Across the border-heading south to  Holy island, Banburgh, Whitby & York

13th Dec

We travelled south on the A-1 and crossed the border into England just north of Berwick-on-Tweed before eventually pulling into the Sunny hills farm shop carpark, our park up for tonight.

We popped in and had a couple of decaf mochas and cake and then settled down for the evening. 


We had a quiet night and woke as the café opened at 8am. Andy sat with the laptop for an hour updating the blog and then we got ready to drive back up the A-1 to Holy Island to have a nosey for the day. ///fetches.vans.scripted 

We got to the start of the causeway and waited at the traffic lights as there was some road works so part of the causeway was single track. Eventually we were able to carry on and drove across to the island where we parked in the car park and another vanner gave us his ticket which lasted until 13:10. That was the time of the high tide so we had until then to get off of the island again or we would be stuck until 19:00 when the tide was out again. 

We got on the bikes and headed into the village and checked out the castle, which was being let out as a guest house. We had a look at the lime furnaces and then went into the Holy Island mead shop and had tasters of two meads and a whiskey and cherry brandy, we bought a bottle of the later! Then into the Crown and anchor pub for salmon and bacon sandwiches and 2 pints of Caffrey's. Lovely! 

Back on the bikes and we speeded off to the van to get across the causeway before the tide came in and cut us off. We made it even though Andy slowed us down a bit by insisting on flying the drone as Sue was driving, then the drone battery ran out in flight and the bloody thing landed itself in the road! No damage luckily and Andy retrieved it and we continued our journey south to Banburgh castle. 

We got to the castle car park ///lunch.battling.generally and parked in a motor home bay and paid for 3 hours on PaybyPhone app.

We walked up to the castle and paid £17 each to get in as it was a privately owned building and so our English Heritage or National treasure membership was no good here! 

What a building! It took us about 90 minutes to see most of it, inside and out and the views of the coast were spectacular from the top. 

Back to the van and dinner and TV for a while then bed. Sue was woken by our first boy racers since Stornaway on the isle of Lewis. A car arrived at about 1am and tore around the car park before sitting right in front of us revving his engine, headlights blazing. After a while they got bored as he got no reaction, we find that this is the best way to get rid of them, and they went on their way. We feel sorry for people like this who obviously haven’t got anything better to do with their evenings. Bless! 

Later Andy was woken by a knocking noise coming from the rear of the van, it turned out to be a piece of rear skirting/valance which had come loose  due to the rough roads over the last 6 weeks and was moving in the wind. He stopped it temporarily and went back to bed making a mental note to Sikaflex it in the morning. 


Up we get after sleeping in ‘till 9am! Diesel heater and kettle on then back on the road. We are heading south, of course, to Whitby where we have found an overnight park up near the Abbey. 

The journey to Whitby looked like it would take us about 3 hours but as we crossed the Tyne and passed the Angel of the north at 5 MPH due to road works it was obvious that it was going to take longer than this.

After 90 minutes we pulled into a service station, turned the gas on and had a fry up and a cuppa before continuing south. We pulled into the Abbey car park and chose our spot for the night. Andy got the Gimblecam ready and we set off down to the harbour to have a look around. 

Andy decided that there must be a Weatherspoons so after finding the black waste area we headed for the Angel hotel, Weatherspoons and had a lovely warm hour, until the aircon came on! Next it was fish and chips in a sit down restaurant! It was very tasty, Sue had scampi and Andy had Cod. Then back to the van to settle down for the night. 

Tomorrow we will take a look at the Abbey and then the brewery. 


A noisy night with the lads and their cars, loud music and loud voices but they all went home to beddie byes at around 2am so it wasn't too bad a night. The wind was gusting at 45mph and we are on top of a hill so it was moving the van a bit. 

As the morning broke we got ready for the day and set off for the Abbey. We walked around the abbey and the grounds in the bitingly cold and strong wind. What was left of the abbey was beautiful and we took some lovely photos but it was too windy for the drone. 

We couldn’t leave without having a pint at the Whitby brewery so we sat ourselves down and listened to a Ska band sound check. They didn’t come back on stage to start in time for us to hear their set as we had to leave to get to our next overnight stop at Beetle bank open farm. 

We drove to Beetle bank open farm and parked in the corner backing onto a workshop and settled in. We spoke to the lady on the desk and paid for two nights as we wanted to see York minster and walk the city walls. We both had a lovely hot, unrestricted shower (in the ladies loo) and settled down for the night.  


We got on the bikes and cycled to the park and ride, 10 minutes down the road, and got the bus to York (Picadilly) and walked through the Shambles outdoor market and streets. It was a rush though as we had booked a slot to enter the Minster at 1pm and didn’t have time to explore properly on the way.  

Then we went back to the Shambles and marvelled at the old buildings and unique shops, Ghosts, Dracula, etc.  Next it was up the steps to walk along the city walls. It was strange to think that these walls had been there since 71 AD built to protect the Romans from the locals! As we walked along the walls it was weird seeing the modern buildings just alongside the 2000 years old structures and the Minster over the rooftops of modern houses and streets. As we were about to descend to street level the Minster clock chimed and then struck One O’clock. That was dissappointing as we were hoping to hear the chimes for longer than just the once. 

We popped into a very crowded pub for a beer and a shared lunch box of Mozzarella sticks, chicken dippers and chips etc before returning to the streets to catch the bus back to the park and ride and then home. 


We slept in until 10am! Andy hates doing this as he is a morning man and thinks that the morning has been wasted but we must have needed the sleep after all that walking yesterday. Back to York today to finish off exploring. The railway museum was Andy's treat today, Anorak!

We got back to the van late today so we stayed for a 3rd night at Beetle bank open farm. 


Today we are heading to Louth, Lincolnshire to look at camper vans at Dragonville leisure for Jenny, Andys daughter as she wants to start her van adventures too. We pulled into the Masons livestock cattle market ///noon.panels.effort which was an Aire that we had found on Search4sites. The facilities included black and grey waste and clean water for £12 a night. 

A good sleep was had with the usual ambient noise that you would expect when parked in an industrial area but apart from that there was no trouble and we felt safe there as once the workers at the nearby offices etc. had left in the evening the main gate was locked. 

In the morning we drove to the camper van sales and viewed a few vans for Jenny and ended up recommending a little Citroen Berlingo, (Which she eventually purchased)! 

After the van was chosen, we got back on the road and drove to Great Eversden church car park ///motels.indulgent.shifting where we parked and set off for an Indian meal at the Hoops (Cam spice) and then back to the van to spend our final night on the road before returning to see the families for Christmas. 


We couldn’t wait to get on the road from Great Eversden today as we were going to see our family again after seven weeks. This was the end of the great Outer Hebrides adventure. 

We can't wait for our next main trip to.....FRANCE!

Join us here to read all about it on the France pages.