ALLERDEAN  Northumberland: Certificated Location

The Plough Inn, listed under Berwick-upon-Tweed. [photo] You have to be a member of the Caravan Club to use this field and it is listed as open All Year. The pub has good real ale, decent food -- the home-made 'specials' are best, a welcoming bar area and very reasonable prices. Located on the B6354 between Berwick and the A697 dir. Duddo. If coming from the south, the turn is about 1.5km before the Berwick South roundabout. Excellent place for visiting North Northumberland and only 4.5km from the A1. Very reasonable £3.50 p.n [2003]

BEVERLEY  East Yorkshire:   Certificated Location

Willow Lodge, under heading Beverley. You have to be a member of the Caravan Club to use this field and it is listed as open All Year. Very convenient for exploring the delightful town of Beverley and reasonably close to Hull if travelling to or from the ferries. The city is only an easy 10 minutes walk from the CL. [2000] 2004 update: It is reported that this CL is no longer part of the Caravan Club network, but rallies may still be held here.

Amenities: architecture -- pubs -- shopping -- market -- butchers -- restaurants

Recommended: the Minster, a 'must see' piece of early English church architecture ---

Wednesdays restaurant in the main market square, decent food at reasonable prices, decor in a bistro-style --- 

Cerruti 2 in the railway station, more expensive, a more relaxed ambience with better tableware but not necessarily better food.

BLAKENEY    Norfolk:     Certificated Location

South View, under heading Blakeney. You have to be a member of the Caravan Club to use this site and it is listed as open All Year. It is located just at the edge of Blakeney on the A149. Charges £9.00, rather high but the position is very convenient for visiting the village and the marshes between Blakeney and Cley. Ground level emptying point not accessible for a  campervan but useable for cassettes. [2003]

Recommended : walk around to Cley via the path which leaves to the right of the harbour. This goes across the marshes but there is no access to the beach or dunes, which are the other side of the Cley channel.

Cley-next-the-Sea itself has numerous attractions: a Windmill (now B&B accommodation) -- one of the best Smokehouses in England -- 'Picnic Fayre' which is actually a rather good delicatessen with scrummy ice-cream -- a dining pub -- 'The Cafe', which appears to be one of the best vegetarian restaurants I have seen (closed at my visit but even a confirmed carnivore was impressed by the menu) -- an interesting Church set a little away from the present village but with a lovely pub next door. MH can park in the Village Hall car park: turn off the A149 at the sharp bend by the smokehouse and deli, then turn left SP Village Hall; there is an overflow area to the left which is quite secluded, and a children's play area. Cley is well worth a visit, and the Coasthopper bus will get you back to Blakeney if you don't want to walk the (short) road distance or return again via the marshes.

The boat trips out to Blakeney Point to view common and grey seals and to land on the Point itself: the trips leave from Morston Quay, about 2km. W.of Blakeney, and three companies operate them; all follow a similar itinerary but check times as they depend on tides and not all trips are scheduled to land on the Point. They may not land on the Point anyway if the weather is foul.

Morston Hall - at Morston 2km.W of Blakeney - a Country House hotel in the best English tradition offers superb set dinner (no choice for first 3 courses) at £39.00 to non-residents (2003). Drinks extra and booking essential.

BURNHAM OVERY    Norfolk:     Certificated Location

Leith House, under heading Wells-next-the-Sea. You have to be a member of the Caravan Club to use this field and it is listed as open All Year. Charges £5.00. It is literally 'a field', furnished with a drinking water tap and a cess-pit emptying point at ground level, which is useable with care by campervans. Located at the junction of the B1155 Burnham Market to Holkham road with an unclassified road: the entrance is at the junction so it is necessary to drive onto the access track (care needed) to avoid blocking the junction. It is conveniently situated for visiting Burnham Market. In addition the owners sell fruit (plums, pears etc.in season) and bottle fruit juice. [2003]

Recommended :

Fishes Restaurant at Burnham Market: first class cuisine using fish and shellfish in innovative ways, desserts are also a taste sensation. Just about the best cookery using fish which I have experienced. About £30 plus drinks. Booking essential except some lunchtimes.

Burnham Market also has an excellent delicatessen and is a focal point for the surrounding area of North Norfolk.

Lord Nelson inn at Burnham Thorpe: superbly kept real ale, especially Woodforde's Wherry, an extensive rear garden with children's play area, and a real 'olde world' interior. We didn't eat there but it is clearly very popular and booking for evening meals is essential. Within cycling distance of the CL -- turn right at the first junction on the brow of the hill as you approach Burnham Thorpe. See GPG for more details.

Holkham Hall is a splendid mansion set in parkland, built for Thomas Coke, first Earl of Leicester in the mid-C18 but most associated with 'Coke of Holkham' the late C18 agricultural improver. Less imposing outside than some similar 'stately homes', the internal construction, furniture and decoration is quite superb and it is well worth visiting. The Park is open generously without charge (ample parking) and makes a good base for spending a day exploring; there are exhibitions and a quality café in the stable blocks. Walk or cycle to Holkham Gap, an unusual geological feature where a break in the dunes has allowed an enormous semi-circle of mudflat to be inundated by the tides at high water: vehicles pay £2.50 to park there but cycles and pedestrians are free.

