our warning light issue and suddenly realised that he hadn’t checked the number plate lights –  and one of them was out. Now both replaced with LED ones from EBAY.

Ironbridge & Bakewell

Tuesday 30th April 2019

Off again for another few days before my next dentist visit. This time we are going to a Camping and Caravanning Club ‘meet’ in Bakewell for the May Day weekend but to break up the journey we are stopping first at the Caravan and Motorhome Club site at High Onn for a few nights.

The journey was pretty uneventful, apart from some road works on the M5, until we got to within a mile of the site in the little village of Marston. There, as we turned a corner, we met a big sign in the road saying ‘Road Closed Ahead’. We stopped’ put on the hazard flashers while Nigel walked past the sign to find out if we could get through. He found a workman after a couple of hundred meters who said ‘You might be able to’ – very helpful. We had no option really so went for it hoping that we wouldn’t have to turn Voyager and Betty around in the lane only just wide enough for us anyway. We were lucky! When we got to the end of the designated section we found a large gang of workmen preparing the top dressing machine – with just enough room for us to get past.

We arrived just after half three. The site wardens were very friendly booked us in and took payment efficiently and pointed out the site facilities on the site sheet. It’s a bit basic, just water and emptying facilities no amenity block – but that’s OK as we have our own anyway. We were offered a selection of pitches so picked one with a good view for the satellite dish as well as of the view out the side windows.

High On pitched

So pitched up, levelled and electricity connected it was out with the 2G’s and off for an explore around the site – interesting ‘Air Raid Shelters’ in the adjacent field

(a note on the site map suggesting there is a Health & Safety nightmare if you dare to try and enter them) so out with the camera.

We found lots of good stuff in the Information Room some copies of local walks and Bike rides. The wardens advised that all could easily be handled with our scooters except the steps to the towpath mentioned on one of the walks – if we can’t find a way around we will just forgo that bit.

We decided on the shortest of the walks and set off towards Little Onn where we could check our accessibility to the tow path of the Shropshire Union Canal. On the way we passed old RAF buildings left over from the wartime airfield of Wheaton Aston. Now defunct and owned by a pig farm the remains of the Control Tower are still recognisable.

RAF Control Tower

I suppose they can’t all be turned into Museums but I think there should at least be a plaque or notice board placed to preserve the memory.

The trundle was good – only about an hour – some good pics and confirmation of the warden’s opinion – only step access to the canal tow path.

A couple of lived in Canal narrowboats moored by the bridge were good to see.

Back at Voyager it was a quick meal and a bit of TV before bed.

Wednesday 1st May 2019

After a quiet and restful night we awoke fairly early. The sun was trying to break through quite a lot of cloud – but the forecast is for rain later so we are up and away double quick today.

We are visiting Ironbridge Gorge where there are several museums and sites of interest. It is in fact too much for one visit so our plan is to do Blists Hill Victorian Town first and play it by ear from then on.

Parking Voyager in the Coach Park – the 2G’s were out and we set forth to the entrance – hanging back a little to let the coach full of school children get in first. The staff were very friendly and helped us through the entry process. Although all doors were big enough for the scooters some of the angles were very tight but we managed with not too much difficulty.

Once out into the ‘Town’ everything was great – it was like stepping back in time. Shops displaying things from the past – with prices to match were well done. Most were open with ‘assistants’ inside who were very keen to talk and pass on little snippets of further information.

The site is quite large and made up not only of original buildings (Iron works, Blast furnace etc)

but there are many buildings that have been brought in and rebuilt around the site. These have been done with much thought and skill and all look as if they had been there for years.

They complete the story of the time in a much smaller area which makes for a very interesting experience.

All of the shops, cottages and workshops had roaring fires inside so were very welcoming on a cool day.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

The knowledgeable staff, all dressed in period costume, were happy to chat.

There was even an area set up as a Fairground with a steam engine powered Merry Go Round.

In fact the only down side was the predicted rain that brought our visit to a premature close.

We did get annual ‘passports’ so can revisit on a better day if we are back in the area within the next year.

Lunch in Voyager then we drove the three or so miles to see the very impressive Ironbridge itself. The rain was still about so we just stopped in the car park for a few minutes and took some photos.

