This weekend I am off to the northern Yorkshire Dales for a bit of a cushy break - aiming to spend two nights in nice hotels.
No! Not for me the thrashing of Wanda's flanks in the wind and rain or the boggy paddle though the marsh-grass at five or six in the morning to answer the call of nature...
No. Not this weekend anyway. I shall be living it up in a bit of luxury for a change. I shall be taking the plimsolls for an outing as well to see how they get along as the weather forecast is, shall we say, "mixed"...
I stayed at the first hotel, Keld Lodge, of this weekend's trip back on my LEJOG in 2007, when it was newly opened and they still had carpenters and decorators in, finishing it off, and always promised myself a return trip. It will be interesting to see how it is now - it was lovely when I stayed there before. It used to be the Youth Hostel, but amazingly the YHA couldn't (or wouldn't?) make it pay (at the junction of the Coast to Coast and Pennine Way!) and sold it off to fund a huge gap in their balance sheet following the Foot & Mouth epidemic and years of mis-management of the Association.
The second hotel, in Arkengarthdale, will be a mystery break - I have not stayed there before but I am going there almost as a 'hotel inspector.' I have been offered a free night's Dinner, B&B package to 'test it out' and let everyone know what its like. It's The Charles Bathurst Inn and from their website it looks really good and is set amongst some lovely Dales scenery - so it looks like an ideal place for a break.
I am being given free rein to write whatever I like about my stay, so I thought it would be a great idea - so I am thoroughly looking forward to the weekend.
So - you will hear more upon my return! Have a good weekend, everyone.