CAMBRIDGE     Cambridgeshire:     Campsite

The Camping & Caravanning Club Site at 19 Cabbage Moor Great Shelford, tel. 01223-841185. This site is open to non-members. Currently listed as Open third week in March until the end of October. Flat grass, standard pitches without electricity as well as 'serviced' pitches. Good sanitaires 7/10 but facilities could be under pressure of numbers in high season. Ground level inspection chamber for waste disposal from fixed tanks -- ask to use it. Easy access from M11 Junction 11, A1309 direction Cambridge. Take care to join the right-hand lane after the roundabout as the left lane leads to the Park&Ride. In about 0.75mile Turn Right at SP 'Shelfords', where the Waitrose supermarket is on the left. Site is then approximately 0.5 mile on the Left, a narrow turn into Cabbage Moor at the second blue 'Campsite' roadsign. The principal attraction of this site is its proximity to the M11. The city centre is too far to walk (fine for cycling!) but the Park&Ride scheme is close-by for buses to the centre. [2005]

CRICK    Northamptonshire:    Inn

The Red Lion:  Here you can enjoy a proper rest from driving, away from the noisy hubbub of motorway service areas. Decent pub food, good real ales -- Hook Norton Bitter, Websters', Speckled Hen and Pedigree when we visited -- as well as coffee and soft drinks. Moderate prices in comparison with motorway cafés. The bonus is that it is 1 minute from the M1 at Junction 18: take the A428 East SP Crick, turn off into the village at a roundabout (SP Crick and Industrial Estate), continue up the slight hill and through the village. The Red Lion is on your right, go further on about 250m and park in the layby opposite the village Post Office. Here there is a 'Link' cash machine as well. Walk back to the Inn, which serves food 1200-1400 and from 1930 in the evenings. When you leave a left turn beyond the Post Office will bring you back to the M1. The Inn does have a car park through the archway, I reckon only a Romahome-sized MH could use it. See GPG for more details [2003]

CROPTON, near PICKERING     North Yorkshire:    Certificated Location

Bank Top Farm: You have to be a member of the Caravan Club to stay on this ideally located CL. It is right next door to The New Inn, Cropton which is better known as owner of Cropton Brewery, a large micro-brewery at the rear of the Inn. Reasonable food and bar snacks available. A very spacious field with electricity available, fresh water and disposal point for cassette toilets. The brewery has a beer festival in late November each year: if you want to stay on the CL for that, try 'phoning at least 6 months ahead but it's likely to be full already. The village has two other CLs listed, they are about 1 mile and 1.25 miles from the pub on a reasonably flat road (no lighting) if you don't mind walking. [2007]

DOVER     Kent:    Overnight parking

The Esplanade: during the day this is a pay&display area, but from 1700 hours until 0900 the next morning it's free. Accessed from the swing bridge roundabout at the western end, or Wellesley Road at the eastern end. Turning right at the swing-bridge roundabout is easier if arriving from the M20, Wellesley road is reached first if disembarking from a ferry. MHs and towed caravans tend to park towards the western end beyond the hotels and apartments. Some of the marked spaces have a moderate slope at the edge of the tarmac, the flatter ones are just at the end of the apartment blocks. Well-lit and police patrols are fairly frequent. Also other parking areas on the other side of Swing Bridge Road. [2007]

ELLERDINE HEATH Shropshire: Pub

The Royal Oak better known as 'The Tiddley' for reasons which are self-evident. Until recently there was a Certificated Site at Longley Farm, opposite the pub, but it does not appear in the most recent Camping & Caravanning Club Sites Book. The pub itself has a camping field which may be available. Excellent real ales always on handpump, adequate food but it's really noted for its annual Cider Festival the fourth Saturday in July, when patrons come from far and wide. If you are a member of the 'British Caravanners' Club' section of the C&CC you may join their rally which is held at Longley Farm to coincide with the cider festival. [2000] Note: this rally is not listed for 2003 -- Shame!

There was a Certificated Location listed at 'New Farm, Muckleton' under heading 'Shawbury' (Caravan Club members only) but it would be a difficult walk back after a session at the Tiddley. This also seems to be missing from the latest CC Guide. Otherwise it would be convenient for visiting this area, which includes part of the Shropshire Way, and the ruined Moreton Corbet Castle. Buzzards are an increasingly frequent sight around here, recognisable by their 'mewing', so take binoculars. It's a good area for walking.

EMBLETON Northumberland: Certificated Site

North Farm, Embleton: on the B1339 about 0.75m. north of Embleton. You have to be a member of the 'Camping & Caravanning Club' to use this site, listed in 'YBSB' on Sheet 75. A flat grass field in front of the farmhouse. Prominent 'C.S.' sign on the roadside so easy to spot. Fresh water on the field, a chemical disposal point is said to be available. The owners have put in a planning application for conversion of farm buildings to self-catering accommodation, so it's uncertain if the C.S. will survive. I hope it does. Views across to The Cheviot and to Dunstanburgh Castle [photo]. Easy roadside walk into Embleton, where there are two general shops/newsagents (of which one is at the Garage), several pubs and a hotel. [2005]

Recommended: The Sportsman inn on Dunstanburgh Terrace (follow signs to Golf Club and it's on the right just over the brow of the hill). Fairly recently refurbished dining area in a bistro style, and splendid views to the Castle. Outdoor terrace for good weather. The menu appears to use the best of local produce and deals with it intelligently. Superb Cheviot lamb was truly rare as requested. Impressive for this area and good value -- c.£25-30 per person including drinks. May need to book a table.

