Iona stays by a Canal

Narrow Bridge Cottage, Hayton – Trip 7

May 9th – 11th, 2017. 



It was an easy drive up the A1 and then to Retford and a bit further to the site. The entrance is down a narrow lane and over what looked like a steep hump back bridge over the canal. Luckily we made it over without scraping anything underneath.


The site is a C&CC authorised CL site although as we drove by the cottage it all looked a bit shabby, however the grass paddocks were fairly level. The electric hookups were in a shed complete with old fashioned coin operated meters that took pound coins. There was one fresh water tap by the entrance and an Elson point hidden by a fence which was decking with a manhole cover, on removing the cover you exposed an open cesspit, it was pretty gross and not for the faint hearted. However the Toilet and Shower block was clean and tidy.


After a bite to eat we decided to go for a walk along the canal back towards Retford, the tow path had recently been cut and it was a pleasant walk that took us past various gardens and a Swan sitting on a large nest. We passed under several typical hump back canal bridges. After the last one the canal turned to the right and just around the bend we discovered a Pub. The Gateway Inn. Although it was 3.30pm we decided it would be rude not to call in for a drink. We sat outside, although not sunny it was warm enough. A canal boat arrived and tied up, they had the same idea as us. It made a pleasant break and we made our way back to Iona.





By the time we got back the sky was clearing and the sun appeared. We sat outside with a drink until the sun lost it’s strength as it began to set and the spring chill came back. Sue cooked a curry which was appreciated after the early evening chill. Tomorrow the forecast is sun so we will probably stay on site.
Day 2:
As forecast we awoke to clear blue skies and the Sun. I got the table and chairs out and we made ourselves at home. Out came the kindles. This place is so peaceful, we are surrounded by birdsong, pheasants having dust baths less than 20 yards from us, rabbits appearing at the edge of the campsite. 






Being  nosey I started to investigate the edge of the site and I found an old seed drill hidden in the undergrowth with hazel trees growing up through it’s workings, a bit further on in the corner of the site was an old caravan and shed with a shelter between. With seats in the shelter and bird feeders hanging from a wire stretched between the trees. There was also a big cage suspended from a tree again with feeders inside, out of reach of the squirrels. The feeders were all empty and it was quite spooky in the trees and it reminded me of the film Deliverence. Luckily I could not hear any dualing banjos.
The Old Seed Drill


The rest of the day was spent sitting in the sun reading and getting sunburnt. Sue has a red nose that resembles the beak of a moorhen, talking of which, there is a laural hedge next to Iona, directly opposite our door there is a moorhen sitting on a nest four foot off the ground. 
We sat outside in the late sun with a glass of wine before retiring inside for a meal of Ribs and salad.
Day 3:
Another great morning with blue sky and full sun. Our last day and it started as always with the daily chores but first a shower in the van, I could not be bothered to go to the shower in the toilet block.
Then the job I had been dreading, emptying the toilet cassette, normally not an issue but as described on day one it looked pretty gross, and the experience lived upto expectations.
After a spell of reading and David Otter the owner appeared with an article he wrote and a picture of the sky taken as the finished putting in the final eleventh post of the Henge, in the sky vapour trails made the Roman numeral of XI. 

I suggested that we go for a short walk, so we set off along the canal in a different direction from our first outing. We very soon came to the Boat Inn that has recently closed and is awaiting another tenant landlord. It is a shame because it used to be a Brit-Stop where a friend used to stay in his motorhome. 


We continued along the towpath for a couple of miles, saw some swans, muskovi ducks and we nearly gained a dog as we passed a moored narrow boat. 



We could not find a bridge over the canal and the next one looked some distance away so we left the towpath and followed the edge of a field until we met a road and doubled back to the Boat Inn where we joined the canal towpath and headed home. Our short walk turned out to be just under five miles.

This evening the wind died and it remained quite warm even at 9.15pm when I went to check the electricity meter. We have had the electric heating on and the electric hob and we only used about £1.50 a day. 

The bird song was strong tonight with a Robin giving his all in a tree nearby, the pheasants called as they went up to roost in the trees in what David Otter calls his poets corner, an area of apple trees and pines with the odd Oak tree for good measure. This site is like no other site we have used, it is basic with ehu but so quiet with the only sounds  of  the birds and you sometimes hear the nesting swans on the canal.

Day 4:
Heading home today. The great thing about the new van is that there is no awning to pack away so we can take our time packing the cupboards. Today it is overcast so going home is easier than if we awoke to a sunny day.
Trip 7: distance 89,9 miles, av MPH 28, MPG 27.1, 3hr 11m.

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