With overseas travel somewhat thwarted for now we have been exploring a little closer to home. With our travels limited to the UK for the foreseeable future we decided to join a couple of clubs to take advantage of their network of sites (especially the smaller CL’s & CC’s). We have already tried out one of the Camping and Caravanning Clubs temporary holiday sites in the lakes to great success, so this trip we were trying a couple of the Caravan and Motorhome Club Sites.
Our first stopover was at their site at Hebden Bridge (actually located about 3 miles from the town). Arriving onsite at lunchtime we were surprised to see the office closed, but there were instructions in the window for which pitches we could park on, so we duly got ourselves set up for our 4 night stay and whilst Paul erected our new Quest House Pro 4 gazebo, I took Nutmeg our Cockapoo puppy on a well deserved walk.
It wasn’t until later that evening when the office re-opened at 5pm that our loathing for sites with too many rules and over zealous wardens was confirmed. Although we were parked as suggested (in line with the pitch marker), we had driven in forwards (as all others alongside us had), however apparently because we had a gazebo this was the incorrect way of pitching, so just as we were getting settled we had to move everything, much to Pauls annoyance. It wasn’t so much the fact that we had to move it was more how we were “told” to do it…….our conclusion Peter the warden there doesn’t really like his job anymore. A valuable lesson was learnt though, that the Club sites are probably too ruley for us as we prefer a more relaxed approach to camping.
That said the site at Hebden Bridge has a lot of positives, for a start it proximity to the quirky small town is a real bonus. An hours walk mainly along a wide canal towpath brings you into the centre which is known for its independent shops, cafes and restaurants. Buying local really is a way of life here and it’s a refreshing change from the normal high street which is lined with chain stores.
The area is also surrounded by stunning countryside with endless possibilities for walking and exploring. Hardcastle Crags is one of the most picturesque destinations to head to for surrounding yourself with nature, but you’ll find beautiful countryside whichever direction you set off in.
Hebden Bridge seems to be perfectly positioned in the middle of Leeds and Manchester, making it the ideal commuter town for both cities. It takes just over half an hour to reach Manchester by train and under an hour into Leeds, providing plenty of opportunities to escape the countryside for a taste of city life. There’s a closer station at the village of Mytholmroyd which is just a 20 minute walk from the site.
If you go don’t miss the chance to visit the historic village of Heptonstall located above Hebden Bridge. The village transports you back in time as you wander around the cobbled streets, you really could be on the set for the Hovis advert.
If walking is your thing a hike up to Stoodley Pike is rewarded with beautiful views across the surrounding countryside. At 121 ft high the monument is visible from afar, but you only get the true effect by climbing up there.
A reunion with a childhood friend who I hadn’t connected with since my teens made the trip extra special, you really wouldn’t have known that over 30 years had passed since we last got together. Hopefully it won’t be as long until we see each other again!
From Hebden we moved on to Grassington staying at another CAMC site at Wharfdale, where we had an arrangement to meet up with one of my Southport running friends who has a holiday home on the adjoining site. Janet and Gary were able to show us some fantastic walks right next to the site in an old quarry . Sorry both it must have been to chilly to take my hands out of my pockets to get any photos that day!
Although a little more uniformed than we like the Wharfdale site is in an enviable location, surrounded by countryside and only a short walk from Grassington village where they happened to just finished filming an episode of All Creatures Great and Small.
As well as the old quarry which is accessible directly from the site, there are some worthwhile walks locally. The waterfalls near the village of Linton make a picturesque stroll, or if like us you’re up for a longer yomp (around 10 miles) then it’s worth following the path along the river Wharf to the village of Burnsall. Of course a perfect campsite is also surrounded by good pubs, as well as those in the village of Grassington there are 2 within a short walk of the site both of which are dog friendly (now an important factor for us).
Those of you that have followed our travels for a while will know that Boris our motorhome can sometimes be a little troublesome and our recent trips have been marred with him misbehaving again. In addition to a flat battery where we had to call the AA out to our storage site, we have also had to have the brake shoes and discs replaced after a nerve racking drive back from the lakes a few weeks ago. Despite just having had 4 brand new tyres this trip ended with a flat. Fortunately Paul spotted it before we left the site, so in the pouring rain had to change it for our spare. The kindness of others in these situations never ceases to amaze me. Our sincere thanks to Mike Silvester who helped Paul with the task and also to the two other campers who invited me in for shelter from the rain. Human kindness at its best.
They say it comes in 3’s so we are hoping that’s the end of it for now!
We have another upcoming trip for a reunion with our friends Jan & Trevor who we first met in Hungary in 2017, the last time we saw them was during our trip to Morocco, so we’ve got lots to catch up on.