Walk about 1.5miles to the beach at Embleton Bay, then another 1 mile south to Dunstanburgh Castle (N.T.) and on another mile to Craster for kippers, salmon, haddock or shellfish. The mussels at Robson's 'Craster Restaurant' were notably good, there's also a well-patronised pub opposite. Robson's is the famous Craster smokehouse. The castle has a Kittiwake colony on the cliffs below, there are Eider ducks and Sooty Terns to be seen, and pyramid orchids in season. Choose a good day and it's a glorious experience: Embleton beach is possibly the finest on the Northumberland Coast.

HAROME  North Yorkshire: Certificated Location

Shaw View, under heading Helmsley. You have to be a member of the Caravan Club to use this field and it is listed as open from Easter to October. Suitable for visiting the attractive town of Helmsley, Rievaulx Abbey and Duncombe Park as well as the southern slopes of the Yorkshire Moors. [2001]

Amenities: in Helmsley: shops -- cafes -- hotel/restaurants -- Castle -- market

Recommended: the Star Inn at Harome. An easy 10 minutes walk from this site, excellent food and extensive, fairly expensive, wine list. A real old country inn with terrific character - need to book anytime for a table in the dining room, even lunch, but there is an attractive garden behind the inn for fair weather --

The restored Walled Garden behind Helmsley Castle, SP from the castle car park (paying) ---  

Rievaulx Abbey on the B1257 Stokesley road out of Helmsley.

HEACHAM     Norfolk: Certificated Site

The Old Station under heading 'Heacham'. You have to be a member of the Camping & Caravanning Club to use this site. [photo] Accessible ground level emptying point (ask to lift inspection cover), otherwise cassette emptying point provided. Access to some pitches could be difficult for a very large unit. Charges £7.00, which is very good value. Located on the road which goes to North Beach, follow SP 'North Beach'. Convenient for visiting Norfolk Lavender and within reasonable distance of the RSPB reserve at Snettisham. The site was the former railway station and the owners have an extensive collection of railway memorabilia. Noteworthy also is the considerable trouble taken to provide facilities for those on the site: a spotlessly clean toilet and separate shower within the station house, and a stock of tourist leaflets, maps etc. which would put some Tourist Offices to shame. There is a pub 20m from the site, I chose instead to try the beers from the Fox micro-brewery located at the Fox & Hounds pub in the village, about 10 minutes walk: a good range of real ales, passable food and a welcoming but not very appealing ambience; it is open all day in summer. [2003]

HOLE OF HORCUM  Pickering, North Yorkshire: Unapproved Stop

The large parking area, well SP on the A174 Pickering - Whitby road, c. 8 miles N.of Pickering. [Photo - taken 2 January 1991]

Amenities: in season, ice-cream van and National Park information point during the day -- walking area -- hang gliding and model aircraft flying area (informal) -- superb views over North Yorkshire Moors -- Saltersgate Inn on main road about half a mile (0.75km) below the parking in direction of Whitby.

HOLT     Norfolk:    Parking

This is an interesting and bustling small town, the consequence of which is that it is very difficult to find anywhere suitable to park a motorcaravan. I found the signed 'P' areas hopeless. If approaching from the East on the new A148 which skirts the town to the south, follow the road into the town and there is a Budgens supermarket about 250m on the right before reaching the west end of the High Street. This may well be full to capacity and does not have wide manoevring lanes. If so follow the A148 west SP Fakenham: in about 400m there is a long lay-by on the left shaded by trees, and this may be the best parking for an MH.

Recommended:    Letheringsett Water Mill about 2km. west of Holt. [photo] This is claimed to be the sole remaining working water mill in Norfolk, and is an absolute joy to visit. The owner who restored it is an infectious enthusiast, it is fascinating to learn how a traditional mill works and how grindstones are dressed. Open most days but the Mill is not always working -- I'd recommend arranging to visit when it is working. There is the opportunity to buy highly unusual flour types. Almost next door is The King's Head, an idiosyncratic pub with a wide range of appetising bar food and good real ale. Between the two note the partly restored brewery buildings, originally built to supply the needs of the local estate workers. See GPG for more details.

MALVERN WELLS  Worcestershire:   Campsite

The Blackmore Club Site operated by the Camping & Caravanning Club. Non-members are welcomed; may need to book. There is also a Caravan Club site adjacent (members only), both are developed from what was formerly an Army training ground. Although a longish walk to the nearest amenities, these sites are convenient for exploring Malvern and the Malvern Hills. [2000]

Amenities: nearest amenities are at the junction of B4208 and B4209 about 1.5km. from the site. Main amenities in Great Malvern.

