Tue
Jul
15

2008

High Security at Castle Howard

We spent last weekend at a campsite in Slingsby. It’s a really nice, quiet Camping and Caravanning Club site a few miles north of York with clean loos and showers. Not what you would find at, say, Glastonbury or the V Festival.
On the way there, we were held up by going home time traffic, car crashes and a Meat Loaf rock concert at Castle Howard. 3 hours to drive 100 miles! It was rubbish.
Happily, we have a tent that goes up in less than 10 minutes, so while drinking our traditional beer we were in and eating our dinner in no time.

After a wonderful nights sleep, we got up at the crack of 10:30 for bacon butties and got away for a long walk around Castle Howard.
Steve in a wheat field
All around this area is arable land stuffed full of wheat, barley and beans. In a blatant attempt to get more photo’s of me on the Internet, I can’t resist showing me walking through a wheat field.

So what was the point of telling of our drive up to Slingsby? The clue was Meat Loaf. It turns out that he, Boyzone (uhg!) and Katie Melua were all performing over the weekend and the place was swarming with security guards.
I had plotted a 17 mile route right around the grounds of Castle Howard. It really is a delightful place to wander with some fabulous views. At one point, though, we ran into a security guard at an entrance to the castle grounds and he made the mistake of telling us we couldn’t walk along the public footpaths.
Now, I have tried telling Steff that she can’t do things before and it isn’t a healthy option. I was dead proud of her. She started asking him if they had arranged for planning permission to shut the paths. Answer – “Yes”. Then she asked where the signs where showing that they were temporarily shut. Answer – “Errm”. And what, may she ask, were they doing about diverting us away from our legal Right Of Way?
At this point, the poor chap had had quite enough and got onto his walkie talkie. He obviously hadn’t been briefed properly because his boss made it quite clear that we should be allowed to carry on.

The moral to this tale is never, ever, believe a chap with a yellow high-viz jacket who tells you that you are not allowed to walk along a public footpath.

All together a great weekend and a long walk.

- Steve.

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