Website: dalby-forest.co.uk/camping-dalby-forest.htm | Phone: 01751 460294 | Postcode: YO18 7LU
Our weekend at Pexton Moor Farm campsite marked our first camping trip without the Mazda Bongo campervan, This was a test run with our new Camp-let Concorde trailer tent (click here to read about our reasons for the change). This was also likely to be our first and last camping trip of the year – we have not managed to fit in as many camping breaks as usual this year.
We chose this site for its location, close to Pickering, as we had been given some gift vouchers for the North Yorkshire Moors Railway and wanted to use them for a trip on the steam train from Pickering to Whitby.
We arrived on Friday evening and had just enough time to get the trailer pitched before dark. The owners were friendly when we called ahead to book at fairly short notice, and very helpful when we arrived. The site is located right next to the entrance to Dalby Forest so would be an ideal base for keen walkers and mountain bikers. We noticed a lot of people had brought bikes, and would like to try the forest trails ourselves in future. There are just under 50 camping pitches spread over two adjacent fields which share a facilities block. The site is also a working farm and there was plenty of farm machinery on display to hold our two-year-old’s interest.
On Saturday morning we headed into Pickering and took the steam train through to Whitby (a journey of around 1hr 45minutes). The steam services can be busy (and worth noting that at certain times of the year a diesel locomotive runs some of the routes), but we managed to get seated in a compartment and enjoyed the trip. Old train carriages like these really highlight how much rail travel has changed even over just the last 20 or 30 years – sometimes for the better (journeys must be far safer now that it’s not possible to pull down the windows in the carriage doors and stick your head out while the train is moving!) and sometimes for the worse (particularly the level of comfort and space). We spent a few hours in Whitby, found somewhere for lunch and dashed between shops sheltering from the rain before taking the next steam service back to Pickering. We’re big fans of Whitby and have spent some very enjoyable days there, but there isn’t a lot to do in the pouring rain with a 2 year old!
I couldn’t resist popping in to The Waiting Room on our way past – a micropub located in Whitby’s railway station – to pick up a 2 pint takeout to enjoy that evening.
We didn’t have the best weather, it rained overnight on our first night, and continued to rain for most of the weekend. The campsite fared well, and didn’t become waterlogged though inevitibly water and mud got dragged into the toilet blocks, but there isn’t much that the owners can do about that.
Unfortunately the bad weather meant packing away a wet trailer and this is where our inexperience became obvious (despite a couple of practice attempts before we’d left home). We had packed one half of the trailer with pillows, sleeping bags and various bits of camping paraphernalia before folding the other half on top. There is supposed to be plenty of storage space inside the folded up trailer, but I think it’s important to keep everything away from the edges otherwise the poles won’t fold flat and the two halves of the trailer wont fully close. After several attempts at re-packing, we still weren’t getting anywhere… and then it started to rain again. A few more attempts at opening it up, moving things around and closing it again and I was beginning to get frustrated – we never had this issue with the campervan! Finally we got the two halves within a couple of centimetres of closing, and with a bit of added weight pushing one half down (in the form of Anna and her 7-month pregnant bump) I managed to lock the trailer shut. More practice will definitely be required, but that can wait for a warm dry day and the privacy of our own front garden. At least we provided some entertainment for the other campers!