Recommended: Croque-en-Bouche restaurant in Malvern Wells. Superb food, attentive service, very attractive dining room and a very extensive and interesting wine list. Menu prices are elevated, wines are attractively priced. The owner is a wine merchant and many exceptional bin-ends are available. A memorable setting for a fine dinner. Not really close enough to walk from the site but a short taxi-ride. Booking well in advance essential. 2003 update: I believe that the owner is now retired and the restaurant closed in June 2002. It may re-open with different owners and under a different name. The Wine Merchant business continues at http://www.croque-en-bouche.co.uk

Planters restaurant, also at Malvern Wells and about 200m from Croque-en-Bouche. Completely different, a Thai and Indonesian restaurant that is well worth the detour, with really interesting and varied flavours. They do a good-value set meal, but prices are generally moderate and that goes for the wine list as well. Booking probably necessary.

PADSTOW  Cornwall:   Campsite 

Dennis Cove Camping, a commercial site which appears to be the nearest to the town. Care needed on access, it's steep and narrow. Site itself grass, little shade, very sloping in parts. Facilities reasonable 4/10. The site adjoins the Camel Trail, so it's ideal for cycling and walking. An easy 15 minute walk to the town. [1999]

Amenities: an interesting town which is well worth exploring -- pubs -- cafes -- restaurants -- watersports -- boat trips -- shops -- walking and cycling area.

Recommended: pubs serving St.Austell or Skinner's beer -- Rick Stein's Bistro -- a ferryboat trip across to Rock, and walk to John Betjeman's tomb at St.Enodoc's Church at Trebetherick if the weather is reasonable (it can be very windy, which accounts for the popularity of the area with windsurfers).

The Seafood Restaurant,  Rick Stein's original venture. You may have to book months ahead and the prices are elevated, but it's an unforgettable experience. The staff are supremely professional, the service impeccable in a relaxed style, the food is ultra-fresh and cooked to perfection. Desserts are superb.

ROSEDALE ABBEY North Yorkshire: Campsite

The Howard, a Caravan Club site for Members Only, although you can join here if you want to stay. The only practical access is through Wrelton - off the A170 just to the west of Pickering. There is a very sharp blind bend at the end of Wrelton village and the forward route through Cropton is narrow with some sharp bends. The site is opposite the 'Coach House Inn' immediately before Rosedale Abbey village.

A flat site with electricity to all marked pitches but NO toilet block or washrooms. There is a ground level dump for campervans near the entrance as well as several emptying points for cassettes and fresh water filling points. Low season mid-week fees are attractively low. This is an excellent area for walking, with numerous waymarked paths all around the hilltops and along the valley bottom. Industrial archaeology is evident in the shape of surviving ironstone kilns and the trackbed of the mineral railway which winds its way around the valley sides.

To sustain you the Milburn Arms Hotel in the village centre has good real ale (Black Sheep and Black Sheep Bitter, Copper Dragon guest ale when we went) and decent bar snacks/meals. The White Horse Inn, part-way up the infamous Rosedale Chimney Bank (a 1:3 tarmac hill) also has Black Sheep (and a guest which was Jennings when we visited) and good wholesome food.

ROTHBURY  Northumberland: Certificated Site

Tindle's Hill Caravan Park, listed in YBSB under Longhorsley on Sheet 81. You have to be a member of the Camping & Caravanning Club to use this site. I have chosen to show Rothbury as the nearest place as that is where people are likely to visit, about 20 minutes away. N.B. As far as I can tell there is no fuel available in Rothbury or for miles around, but the next village west on the B6341 - Thropton - does have a garage with fuel. Directions to this site are hazardous: the obvious route from the south is a left turn at Longhorsley on the A697 towards the Forget-Me-Not campsite, then right on an unclassified road and a left fork just beyond Todburn. Coming from Rothbury itself turn south on the B6342 SP Cambo, follow the rather tortuous road uphill onto the fells, then turn L. at SP 'The Lee': this is almost at the highest point of the B6342 . Follow this narrow unclassified road (with very few passing places and a steep dip to a ford) and continue ahead at a cross-roads (Embleton Terrace). Extreme care then needed at another ford with steep bends both sides; about 500yds. further on the road makes a 90deg. left turn. After this take the narrow left-hand road at the right bend where there is a small grass triangle. The site is about 100yds. on the right: you will see static caravans. Pitch on the higher part of the grass bank and someone will call round -- probably the farmer on his tractor. This site is unusual as it is in essence a static site of about 15 units which takes 5 touring units. Not normally my preferred type of site but this one is immaculately kept and very peaceful, at least out of season. On a calm evening there is virtually no noise at all from the countryside around, and plenty of interesting birds to look at with binoculars. Fresh water from a tap at the lower corner of the grassed area and a usable ground-level dump a couple of yards higher up. The potential problem is that the owner has planted saplings on the grassed area, which when mature in a couple of years will make it impossible for an MH to access the water or waste dump directly. My 10m fresh hose would not reach from the gravel roadway, and only cassette users will be able to use the waste dump within a few years. £5.00/night [2005]

Recommended: The National Trust property Cragside is the 'must-see' in this area. Although the house was built and extended by Sir William (Lord) Armstrong on the back of what were in my view ill-gotten gains, the estate is magnificent with very extensive walks and plantings of shrubs, trees, alpines and more. The rhododrendrons are famous for their massed displays in late May and early June. The ingenuity of the 'systems' for the house is undeniable, hydraulic engineering at its best and the first house in England to be lit by electricity. The house will be shut from September 2005 until 2007 for re-wiring. Wallington near Cambo is another notable property in the other direction from this C.S. and Brinkburn Priory (English Heritage) is another worthwhile visit close by.

