Out in the van – Rivelin Valley, Sheffield

Rivelin Valley, Sheffield. Water, water everywhere

Where: Rivelin Valley, Sheffield, South Yorkshire, England

When: 24th January 2022

Why: Used to live there a lifetime ago, and Mrs Afterwards often reminisces how she took her old dog Chester there to play in the river…

With: Me, Mrs Afterwards and the dog, Theo

Its only about 40 miles and around an hour from halifax, so off we went. The weather was decent enough, grey and calm, and not cold at all – which is great for January.

The Rivelin Valley has a river that runs for miles, with decent paths around it to make it a pleasant and easy walk. The thing that makes it stand out though, is its history of water wheels and industry – all long gone now – dating back to 1581. There are loads of remnants of what was once a thriving area, and it’s amazing to think that for hundreds of years this was an area synonymous with the production of knives and forks that were shipped worldwide. Sheffield steel reached every corner of the globe for hundreds of years and remains a mark of quality to this day.

We all had a great time, especially Theo who got to jump into lakes, puddles, rivers, pools and bogs. So excited was he that I could be oft heard swearing at him as once again he nearly pulled my arm out of the socket as he lurched after one thing or another.

And to top it all off, at the end of what was nearly 2 hours of walking, was a great tuna melt and some rather good chips. Oh, and a Ribena. I think it tasted all the better for being hungry after the walk. Definitely worth the 4 or so hours door to door…

Out in the van – Ogden Water

Ogden Water, Halifax.. Bright blue skies and blustery winds.

Where: Ogden Water, Halifax, West Yorkshire, England

When: 16th January 2022

Why: Took the dog for a walk there, but wanted to take a different path…

With: Just me and the dog, Theo

Ogden water is one of the local Reservoirs, and near to where the kids go to school and perfect for a lap with the dog. Usually I just have a leisurely stroll through the woods around the waters edge, and Theo gets rather excited at the ducks and gulls that wait to be fed by passers by.

Today though I went a different route and passing by Boggart wood and over the victorian promenade I carried out along a path I have see a few times before, but never taken.

Before I knew it my head was freezing cold (as I had neglected to bring a hat), and it was blowing a gale – but wow what a view! Looking back down the valley towards Halifax, everything glistened under the crisp blue skies and the moors stretched invitingly before us as the golfers battled the winds some way below.

The dog had a fantastic time as he darted from bog to bog, the wind seeming to excite him terribly. I only wish I had allowed more time because I think I could have made a full day of it! I certainly will next time…

Out in the van – Emley Moor Mast

Emley Moor Transmitter, Huddersfield. My what a big one you have…

Where: Emley Moor Broadcast Mast. Huddersfield, West Yorkshire, England

When: Monday 10th January 2022

Why: Because I can see it from my house and wanted to see it

With: Just me and the dog, Theo

I can see the old transmitter tower when I walk the dog, which is next to the red lights you see in the picture below. From a distance it has a fabulous Mordor/Lord of the rings vibe to it…

Pre digital, this is where we received out TV signals from and it was once the 6th highest structure in the world. Ive never ben so today me and the dog got in the van and drove out. It is only about 30 minutes drive through Brighouse and over to Huddersfield.

Mostly its a whopping great tower. Big. Really big. You can pull over in a layby and have a peek but you cant get that close (though one day a year you can apparently go up it) and once you’ve appreciated the general bigness you;re kind of done really.

Did I mention it’s big?

We had some hot chocolate and a few ginger biscuits and looked for a nice walk, but despite how out of the way it is up there the walk options are limited so we had a bit of a ramble, a few more biscuits and then headed home.

It’s impressively big but a tad underwhelming as once you get there there’s not a great deal you can do. The views are pretty though. And it’s really big. If you like big stuff…

Out in the van…Humber Bridge Country Park

Under the bridge

Just a few hours out and about meeting with my mum and sister and her family. A socially distanced walk in sleet and snow followed by hot soup and sandwiches and the obligatory tin of quality street.

The country park is wonderful positioned under and around the Humber Bridge and along the Hessle foreshaw and Ill definitely return in the summer.

I didn’t take many photos as it was too chuffing cold!

