Motorhome Road Trip: Durham to Edinburgh

Wow, today was a very exciting day! Our fist stop was Durham.

View of Durham

The main attraction was the cathedral, because of its use in the first two Harry Potter movies. Before we went in i spied this very attractive knocker on the door.

Knocker to Durham cathedral

The courtyard was beautiful. Instantly recognisable.

Durham cathedral courtyard

The corridors around the outside of the courtyard were also used extensively in the first two movies. Most of the cast have walked down here.

Durham cathedral

Professor McGonagall’s classroom is Chapter House, sadly closed to the public today but we got a peek through a window.

Chapter House, Durham Cathedral

I also found the castle quite appealing.

Durham Castle

We journeyed on. I had to take a detour at Gateshead to show Liam the stunning Angel Of The North sculpture by Antony Gormley.

Angel Of The North

The Angel has a lovely view.

View from The Angel Of The North

Our next stop was Alnwick Castle in Northumberland. We knew it would be closed, and the light was fading fast by this point, but this is as close as we managed to get.

Alnwick Castle

It is another location used for the first two movies, particularly the flying lessons.

We stopped for a while in Alnwick to eat grilled cheese! :)

Then we got a club mix on loud and traveled on up into Scotland. We cheered when we crossed the border! We made it to Edinburgh and have found a nice place to park for two nights. Tomorrow we’ll see all the best sights in Edinburgh, including the cafe where Jo began writing Harry Potter, and the hotel where the series was concluded. And we are massively looking forward to Hogmanay in Edinburgh!

For tonight though, it’s time for a well deserved drink!

Time for a drink!

We have a long way still to go next week: Glasgow, Manchester, Liverpool and down through Wales to Cardiff and Newport, then across to Bristol, Bath and Oxford before heading back to London.

Please follow us on twitter: @sermoa and @findthepilgrim. Use the hashtag #motorhomeroadtrip to keep up with us! If we’re passing your way, tweet us and we might manage to meet up with you!

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Motorhome Road Trip: Through the Yorkshire Moors

Wow. Today was an epic motorhome adventure! Saw some amazing scenery, met a friend by surprise, got lost a few times, visited some historic Harry Potter landmarks!

We have found quite a nice routine now. We wake up about 7am, have breakfast and a shower, hit the road by about 9am. Spend the day driving, exploring, taking photos. Find the campsite for the night, cook some dinner, then settle into an evening of drinking and watching Harry Potter movies!

So this morning we saw more of Sherwood Forest .. more than intended, actually, thanks to the very limited 3G and GPS signals! We had to resort to the paper atlas to help find the way to York.

We took the Park & Ride in York and were soon admiring the delightful sights, such as the River Ouse.

River Ouse

I was drawn towards The Shambles, and i wasn’t disappointed. It reminded us strongly of Diagon Alley!

Diagon Alley?

I loved some of the crooked buildings in that street. For the first time, the “antique” filter turned out to be quite appropriate!

Crooked buildings in The Shambles, York

We even saw a street that looks like it leads to Knockturn Alley:

This way to Knockturn Alley

We had a very happy chance meetup with @tweetyaca who happened to be in York at the same time .. who gave us a tip about the best place to stand for a great view of York station:

York train station

Our next stop was Goathland railway station. Liam asked me weeks ago if we could go there. I saw that it could be more-or-less on our route up north, so i said, “Yes, sure!” All i knew was that it was in the Yorkshire Moors and that i should probably fill up with fuel before we went there!

I had a feeling the Yorkshire Moors would be quite good scenery, but even i found myself breathtaken by the miles and miles of stunning hills and moors. Thanks to Liam for taking this photo while i was too busy looking where i was going and trying not to fall off the edge of the cliffs!

Yorkshire Moors

It took about an hour of driving through remote moorlands until we came to Goathland, a tiny village with a most beautiful train station.

We were very lucky to be there when a train pulled into the station, looking very much like the Hogwarts Express. You almost expected Hagrid to arrive and say, “First years this way!”

Goathland station

I’m so glad we went to Goathland, it was very good to get off the motorways and into the remote countryside, to see those views and visit that iconic station.

Tonight we made our way north, out of Yorkshire and into Teeside, somewhere near Middlesborough. This will make a very pleasant stop for the night, and tomorrow we’ll go on into Durham, up through Newcastle and up the north-east coast, continuing our journey towards Edinburgh.

