Three Horsheshoes Pub, Goulceby, Lincolnshire & Wing Hall Rutland – May 14
We were due to meet Alison’s family on 9th May for the weekend to celebrate Richard’s forthcoming 50th Birthday but first we sneaked a week away incorporating the May Day Bank Holiday to a site behind the Three Horseshoes Inn in Goulceby, Lincolnshire.
It’s quite a long drive from Lancashire and the weather wasn’t brilliant on the way across, but we got there about 2pm and set up camp.
|The front of the pub – the campsite is right behind it.|
I’d recommend the site – it features in Cool Camping, has a shop as part of the pub and allows campfires. They have 3 Glamping tents complete with gas stoves, sofas and double beds – they look very cosy inside.
|The 3 Glamping tents – by Monday afternoon we had the site to ourselves|
|Boris in Camp Absinthe|
Friday night was extremely cold – it fell to -3C during the night – the coldest night we’ve ever had in Absinthe. We felt sorry for two lads who’d turned up about 10pm on bikes, with small individual tents – they must have had a very uncomfortable night.
On Saturday we took a trip into the nearby market town of Louth and were pleasantly surprised by how busy it was with shoppers. Granted, we don’t often go shopping on a Saturday (have these people not heard of the internet?) but the busy market and shops seemed to give the town a really nice vibe (vibe? I think I’ve had this Kombi too long, man…)
We saw a sign for a local bakery delicacy and bought two for afternoon tea back at the site.
|Two Fat Rascals|
We’d picked up a walks leaflet from the pub on Friday night and set off on Sunday to walk the 3.5 mile one that joins part of the Viking Way and takes in the Red Hill Nature Reserve on the route. It was just about the right length – Boris had some time off the lead and it finished by coming back through the cow field next to the site.
|Lazy Trolls can’t even be bothered jumping out any more – they’re putting signs up now…|
|Quarry at the nature reserve|
|An old chap and his dog|
There was a herd of frisky Lincolnshire Reds in the field and it’s the first time I’ve ever let Boz off the lead because of cows. I’d have been fine but Mrs B was a bit nervous but in the end they got bored of us and went back to grazing. They’re really lovely looking cows and have their own Society.
|Two members of a herd of Lincolnshire Reds, taking a look at Absinthe from across the stream|
|Earth closets at Badger farm near the nature reserve – apparently there’s a small music festival held here in the summer (not in 2014 though!)|
Sunday involved a rare use of our National Trust cards and a trip to Gunby Hall, where there was a Regency day with people in costume and Quadrilles on the lawn (interrupted by a not so miniature Schnauzer who took a barking objection to a standard poodle passing by…).
I’ve seen more exciting performances (like this: Brazilian Bay Dancers on Tour 2013 )
|Damn your breeches, Sir…|
|A great view of the Hall…|
The rest of the week involved chilling and visiting the Hemswell Antique Centres just past Market Rasen. 4 massive buildings full of everything you could think of – we bought a few things but ran out of time in the last building.
Alison had never been to Lincoln and it must be 45 years since I last went so about time for another trip. It’s a bit like a mini-York and a great place on a sunny day with lots of places to sit outside, drink coffee and people watch. The Cathedral is spectacular and there’s a real buzz around thanks in part to the University students milling around. We spent nearly all day there and would definitely go back for a weekend break.
|The Cathedral at the top of Steep Hill|
|Cathedral, Castle and Absinthe|
|Cooking on the Frontier Stove|
|Pasta carbonara al fresco|
|The site has a vintage caravan to hire (see top left)|
|The brilliant site manager, Kathy, spent one day painting the caravan roof green|
We left Lincolnshire on Friday morning (in the rain once again) to drive the 70 miles to Wing Hall, Rutland. It was an uneventful journey although I seemed to have left my principles behind in Goulceby. How else can I explain stopping at the Golden Arches of McDonalds for food, just beyond *Grantham? McDonalds doesn’t get any better and, as we were too late for breakfast, I had some kind of assorted chicken parts in a bread substitute thing. That’s got that out of my system for another 10 years…
By the time we got to Wing the wind was up and pitching the shelter was interesting – we tried to put the sides on for a bit of protection from the wind but it was just too strong so we gave up.
|First to arrive|
|Devon Daisy Windbreak|
|Ella & Mandy putting the tent up – Alfie watches on|
|Assorted Haworths and Grays…|
Richard, Mandy, Ella and Max had brought their dog, Alfie with them. Boz isn’t a huge fan but they usually settle down together eventually. In the early hours of Saturday morning Alfie escaped from the tent and ran off, leaving Rich and Mandy to run after him. I’m not sure but I think I heard Mandy saying he was a cat…
They weren’t having too much luck with the other farm animals either. Ella went off to the washrooms and was gone for ages. When Richard went to find her she was stuck in the toilets, too afraid to come past the resident menacing chickens.
|I’d be frightened too…|
Friday night was spent in the Veranda Cafe enjoying a lovely meal and some great Rioja followed by a fretful night worrying whether the shelter would be still be there in the morning.
|The Veranda Cafe|
After breakfast on Saturday we all drove to Oakham for a potter around the shops and have a coffee. It was showery but much less windy than on the top of the hill at Wing. I liked Oakham – we’d not been before but had heard lots about it from our neighbours who used to live there. We visited a few shops, had a coffee then took Boris for a walk through the park to the castle.
|The only part of the Castle still standing|
|How it once looked|
Apparently, there’s a local custom that any Peer visiting the town has to donate a horseshoe – I imagine they claim the cost back via their expenses.
|Inside the Great hall of Oakham Castle|
It was then back to the site to give Richard his presents and eat cake with some fizz before a quick turn round and off to the local pub, the Kings Arms for dinner.
The Kings Arms is a great pub with fantastic food and its own smokehouse – I had the smoked eel to start and the venison haunch for mains – slightly better than McDonalds! I seemed to be the only one drinking red so a bottle of Malbec to myself set me up for the evening (once we’d finished up in the bar with a couple of beers and the usual setting of the world to rights).
|Thank you, Waiter…|
|The lovely Mrs B|
|Ella, photobombed by Malc|
It was another terrible night with wind and rain and not much sleep. Packing up was the usual chore but made better by a full English in the Cafe before we left. Many thanks to Richard for treating us.
It’s the second year we’ve all got together in Wing so we’ve decided it’s time for a change next year and Little Stretton is looking favourite – we’re going to try for a date in June as well – it might be a little warmer.
Our next trip is to the Kombi Sleepover – coming to a Blog near you soon…
Things we’ve learned:
- Fire is just the best thing
- A site behind a friendly pub is hard to beat
- You don’t always need a phone signal (did I just type that?)
- Chilling with family is great (from a personal perspective, I can definitely confirm that you don’t miss the water until your well is dry…)
- I’ll never like McDonalds
- There’s still lots of this country to see
- I need some sunshine soon
There is a full set of photos here: Flickr
And a video here: YouTube
*nothing good ever came out of Grantham!