SLALEY Northumberland:  Certificated Site

Rye Hill Farm, listed under heading Slaley and listed as open Jan-Dec. You have to be a member of the Camping & Caravanning Club to use this site, which is just off the B6306 Hexham to Blanchland road about 1km north of Slaley village. Situated on top of a ridge, there are panoramic views of the North Pennines [photo] and it would be an excellent location from which to explore Blanchland and the Derwent Reservoir. It is a small flat field next to the farm house. Water on the field and chickens to greet you [photo]. Very reasonable charge of £3.00 p.n. There is an excellent 'dining pub', The Travellers Rest (CC accepted for meals), on the main road about 500m in a direct line from the site. Ask permission to cross the farm's fields to the pub, this is possible in dry weather (one gate to climb plus a couple of stiles and some gates to open). By road it is about 1.5km -- say 20-30 mins walk. The pub can be seen in the distance on the second photo. [2003]

WARNING: if approaching from the north via Hexham, it is essential to use the HGV signed diversion on the edge of Hexham unless you have a VW-based or narrow campervan: the bridge on the main B6306 at Linnels has a 6.0 foot width restriction. This is not forewarned at Hexham, the road sign there merely interprets as '5 tons unladen restriction ahead, HGV Route turn right' Grrrrr!

WARK  Northumberland:   Certificated Site

The Haining, listed under Hexham and as open Jan-Dec, actually more than 10km west of Wark. You have to be a member of the Camping & Caravanning Club to use this site, which is in a remote area of the Northumberland National Park [photo] . Take care to follow the access instructions in the C&CC YBSB, the last 2 km. are on unmade, but well maintained, gravel roads and you might think you will never find the site: it is beyond Stonehaugh and accessed either from the B6320 at Nunwick north of Chollerford  or from Wark itself via Hetherington and Birk Hill. Totally peaceful except for the RAF practising low-level flying. I saw several Kestrels, Dunnock, and a Buzzard in a short time. Terrific area for off-road cycling or walking. Water on the field and toilets are provided at the farm, shops at Wark. They hold an annual Country & Western Festival. Price £6.00 p.n  [2003]

WELLS-next-the-Sea    Norfolk:     Certificated Site

The Ranch, under heading Wells and listed as open March-November. You have to be a member of the Camping & Caravanning Club to use this site, which is located right beside the Wells terminus of the Wells-Walsingham Light Railway [photo taken from WWLR terminus]. Emptying point only for cassettes. It is a large partly sloping field which could be difficult after persistent rain, but it is ideally situated for railway aficionados and the walk into Wells is an easy 15 minutes. Charges £6.00. [2003]

Recommended :

A trip on the Wells-Walsingham Light Railway which claims to be the longest 10.25 inch gauge railway in Britain at 10 miles, and boasts a superbly-built Garrett locomotive dating from 1981. There are 3 or 4 trains a day each way during the main season. Walsingham itself is interesting as a historic village centred around a dissolved and partly ruined Augustinian Priory. It attracts pilgrims in formidable numbers and has lots of souvenir shops to cater for their needs. The Black Lion hotel has decent real ale and good value lunches.

Cycle or take the little train out to the sands. Wells has the justifiable reputation of possessing one of the finest beaches in England: a vast expanse of clean sand and a belt of pine trees behind the beach. A day itinerary could be to walk to Holkham Gap and back across the marshes.

The Crown Inn in Wells itself has good food with an attractive patio at the rear. Dinner in the restaurant (booking necessary) may be a better bet than bar meals which I found somewhat disappointing and priced a little high. As an alternative the Edinburgh Inn has lower priced dishes which are well thought out (the 'specials' in particular) and it is very popular with locals and visitors: it may be difficult to get a table in the evening.

The Wells Delicatessen is tucked in between amusement arcades on the harbourside. They do splendid sandwiches and stock a huge range of prepared foods from which a gourmet picnic could be fashioned.

WELNEY   Cambridgeshire:     Certificated Location

Biangi, listed under Littleport. [photo] You have to be a member of the Caravan Club to use this field, which is conveniently located for visiting the Wildfowl & Wetlands Trust Reserve -- about 3.5km. distant, an easy cycle in these flat lands. The site is toward the north-western end of Welney, if approaching on the A1101 from Littleport it is after the sharp bends. Ground level emptying point useable by campervans (extension hose may be required). Charges £6.00. [2003]

Recommended : A day -- or more, depending on time of year and bird migration or feeding activity -- at the WWT Welney Reserve. The main hide is the most luxurious I have encountered, it would be more accurate to call it a 'viewing centre'. The café is cheap and good, the bookshop area well-stocked. Not just for birds, in late summer when I visited the dragonflies were a delight.