But for now, it is the time to relax. We know exactly how to do that!

Time to relax!

As i’ve said before, here is a map of all the places we intend to visit: Liam and aimee’s Motorhome Road Trip.

Please follow us on twitter: @sermoa and @findthepilgrim. Use the hashtag #motorhomeroadtrip to keep up with us!

If you’re along our route and would like to meet, tweet us and we’ll see if we can meet .. if we like you, of course! ;)

Motorhome Road Trip: Cambridgeshire to Nottinghamshire

So we woke up this morning and had pancakes with bacon and maple syrup for breakfast. An excellent way to begin any day, but especially good for a day of adventures!

Bacon and maple syrup on pancakes

We went for a brief explore of Cambridge. It had to be brief, because the only place i could find to park a 3 metre high motorhome was a 1 hour maximum stay on a street. So we rushed round and saw the colleges and the river Cam …

College in Cambridge

River Cam

Cambridge has some interesting architecture. Look at the mashup of brickwork in this building!

Intereting brickwork in Cambridge

Our hour being up, we returned to Drifter and headed towards Peterborough. The scenery on the way was so beautiful, i just had to stop in a layby, climb up on my roof and take this photo!

Scenery in Cambridgeshire

We spent a good deal of time in Peterborough library doing some family history research for Liam, which went well.

The centre of Peterborough still felt quite Christmassy and i loved the ferris wheel!

Centre of Peterborough

We took an hour out to visit my grandparents who live near Peterborough, and then we journeyed on to Nottinghamshire.

Tonight we are actually staying inside Sherwood Forest. I couldn’t believe us when Google maps directed us right into Clumber Park, with a gated entrance, looking completely dark inside! We got a bit lost in the thick forest, which was kinda spooky! But soon enough we found the Caravan Club site where we’ll stay the night. There is no 3G here so my magical internet box doesn’t work, but we’re just about coping on the Caravan Club wifi!

Tomorrow we’ll travel through the Yorkshire moors, the highlight being Goathland railway station, which is the station used for Hogsmeade in the Harry Potter movies. From there we’re heading up towards Durham.

As i said yesterday, here is a map of all the places we intend to visit: Liam and aimee’s Motorhome Road Trip.

Please follow us on twitter: @sermoa and @findthepilgrim. Use the hashtag #motorhomeroadtrip to keep up with us!

If you’re along our route and would like to meet, tweet us and we’ll see if we can schedule in a stop!

Motorhome Road Trip

Well hello to you dear readers!

As you probably know, one of the most unusual things about me is that i live in a motorhome. I find it a great joy to keep moving, never settle somewhere, rock up anywhere and have everything i need with me in my van. It’s great.

Here’s my home on a typical weekend away travelling ..

Drifter

I’ve always wanted to do a road trip around the UK, and as my friend Liam is currently visiting me from Chicago, this is the perfect opportunity. Liam wanted to be in Edinburgh for New Year, and i know you can drive to Edinburgh in a day .. but i just thought, what if we took our time, visited lots of places along the way? I booked up several campsites and we’re taking two weeks to tour England, Scotland and Wales.

I picked up Liam from Heathrow on Christmas Eve. Our first trip was to Kent, with our mascot, Bouncy Santa hanging from the rear view mirror!

Bouncy Santa

The first night, Liam had pretty bad jetlag, and quickly found out that my bed is a nice cosy place to sleep!

Sleepy Liam

We spent Christmas Day with my mum in Kent, Boxing day with my dad in Essex, and then today our road trip began for real.

Liam feet up

We journeyed from Essex through Hertfordshire, to Cambridgeshire, land of flat farmlands. We saw this pretty amazing water cleaning tower along the way.

Water cleaning tower

Tomorrow we will visit Cambridge and Peterborough, as we travel on to Nottinghamshire. I’m hoping we’ll have some time to stop and take some great photographs. As we’re both Harry Potter fans, we’ll visit some of the film locations along the journey.

Here’s a map of the places we intend to visit: Liam and aimee’s Motorhome Road Trip.

Please follow us on twitter: @sermoa and @findthepilgrim. Use the hashtag #motorhomeroadtrip to keep up with us!

If you’re along our route and would like to meet, tweet us and we’ll see if we can schedule in a stop! You might even get some sausage and eggs cooked in my van! :)