Alston & blissards
Trip Start Feb 19, 1982
30Trip End Mar 26, 1982
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After breakfast walked along River Wear past castle to Cathedral. It is Norman and very impressive. Quite different. Very decorated and huge decorated pillars. Venerable Bede's tomb in Gallilae Chapel. St Cuthbert also buried here. Nearly got blown away in wind. Walked through narrow cobbled streets. Drove through Brandon and Brancepeth where there was a huge magnificent privately owned castle. Drove through Staindrop, cute little village. Just before it is Raby Castle set in parkland. Next stopped at Barnard Castle where there is a ruined castle by the river Tees. We then set off on a remote road. We kept driving through snowstorms. We’d see them up ahead and then we’d be in them. Usually only lasted a few minutes and then sunny again. Everything looked very pretty. Drove through Romaldkirk, pretty little village built of stone around village green. In village green were old stocks. Saw old church with lovely stained glass. Marauded by William Conqueror and the Scots. Snowing here. Stopped at the next village, Mickleton for a drink. Nice old pub. Brad talking to the locals - have sing-alongs on Saturday nights.
Drove through Middleton in Tees and Landon Beck. Just outside Langdon Beck started to climb uphill. Not far out and hit by snow blizzard - visibility zero - could not see a thing. Stopped in middle of road for ¾ hour until we could see. Cleared so we got out and played in snow. I fell over on road because so icy. Just about to go and another blizzard hit us. Waited for a while. Car wouldn’t go because tyres wouldn’t grip on icy road. Most of windscreen covered with ice. Eventually started and drove about 10 miles per hour. Snow thick everywhere. Up to my knees by side of road and thick ice on road.
Eventually crawled into village of Altston and then onto Slaggyford to find a B and B but the lady wasn’t at home. Still snowing heavily so went back to Alston to get a room. Car fishtailed around corner but luckily didn’t collect the wall. Virtually had no control over car. Truck and car stuck on hill but we managed to get up it. Arrived in Alston and went to pub for cup of tea. Walked up road in snow and bought Wellingtons. Everything covered in snow. Booked in at Blue Bell Hotel 13 pounds per double. I went to bed after watching TV with migraine. 9 pm went downstairs for dinner and had pork chops and apple sauce.