Friday, 16 May 2014

I am Rubbish at Staycations

If you read my last post, you will know that OH did a triathlon on Sunday, then had a whiskey for his birthday.

What happened next completely changed our plans for the week.

Swimming, cycling, running? Pah - they're nothing compared to the challenge that is 'stepping off a pavement'.

Somehow, OH injured his ankle. We were worried he might have sprained it, putting paid to his next challenge - a 100 mile cycle ride from Holborn House on Sunday. Fingers crossed he can still do that if he has recovered sufficiently, but on Tuesday, it looked bad.

So, we had a plan to jump  on a bus, travel to the gorgeous village of Oundle, visit a bike shop there, and walk the hour's walk to Fotheringay Castle. Not with a potential sprain we weren't!

I had high hopes of maybe writing a frugal travelog: Have Bus Pass Will Travel.

...perhaps  there was something else we could do. Where could we go that wouldn't involve a lot of walking about? We settled on Market Harborough.

The X7 bus ride to Market Harborough is undoubtedly very pretty; it goes through the Northamptonshire and Leicestershire countryside. We noticed that every bus stop was at an inviting-looking pub, intersecting with cycle routes and the Jurassic way footpath. Plans were sprung for later walkabouts/pubcrawls.

On alighting, our day trip to Market Harborough started pleasantly enough with tea in the town's oldest bakery: Emerson West.

I did say tea. That's clearly a raspberry 'pressé', But we also had tea.

On strolling into town, we were looking forward to being proper tourists and gazing upon the pretty architecture an ancient market hall, later converted to a Grammar School. Only this is what we saw:

This is what it normally looks like:

Well, how about that church? They're normally good for a look round!

As we approached the doors, we saw a man standing in the aisle of the church playing a trombone. In fact the precise tune was Bette Midler's "Wind Beneath My Wings".

"Hey, must be one of those lunchtime concerts," I said, before OH noticed how formal and sombre the audience looked. Thus, we narrowly avoided walking in on someone's funeral.

Where else can tourists go. The museum! Actually, we did enjoy looking at the Hallerton treasure. This is us trying on helmets. As you do.

It's as fun as it looks.

The rest of the museum is decidedly weird. Built in the old Symingtons Corset Factory, you can go there to see things that make as much sense as silver teapot spouts next to Egyptian mummified cat heads with no explanation as to what or why they are there.

Come - see our old stuff! Also some packet soup from the 90s.

Market Harborough has some cool old-fashioned shops. If we wanted to buy candles, or a brace of pheasants, or some pork pie, we could have filled our boots. Or some bags. Yes, bags would be better.  But we didn't.

So, to the pub. Now that was freaky. We inadvertently walked into the 70s. Or earlier. We couldn't decide. The jukebox had about 25 records - actual records.

And the till was a proper Arkwright's number. It said things like 2D and 6D, even though the pints were actually £3.30. How mad!

Unfortunately the beer tasted like from a previous decade too, so we called Tom Young - our comedy friend who lives there - to come and rescue us and spent the rest of the afternoon drinking better beer elsewhere and wondering why we had done this.

Tourism on a bus! What do we remind you of?

It's Sightseers, if you didn't get it.


  1. Our last holiday was supposed to be spent wandering around the Lake District but Dan fell out of a bookshop on day one so we just looked at hills instead. Then we drove up a hill where we were caught in an unexpected snowstorm and had to slide down the hill in the car.

    We got to our destination but nothing was open and I had a banging headache, then on the way home a barn owl flew into the windscreen.

    I feel your pain.

    1. Oh no! OH and I had the best time ever on our trip to the Lake District. They do lots of really good cake up there. Sometimes with cheese! That cheered me up after near catching hypothermia whilst kayaking.