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Open Roads Forum  >  Truck Campers

 > Trip report: Scarbourough, England

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sabconsulting

High Wycombe, UK

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Posted: 11/24/10 02:47pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

We recently did a long-weekend up in Scarbough, North Yorkshire, North-East England to see Sally's relatives.

Being too tight to pay for a hotel room I insisted we take the TC. Also a good chance to see what it was like in the cold of November. Those of you who have spent time in the UK in the winter know it never gets much below freezing point, but is often a miserable damp cold that drains you of warmth and energy, so this would be interesting, especially since the only camp ground with hard-standing was full (for obvious reasons).

We arrived lunchtime Saturday and went to visit the sea-front at Scarborough. I know it well and thought "no problem, we'll park along the Marine Drive by the sea". However it was almost full, and we had to drive way around it to find parking, then we found the parking spaces were designed for our European compact cars and with a wall in front even in my small rig it took a few goes to find an angle we could park without having part of the TC sticking out into the road - a busy route for double-decker buses. In the end we parked at such an angle we took up the best part of 4 spaces!

The campsite was in a mixed beef and arable farm in a valley in the Wolds south of Scarborugh. One other family was staying that night in a TT towed by a compact pickup, plus others were staying in the old stone guest cottages and the wooden huts (see later picture). We selected a pitch not too far from the toilet / shower block, but half way between the other campers with children and the barn containing the just-weaned and therefore noisy calves. It started to get pretty cold, and being dark at 4:30PM we were wondering what to do. Luckily the farmer came around offering (at a price) a brazier fully stocked with wood and fire lighters. We were a pretty captive market, but it was lovely to spend the evening wrapped up against the cold watching the flames:

[image]

The weather was good the next day and we drove off to see the coast south of Scarborough, including Flamborough Head with its light house:

[image]

[image]

We were lucky enough to see a rare colony inhabiting the cliff slopes. You can spot the males of the species from their extra 3 legs and long noses - this group also includes a rare female, not often seen in these colonies:

[image]

Then back for some lunch at the quirky Olivers Mount motorbike race track overlooking Scarborough:

[image]

We then went for 'tea' at Sally's aunt's house - an old high-ceiling Victorian era house which hasn't changed since the '60s. On the way back I stopped at a car parts centre and bought some heavier duty ratchet straps to keep the TC in place, as with all the steep hills it had moved back a bit in the load bed. I was glad of these given the weather later on.

Monday morning, and all sensible people had gone home. We now had the whole camp site to ourselves (you can see the huts for rent in the background):

[image]

Then off for a drive around the Dalby Forest north-west of Scarborough:

[image]

Facilities were good, but some seemed slightly unfinished:

[image]

The forest was showing the last few signs of the autumn colours, although the winter arriving earlier at these latitudes, together with high winds had seen off a lot of the leaves:

[image]

Then off to the bleak North York Moors, local landmarks still wait to spot a Russian bomber coming across the North Sea:

[image]

A track we didn't attempt in the TC. This will be used by the local sheep farmers in their old Land Rovers:

[image]

We stopped at this point for lunch and it really got bleak - blowing a howling gale with rain and hale lashing down:

[image]

As ever Sally had to brave the elements - no smoking in any of our vehicles!

[image]

Then down the hill (30% gradient) to Goathland, which seemed to be set in another era. Partly because this is where they film a TV drama series set in the 1960s (I think it is called Heartbeat):

[image]

They have all the modern facilities there - this is their garden centre (nursery) [emoticon]:

[image]

And this is the railway station and signal box (I cheated and added the sepia tint to add to the sense of age) :

[image]

[image]

Back up on the moors (up the 30% hill again) and the dark clouds parted to illuminate the 1300 year old Whitby Abbey:

[image]

Then off to Scalby on the outskirts of Scarborough for Sally to place flower's on her grandparents' grave (this church is also > 800 years old) :

[image]

We were invited to stay the night in Sally's Uncle's 600-year old cottage on the North York Moors.

The road up is a set of narrow switchbacks with overhanging trees and little clearance. We had been up there once already in the TC with no problem. This time we had to pull over to let a small car go by (not wide enough for 2 vehicles. We then continued up the steep hill and just as we arrived at the next sharp switch-back with its 30% gradient in the corner we met a 24-ton 3-axle oil tanker coming down the other way. Aaarrgghhh! Luckily he was kind enough to back up about 15 feet to the outside of the corner, but that meant we had to inch up to the 30% section pulled as hard into the hairpin bend as possible so he could then squeeze past with about 2 inches to spare. My truck has very high gearing and the clutch fitted to these UK-spec TDi trucks is not really up to the torque they produce, especially with that high gearing, and with part-time 4x4 (no centre diff) I couldn't use low ratio on that corner to ease the strain on the clutch, so just had to bite the bullet and go for it in high-ratio first when time came to pull away up the hill. Luckily it did it without any burning smells or even juddering. I was extremely relieved.

