Naburn and the Ouse call Iona

Millbridge Farm,Naburn, Trip 14.
Aug 2nd-5th, 2017



We set off for Naburn at 10am, headed for the A1 and the first 72 miles, then the A64 for 20 miles and a couple of miles on a B road and we arrived at the site. It is on a rally field of a camp site but unfortunately the owners will not let us use the facilities. We are of course self sufficient but it would have been an added bonus. 


We soon got the van sorted and the windbreak up in half an hour, then lunch and we went for a short walk to the marina across the road, however there was not much to see apart from the restaurant which we will probably visit before we go. 



We left the marina and walked into Naburn village where we found the pub but decided to give it a miss today. A bit further on there was a slipway down to the river Ouse so we took a look and watched a barge type narrow boat make it’s way upstream.


We wanted to follow the river but that is not possible here so we left the village and went looking for Naburn Lock. We found it by following our map through a campsite to the river. The lock consists of a twin lock system although today only one side is used and that has been electrified and is operated by a lock keeper.



There are various old buildings around the lock, one has been converted to a visitor museum with a Blacksmiths shop and a workshop complete with lathes. Unfortunately this was not open so we had to make do with looking through the windows.


At the other side of the locks is the weir and it was in full flow after the recent rain, in fact the lock keeper told us that he had to keep three boats back because the current was too strong to let boats leave the lock and head downstream. 







As we were about to leave the three boats were allowed into the lock and we watched as they were lowered to the river level and left to continue their route downstream. We then made our way back to Iona and arrived just as the heavens opened to a heavy rain shower.
Sue made a curry for us tonight and by the time we were ready to eat the rain had stopped and the sun came out so we ate outside. It soon got chilly and we retired back inside and watched a couple of programs on TV before turning in for the night.
Day 2:

This morning it is a bit overcast and windy but we have decided to go for a walk to Bishopthorpe where there is a co-op, hopefully they stock tagliatelle. The walk started by climbing steps up to an old railway line that used to carry the Flying Scotsman into York. The trail is part of the national cycle trail network and the old track bed has been tarmaced so walking was easy.


The first item of interest was a sculpture of the planet Saturn and as we continued along the trail it had a definite space theme. We came to Naburn Station which is now a house and the original station approach is now some sort of industry. The old platform has gone but there are a couple of sheds, seats and children’s play equipment. It is a bit like an ad hoc tea room but there was no-one about today. There were a couple of pictures of the station in it’s hay day and you could see where the twin track would have been. Along the route the original cable ducts had been made into planters and even a lookout post for the children to play on.


We continued towards Bishopthorpe and the next point of interest was the twin span bridge over the river Ouse. At either end of the bridge were brightly painted parapets where you could sit and have a rest. In the middle of the bridge high above the trackbed there is a huge sculpture named ‘Fisher of Dreams’, it comprises of a fisherman sat with his legs dangling over the side as he reels in the Flying Scotsman, behind him is his bicycle laying down as a dog pees over it.


We left the bridge and walked to the next ‘planet’ which was Jupiter, here we left the trail and walked through a very 1960 style estate and on into the village of Bishopsthorpe. We found the Co-Op, but no tagliatelle so we will have spaghetti instead. There were three pubs in the village so we chose the one advertising free wi-fi and went in for a drink. 


After our pleasant rest we continued to look around and we found some ruins of a church that at one time had fallen into the river as the banks eroded. The river bank was reinstated and one wall of the church has been rebuilt. As a reminder of it’s former position. Here we found a footpath that followed the river back to the bridge. We took a short cut and climbed the railway embankment up to the trackbed to avoid a longer detour. We made our way back to the van in light rain showers.


The afternoon was a mixture of sun and showers so we were constantly moving in and out of the van, during these short showers Sue got the veg prepared for our evening meal, and as the time rolled on the sun made more appearances and we were able to again eat outside. Another day over.
Day 3:

Surprise surprise we awoke to rain and wind which threatens to stay all day so we may just go to the marina and sit in their cafe and watch the river traffic. The rain stayed for most of the morning so we stayed in and read. After lunch it looked better so we got kitted out for rain and went back to the cycle trail but this time we walked away from York. We did a circular route and ended in Naburn village so we thought it best to visit the Blacksmiths Arms. For me a pint and Sue a soft drink in the beer garden people watching. Then back to the campsite, eventually to sit outside and read, although hoodies were the preferred dress code. 





I spent some time talking to our neighbour, he came around to tell me he was taking his pop up gazebo down because I had previously asked him about it. Once the three sides were taken off and two short poles removed. In three moves it was down, he gathered up the legs and it was in the bag in about 6 minutes. I lifted it and it was lighter than I thought, about 12kg, but 1.67 meters long. He let me try to fit it in the van under the bed and it went in quite easily, although it maybe just as easy to lay it on the floor when we travel. Anyway I am now convinced it is better than a fixed awning rail and blow up awning as we had before.
We have now decided to buy a pop up gazebo after using a friend’s last week and hearing how our neighbours rate theirs. So in the middle of a field I searched the internet and found one £40 cheaper than anywhere else, plus I got 10% discount on my first order that covered the postage. I found the rain sides on another site discounted by £5 which again covered the postage. Next time we go away and meet up with our son and granddaughter we will have somewhere to shelter etc as well as in Iona.


It was quite windy and cool so the planned  bar-b-que was postponed and we had stuffed chicken breasts with potato wedges for tea, but we ate inside. 
Day 4:
The wind is even stronger today but there is plenty of sunshine. So our plans have changed and we are going to stay around the van today, although a short walk maybe required later. We spent the day going from sat outside until cold and back inside. We had an indoor bar-b-que, i.e everything cooks on the oven / hobs.

By 8pm the wind had dropped but we sat inside with the windows open to get the fresh air affect.

Day 5:
Heading Home , traffic Ok , a bit slow around doncaster and Newark.

Trip 14: 
198.2 miles, 29.6 av mpg, av 42 mph, 4hrs 37m time.


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