Irnbrg 1Irn brg CPIrn brdg twn

The journey back to site was OK mostly but the last couple of miles on the very narrow lanes was a challenge with many local cars trying to use them at the same time. It was interesting to see three small cars reversing ahead of us around a corner to a spot we could pass them.

We eventually made it back and had a quiet evening checking the photos and video we took along with a bit of TV before bed.

Thursday 2nd May 2019

Well today we had planned to have a good trundle around the lanes but the rain had other ideas. It showered for most of the day so it ended up a lazy one inside with a bit of cross stitch and Blog work for Nigel.

Despite the weather we decided to have a tapas lunch with the heating turned up for that Mediterranean feel.

After our evening meal the weather improved no end so we thought a bit of fresh air would do us good. We went for a trundle up the lane  to check out High Onn itself – found a house of the same name

High Onn Hse

– and using Google maps found the Onn as well – it was just a bit of raised ground (may have been something defensive in earlier times)

– took pics but they are pretty uninspiring.

More TV and sleep.

Friday 3rd May 2019

We are on the move again – with a top up shop on the way. The journey was a little fraught with road works and a ten minute down pour as we left Morrisons – just long enough for us to get soaked getting back and into Voyager. By the time we had everything loaded into the fridge and cupboards it was all over.

We arrived at the C&CC Rally at Bakewell about 3.30. It was in a field near the town but because of all the recent rain things were rather boggy. My impression was that it is not that well organised – they were quick to take our money but there was no information pack. They were siting motorhomes around the peri-track road with their front wheels only just off it – so getting off again would be easier.

Nigel did well reversing Betty into position (almost in line with Voyager anyway). He put wood blocks under each of the levelling pads to spread the weight and we settled in for three days wild camping.

The rain was a bit on and off but we did venture out for a short trundle after our evening meal – just to get the lay of the land and see the best way to get into town. It was pretty short though as another rainstorm caught us – we returned wet and cold but Voyager was warm so we were soon happy again.

We didn’t watch much TV tonight so as to preserve our batteries.

Saturday 4th May 2019

After a good night’s sleep we showered (we are more confident with the slightly unusual procedure now) had breakfast and while I did the washing up Nigel did the outside chores- emptying the toilet cassette and grey water – needed a trip over to the far corner of the field.

We finally got away for our trundle about 11.00 (no rain today – well maybe a shower later the forecast says) heading into town.

Bakwl brdg 3

According to Nigel you can’t visit Bakewell without having a bit of Bakewell tart – so that’s the first stop. The town was very busy with tourists and locals but we soon found the cake shop and Nigel bought a tart – I was expecting a curd one but it was an iced frangipane one (like Mr Kipling’s).

We decided there were just too many people about town so made our way across the bridge of keys and onward to the start of the Monsal trail.

This is an 8 mile disused railway line with several tunnels and a viaduct which has been tarmacked for the most part. It is great for walkers, cyclists and us on the 2Gs.

It would be ideal on a warm sunny day but we had a cold sunny one – I had two pairs of gloves on and although Nigel had jeans on his knees were soon getting cold – I must make that knee warmer I’ve promised him.

We didn’t get as far as we had hoped turning back after a couple of miles – not even getting to the first tunnel. We will save that for our next trip – hopefully it’ll be warmer.

We got back to Voyager before the showers and found the solar panels had done their job getting the leisure batteries back up to 100%.

So after our evening meal and a good slice of Bakewell tart each we settled down – downloading pics and videos – diary stuff and PC Blog work – and some TV too (now that we know we are OK with 270Ah’s of leisure battery power and three 100W solar panels).

Winchcombe – Castle & Steam

Sunday 14th April 2019 – (continued)

We arrived at Winchcombe at about 1.30 and within half an hour we were watered up pitched up and connected to the electric.

I always find travelling tiring so Nigel insisted I have a couple of hours siesta – it gives him time to get the satellite and Wi-Fi set up without me getting under his feet (as they are up on the seat under my new quilt.)

