DERBYSHIREOur Carthago Owners meeting this year was in Cromford, Derbyshire. The start date was the day after the Spring Bank holiday and because of that we had an horrendous journey travelling north!The meeting was based on the Matlock Rugby Club ground in Cromford (see below). Unfortunately, it turned out to be rather a wet week weather wise. We discovered that Priscilla had a leak from the rear offside of her roof and Desnée’s bed was soaked. We tilted the motorhome towards the other side so that the rainwater
ran off in the opposite direction and managed to stay dry for the rest of the tour. Cromford is an interesting part of Derbyshire and you are surrounded by industrial archeology. Just outside the rugby club is the terminus of the Cromford canal (lower left) which has a very pleasant café. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cromford_CanalAcross the road is a collection of majestic old mills that were founded by Arkwright and are now part museum and part boutique shops. It is a UNESCO site.www.cromfordmills.org.uk
A short walk from the rugby club is the High Peak Junction. (right). This is where the High Peak railway met the Cromford canal and later joined the main railway network. The visitor centre is very informative and again you can get a cuppa and cake!en.wikipedia.org/wiki/High_Peak_JunctionThe High Peak Railway connected the Cromford Canal at its southern end to the with the Peak Forest Canal at Whaley Bridge at its northern end. It was a masterpiece of engineering in its time. Today it is a wonderful cycling and hiking path across the beautiful Derbyshire high peaks. The Carthago group organised a walk from the rugby ground to meet up with the High Peak Trail high above the valley floor. There were spectacular views from a prominent outcrop of Millstone Grit (see below).
There was also an organised trip to the Crich Tram Museum. (pronounced Cry-ch). Again only a short distance by car or bus from Cromford or a hard cycle ride out but an easy ride back!This is the National Tram Museum. We have visited before but it was good to visit again and see how much work had been carried out by the team of volunteers.www.tramway.co.ukThere is an impressive collection of trams but also some lovely reproduction and original buildings. A good day out!(see below - click on to enlarge)
Whilst staying in Cromford, we had hoped to cycle the Monsal Trail. This is an old Midland railway track that starts in Bakewell a few miles north of Cromford. Unfortunately, the weather was not dry enough to justify hiring a van to reach the start point. Maybe another time!https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Monsal_Trail
YORKSHIREOur next destination was to visit Adrian and Debbie in Yorkshire. As usual, we stayed at Seat House CL, in Eshton, near Gargrave. This is a delightful campsite and has won many awards (right).The weather had changed and was now hot and sunny - hooray!!
We all enjoyed a walk up to Malham Cove. (left - click to enlarge).It was a beautiful day and there were plenty of other people enjoying the spring sunshine. We took lunch at The Lister Arms (below) in Malham village. Good food and an amazing range of beers on tap!
Adrian and George took a trip out to Hellifield (left) station to watch the arrival and departure of the Tuesday ‘Dalesman’ steam excursion heading for the Settle Carsile line. This special train can be joined at Skipton and it was decided that this was an event that we should try to book on for 2020.Another day, we all enjoyed lunch out at The Coniston Hotel. It was really sunny on the veranda which has spectacular views across the parkland of the estate (below).
Whilst we were eating, we were buzzed by a very low flying RAF Hercules which appeared from behind the trees, in the photo above and flew right over our heads. They must have been practising flying ‘under the radar’.
(left) Debbie, Adrian and Desnée at The Coniston Hotel.(below) George took a drive out to Kettlewell and hiked over the moors to the delightful village of Arncliffe and back. A beautiful day and a really good hike.
(upper right) Arncliffe Village where the Falcon Inn served an excellent pint of Wainwright bitter,(lower right) The river at Kettlewell(far right) steep climb out of Kettlewell with a bit of a scramble over the crag!Click to enlarge the photos
BACK SOUTHOn our way back south we had arranged to meet up with Desnee’s friend Sherrie and so had booked into the campsite at Hebden Bridge but things started going against us. The route to Hebden Bridge was busy, narrow and twisty and when we eventually arrived in Mytholmroyd, near Hebden Bridge it was absolute chaos. There were significant works underway to build flood protection and traffic in the town was gridlocked. We had to cross the river and when we got to the bridge there were trucks coming in the opposite direction who were locked in the traffic. We were towing the Smart car so there was no way we could reverse or turn around. We just managed to squeeze across the bridge but with only a very few inches to spare! The photo below is from Google Maps but shows the works and we needed to go where the blue car is going!!
The traffic was so dense that we missed any signs to the campsite and over shot by about half a mile. On checking the map and one way systems we would have to make a 26 mile detour and approach again through the town traffic. There was no way we were going to do that again!We abandoned the visit and decided to press on southwards. The roads were still twisty and narrow and it took us a very long time to make any progress. We eventually stopped at a small CL site halfway between Buxton and Ashbourne in Derbyshire. It was a new site, Whim Farm, and we had a field all to ourselves with lovely view across the Derbyshire dales. A few hundred yards away was the Tissington trail and George decided to get the bike out and work off the frustrations of the day but riding several miles up and down the trail.
Whim Farm (left) from Google MapsNext day we were on our way to NOTTINGHAM and to another small campsite selected from the Camping and Caravanning Club booklet, which was conveniently located close to the model railway exhibition that George wanted to visit the following day.
Our luck did not get any better! The campsite looked lovely from the photograph on the website but when we arrived it was appalling! There were wrecked, white vans parked everywhere, the owners house looked scruffy and about to fall down and there were ancient and dirty caravans parked on the site. We left promptly!It was a sunny weekend and we thought that we may find it difficult to find another campsite with vacancies. Our luck changed and we were given the last available space at the Teversal campsite. We have stayed here a couple of times before and knew it was kept beautifully.We were relieved to arrive! Lesson learned: to investigate unknown campsites a bit more thoroughly in future!
Ther other reason for visiting Nottingham was to meet up with Desneé’s nephew, Simon Patterson and his wife Di and daughter Olivia. We arranged to meet them for a meal in the evening and it was lovely to see them all and catch up on ther news. Olivia had grown so much since we last saw them!The Garden Railway Society exhibition was in a large sports hall. George wanted to evaluate possibilities of future projects!The hall was full of the usual strange and nerdy enthusiasts but there were some stimulating layouts to be viewed and quite a range of different ideas.The conclusion was that an enormous amount of space is needed and it would be quite expensive to start off in a new scale. The garden is the right place for this scale but you need to have a big garden too!Click on photos to enlarge the views >
CHERTSEYOur next destination was Chertsey in Surrey and a campsite on the banks of the River Thames. This campsite was a pleasant surprise. It is a beautiful location which is spacious and shaded by mature trees. The site is quite large but it does not feel so as it is cleverly divided up into small zones.The big attraction is the proximity to The River Thames and it is well placed to visit other attractions in the area.
We were here primarily to visit Hampton Court but also to cycle along the Thames Path and to visit Bekonscot Model Village in Beaconsfield.For those who may be interested, the site is also very convenient for Thorpe Park but we were happy to leave that for the youngsters, (under 60s).We feel we may well visit Chertsey again sometime.Click on photos below to enlarge the thumbnails.
Hampton CourtA great day out - very interesting history - we got lost in the maze and gave up attempting to find the middle. We thought that we could cheat with Google Earth but it is blanked out - arrrgh!
ChertseyBeautiful bridge - Unusual statue by the bridge - the inscription