The joy of the van really is how it can make simple occasions that bit more special…

Happy days!

Out in the van – Knaresborough

Knaresbrough

Its been a funny old year hasn’t it. The van was mostly parked up for the duration as we navigated our way through lockdown and covid restrictions, site closures and utilising the van as storage whilst our house renovations dragged on.

The sum total of all of those distractions and excuses has resulted in us only getting the van out today. Like now. This very moment. Obviously if you dont read this on the 17th of October 2020 Im likely not right here, right now.

Im currently on a site in Knaresboroughin North yorkshire drinking a rather nice south African Sauvignon Blanc with the intentions of watching rugby on TV, ordering take away and doing nothing else.

The boys are here with me and they are happily settled in doing whatever they do and not in the slightest interested in going for a walk or seeing a bit of nature. Given were only here for one night I don’t really mind…its just nice to have a change of scenery.

Oh and obviously the highlight of amy camping trip is to prefix caravan names with ‘anal”. Try it with the photos below. Such filthy fun.

Stay safe my lovelies…

Out in the Van – Ilkley Moor

A day out in Yorkshire. And without one’s hat…

Okay so not strictly speaking a van trip but a great day out clambering about the Cow and Calf up on Ilkley which is just a hop, skip and a jump from where I live.  

Pictures say it all really.  It was windy and somewhat grey but a lovely way to spend a good few hours indeed.

Out in the Van – Saltburn, Skinningrove and Runswick bay.

After a few days inland we headed to the coast because the boys fancied some body boarding. There weren’t great waves but we had a blast anyway. The cold never deterred them one bit and we found some lovely and fairly quiet beaches. (The chilly weather may account for that)

for that).

This is A gorgeous neck of the woods and we will be returning next year for sure.

But for now this is it, time to head to Cottingham in the morning to see my mum then its home in the afternoon.

Happy travels

Out in the van – Northshire Camp Site near Saltburn by the sea.

What a treat indeed…

This camp site gets its own entry because I’ve never see anything like it. As if the gypsy caravans and peacocks weren’t enough it has a freaking replica of Hagrids house, a hobbit hole and a wonderful Tolkien/Rowling – esque tea room.

We’ve been to a few beaches so we could go body boarding but its been such a great site we’ve been keen to get back.

Pics say it all I think…

Out in the van – Settle and Pickering

We headed out to Settle for an overnight camping birthday party desire the weather forecast of fuck loads of rain. Turns out they were wrong. Instead there were fucking shit loads of bastard rain. At one point I’m sure the farmer was bringing in animals two by two.

Eventually a third of the site flooded and we couldn’t get out until the water subsided overnight. We are though English so we don’t allow such thing to put us off.

We had a bbq, I drank too much wine and the kids had a blast.

I should also point out I was in the van whilst everyone was in tents. Dry and toasty.

From there it was 90 miles across yorkshire to Pickering for a quick layover and a family party. The site has great wifi and they delivered breakfast sandwiches so the boys said its the best site ever!

Next stop …well come back in a few days to see…need to get packed up and hit the road.

Out in the Van – Tywyn and Fairbourne, North Wales.

July 2019

What a treat Tywyn is…Found this place by accident and after about three hours of arse numbing bottom clenching driving (due mostly to the final hour on some rather narrow hill top roads) we ended up on a farm right on the beach for 4 days just enjoying some pretty pleasand weather. Though the site had no electric the Solar panels kept the fridge running and the phones charged and me and the boys just spent a lot of time being in the same please with no real pressure to do much at all. There are lots you can do when you’re there which we neglected to enjoy, apart from some bodyboarding in Fairbourne, so we have plenty of reason to head back…

I can see Uranus

One I did for linda for guest in jest…


I think you know I have a childish and somewhat inappropriate sense of humour. I don’t hide it and in fact I am rather fond of it, so you will not be surprised to know that my recent camping adventures have developed a most fantastically inappropriate twist which I am certain you will love too – even if you don’t admit it.

I didn’t come up with – it was something I saw on Amazon’s ‘Grand Tour’ but do know it will stick with me for the rest of my days.

