A trip away at last – to the Festival of Vintage at York

At long last we’ve managed to get away properly in Absinthe in 2015. We’d been due to go to the Eskdale Dubfest but a severe bout of ‘flu for both of us left us pining in the spring sunshine and frustrated that we couldn’t get away.

Packed and ready to go we left home on Friday afternoon to head to Naburn on the outskirts of York. The plan was to go to The Festival of Vintage at York racecourse on Saturday and to potter about for the rest of the weekend.  The weather had been warm and sunny all week, but the temperatures were due to fall and we knew we’d see some rain over the weekend.

Instead of heading over the M62 across the Pennines, we went through Nelson and past Skipton before stopping near Bolton Abbey for lunch. I’ll be back this way in June when Jodie and I are doing the Dalesway from Ilkley to Bowness on Windermere and I hope the weather is just as good then.

I can recommend the cafe and tea rooms, although they don’t take cards at all – it’s cash or cheques only – weird in the 21st Century, when hardly anyone carries cash any more.



Onward then, over the Pennines to York. Last year we’d stopped at a farm campsite in Naburn but the website seemed to be down and we’d spotted in 2014 that you could stay at the Marina, which has its own cafe and looked ideal. I booked via their website so we headed straight there. The other campsite, Millbridge Farm, was open but had a For Sale up – tempting…

This isn’t where we stayed!

Unfortunately, I’d actually booked for Naburn Locks Campsite down the road by mistake! – I’m not getting any younger you know.

It wasn’t far to the correct site and it was fine, with some good walks nearby for Boris, past the Locks and along the Yorkshire Ouse.







Friday night was spent in the local pub, The Blacksmith’s Arms – they seem to actively encourage dogs with free treats and regular strokes from Kevin the barman.

The food is pretty good, with huge portions and the beer is excellent – we were lucky to get a table as they get very full at the weekend and we had to move to the bar area at 8pm as the table had been booked in advance.



The walk back was just right, although we didn’t to spot the barn owl again, that had been out hunting earlier in the evening when we’d walked Boz down to the river.

When I said we’d packed the van, I should have pointed out that we’d forgotten quite a few things. There was no washing up bowl, none of Alison’s coffee and, crucially, we hadn’t brought the front windscreen cover.

The van should look like this at night:

Instead, it was like this, as we used the towels to give us some privacy:

I’ll bet we don’t forget the cover again!

Saturday was the day we were going to the Vintage Festival and I’d booked ahead for a haircut and shave from Jack the Barber.

We had half an hour to kill so we grabbed a coffee and watched the dance classes starting.

Jack is a great guy, with a shop in Hebden Bridge – he attempted to tame my unruly hair and gave me a fantastic shave.








Before and after

The Festival is great fun with lots going on and, as usual, we bought a few things for both of us.














The Festival is held at York Racecourse which is adjacent to the old Terry’s of York Chocolate Factory which seems to be being converted into apartments. A shame that chocolate is no longer made in York.

The former Terry’s of York Chocolate Factory

This wouldn’t be Absinthe’s blog without at least one other Campervan:


And, as a bonus, here’s a Beetle from the car display at the show:

I took Boris for a walk round the car park before we left, to make up for leaving him in the van whilst we’d been at the Festival. His hearing must be getting worse because he couldn’t work out where my whistling was coming from and ended up joining in with a picnic some other visitors were having behind their car. Foolish schnauzer!

We headed back to the site for tea and cake before taking Boz out again – this time in the rain which gradually got worse as the evening wore on. We were quite wet, by the time we walked back down to the pub later, which was again like a section of Crufts. More food and beer was a great end to the day.


The sky cleared on Saturday night and it wasn’t very warm overnight in the van. At one point Boris was shivering so badly that Alison let him share her sleeping bag – he gets more spoilt every trip.

Sunday morning was frosty but with bright sunshine so we had a leisurely time packing up and listening to The Archers before we set off home.


We stopped again at Bolton Abbey for lunch (creatures of habit or what?)

A great weekend and we’ve finally got the season started properly – we’re off to Derbyshire for the early May Bank Holiday weekend – here’s hoping we remember to pack everything this time.

There’s a full set of photos here: Flickr

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