Tuesday 16 August
Ok all sing along to the Pink Panther tune !
Durham…Durham…Durham Durham Durham …
Our next adventure was to be shared with our friends Pete & Nina who have a motorhome named “Billy” and are full timing in him travelling around Europe. They come back to the UK each August for a couple of months to give “Billy” an MOT ( test for road worthiness for my overseas friends) and to catch up with family and friends.
We meet up with them half way up the A1 and continue to our destination on Donnewell Farm at a village called Sedgefield just south of Durham. This is Caravan Club certified location that has hard standing for 5 vans but that bit is full so we have pitched up on the Rally field which to be honest probably suits us better as we are away from everyone else so if we are a little noisy sat outside in the evening we won’t disturb anyone. The pitch still has electricity and water and has nice views to the front and only costs £11 pound a night. Bargain !
Having chosen our pitches we set up the table in between us and have a little lunch sat out enjoying the beautiful sunshine. We were visited by the farmer who told us where to visit locally and bus stops etc and his wife kindly provided us with a whole bunch of leaflets, timetables and maps for our perusal.
Once we had finished lunch we wandered into the village stopping for a drink in the
Golden Lion and sitting in the beer garden in the lovely warm sunshine. Following on from that we had a good look around the village utilising “The Sedgefield Trail” which was one of the leaflets which we had been given. This told us all about various buildings and sites around the village and provided the boys with some photo opportunities whilst the girls visited a few gift shops that were there.
We popped into the Hardwick Arms which was a former coaching stop and walking through the old coach yard brought us to a footpath that eventually leads to Hardwick Hall. We decide we are going to walk there on Thursday.
We continue our sortie around the village which led us to The Dun Cow which was a pub that the farmer had recommended for good food. The service was a little slow in placing our order but the food was delicious.
Having finished our meals we weebled back to the farm and spent the evening sat outside with an array of anti – insect repellents to ward off being bitten by the flying vampire bugs. The night sky was clear and we had a cracking view of the stars and almost Full Moon with very little light pollution where we were pitched.
Wednesday 17 August
We awoke to glorious weather again serenaded a little too early by our bovine neighbours and after breakfast walked through to Sedgefield and caught the bus to Durham. Durham is a city because it has a Cathedral and stands on the river Wear but is really a large town. It is a quite pretty place with several hills intersected by roads on different levels with bridges across the river splitting the city into different areas. It also has a Castle nestled on the top of the cliff overlooking the river
We have a good wander around spending the day with the girls shopping and myself and Pete trying our best to entirely avoid shopping, ducking into the odd drinking emporium or two to take some respite.
We spend about 5 hours looking around Durham before catching the bus back to Sedgefield where we return to the vans and after a quick change, stroll down the main road to an Indian restaurant called The Raj which was a former Little Chef. The food was delicious with us all choosing something different but all very tasty. One thing for sure is that due to the Uber- mega amount of Garlic consumed, I think that the bugs will keep well away tonight !
We return once more holding our distended bellies straining to get out of trousers and dresses to the farm and sit outside for a while until it became too cool and we then retreated into “Cis” for a nightcap before drifting off once more into the Land of Nod.
Thursday 18 August
We were quietly enjoying a nice cuppa in bed when we were rudely awaken by a yawping yob from Mansfield ! We normally have such refined neighbours ! Oh well beggars can’t be choosers
Another beautiful sunny day beginning with a “Bellybuster” cooked breakfast ably prepared by Monsieur Le Chef Pierre which set us right for our planned walk today.
We walked back through Sedgefield and continued on across a couple of fields into Hardwick Park ( not to be confused with the one in Derbyshire ) we wandered around the lakes with a brief look in the exhibition near the cafe taking the odd photo or two and trying not to trip over the hoards of children that were playing ( Ya .. get back to school ! )
We eventually reached the Hardwick Hall Hotel were we partook of a wee respite and some liquid replacement therapy before returning into Sedgefield once more and made our way back to the Farm.
Still a beautiful day we played Boules for an hour or two but unfortunately Nina and I were robbed and lost to the other jammy pair 3 games to 1 ( I’m sure they cheated ! )
We finished off the night with another lovely meal of Chicken and Chorizo Pasta this time cooked by the lovely Chef Nina followed up with Apple Tart and Custard. Yum ! We spent the evening reminiscing mostly about our experiences of Italy especially the lunatic motorists with a couple of bottles of wine before heading the long way back to “Cis” and bed.
Friday 19 August
This morning we woke up to quite a chilly start which was not warm enough to sit out for breakfast so we had toast in “Cis” and packed up ready to make the return trip south again. After a brief stop for coffee we bade farewell to our chums and made our respective ways back home.
Our next trip is at the beginning of September when we pop across the Pond once again and visit France for 11 days so keep following and hopefully you will enjoy your vicarious trip with us
Pat & Jane xxx