About Us

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In 1977 we hired our first narrowboat from Anglo Welsh at Market Harborough.From that moment our destiny was set. In 2006 we finally purchased our own brand new 57' narrowboat which we named 'Free Spirit'. Our aim is to travel the length and breadth of all the navigable rivers and canals of the UK. This will be our story as it unfolds.

Monday 31 May 2021

Did I get it wrong, dear?

I have had this lifelong problem of getting my lefts and rights wrong, so much so that when I read the road atlas I have to turn the book in the direction we are going in. Today Ian decided to rely on my navigation skills and all I had to do was to point MB in the direction of Thirsk. Hmm.... I think by now you may well have guessed that I told him to go left at the main road instead of right, and we started heading back toward Helmsley...oops! No way was I going to admit my mistake! He started chuntering about how he felt sure we were going the wrong way. "Are we dear?" I asked inquiringly. "I'll just check the road atlas." Oh, yes" I replied, "so we are."

Turning the wrong way did have its merits because we would have never been held up by these tractors. This Tractor Charity Run happens every year to raise money for the Marie Curie Cancer Care and Yorkshire Air Ambulance. What an excellent way to raise the cash.

T'was a cold start to the day, a mist surrounded the country side giving everything an eerie feel.

But rising out of the valley and the mist cleared to a cloudless sky.

The A170 road to Sutton Bank....I imagined all sorts of horrors, steep drops, a narrow road, a really tight hairpin, but apart from the steep gradient where we kept to a low gear, that bend was relatively tame as hairpins go. That bend appeared plenty wide enough for towing vehicles to negotiate, but I suppose it's the steep descent and ascent that is the problem.

The journey to Thirsk took all of 40 minutes! The Thirsk Race Course campgrounds wouldn't allow anyone on site until after midday, so we spent an hour in a Tesco car park to while away that hour, but once on site, we made the most of the glorious sunny weather and chilled for the rest of the day.

And this photo for Grandson Thomas. Marvin enjoying his holiday.


Sunday 30 May 2021

Absolutely Bongers

 Not a cock a doodle do did we hear until 7 am! That Cockerel stayed silent, but I'm sure it wasn't because he wanted too. No, it was because the farmer didn't let it out of the Coop until then.

Glorious sunshine today, and just in time for the Bank Holiday. A lazy day for us too, no visiting ruins or houses with gardens, no, we decided to try those single track roads with hairpin bends on the Yorkshire Moors. Absolutely bongers in a large vehicle but a lot of fun! The views would have been stunning if it hadn't been so hazy but spying a large concrete structure in the distance, and with a convenient layby to stop at, pulled over for a walk.


Nothing to be seen at the cross, no information as to why it was there, a bit of a wasted walk really, but I did see some fascinating wildlife on the way back so all was not lost. A large sign on the road got us intrigued, and before we set off, walked to have a look at what we were about to face. 

The start of Chimney Hill

And as we started the walk back to MB, spied this!


Amazing what one finds when ones not looking.

That incline, wow really steep and even with MB in first gear, Ian had to keep his foot on the brakes. I do hope MB's brakes are man enough for tomorrow's trip to Thirsk because there is a notorious part of the A170 at Sutton Bank which we will be going along.

  This excerpt found on the web, Caravans are prohibited from going up or down Sutton Bank, near Thirsk due to its steep gradient and hairpin bend. An alternative route is clearly signposted through Coxwold and Ampleforth

Motorhome's apparently are not banned, so it will be an interesting drive to Thirsk.

And wildlife seen on the walk,

It could be a Mottled beauty or Latticed Heath. I have no idea really as this was all I could find on the web,

A Small Copper on a daisy chain flower

Could be a Meadow Pipit

Green Tiger Beetle

Black ribbed golden ground beetle

Saturday 29 May 2021

Halls and Ruins

About those noisy Peacocks! Well, we found the Peacocks today although not sure if they were the ones keeping us awake last night but there they were...at Nunnington Hall, about 4 miles away. Hmm, I suppose if weather conditions are right and the crow is flying straight and true, it could be possible for sound to travel that far. Anyway Nunnington was another NT place with house and gardens ready for visitors.

There is plenty to do and see in this area and another couple of miles further on was Rievaulx Abbey. Motor homing gives one a lot of freedom but does have one massive drawback. The Abbey was another National Heritage site but the car park was almost impossible to get into. No provisions for the larger vehicle and when we turned up a young lady trying to find spaces for other cars arriving, took one look at us and shook her head. No space large enough to accommodate MB so she sent us away saying if we went around the block no doubt a space would become available, and she would save it for us. Well her 'around the block' turned out to be a couple of miles down some very narrow lanes and steep inclines! True to her word, she nestled MB right next to the Abbey Wall on our return and away from any other vehicle.

Rievaulx Abbey gave us the wow factor.  What a place and one of the best Abbey ruins we have seen.

Just to prove I am part of this holiday.

To think we never had any inkling about this place until we joined English Heritage and are so looking forward to finding more Gems to visit.

Tonight we went on a CC site with all facilities,  (Camping & Caravanning club) Right next door is a farm shop, great for getting newly laid eggs for breakfast 'cos there are chooks. But where there are chickens there is a Cockrell, and the coop is not but about 40 yards from MB. Oh the joys of staying on farms.


And to today's wildlife

From Nunnington Hall

Orange Tip female

This I think is a Bee Wolf
 And from Rievaulx

Nest building

Gathering mud

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