So what is it you ask? Well quite simple really. You know how caravans have fantastically inspirational names, well you put ‘Anal’ in front of them and then giggle like a twelve year old until your wife shouts at you for being so childish. Not that 12 year olds have wives. Well not unless youre american. But I digress…

Check out the photos below and if you don’t manage a chuckle then you’re dead inside! I for one am a big fan on the ‘Anal Hobby’. You may however be a little more of a classical basic humour sort of person and prefer the ‘Anal Breeze’ or perhaps the ever popular ‘Anal ambassador’.

Let me know your favourite…

Out in the Van – Kirkby Lonsdale, Morecombe and Blackpool

June 2019

The youngest was at a party and playing cricket so the eldest and I headed out west to Kirkby Lonsdale. There is a rugby club there I wanted to check out that offer camping and we headed the sixty or so miles cross country to see what the score was.

Well we were indeed most surprised. The site was itself fairly standard fair but my god the views, walks and pubs were magnificent…

Look…see..All of that was within a few minutes of the site and the river view is one described by the artist Turner as one of the most beautiful in England (and therefore the world).

That was mostly Saturday, we wandered, went to the pub for tea instead of cooking, and sat around in the sun which was out for the first time in weeks.

Sunday Morning we packed up and headed to Morecombe to start a leisurely drive home. Alas I chose to take the scenic route and I lost both wing mirrors of the SpiderVan on a particularly narrow with a particularly carelss oncoming driver. Fortunately it was just the casings that broke so pretty cheap to replace. Scary as hell though when we hit his vehicle and a telephone pole at the same time. Or did he hit us? More his fault tbh – he was driving the sort of vehicle only driven by men with small cocks.

Some gaffer tape fixed her right up though. ††

Morecombe has a certain melancholy and sadness about it, but worth a wander about and I think it’s somewhere I would like to return to in winter as I do love a bleak run down seaside town.

Anyway after that we figured next up Blackpool for a spot of lunch before heading home. Ive been to blackpool once before, at night, and the famous illuminations were kinda cool and there were a lot of folk enjoying it and it had a fun if somewhat past its best vibe.

Foolishly this time I went in the day time.

What a shit hole. If it was a man it would be a once fun and charismatic ex who is now long past his best and who sits in his favourite chair with his gut spilling onto his lap, his hand in his pants caressing his unwashed penis and who longingly reminisces about the time he fingered Stacey Cooper at your cousins house party.

Needless to say we just kept driving and headed to a services to grab a Subway instead before heading home.

So all in all a lovely day and a half away and I will definitely be heading back to Kirkby Lonsdale and Morecombe…

Out in the Van – Vale of Pickering and Thornton le Dale

June 2019

Took the van out to the Vale of Pickering this weekend and met up with the extended family. It was only for a couple of nights but probably the first time we have properly set everything up including the all importing bunting and quaint lighting.

First night we just had a barbeque and a few gins which was all rather civilised and the next day it was out to Thornton Le Dale for a walk out into the countryside and to let the kids thrash around in a river for a while.

The van continues to delight and really getting used to living in it now and a second crack at the inflatable awning proved to be pretty easy.

Mrs Afterwards family are from Pickering so it’s a place we know well but it was our first trip to Thornton le Dale and as you can see from the pictures it is as quaint as hell…

Anyway I know you prefer the pictures so here you go…

Wtf

The end is nigh!

I’m away in the van out Flanborough way for a few days with the boys and within 5 minutes of arriving the sky turns into something I imagined would surely herald the end of the world.

I got the tent out that fixes to the van but hastily packed it away as there was no chance of getting it up before the storm arrived.

More to follow but just lying awake rather early due to my snoring, flatulent children and my most urgent bladder…

Next time…less beans…

Day Trip to Whitby

Off again to the Yorkshire seaside.

You can read all about where this lark started here and our first night here. Then there was a trip to scarbrough and now it’s Whitby’s turn…


Whilst I love Scarbrough I simply adore Whitby. The Drive took us out over the North Yorkshire moors and with 2 hours we were parked up next to the harbour.

Whitby has no shortage of history and gave us captain Cook, Dracula and two of the ships that set out to settle in Australia in 1788. Then there is the Abbey (which alas was closed ) which is just truly inspirational.

I really don’t need to go on about the place just look at the photographs…

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