Monday, 5 October 2015

Travelling up North!

We decided that this September we would go to Scotland so with the Caravan all packed up, and weighed on the local weigh bridge we set off.  First stop was at Burrs Caravan Club site in Bury.  The journey up was horrendous. It is a journey that normally takes just under four hours, but this time it took us just over five and a half hours, due to the amount of traffic on the roads. The M5 was stop start from just north of Worcester, and the M6 was no better.  We met up with our friends Kathy and Robert for dinner!
Kathy, Dennis andRobert.

On the Saturday we went to the Ribble Steam Railway at Preston Docks,along with Kathy, Robert and Dennis the dog!  Rode on the train and then toured the museum and workshops.  Well worth the visit!

On loan from the National Railway Museum

That evening we all went to the Church Inn at Birtle for dinner which was excellent.

At 11.00am on the Sunday we went left,  heading north to Englethwaite Hall CC site  for a one night stop.  This is a very neat site just off the M6 and is used by many on their journey north or south as it is so convenient.  Unfortunately the journey took us much longer than we expected as there was an overturned caravan just north of Blackpool.  There seemed to be no injuries, and remarkably the caravan was, albeit on its side, was still in one piece.

We have never seen this sign before!

The next morning we left at 10.30 and had a very leisurely cross country run up to Largs.   We were staying at Whittleburn CL site.  We were here for two nights as  we had come up to see Megan, a friend of Lizzie's Mum and Lizzie. Largs is a lovely seaside town which really is worth a visit.  The weather was superb and we enjoyed just wandering around the town.

The Bay at Largs

The next stop was to be Stonehaven CC site on the east coast of Scotland, just south of Aberdeen. The journey was excellent as it was just like driving on French roads.  We covered the 164 miles in under 4 hours.  The site is right on the coast  and is only a few years old so it is very smart. Again the weather was brilliant so we were able to tour Stonehaven and also sit out in the sun.
Part of Stonehaven beach

Stonehaven. The Caravan Site is on the Right

No, I did not buy one!

The Royal Deeside Railway was our destination for Saturday, which was a bit damp and overcast. This railway is only just over a mile long, but is well run, and at only £3.00 each for a ride was good value.  We also very much enjoyed the journey across country admiring the scenery.

On the Sunday we headed north again to The Keith and Dufftown Railway.  This is an eleven mile journey linking the Worlds Malt Whisky Capital, Dufftown,to the market town of Keith.

View from the Ccab

When we got there we had an excellent lunch in the station buffet before going for a 12 mile ride on the two car Diesel Multiple Unit.  No steam at all on this line! We sat at the rear of the train facing the direction we had come from.  I even got to sit in the Drivers seat as we we were going along, after being warned not to touch anything.

I really did not touch anything!

One of the Diesel multiple units.

 The ride on the train was excellent with good scenery to look at.
Good Scenery 

On the return journey the driver left the door in to his cab open and chatted away to us as we went along pointing out features of the line.  We stopped at one station and he said that the family that live by the station looked after it for the railway. We really did have an excellent day out!!!!
Looking along the line

Monday started very wet so we did the weeks shopping at the local Lidl!
|The next day showed a marked improvement in the weather so we drove to Dunnotar castle to sit and look out over the coast!
Whilst staying at Stonehaven we had planned to drive North to John O'Groats, until we discovered that it was a six hour journey each way!

Our week at Stonehaven was soon over so on the Wednesday we travelled south to the Edinburgh CC site.  we found the site easily enough and soon set up.  The site was so noisy though, as it was on the flight path to Edinburgh airport. Planes passing over every few minutes from 05.30  am until 11.00pm
We went into Edinburgh and found that extremely busy with traffic and people!
The next day we drove to Queensferry to look at the three Forth bridges! The rail bridge is now a World Heritage site.

World Heritage Site. The Forth Rail Bridge

We followed that with a day exploring the coast east of Edinburgh and discovered some lovely beaches.  Enjoyed coffee in a artist cafe in a place call Portobello.
Whilst in Edinburgh we had intended to travel on the new Borders railway, but in view of the news reports about overcrowding and trains not running we decided to give it a miss!
We had intended to stay here for a week, but in view of the noise we cut our visit short and left, heading for Buxton, after an overnight stop at Englethwaite Hall.
When we left Edinburgh we drove south on the A7, following the route of the Borders Railway, and saw one  train running on it!

I have to say that when we visit Scotland again we will stick to the western side as it is so much more interesting.

We reached Buxton CC site on Monday!  This is a quite spectacular site in an old quarry.
Whilst staying there we visited Buxton, which was quite interesting.
On one of the days we visited Matlock Bath, where almost every building seemed to be a Fish and Chip shop.
Cable cars over Matlock Bath

 We carried on with our Peak district tour, stopping in front of Chatsworth House to eat our lunch.
Whilst in Buxton, we went to 'The Duke'  for evening dinner!  We had a really excellent dinner, both of us having fish. Very impressed with it, and even better it was not expensive.

Views over the Southern Peak District

Buxton and the Peak District is an area we will visit again in the future I am sure.

We left the site on Friday, heading south to the Adventure Overland site at Stratford Race Course.  We met up with Robert and other friends and had a very enjoyable time there, as there was plenty to look at, and the weather was warm and dry!

At the Show!

Part of the 'Camel@ display

The weekend was soon over and we headed home.knowing that the following Monday morning we had to completely empty the caravan for it to have the bathroom taken out to sort a leak in the shower.

This trip was 23 nights, so that makes the years total 145 to date!