Thursday 14 to Saturday 16 July 2016

We head towards Birmingham as the first part of our 2016 UK holiday which will continue in Yorkshire.  Instead of sticking to the motorways we drive in through Southeast Birmingham which is probably not the most attractive approach to the City.  To get to the car park we sort of drive round an inner one way system.  We are staying in an apartment in the circular Bull Ring building itself immediately above the lines into Birmingham New Street station.  Disappointingly we are not in the booked apartment with the Bull outside.  We are unsure what happened.

We have travelled up on a Thursday afternoon as we have a reservation for dinner in the Marco Pierre White Steakhouse.  This then turns into a surreal evening.  On arrival they deny we have a booking and in total confusion I phone the restaurant we have booked for Friday evening to see if the bookings are the wrong way round.  I cannot get a phone signal!  Jackie digs out the email – it was originally booked for the Thursday but at some point it has been transmogrified to Friday on their system.  Luckily they have a table available.

The menu makes a point of saying that there is an extensive selection of Malbec wines available.  Except our waiter says there are no Malbec wines in the restaurant (which I find hard to believe).  Eventually a last bottle is found.  When we get to the main courses our steaks are seriously overcooked, probably an excessive period sitting under hot lights at the pass.  Not a good evening.

Jackie has complained so much about the wrong apartment being booked that they agree they will not charge us for our stay.

After breakfast we go down to beside the station to find the end of the tram line (it has only recently been extended to New Street) and we take the tram out to Wolverhampton and at the far end we wait and return on the following tram.  Apart from the recent on street extension  most of the route is a converted former railway line.  And it is cold for the time of year.  The photos of this excursion are here.

Once we are back in the City Centre we find Jessops and I buy my new camera, an Eos 80.  No need for new lenses and it has wifi if I can ever find out how to use it.  The last camera has been around for nearly 10 years, which in the digital era is a long time.

We also do some wandering around – we go along to the Mailbox and to the back where last year we found a nice place to eat.  This year it is closed!

In the evening we dine at Adam’s and whilst it is better than our last experience of Birmingham it does not seem to stand out in memory.  Nothing wrong, just nothing outstanding.

Saturday morning and we head north.  The original plan had be to visit Peak Rail at Matlock for a return journey; an inability to pay the local parking charges (no cash in our pockets and payment by card has not been implemented as yet) led to this being cancelled.  No change machine either.

So we head onwards and we instead visit Chatsworth House which is not far off of our planned route.  I had intended to go over Snake Pass but followed the signs and did not pick up the right road.  From Glossop we went to Woodhead and then past the Holme Moss transmitter before dropping down into Holmfirth.  A long time since I have been this way.  Some wonderful scenery, but regrettably not enough sunshine to do it justice.  Huddersfield and Halifax, then Keighley to our destination of Addingham.

Nice small house – built as an extension to next door and now used as a holiday letting.  But some nice scenery along the way.