We opted to just use Sally's uncle's driveway and his electricity (to run our fan heater) and sleep in the TC rather than his spare room, and after a very pleasant meal with him and his daughter / son-in-law who are local tenant dairy farmers returned through the horizontal rain to the TC. The only problem being it is very exposed to the wind on top of the moor and we struggled to sleep with the wind rocking the whole rig and screaming around us. It was only after 3am that we fell asleep exhausted, probably because by then we had realised that even the strongest gusts weren't going to dis-roof the camper.

[image]

[image]

So in all a good trip and a good test of our old TC in fairly difficult conditions (we didn't get wet, nothing fell off and the rig didn't fall over in the high side-winds). Averaged just under 30mpg imperial (25mpg US), though at UK diesel prices that did cost £120 in diesel even though Scarborough is only about 250 miles from our home.

But that is the last trip until next Easter, and the TC is now sat on it's concrete blocks with a plastic sheet strapped to it to help preserve its rotting roof ready for the big trip to eastern France next summer (followed by the titanic roof-replacement job required after that).

Steve.


'07 Ford Ranger XLT Supercab diesel + '91 Shadow Cruiser - Sky Cruiser 1
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'09 Fiat Panda 1.2


sleepy

Oak Ridge,Tennessee

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Posted: 11/24/10 03:08pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Good report, thank you for sharing.

Sleepy


2003 Lance 1161,/slideout/AGM batteries/255W Solar/propane generator/Sat dish/2 Fantastic Fans/AC/winter pkg
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Pond Jumper

North Texas

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Posted: 11/24/10 03:11pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Wow!! Thats some report. Nicely done. I know a pitch is a grassy spot but what's a Brazier?

PJ

sabconsulting

High Wycombe, UK

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Posted: 11/24/10 03:16pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Pond Jumper wrote:

Wow!! Thats some report. Nicely done. I know a pitch is a grassy spot but what's a Brazier?

PJ


Its a sort of elavated metal cage thing you make a fire in to make sure you don't set fire to everything or make a mess of the grass. In the 1970s were traditionally seen made out of 40-gallon oil drums with holes in the side for people to stand around while on strike outside the gates of the coal mine / steel works / Leyland factory.

Steve.

TwoMaineiacs

Near Freeport, Maine

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Posted: 11/24/10 03:26pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Fascinating to see a different part of the world. Thanks for sharing.


2011 Chalet Double Slide on a 2013 F-450 Diesel DRW
On the Road Again from Rural Maine
Our travel blog with photos


rickjo

SW New Mexico

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Posted: 11/24/10 03:34pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

sabconsulting wrote:



We were lucky enough to see a rare colony inhabiting the cliff slopes. You can spot the males of the species from their extra 3 legs and long noses - this group also includes a rare female, not often seen in these colonies:



Could use just a wee bit more info here. A colony of what???

Rick


2019 F-350 4WD Crew Cab DRW 6.2 l gas engine (6500 lbs cargo capacity!)
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"Leave the trail a little better than you found it."


weymard

NORMANDY

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Posted: 11/24/10 03:35pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Great pictures, so interesting, a little flavor of my Normandy.
Thanks for sharing.


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France, Normandy

sabconsulting

High Wycombe, UK

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Posted: 11/24/10 03:44pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

rickjo wrote:

Could use just a wee bit more info here. A colony of what???


I was referring to the 'creatures' shown in the picture [emoticon] . Don't know what this 'colony' was looking at themselves, but I couldn't see it. They just sat there motionless in the freezing cold staring at the North Sea through their tripod-mounted 'noses'.

Steve.

Blind Bob

N.W. Indiana

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Posted: 11/24/10 03:46pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

What a good report! Thanks for sharing that with us Yanks


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silversand

Montreal

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Posted: 11/24/10 03:52pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

What an absolutely super treat to read your Trip report!

Many, many thanks for taking the time to write up such an interesting and exotic narrative!

You appear to have the same aluminum table and out-door folding chair set-up that we use here.

Your report will go into Trip Reports during my next round of up-dates.

Cheers,
Silver-


Silver
2004 Chevy Silverado 2500HD 4x4 6.0L Ext/LB Tow Package 4L80E Michelin AT2s| Outfitter Caribou

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