12-Sep-2009 -- Continued from 53°N 0°.
We spent four weeks in the United Kingdom visiting cousins. As well, we managed to visit eight confluence sites to add to those we've visited back home in Canada and some in the United States. This is the third of eight visits in the UK.
We arrived in Stockton-on-the-Forest near York on the afternoon of Saturday, September 12th. It was a busy day in the village. The "Tour of Britain" bike race was about to pass through. People were already lining the street as we drove into the village to park at the Village Hall carpark. We found it interesting that Stockton-on-the-Forest is a linear village - it is built along one main road for approximately 1.5 miles. Rather than house numbers, there are individual names on the homes.
As well as those people waiting for the bikers to pass, others were at the Village Hall to attend the Garden Show held by the "Green Fingers Stockton-on-the-Forest Gardening Club". Helpful, friendly people told us about the bike race and the fact that the street would be closed to traffic once the bikers came near. They also invited us into the Hall to view their Garden Show and have tea. Entry was free and there were beautiful floral arrangements and home grown vegetables on display.
We decided we would take a chance and leave our car there, hoping that the street wouldn't be closed for the race too long. After viewing the garden displays in the Village Hall we walked along a track beside the carpark, passed some sports fields, followed the trail around a grove of trees then headed west, with trees on one side of us and an open cultivated field on the other. We came to a ditch with thick brambles growing along it. This thick bramble hedge had very sharp thorns so we carefully passed through it and then another, sustaining minimal injuries, until we came upon the confluence in a harvested field.
After taking the requisite photos we headed back to our car. Thankfully the bike racers were still not in sight so we were able to leave the carpark. However, our trip into York was a bit of a challenge due to the congestion just up the road around the arrival site for the Tour of Britain participants. Thanks to our GPS/SatNav and a rather convoluted route, we made it into York and our Bed and Breakfast accommodation.
Our next visit was 53°N 1°W