WHITBY  North Yorkshire: Unapproved Stop

Two parking areas on the right at the top of Blue Bank [Photo] on A174 from Pickering, and just before the Bank descends to the village of Sleights. Lovely views [another Photo] and 4 miles out of the town, but may be suitable as night halt before driving into Whitby for a day visit. The upper parking area is larger and more congenial - 54° 11'07 N //0° 44'44 W.  Whitby has a strict 'no overnight sleeping in vehicles' policy on the streets, but the main paying car parks in the town centre don't have height barriers and on-street parking may be possible away from the centre, particularly along the West Cliff. Severe traffic congestion in the centre during peak holiday season and most summer weekends, easier parking (paying) behind the Abbey (see below). If you feel safe leaving your MH at the top of Blue Bank and can face the steep climb back, there is a bus (No.95) which stops part-way down Sleights village opposite the fish restaurant (it turns round at the Church - Iburndale Lane) and will take you into Whitby --  Sunday and Bank Holiday service may be restricted. Approximately 30 minute intervals during the day, less often in evenings, last bus back from Whitby currently 2315 but do check beforehand! Yorkshire Coastliner 840 from York also comes this way into Whitby. Taxi rank in the centre of Whitby if you want to avoid the steep 1-in-5 walk back up the Bank. The best option is probably to drive in to the town for the day.

Amenities: none at the top of Blue Bank -- pub and fish & chip restaurant at top end of Sleights village about 1.25km. down the very steep bank, Post Office and general store nearer to the bottom of the village, everything else in Whitby town.

I have heard good reports of the Sandfield House campsite just to the north of the town opposite the golf course, but I have not stayed there myself. It is the nearest campsite to the town centre and there is access down to the beach via the footpath across the road:  http://www.sandfieldhousefarm.co.uk  There is also a Certificated Site in Ruswarp for members of the Camping & Caravanning Club, about 2 miles from the town centre but 5 minutes walk to a bus stop, Arriva service 95.

In addition, although further out of the town and on a restricted service Arriva 93 bus route, there is a Caravan Club C.L. in Aislaby (about 2 miles west of the town centre off the A171 Middlesbrough road). This is well worth considering as the Huntsman Inn is within 100 yards -- very good value home cooked or home prepared food and Timothy Taylor's Landlord on draught, it's worth a detour just for the beer! NB. I have not stayed at the CL, just frequented the pub [2008]

Recommended : Whitby Abbey on East Cliff (English Heritage) [photo] which has a newly-developed visitor centre in the banqueting hall of the former Cholmely mansion [photo]. St. Mary's Church [photo] is adjacent with its Caedmon Cross [photo] and (incorrect) echoes of Dracula . There is a paying car park behind the Abbey (follow SP on A171 road in from Scarborough), otherwise it is up the '199 Steps' from the town.

A sea trip on the 'Mary Ann Hepworth', the former Whitby Lifeboat, leaving from near the bandstand on St.Anne's Staith.

Fish & Chips is usually the best eating to be had in Whitby, the Royal Fisheries (end of Baxtergate - the narrow part) has a long and well-deserved reputation -- eat in or take-away. Fusco's on St.Anne's Staith near the amusement arcades is also good, and Hadley's at the corner of Church Street on the East Side has loyal fans. The Shambles bar and restaurant on the East Side market square has good views and decent real ale (can be noisy if very full). The Tap & Spile pub (town centre opposite the Station and Tourist Office) has a good range of real ales on handpull, and the most superb Fish & Chips when it is available. This is now re-named The Station Inn [2007]

Best non-pub fish&chips to be had at present [2004 & 2007] in my view is at Mister Chips on Church Street opposite the end of Grape Lane: clean modern and comfortable, with a wider menu than most fish&chip cafés and the bonus of good bottled ale - 3 from Jennings. Short wine list at moderate prices. Café/restaurant on the left side, take-away on the right. Website at http://www.misterchipswhitby.co.uk

Red Chard Lounge and Grill Rooms at 22-23 Flowergate (opposite The Resolution and The Elsinore) gets better and better. They do excellent light lunches and coffee as well as full evening meals, closed all day MON. Prices c. £5 - £7 for starters, £11.50 - £22 for mains. They sometimes do good shared platters for two people and good 'specials'. Shut Mondays and during January. Out of season open for Lunch on Thursdays & Fridays [2006]. Recent refurbishment with more tables for dining, but they still provide anything from coffee to full meals. Good wines by the glass or bottle. Open Wed to Fri from 1000hrs. plus Tues and  Sat  from 1800hrs. Sun from 1100 to 1600hrs. [2007]. Check opening hours and book on 01947-606660, or look at www.redchard.com .

