Trip 4: Bedale caravan and Camping Park
This trip sees Iona head north to the edge of the Yorkshire Dales and the town of Bedale with its cobbled street.
Our journey took 4 hours, an hour and a bit longer than planned because the A1M was closed and the short detour around the accident was very busy as you can imagine. Once back on the motorway we soon arrived at Bedale campsite.
The stewards signed us in and we were shown to our pitch which turned out to be perfectly level considering the field was not very flat. We probably did not need to book after all.
This is the first time since last year that we have camped without electric hook up, so getting back into wild camping mode took a little while.
It is mild today but the rain started mid morning just when we were walking into Bedale. Today was market day and there were a few stalls set up on the cobbles. The one we were impressed with was a fishmonger, more choice than I have ever seen in a fishmongers shop.
The rain started again as we made our way to the museum but it was closed, so we walked to the railway station which is on the Wensleydale heritage railway. The line reopened in 2003 and the station opened to trains in 2005. The line is still being developed and opens again at Easter for the start of their season.
We made our way back up into town and ducked into a couple of shops to get out of the rain. If you are ever in Bedale there is the most comprehensive hardware shop. It literally sells everything from grass seed to fire grates, kitchenware to toys.
We found a bakers and bought some buns and Danish pastries and a few doors down at a butchers, we bought two of the best Cornish pasties we have ever had. It was then back to the van to eat our lunch.
The afternoon remained dull until 16.30 when it brightened up just enough for the solar panels to put some charge into the batteries.
We walked into Bedale and headed for the Bedale Beck which has a footpath alongside. We followed the footpath and it took us to a weir by Bedale Harbour. The harbour was really a canal basin but the money ran out before the canal was completed. You can see the mooring rings in the wall. The weir would have been a lock but it was never finished.
We continued along the beck until we eventually came to a farm track and a bridge. We followed the track until it came to the heritage railway. The track continued into a farm so instead of going through the farm yard we walked 200yds along the railway line, the railway is closed until Easter so no trains were going to be working.
We then came to the main road into Bedale. We passed the Court House and the original Police Station, both are now private homes.
We did some shopping and headed to the park by Bedale Hall . We found a bench and sat and ate the pasties that we bought earlier.
We tried to find a way back to the campsite without going into town but the golf course stopped that idea. Walking back through the park I found a tennis ball and gave it to a lady walking her dog. She was quite pleased because her dog kept losing them and it could have been one that they lost earlier in the week.
We stopped at the hall which is now a library and museum and read an information board, which confirmed that we had seen an Ice House in the wood. Some of the other buildings were part of the stable yard although the stables were demolished in the 1950s because they were falling into decay.
We continued our walk home past another church and by the time we got back to Iona the cloud cover was thinning and the sun shone every now and then.
It has been an interesting trip with lots of history to see in Bedale. We are off home tomorrow and the forecast is sunshine which is typical.