“What is a Brit Stopper?” we asked, while chatting to a couple who had parked their camper van in the car park of a pub. We were staying in a nearby campsite at the time and had visited the pub for a meal. “You just buy the annual Brit Stop’s book and all the places you can park are listed, it’s great!” they said.
As soon as I could, I got on the Brit Stops website and ordered our book, £28 I believe it was, which is around what you’d pay for one nights stay at a campsite. Don’t get me wrong, campsites are brilliant with the facilities they offer and security, but sometimes, especially while travelling in a camper van, all you need is a safe parking space, knowing you’re not going to get moved on. That’s exactly what Brit Stops’ is all about. They’re businesses such as pubs, restaurants, shops, farms, vineyards etc offering you the use of a parking space on their land for the evening.
Some Brit Stops offer facilities, such as being able to fill up with water or get rid of grey water, toilet waste or rubbish, but sometimes its just a welcome parking spot. All very helpful and it’s manners to maybe have a few pints of their best beer, or tantalise your tastebuds with what they have on offer from their menus or take a peek in their shop.
During July we, (myself, Jon, our two dogs and two cats) set off again, on our annual cruise from our mooring in South Yorkshire, in our home on the water. Last year, we travelled up to York and loved every minute of it. This time, we said we’d like to explore other areas of the canal system, but with Jon’s work primarily being around the York area this summer we decided to head up to that magnificent city again, and why not?
The whole journey is fabulous from the South Yorkshire navigation to the Aire and Calder River, onto the beautiful Selby canal, braving the rapid Ouse river toward Naburn and then a sedate trip into York.
There’s always so much more to explore there too, especially as I’m a bit of a history lover so York again? Absolutely! Who knows, we may just head up further along another stunning stretch of water, the Ripon canal which leads to the heart of Ripon, if time allows, well that was the plan…
Last Summer we took our first big cruise from South Yorkshire to York in our floating home. By car it would take around an hour to get to York from where we have our permanent mooring in South Yorkshire, but on our canal boat last summer, we enjoyed a leisurely week or so of cruising, with a few exciting moments and experiences along the way, a truly enjoyable cruise along, approximately 19 miles of the industrial South Yorkshire Navigation, 6 miles of the very straight, yet interesting NewJunction Canal with it’s, quite different swing and lift Bridges, then 9 miles of the Aire and Calder Navigation with it’s stretching views over the English countryside. We then met the tranquility of the Selby Canal, with it’s 5 miles of Continue reading “We Made It To York!”→
I learnt how to snowboard in my early forties. One of the main reasons for me was because both my sons were learning to snowboard at that time and they were naturals, making it look so easy. They took to it like a duck to water and as I watched them from the viewing area of the indoor ski centre, strap on their boards and slide down the slope with grace, ease and without fear I wanted to be out there with them, it was something we could do together. Oh the holidays we could have, I was quite excited at the thought. I remember approaching Jon with the idea knowing he wouldn’t hesitate because he’d be up for the challenge and Oh yeah… Continue reading “No Excuses – Lets Just Do It!”→
If you’ve read parts 1 & 2 of our cruise to York, I would firstly like to thank you for persevering, reading my ramblings and secondly, you may have realised we were not looking forward to The River Ouse part, because we’re wimps? Yes maybe, but also because we’d heard many boaters speak of their own experiences which ranged from being enjoyable to having to be rescued by the coastguard, (more of that story in a later post). Other boats were doing this run everyday, (well probably not in extreme weather conditions unless they were totally nuts) so we kept saying, “If we want to take the boat to York, we have to cruise the Ouse – Let’s do this!”Continue reading “A Slow Meander to York – Part 3 – Tackling Our Tidal Fear”→
We bought ‘Head in the Clouds’, over sixteen years ago, she was an empty rusty shell and has been transformed into our home. There are still many things needing to be done to her, but we were able to move aboard last October and so far, we love livingthe boat life.
Since selling up and moving onto our boat October 2017, it seemed to take quite a while to get ourselves settled in, which meant it took quite a while before going out for a cruise, although we did have our first Winter on the boat, survived, loved it and were toasty warm. Jon was also busy doing quite a bit of maintenance work on the boat which included booking her in to dry dock to get her bottom blacked – sounds painful, I know, but it’s just something that needs doing every few years, consisting of the boat being out of the water in order for us to check the hull, do any repairs or welding jobs and re-paint. We were booked in for the end of July 2018, so we thought we’d take the opportunity to spend early July cruising up the Selby Canal and the River Ouse towards York and maybe beyond and as our neighbours were on their way to Knottingley to have their bottom blacked, we thought we’d join them for the first part of our slow meander.
I awoke this morning really early, to the sound of very noisy birds, singing & twittering to their hearts content, not caring at all that there are people trying to sleep on this boat. I was quite excited because today I was travelling to London. Continue reading “A Day Of Contrasts”→
Going to Whistler last year, was supposed to be a one off ‘special’ snowboarding trip for us and although we had a great time, we certainly didn’t think we’d be going again soon as it was a little on the expensive side, but of course it was fabulous and it left us feeling that we’d just love to see a lot more of that beautiful country, so of course we would have to add more of Canada to our never ending travel wish list or so we thought..Continue reading “A Good Excuse to go back to Canada!”→
I was in London for a flying visit to meet my youngest son from his three months away in Canada, but as I woke up excited in my hotel room, looking forward to seeing his face, the morning soon turned out to be a disappointment to hear that his plane had been cancelled and he was now due the next day. So, there was a day to kill… a tootle about London it was to be then.
I wrote this post last May, before we’d sold the house and moved onto the boat. We are so looking forward to cruising soon as work commitments and other practicalities have delayed us, but in the mean time it was nice to have a look back at one of our favourite trips. It was also our cats maiden voyage…
(First posted 5 Mar 2017) This was more or less a year ago now and when I think back to the amount of work which went into actually achieving this I’m really quite amazed it only took a year. From selling a business and a house, to packing up, I wrote another post onde-cluttering, storing everything we couldn’t take with us to the boat, then moving on, (doesn’t actually sound a lot does it?) What a year!! Just made me smile when I read this again, we’d just come back from our first visit to Canada and during that holiday had made a BIG decision… It’s time to sell up and live on a boat
It was our first time to Schladming so we didn’t know what to expect, but after a long and (click if you’d like to read about our)eventful journey, we thankfully arrived in this beautiful, snowy, Austrian town.
In October of last year my partner and I picked up the last of the packing boxes, handed over the keys and walked away from our house which we’d lived in for 14 happy years. We did this with certainty in our minds that we were doing the right thing as time had very quickly, but inevitably moved on, my boys had moved away and were happily getting on with their own lives so it was now time to think out of the box, move away from a dangerously boring ‘rut’ we could’ve easily have settled in to and do something a little different ourselves.
We moved onto our canal boat, aptly named, ‘Head in the Clouds’. No, it’s not beautifully finished, in fact there’s still quite a lot to fix, maintain and build, but hey… “we’ll manage to live on it while we finish doing it up right?” we had both said. Continue reading “How To Create a Utility Room on a Boat”→