Thursday, May 10, 2012

Cold weekend in Goathland

This weekend we went to Goathland with a group of friends and family for a weekend camping, and to a day of traditional sword dancing.

Friday - set off mid afternoon, in rain. Got to campsite in Goathland which was down a mile long lane, full of potholes which were full of water so you couldn't see them.  The camping field was very muddy, but we got to our spot eventually. Didn't think we'd get out again if it carried on raining all weekend, but owner of site offered to pull us out if we got stuck! Got very cold putting tent up which had wet, steel poles - my fingers were so cold I couldn't hold anything, and when I tried to warm them they hurt even more. I used to call it "Hotaches" as a kid and haven't had it for ages.  So, we had to have a glass of whiskey mac before we carried on.

Eventually tent was up, all indoor stuff erected (I camp with a lot of home comforts - wardrobe, fridge, electric light, huge airbed), and we sat down for another whiskey mac. Purely for medicinal purposes.

Then it was a trek down the lane to the pub - The Goathland Hotel - or the Aidensfield Arms if you watch Heartbeat. Everything in Goathland is targeted at the Heartbeat market...

A good meal, and a few drinks, and we came back again to sit in our friends awning of their newly acquired VW camper van. It had stopped raining, and wasn't too cold. But worse was to come...

Saturday was sword dancing day, organised by the local team, the Goathland Plough Stots. It was raining when we woke up, so I got up late. Then it hailed while we were having breakfast. Not a good start. Eventually made it into the village where we saw the Plough Stots, together with their young team.

Then up to the shops where a rare treat was in store - the Papa Stour Sword dancers, from Shetland, who had never danced in England before.

 Our local team and friends Handworth were also dancing.

Then down to the station which was Hogsmeade in the first Harry Potter film, and some steam trains - it was a special steam weekend.

 A sandwich on the platform, and back to the pub for a drink before we set off to walk to Beck Hole. Lovely walk, and the pub when you get there  - the Birch Hall Inn - is worth it. Tiny, old fashioned, good beer, and a favourite with word dancers.

Gradually all of the dancers arrived from their various locations, and it was great to see so many traditional teams together- our two Sheffield ones, Grenoside

 and Handsworth.

 Goathland Plough Stots the local team and of course Papa Stour. Even Snark, the tea total rapper team were there.

Quite a crowd had gathered - great atmosphere.

About an hours walk back to the campsite, and as the sun was out we had a BBQ - lovely to sit in the sun. But of course, the sun gradually went, and it got colder. Sitting in the awning later wrapped in blankets, it was very cold. So, lots of sleepy juice, (Spanish Brandy", and off to bed. in the night I got up to see that we were camped in a winter wonderland where everything was white with frost - even the tent was covered in ice! Luckily inside the tent and our bed was warm and cosy.

Next morning we were up early to catch a steam train to Whitby, but were slightly delayed making the bacon butties as the olive oil had set solid.

Steam train to Whitby,where the first thing we saw was that the Scoresby Monument was no more - blown down a few weeks earlier.

Off to Sanders yard for coffee and cake, then a mooch round the lovely shops on the East Side whilst the kids went off to play indoor crazy golf and bowling.  I found a dolls house shop - bonus!

Lunch was Fish and Chips (of course) in Mr Chips - very civilised. Then a wander over the west side - Whitby is definitely one of my favourite places

 - then up to West Cliff for a game of outdoor crazy golf.

Pint in the Elsinore, and back to the station for the train back. Dinner in the Goathland Hotel, and back to the campsite. This time, as we knew it would be cold again, we got sealed in the the tent with the heater on early - much better, even though there was another frost.

Lovely sunny Monday morning, and a communal breakfast - everyone cooking something, and a slow pack up. Great to see steam trains so close to the campsite

Home via the crooked Billet at Towton for lunch.  A great weekend, despite the weather. We heard when we got back it ad been colder than at Christmas, yet nothing would persuade us to camp in December!

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