We finished work early and headed off to Thirsk at lunchtime. It was race day and when the races are on the Caravan Club site is used for race goers parking.
Whilst this is happening caravans and motorhomes move up the lane on to a rally field.
This has a superb view across the race course and is only 10-15 feet away from the track. After parking up we walked to Tesco and bought a picnic lunch to enjoy in the motorhome. (Both Tesco and Lidl are very close to the site).
The races started at 2 pm and although most of them were on the other side, 2 of them started from right in front of us! For horse lovers there was also an opportunity to see the horses being walked to and from the races. The last race was at 6pm and at 7pm Graham the warden cycled up to tell us that we could all now move back onto the site. In organised single file we headed down the lane and onto our pitches. It is amazing how quickly the wardens transform the site back from car park to spick and span pitches again. This site is always very clean and tidy thanks to the hardworking wardens who are also very helpful and friendly.
After setting up we headed into Thirsk (10 minutes walk) and ate at Weatherspoons. We were lucky to get a table as it was still quite busy with the folks who had enjoyed an afternoon at the races. We had a nice meal and it was quite dark as we walked back. The nights are really starting to draw in! There are lots of pubs to choose from in Thirsk and plenty of takeaways – we counted 3 Chinese, 2 Indian and 2 fish & chip shops which is very impressive for a small market town.
It rained in the night but we woke up to a sunny day although it was quite blustery. After breakfast we walked back into town. There is a small market on Saturdays. Near the clock tower there is a really good fruit & veg shop. After making our purchases in town we went back to the site.
We unhooked from the electric and set off on a little trip up the A19 to Mount Grace Priory which was a 20 minute drive away. After leaving the dual carriageway the approach road was just a single track with a few passing places so we were relieved that we didn’t meet anything.
This is an English Heritage/ National Trust property so we got in free on our card otherwise the entrance fee is £5.60 per person. It is a 14th century Carthusian priory ruin and manor house. The Carthusians were a vegetarian and silent order of monks. Each monk lived in a “cell” and received their meals through a hole in the wall. The ruins of the priory still clearly show the layout.One of the “cells” has been reconstructed and furnished to show what life was like for them.
Their cells were actually a very spacious 2 up 2 down arrangement complete with their own garden to work in. I could comfortably live there but would struggle with the vow of silence! The priory had a very clever water system and you can still see the drainage and latrine channels. It was very peaceful here. There are picnic tables if you wish to bring a picnic. The priory is home to stoats but we didn’t see them.
The manor house has an exhibition and lots of information about the priory and also 2 rooms are decorated in the arts and crafts style. To the front of the manor house is a nice garden to wander through with a pond.
After an enjoyable and interesting afternoon we drove back to Thirsk and had a relaxing evening.
The next morning, the wind had dropped and it was a warm, sunny day (why is the best weather always when you have to go home?) and after a pleasant morning we set off for home.