This weekend has been completely amazing (even with a couple of minor glitches!) It all began with a long journey to North Yorkshire on Friday night after dropping the children off with relatives. We arrived at 8:30pm, and I made the most of the journey by crocheting until it was dark (my role as navigator was pretty much done once the nice sat nav lady told us to continue on the A1 for 50 miles!)
Pitching the tent in the dark was ‘interesting’ but with the help of the torch I bought from Morrisons on the way we got there. Fortunately we had only taken the small 2 man tent so it needed minimal assembly. It was a cold, clear night with stars shining brightly above us and the silhouettes of the hills surrounding us, which along with the sound of the stream running around the campsite made for a beautiful start to the weekend. That night was freezing in the tent and I was awoken twice by a horrific noise. I thought it must have been some kind of weird nocturnal bird but Dave informed me it was the warning cry of a rabbit that was probably being attacked by a fox. That’s nature I guess.
We woke early in the morning and set to making a morning cup of tea on the camping stove. We had also planned on having beans on toast but the bread had gone all dry and horrible so we had crumpets instead, cooked on the toasting gadget we bought for 50p in the end of summer sale. It was surprisingly pleasant, enjoying that simple breakfast in the peace and quiet.
We then headed off to Yarndale and took the scenic route to Skipton (I couldn’t get sat nav reception so we picked a route and it was wrong!) Eventually we made it to the park and ride venue and caught the free bus to the show. I was pretty excited about the whole thing, having read about it but never actually thought I’d go! It was crowded, a bit too much for my liking. There was so much to see and I’m sure I must have missed half of it in the rush. Luckily we weren’t in a hurry to leave so I got to go around it all again when it was less busy later on. My first purchase was some sock yarn and needles from the Suffolk Socks stall. I’ve wanted to try knitting socks for a while but never bought the right sort of yarn. I can’t wait to get started! After that we wandered around a lot and bought a Yarndale bag for all of my future purchases. We went for lunch (it was so busy, I wish we’d taken a pack up) and had a little sit down outside before going back into the madness. It was lovely to be in a place filled with so many people who also love all things yarn related!
Dave was really interested in the spinning process and we watched a few people spinning using both wheels and drop spindles. I bought myself some roving so I can try out spinning using a drop spindle. Dave has promised to make me one, so when I’ve got it I will be cracking on with making my own yarn. The colour I chose was called Dolly Mixture by Spin City. I also bought some plain merino yarn to dye myself, I’m not sure what colours I will go for yet but it’s another exciting thing to try.
I popped into the Wool Warehouse stall to buy a Clover Amour hook and saw the fabulous Lucy of Attic24. I was a little bit starstruck but managed to put together a coherent sentence and got her to sign my bag. I only had a green teacher pen in my handbag so I’m going to embroider over her autograph to make sure it doesn’t wash off when my bag inevitably gets dirty. She was such a lovely, friendly lady and I was glad I plucked up the courage to say hi to her.
Once I’d run out of spending money we decided to leave and go to Fountains Abbey for a stroll. It was magnificent, I didn’t know what I was expecting when I got there but it took our breath away. We stayed there for a good while, enjoying the views and the architecture.
In the evening we treated ourselves to a meal at The Wheatsheaf in a little village called Carperby. I can honestly say it was one of the best meals I’ve had, I chose lamb shank and it was so tender with a really sweet gravy. I was so full I couldn’t eat a dessert even though the menu was very tempting. It was a beautiful ‘proper’ country pub and well worth a visit if you’re ever in that part of the Yorkshire Dales. It’s only a few minutes from Hawes, where we were staying. We headed back to the camp site just as it began to rain; the weather must have put off the foxes and rabbits so we had a peaceful night.
In the morning we decided to visit the Wensleydale cheese factory. Before that we took a drive over Buttertubs Pass, one of the best views in the dales (in our opinion!) Dave wanted to pull over so he could take a photo of the scenery. That was where things went a little pear shaped as we drove into an open drain at the side of the road which was covered in grass. We were stuck. Not only were we stuck, we were at the top of a flipping big hill with no phone reception. There was nothing we could do except try and find someone to rescue us. Coats on, we set off down the hill into the valley, where we could see a village and a few farms. We flagged down a couple of land rovers but they were too busy. Dave then saw a farmer and explained the situation. The farmer kindly said he’d fetch a tractor and help us, so we set off walking back to the car whilst he got sorted. It was a 14% Hill, which was pretty steep to us Lincolnshire folk who are used to flat land. According to my Garmin we walked up 33 flights of stairs! Anyway, the tractor caught up with us and he pulled the car out of the drain with ease. We also got a ride in the tractor for a short distance so that’s another first for me! We paid the farmer and thanked him then set off on our way. (Dave and I joked that maybe he wasn’t really a farmer and just made his living using the tractor to rescue idiot tourists who got stuck!)
The Wensleydale cheese factory was amazing once we finally got there, I really enjoy trips to museums and this one was really sweet and informative. I loved seeing the cheese presses and the victorian farmhouse kitchen, there’s such a lot to learn about the past. Of course, the best part of the whole thing was the cheese tasting!
After that it was time to go back to reality and collect the children. I had the best weekend with MrCraft, and it was a wonderful surprise. Even camping at the end of September was quite good fun!