On Friday we set off to the edge of the moors in the baking heat for a bit of camping. We didn't fancy spending long in the car, so we headed to the campsite that we discovered last year. A bit larger than we usually like, but with the advantage of a good playground, a quiet overflow field and close proximity to both home and good walks.
After a first afternoon of making the camp and playing in the playground, the next morning we headed into Helmsley for a bit of a paramble. We walked out along a stream valley complete with saw mill in meadow and big lumps of log sitting by the path. It reminded me of Canada, but then pretty much any scenery that includes steep inclines, trees and water reminds me of Canada! We did the standard loosing of the path which we have come to accept as inevitable when walking through North Yorkshire's many plantations, and managed to get back on track, emmerging triumphantly along a path that was clearly marked private. I don't get how you are supposed to navigate in these plantations. The "roads" move around a lot and the footpaths are rarely marked and often untrodden. In theory you could pick your way through the trees using your compass and map, but as there is rarely a point to start from where you are certain that the map matches real life, you've got no absolute to navigate from.
We appreciated several different types of tree and fern and Nathaniel made sure that anyone in earshot (there wasn't anyone) was clear that they were "bi(g) tree"s.
We emmerged into fields just in time for the wind to get up and the sun to go in, which was rather good timing, and then admired several fields of sheep.
The last bit back down to Helmsley was through another plantation, but this one was much less complicated, had a less used road (so felt more like a proper walk), and was prettier. Nevertheless, having had a break where he got to run around, Nathaniel wasn't entirely convinced about having to stay in the carrier and we had to do some serious singing. Baa baa black sheep was a favourite, as was The Animals Came in Two by Two, but by far the most requested was anything that was a round. Lots and lots of "Londons Burning" and "To the greenwood tree". We tried Kookabura and the Calypso, but they were either rejected by Nathaniel or proved too complicated to sing when you also have to concentrate on where your feet are going!
Back in Helmsley, we were all set to buy a sandwich from the smart delicatessen, when Ian spied people eating fish and chips out of posh Rick Stein-style boxes. There wasn't much discussion. We were all quite clear that "fisss ship" was the way forward. Even Nathaniel was able to wait patiently for our food to appear, as long as we reguarly reassured him that they were "coo(k) fiss ship". It was a delicious lunch! Almost Rick Stein takeaway quality!
After a big nap, we spent the afternoon in the campsite eating:
and playing with water:
Who says that you need to take lots of toys away with you!
This morning, after a leisurely striking of camp we poddled back into York just in time to start feeling peckish. After Nathaniel had had a well timed nap we headed to the Ebor with some friends for a rather good sunday pub-lunch in the garden. Then it was back to their house to cram six adults and two todllers into a small living room to enjoy the sight of 11 men kick a ball totally ineffectually around a pitch. (Nim, you probably haven't noticed us getting kicked(!) out of the World Cup after loosing horribly to Germany.)
After a very jolly afternoon we headed home for some supper and Nathaniel collapsed into bed!
It's been an extremely fine weekend!