The Moon & Sixpence on Marine Parade, St.Anne's Staith (the pedestrian part near Dracula Experience): Coffee Bar and licensed bistro-style eatery. A relatively new venture which has a well-designed menu and offers fresh Colchester Oysters! Interesting wine list by the glass and bottle and Champagne to go with the oysters. Prices are reasonable for the very good quality and they do a very good side order of toasted bread with balsamic and olive oil. Good for anything from a light snack to a full meal, they also do Sunday lunches. [2007] Bookings on 01947-604416, it's very popular and they have a larger room in the rear in addition to the front bar overlooking the harbour.

An interesting venture was the North Beach Café/Restaurant [now deceased, see comment at end of entry] situated at the bottom of the West Cliff among the beach huts and close to the Cliff Lift, but see end of this entry. It's an imaginative and atmospheric revival of the former beach 'caff' in the original 1930s building, but the food is far superior to the previous offering and claims to be largely produced from raw ingredients on the premises. Desserts definitely above average for round here. Expect around £5 for starters, £9 for mains. Some decent wines too. Barbecues on the roof when the weather is good. Open Lunch and Evening but not every day throughout the year. Well worth a detour and the Cliff Lift continues to operate Fri & Sat until 2300 hrs.during the season. No vehicle access. 2004 update: this venture has changed ownership since last year and I have not visited it since the change. Check the website:  http://www.northbeachcafe.co.uk   2005: Empty again and waiting for a new venture to open it up. 2006: Scaffolding all around it so something is afoot! 2007: it appears the Council has bought it and is turning it into toilets and a beach lookout centre. In my view they have wrecked what was a stylish original building.

YALDING Kent: Certificated Location

Nightingale Farm, under heading Maidstone. You have to be a member of the Caravan Club to use this field and it is listed as open All Year. Flat grass field. Attractive area of Mid-Kent. The Yalding Organic Gardens of the HDRA is next door. [2002]

Recommended: The Walnut Tree Inn towards the top end of Yalding village: left out of the CL site, right at the junction SP Farleigh and Maidstone, over the rivers Beult and Teise and continue up the Farleigh/Maidstone road for about 250m. About 20 mins. walk from the CL. Excellent range of real ales on handpull, with extensive and interesting menus available in both the bar area and the restaurant. Good Value with good home cooking, 'specials' are worth investigating. They accept CC for meals.

YORK  North Yorkshire: Camping Site

Manor Farm at Middlethorpe south of the city centre, 01904-653163. You used to have to be a member of the Caravan Club to use this site but it is now a private site which does not accept children. Electric hook-up available and there is a small block of toilets and showers which the owner has expanded and improved. It's possible to dump grey water at ground level provided you have an extension hose but disposal of toilet waste is strictly only for cassette toilets. The site is grass, part level, no shade and the owner has developed a larger flat site with hardstanding behind the former CL. It is about 3km. from the Ci ty Centre and the flat walk takes  20-30 minutes, taxi about 10 minutes. Buses to City Centre Indigo Line no.11 run from just down the road at the College of Law, but no Sunday service. 2004 Update: The owner is no longer associated with The Caravan Club, so this has become a small private site with the flat area (which has some hardstanding) becoming the main pitch area. Charges £8.50 incl. electricity. A very large Saturday morning car-boot operates just across the road at the extremity of the Racecourse. 2006 Update: charges now £10 p.n. includng electricity for a  minimum of 2 nights and the sanitary block is completed, but hot showers are 50p. by coin meter. This is a slightly cheaper and more spacious alternative to the Rowntree Park Caravan Club site (non-members admitted) which is as close to a city centre as one can get. Booking absolutely essential for both sites.

Moor Farm on Moor Lane, Bishopthorpe. You have to be a member of the Camping & Caravanning Club to use this small Certificated Site. A very well kept small enclosed grassy area within a much larger field which is sometimes used for rallies. Water tap on site and listed as having chemical toilet disposal point. NO ground level dump for campervans. 10 minutes brisk walk to bus stop for Indigo Line/11 to city centre. Brunswick Organic Nursery/Farm Shop is 5 minutes walk and village with 3 pubs 15 minutes walk. A very good alternative to the other more expensive sites, but too far for an easy walk to the city centre. Flat cycle ride to centre. Charges 2006 £5.00/night for 2 people in a campervan. Advance booking necessary at popular times.

For a day visit motorhome parking is available at one location on Foss Islands Road  -- enter York from the Hull Road off A64 and turn right at the Walmgate Bar. The parking (paying) is on the left in about 200m. but space is restricted. A better option may be to park at one of the 'Park-and-Ride' locations on the edge of York: Grimston Bar (from Hull Road off A64, ask to be let in),  Rawcliffe (from Ring Road North A1237,also request entry) or the Designer Centre (SP off A64, no height barriers) and take the bus -- parking free, bus £1.80 return per adult and family tickets are available [2002]. I visit York regularly.

Amenities: Everything that a provincial city has to offer -- wide range of shops, both 'chain stores' and smaller speciality shops -- cafes -- restaurants -- large Market area and regular Farmers' Market -- Churches -- Museums -- Art Gallery --- Theatres -- Cinema -- The Shambles area -- Out-of-Town 'Designer Centre' on A64. The Tourist Offices http://www.visityork.org   have a useful booklet: 'York MiniGuide' with information on most attractions.

