Published: September 27th 2010September 27th 2010
There are many excitements in going away in a motorhome for the weekend and a visit from the Tooth Fairy and ice cream for breakfast must be top on the list of those! These perhaps weren’t the best bits for the adults involved but for 6 year old Tom I reckon they were as good as it gets. So, how did it all come about?
The trip was planned around visits to two friends who live in the Colne Valley, near Huddersfield, an area with a rich industrial history and a spectacular landscape. The legacies of the textile industry are all around - weaver’s cottages, mills and of course the canal that is now fully navigable again for 20 miles between Huddersfield and Ashton under Lyme in Greater Manchester. Motorhome hire
seemed a great option; we could move between our two friends easily, take everything we needed with us and avoid the inevitable put up beds at their houses!
The canal was something of a focus for us and a trip to The Moonraker floating tea shop in Slaithwaite should not be missed. In fact we parked our motorhome overnight on the canal side, ready for a ‘full English’ at opening time on Saturday. The proprietor Valerie is a wonderful host and as popular with all the dogs having their ritual morning stroll canal side too ... her box of dog chews is clearly well known as they all pop their heads into the boat for a morning ‘hello’. This is also where the ice cream for breakfast came in; Tom worked his way through beans on toast, a toasted tea cake and finally a cone with a chocolate flake and chocolate sauce ... reward for a very wobbly tooth (which would soon have its final wobble).
The summit of the Huddersfield Narrow Canal is the highest navigable waterway in Britain and Standedge Tunnel is Britain's longest canal tunnel. On this occasion we headed in the opposite direction and a stroll to Golcar to visit the Colne Valley Museum, a collection of traditional weaver’s cottages that transport you back to the 1850s ... or at least that’s what the publicity says. After a 3 or so mile walk we found we were an hour and a half early and that kind of wait is a bit beyond the average six year old. We worked our way back to the motorhome and were regaled with the advancement of the wobble continuously for the entire return journey.
Finally the end of the wobble, and a delighted call of ‘it’s out’. Of course the Tooth Fairy can even find you in a motorhome and when you are in the over cab bed; how clever. With the spoils of the Tooth Fairy to spend (50p these days) a trip was made to the Yorkshire Sculpture Park. It’s fantastic value as you pay just £4.00 for the car park and can spend the day wandering the galleries and grounds.
The current extensive exhibition is of work by David Nash, tracing the evolution of the artist's forty-year career and offering a vivid statement of his life's work. Sculpture in wood, installation and drawings range across the Park. This is the largest exhibition by the internationally acclaimed artist who works with trees to create sculpture, installation, projects and related drawings. Tom loved the freedom to run from exhibit to exhibit in the grounds, to interact with the displays and particularly one of the artist's most celebrated projects, Wooden Boulder. This is a film about a large piece of 200 year-old oak released into a stream in the Welsh mountains in 1978, whose journey is documented through drawing, film and photograph - strangely fascinating.
We’d been baffled, exhilarated and challenged by the works in equal measure. It was a hugely enjoyable day out that ended with a spaghetti bolognese that we could make from scratch in the motorhome still in the Park’s car park as the sun started to set on a wonderful weekend of motorhoming. I think we are hooked on motorhome rental
as a flexible way to get about for weekends away and even a longer holiday.