Weight Expectations

Having departed York, we headed west towards the ancient market town of Knaresborough which boasts a mention in the Domesday Book, still has the remnants of a once imposing Norman castle and whose magnificent viaduct straddles the river Nidd in Nidderdale – both of which sound like names from a Monty Python sketch (The Knights Who Say Nidd anyone?)

Knaresborough seen from the Castle grounds

We stayed at the Caravan & Motorhome Club’s Knaresborough campsite and once again had difficulty in booking due to the site being full on Fridays and Saturdays! Still, caravans and motorhomes aren’t cheap so I do at least applaud their use in all seasons rather than just sitting on a drive save for a quick trip away in the summer. 

We were lucky to arrive around lunchtime in glorious sunshine so having checked in and pitched up we walked back down into Knaresborough as it was only a mile and a half away.

The town itself is lovely and, with it being Sunday afternoon, was quite busy with singles, couples, families and an unusual number of dogs all meandering about and enjoying the winter sunshine.

The castle ruins were definitely on the agenda and once again I was pleased to see that entrance to the castle (or at least what was left of it) and its grounds were completely free for all to wander around, as we did although Jack spent most of his time trying to hide from all the other dogs – he’s such a wuss!

Knaresborough Castle ruins
Castle ruins seen from the rear

From the castle, there is quite a steep drop via a number of stone steps to the riverside where a profusion of bars and cafes were plying their wares to the passing crowds. In summer I’m sure they would be even more packed than they were today with punters enjoying a tranquil riverside view to accompany their snacks. It was all very picturesque though and the late afternoon sun picked out the colour of the buildings beautifully – albeit that the sun was in the wrong location for a really good shot of the viaduct!

Viaduct over the River Nidd. (Worked better in Black & White because of the sun’s angle!)

One of the main reasons for visiting Knaresborough, charms of the town aside, was to catch up with my cousin Mick and his wife Yvonne which we did the following day and, predictably, had a great laugh catching up over far too many biscuits!

Unusually for a Club site, Knaresborough has an on-site bar and restaurant called The Wanderer. Normally, I’m not a fan of any such thing on a site as it can often be filled with the wrong sort of people (children) but as there were none of these on site I thought I’d try it out so one night I left Annie catching up on Call the Midwife as I enjoyed a couple of episodes of Call the Barman. A successful evening all round then.

The Wanderer Bar & Bistro at Knaresborough (Image courtesy the Caravan & Motorhome Club)

The stay at Knaresborough was a short one as Sally had an appointment to get her weight problem sorted out. Because we are, effectively, fully loaded all the time (whereas a “normal” van has different loads depending on the circumstances) we decided to have air suspension fitted to the rear which assists the standard suspension by means of a couple of inflatable air-bags mounted between the body and the axle.

The system we chose was the VB Semi-Air system which can either be ordered as a kit only or can be fitted by an expert. Now although I know my way around a spanner something like this was WAY too complicated and important for me to attempt so an appointment with the brilliant Rhino Installs in Preston was duly booked and we had to move over the Southport club site for a couple of days whilst the work could be completed.

So with her weight problem sorted, Sally has now had a bum-lift and certainly sits a little higher off the floor at the rear. In addition to carrying the extra weight, she certainly rides a lot better over the utterly APPALLING surfaces which comprise the majority of Britain’s A-road network!

Annie says if only her weight problem could be sorted so easily…*


(* I, of course replied that she hasn’t got a weight problem)

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