Recommended:   Betty's on the corner of Davygate, if you have never partaken of tea there: central, an oasis of calm in spite of the throngs queuing outside at busy times. Prices are high but you go there for the experience -- downstairs is just as fascinating and more discreet for a romantic assignation.

Meltons Too a bar/bistro that seems to have got the continental all-day café atmosphere just right; eat or drink from 1030hrs. and evenings too. It's part-way down Walmgate on the right at no.25 in a historic building which formerly housed a rope and twine maker. Very popular and no need to book except some evenings  http://www.meltonstoo.co.uk  

Meltons the parent of Meltons Too, an excellent restaurant where good food and wine take precedence over everything, although the decor is very attractive as well. Probably need to book except some lunchtimes. Regular special menus. It is situated out of the centre on Scarcroft Road (the end away from The Mount) but is truly a 5 minute walk from the Rowntree Park C.C site and nearer to Manor Farm than is the city centre (20 minutes walk). http://www.meltonsrestaurant.co.uk 

Café 8 a small cosy place at 8 Gillygate, with tasty dishes produced on the premises and interesting specials. Open from mid-morning daily for coffee/snacks and lunches and from 1800 on Tuesday-Saturday. There is a quiet garden at the rear. Good quality food, prices from about £3.50 to £14.

The Blue Bicycle a bistro-style restaurant at 34 Fossgate with lots of scrubbed pine and spindleback chairs: high quality food with a French influence, and an interesting wine list with a good choice 'by-the-glass'. Reviews I have read are mixed but I have found it good. May need to book except most lunchtimes and prices moderately high. Conveniently close to the centre for P&R buses. Website listed as http://www.bluebicyclerestaurant.co.uk but I got a 'could not be found' error when I tried.

La Bottega delle Langhe at 36 Goodramgate is a cornucopia of delights. An Italian delicatessen, it offers coffee and light lunches as well in a small room and a patio area. Superb cured meats, cheeses, butter and much more, mostly from Piedmont. The same business has an ice-cream parlour and coffee shop at 20 High Petergate: the ice-cream is freshly made daily -- possibly the best ice-cream to be tasted anywhere in UK and a 'must' for anyone visiting York. 2006 update: the ice-cream parlour has regrettably closed but may re-open under new management.

Monkbar Chocolatiers, now sited at 8 The Shambles. Fabulous hot chocolate made to order and some of the finest hand-made chocolates available. Also a range of  'no added sugar' chocolates for those with a less sweet tooth or dietary requirements.

York Minster is worth a couple of hours -- and a few pounds sterling -- of anyone's time. You are now invited to make a payment for visiting, visits to the crypt extra but worth it for the view of how the Minster was underpinned to prevent collapse. http://yorkminster.org  

Castle Museum beside 'Clifford's Tower' houses a wide range of items and a reconstructed Victorian shopping street. http://www.yorkcastlemuseum.org.uk

A walk around the City Walls - allow 1 hour - will show a different picture of the city and avoids most of the traffic: there are a few points where it is necessary to descend to street level and cross over to the next part of the walls.

Barley Hall  in Coffee Yard off Stonegate is a restored mediaeval merchant's townhouse.

Designer Centre, prominently SP from A64 at the A19 junction, is an 'Outlet Village' with copious parking - no height barriers - and a P&R service to the City Centre.

The Ebor public house in Bishopthorpe village is a traditional pub, on my visit it was serving good pub food (in particular the 'specials') and excellent hand-pulled Sam. Smith's OBB, but price of a pint unpredictable! It's 15-20 minutes on foot along the road from Manor Farm, past the Bishop's Palace and turn right into the village.  Less far from Moor Lane C.S. about 15 minutes walk. [2006]

The Treasurer's House behind the Minster is an elegant 17th.Century town house (National Trust) while Fairfax House, behind the Coppergate development and Jorvik Viking Experience http://www.vikingjorvik.com  , houses a museum of Georgian daily life focusing on food and culinary skills and the lifestyle of a well-to-do merchant. http://www.fairfaxhouse.co.uk  

Middlethorpe Hall adjoins Manor Farm CL although you must walk along the road to reach it. Primarily a superior country house hotel, it welcomes non-residents to its dining room, providing traditional English cooking to a very high standard. Probably need to book.

The Grange Hotel on Bootham, on the left about 500m. north-west from Bootham Bar, provides a similar relaxing atmosphere nearer to the city centre. It has an informal 'bistro' downstairs and a more formal dining room at entrance level.

Not forgetting: the National Railway Museum on Leeman Road http://www.nrm.org.uk , Merchant Adventurers' Hall http://www.theyorkcompany.sagenet.co.uk   opposite Marks & Spencer 'Homestore', and the Yorkshire Museum in Museum Gardens near Lendal Bridge, with occasional special exhibitions  http://www.york.gov.uk   In addition the York City Art Gallery on St.Leonard's Place is free, has interesting exhibitions and a pleasant café in the foyer. Theatre Royal (opposite Art Gallery) also has a café, not open Sundays. City Screen cinema off Coney Street (look for the large overhanging clock) is another café location with good coffee and a riverside terrace, but it can get very full.