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Saturday, 3 July 2021

Tour of North Yorkshire and Northumberland - day 3


I’m not sure if the dawn chorus was quieter at the top end of the moors or if it was just the absence of crows that allowed me to sleep better, but I really had a very peaceful night’s sleep.

We knew we had over an hour’s drive ahead of us and wanted to stop off and top up on fuel, so the plan was to wake Neil earlier (about 7:30) and get packed up and off. The pub where we were staying had a water tap too and we’d asked if we could fill up before leaving. They were all set up for this and the owner came and showed us where to get water.


The journey went quite well, considering it’s our first time out of familiar territory. We continued past Guisborough and skirted Middlesbrough, where we kept losing Goole GPS. In the middle of the most complicated part of the journey, Mrs Google kept jumping us around and thinking we were in a field, resulting in some alarming, rushed instructions. I told Neil (quite firmly) to ignore her and listen to me. I was glad though when we reached the A1 and could just relax a bit.

We parked in the coach area at Beamish, which was surprisingly full. There were other motorhomes there as well as coaches and buses.

It was difficult to decide which chair to use. In reality, my mountain trike would be better for cobbles and uneven ground but I was rightly expecting narrow doorways and small indoor spaces, so I took my normal chair with my freewheel. My freewheel really needs a service or something (possibly even replacing) but I don’t use it much now. Having said that, it was definitely the right combination for Beamish. My loopwheels come into their own on cobbles as they reduce vibration so much and make the ride smoother and easier.

Photo of me in my wheelchair with Loopwheels and a Freewheel. Liggy, my black lab, is sitting in front of me. The road is cobbled and uneven.

Beamish is much bigger than I remember. I’m guessing it is constantly expanding and evolving. There was far too much to write about, so I’ll focus on a couple of accessibility details.

At the moment, most of the transport around the site is not operational because of Covid restrictions, but they have got their wheelchair accessible bus running, plus one normal double decker. The wheelchair bus can be called by a member of staff but seemed to be doing circuits of the site anyway. At the moment, only one or two groups can use it at the same time, so that you can stay distanced, so at the end of the day, we had to wait for it to come back again – about 15 to 20 mins.

Photo of an old yellow omnibus, with a sign in the window saying wheelchair accessible vehicle.

This vehicle was a really good example of proper access. It had a platform lift on the back, which I could roll on and off independently and with ease. Inside, you could be hooked down but they obviously decided I’d be okay to just put my brakes on and hold onto a rail. It only goes slowly, so this was fine. It meant I could sit with Neil and Liggy. We used it for both return journeys to avoid very long uphill pushing in the heat.

For what was supposed to be a mainly cloudy and cool day, it was very hot and sunny!

On the slight downside, but only as we expected, there were quite a few places I couldn’t access due to steps. Some of the shops had steps up and all the houses. Like I said, I had expected that, and it didn’t bother me. At one time, I would have also been kept out by Covid one-way systems but now, if it’s quiet and safe, I just go the wrong way and apologise to anyone who glares.

Onto the most important thing – toilets. There were toilets in each area and mostly, there were accessible ones. At the main entrance, is a changing places toilet. It’s not as big as most changing places, and it doesn’t have a radar lock… however today, toilets were clean and the accessible toilets were always free, so I was a happy girl.

By the time we left, just after four o’ clock, the coach park was deserted, and we were the only vehicle left. It looked really funny, our motorhome sitting there, all by itself in a huge parking area. I guess most of the others were school trips which had left by mid-afternoon.


It was only a short drive to our next BritStop but we made the mistake of not checking the route thoroughly first. It was the narrowest windiest concoction of steep hills we could possibly have found. Thankfully, we have now checked and found a better route out for the journey north.

This time, we’re at a hotel. It has a lot of land and they were happy for Liggy to play out on the vast lawns after dinner, so she got a very welcome game of frisbee, which finished off her day just nicely.

First though, we had another delicious meal, and this time, we decided to eat in. Everybody else was eating in the outdoor restaurant, so we were the only people indoors. Normally, it’s for me that we do this, but Neil had had a really bad day with his hay fever. In fact, I can’t remember him being quite this bad in a long time! So it was as much for him as me that we wanted to be in the cool, pollen-free indoors.

Photo of Neil sitting at an indoor dining table which has the BritStops book on it. There are also two meals: a burger meal and a fish and chips meal.

There was supposed to be WiFi here but it doesn’t work. The sign-in page won’t load at all so I’m writing in a Word document again, ready to copy and paste into Blogger. We took a lot of photos at Beamish too, so I want to get them imported into Lightroom, check them and do some touching up where needed, before deciding which ones to use here.

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