Iona Goes to Ripon

: Temporary Holiday Site at Ripon Racecourse.

Trip 2: May 17th ;

🌧☁️⛅️ 10°C

The Covid 19 🦠 pandemic has slowed although there is an Indian variant causing concern in some areas. The restrictions have relaxed and camping is allowed along with other forms of holidays in this country.

We have not been to Ripon before and we were intrigued because it is on a racecourse and the ones we have tried before have been flat and well drained. The site is next to a marina, and set between the river Ure and the Ripon Canal, which will provide walking to the town, as an added bonus. There is a nature reserve next to the site for alternative walks.

This will be our first trip this year without electric so we have filled up with gas just in case it is cold. Unfortunately the forecast is rain showers most days.

We had a good drive upto Ripon, stopping on the way. When we drove onto the racecourse the heavens opened and it pored down. Harry gave us a quick rundown and kindly put us on a new pitch so we have no one to the side of us.

We stopped to fill with water and we got stuck but luckily by reversing I freed myself and we drove to our pitch. We used the ramps and somehow got 100% level in all directions.

After lunch we went for a walk, we found the canal and followed it towards the river Ure.

At a nature reserve we left the canal towpath and followed the paths which eventually took us back to the racecourse.

The sun has been out so we finished the afternoon with a drink sitting in the sun. Later we sat outside and ate a tea of spaghetti Bolognese before washing up and retiring inside. A great first day, and we spoke to a neighbour who gave us tips on where to go tomorrow.

We have had a truma boiler error but it went. The water is now off and maybe we will have the heating on later. The fridge and cooker work as normal. It is 20.30 and the sun is still shining through the windows.

Day 2:

We woke up to sunshine and the van was at 14°c which felt warm enough not to have the heating on this morning.

Today we walked along the canal and into Ripon. The canal was used to bring coal and flax to the town. There is a basin near the town centre where the barges unloaded.

We left the canal basin and crossed the main road and headed for the river. There is a pub called the Water Rat that serves good food but it was too early so we crossed the bridge, took some photos and headed for the cathedral.

Ripon was once very affluent and we spent some time looking at the gravestones, most were very ornate and expensive looking. The earliest we found was 1803.

We took some pictures of the cathedral and walked into the market square, there are quant streets and shops along with the more modern multi nationals.

After looking around the Yorkshire Trading Company we headed towards the Workhouse Museum, passing several old buildings along the way.

We spent about 1.5 hours looking around the museum which was really interesting. The main workhouse building was purchased from the council three years ago so it is still work in progress. They hope to get a further grant to remove a lot of the modern decor left by the council offices and also rediscover hidden parts. A dual staircase has already been found. This would have been for women with an identical staircase next to it for the men.

We left the museum and walked back to the market square via a different route. From here we headed for the Spa Gardens which are next to the original Spa Swimming Pool. We could not go in but from the doorway we could see some very ornate moulding and beautiful stained glass.

Next to the swimming pool is the Spa Gardens where we found a bowling green and cafe. We sat on a bench overlooking the boiling green and ate our lunch.

Sue saw some ladies talking to a gardener who was digging up tulips. He let the ladies take some of the tulip bulbs because he was just dumping them on a compost heap. Sue then wanted some but did not want to go and ask. I got the job and the gardener was quite happy for me to take some. I chose 12 from the pile. They will all be the same colour but Sue will have her Ripon Tulips.

We left the park and walked back along the river to the Water Rat pub and then followed the canal back to the racecourse. Knackered we spent the rest of the afternoon in the motorhome. Sue was crossstitching and I was trying to fix the error code from the boiler.

Tonight steak for tea, with salad and fondant potatoes washed down with a glass of red.

That finishes of a great day and tomorrow we have another museum to see.

Day 3:

We left for another walk into Ripon with the idea of going to Aldi and maybe the Police and Prison museum. However we got there quite early and the museum does not open until 13.00. We had a walk around Aldi and then meandered around Ripon looking at the old houses and churches.

Methodist Chapel

We eventually ended up walking past the Spa Gardens and the pull of free tulip bulbs got to Sue. Today it was not me who went on the scrounge but Sue and just as she was helping herself the groundsman headed towards her with a barrow full of dead plants. He told Sue to come back again next week for some different colours.

It had started to rain now so sitting on a bench to eat lunch was cancelled and we headed for the river and the way home. By the time we got home the rain was starting to get heavy, we made it just in time.

A lazy afternoon reading and then Katsu Curry for tea. The next issue was juggling the use of electric between TV and heating. Sometimes not have a digital readout is good, so I switched it off and went with the LED lights on the panel above the door.

Dreading tomorrow, the ground is sodden and despite the traction control we may well have a problem getting off the field.

Leaving Day: The traction control worked and we were able to drive off the field without getting stuck, although the groundsman was available to tow people off if they did get stuck.

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