My son has recently become very interested in cars. When we are out walking he delights in telling me the make of each car that drives past and all about its features. He has a game where you have to identify the car by its badge and he gets all of them correct. My guesses usually consist of its a car, which does not go down well. He loves Top Gear and watches it avidly. When I learnt that this weekend there was to be a vintage and classic car rally at Kielder Water and Forest Park I knew that he would be in his element. The car rally was in two parts, on the Saturday the vintage cars would be driving around Kielder Water and on the Sunday they would be parted at Kielder castle for people to look at. We decided to go on the Sunday.
I got up early and prepared sandwiches and a cooked breakfast, then we set off. It is about 50 miles to get to Kielder Water, we chose to drive along the old A69 and then turn off towards Otterburn to get there. The old A69 runs alongside Hadrian’s wall and has some lovely views of the Northumberland countryside. It is also a Roman road so it is very straight and goes up and down a lot of hills, so it is a bit like a roller coaster. We got to Kielder safely and headed straight to Kielder Castle to find the rally. We had to park quite a way from the event and walk up a hill to get there. Vintage buses were also ferrying people up the hill which was rather nice.
The rally was set in the car pack with the forest making a lovely backdrop to the vintage cars. There were plenty of signs advertising the Gruffalo trail which are currently running in Forestry Commission forests all over England. We did not have time to investigate it but plan to go back at some point and find out more.
There were plenty of vehicles to look at, landrover’s, MG, Rolls Royce and many I couldn’t identify. My husband and son were happy wandering about discussing the features of the different cars. Many of the owners were available to tell you all about the car and you can tell a lot of love is put into maintaining them.
There were even vintage tractors and vans, I found a scrap metal van that looked like it could have been used by Steptoe and Son. It is interesting to see how car design has changed over the years. Many of the cars are really small compared to family cars today.
The rally was quite large, it took up three sections of the car park and it took us a while to wander around. At one point the rain started lashing down but it did not last long and the sun soon came out again. Just as we were about to leave a vintage Forestry Commission van drove into the car park.
We watched the ferry pull in, flying the Northumberland flag. The ferry gives trips around Kielder Water and one day we will go on it. We had been out for quite a while though and wanted to get back and let the dog out.
We hadn’t bought him as we knew that we would be in the car for quite a long time and he can get a bit upset in the car. It was a lovely day out and it was really interesting seeing all the vintage cars.