So it was about 4.30 when we ventured out – first a quick wiz around the site then to the Information Room – were we found a few pamphlets for local attractions and some info on walks and cycle routes. We then popped into Reception to check if any of them were no good for us – kissing gates, styles etc. It turned out that most of them had something that would stop us – all that is except one – although the wardens didn’t know if we could manage it as they described it as covered in rabbit holes and muddy in places.

 Well you know us – never say never – so off we set to test it out. We found it well within the capabilities of the 2G’s even if we would have to give the tires a good wash when we got back. We only went as far as the country lane it joins tonight – just to prove we could use it for a good trundle to Winchcombe town tomorrow.

Back at Voyager we had a lovely meal of gammon with new potatoes and veg. Then did a bit of laptop and kindle ‘work’ before bed time.

Monday 15th April 2019

We set off pretty early, taking a packed lunch with us, using the rabbit holey path we checked out and then on using the country lane into Gratton where we saw a nice old church

Gratton church

and tucked behind a couple of thatched cottages a very old tower (privately owned and in need of some restoration).

We added a coin into their collection – just a little to help.

Gratton hs
Old Houses in Gratton
Hill view
View from the top of the hill on route to Greet

Progressing on another mile or so to Greet

(a pretty small village – with a mix of old and new) where we found the Railway station. It is one of the middle stations on the Gloucestershire Warwickshire Railway – a 14 mile heritage line running steam trains on most days – unfortunately not Mondays.

We progressed on to Winchcombe town itself – plenty of old buildings in the centre with quite a bit of new build on the edge – and a very large senior school (sorry Academy) on our approach road – it had its roof covered in solar panels – so a power station as well!

I prefer the older School building!

We stopped at a nice looking café in town, thought we could have a warming bowl of soup and a coffee and to use their facilities of course – why do you need to go every 2 hours when we get older?

Cafe selfe

No soup available so just a coffee. Then on towards Sudeley Castle – only as far as the gate house entrance

Sudeley gt

where we stopped for our packed lunch – in a nice sunny spot although still a chilling wind.

Then back on our return journey via Budgens for a top up of shopping – back just before 4 so a short late siesta for me before cooking the Pork Escalope meal. Chores then TV until bed time.

Tuesday 16th April 2019

Today there are showers predicted and one arrived just as we were about to set off – so a slight delay to our trundle – we still aimed at getting to Winchcombe station in time for the 11.00 train to Cheltenham Race Course.

We had to deploy the emergency poncho’s on route when another shower arrived but even so we made it – and even with a que at the booking desk were well in time for the train. We left the 2G’s on the platform (the Station Master said he would keep an eye on them) and boarded the train.

It only took 10 minutes to get to Cheltenham  with a short stop at Gotherington on the way – where there is a well preserved old station with flowers. We alighted at the terminus while the loco was watered and moved to the other end of the train (they always like to pull apparently). Back on we retraced our steps through Winchcombe and on to Toddington where we got off again – there is another station at Broadway but there is a lot more to see where we stopped.

We dodged the rain drops a bit while having a slow stroll around the exhibits (and making use of the facilities – getting older means more planning in this respect).

Then as the rain became harder we went into the Waiting Room (more like a small museum library) where we sat on the old bench and ate our lunch.

All done and when the rain eased we ventured toward Platform 2 for the southbound train back – but first we had to go up – across – and down the iron bridge –

rail brdg

the steps were a struggle for me but Nigel was very patient waiting for quite a while as I recovered in the middle – he did get some good pics – so worth it.

Only a short wait for our train

and once on-board only a few minutes before we were back at Winchcombe. The 2G’s were happy to see us and they were eager to take us back to Voyager past lots of lovely flowers along the roadside.

I like that we can’t go too fast (max 8mph) because we see odd things as we travel – we get to stop and snap a bit of sculpture in the corner of a farmers field – all too easy to miss even if on a bicycle.


Cows, or in this case a Bull, can also provide an unexpected snap.


We were back at Voyager in time for a nap before dinner.

Wednesday 17th April 2019

Back home today – only relatively short trips at the moment (six dental appointments in two months plays havoc with holidays).

We had a last look around the site, did a bit of camera work, and we went and told the staff what a lovely time we had here.

Our journey home was event free – just a short shopping detour to Tesco – and once all parked up it was time for —– the washing – oh well it had to be done!