Whitby Wanderers

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The Yorkshire coast has a romantic charm, when the weather plays ball! : credit: © Marie France and Lucy Catherwood
Thanks to their Defender 90 ‘Pickle’, one Yorkshire couple enjoys exploring their coastal home ground around Whitby and also adventures far further afield

Yorkshire’s Whitby is one of England’s most popular coastal holiday destinations. Think towering sea cliffs, the Gothic Whitby Abbey ruins, beautiful beaches, and fish and chips. This is why the former Yorkshire Dales couple and entrepreneurs Marie France and Lucy Catherwood have decided to make it their home. Former LRM Editor Patrick Cruywagen met them to discuss their shared passions for adventure and a Land Rover called Pickle.

Tell us about yourselves: We’re Lucy and Marie; we’ve been a couple since high school. We grew up in the Yorkshire Dales but now find ourselves on the wild Yorkshire coast in Whitby. We produce all the photography and graphic design for our lifestyle brand, ‘Art Disco’ (see @artdisco). During lockdown, we purchased our dream vehicle, ‘Pickle,’ a Defender 90 with a very reliable 300Tdi engine; we then turned it into our adventure truck.

From a very young age, Marie and Lucy both wanted a Defender

Why is your Insta handle @Roadtripsandseadips? We originally wanted a Defender to take us on road trips and for it also to be our ride to the beach. We love that we can load all our gear on the roof rack, put the roof top tent on and head off on spontaneous adventures. We live by the coast, and the sea plays a massive part in our daily lives, whether swimming, surfing or paddleboarding. It is as simple as that, so we decided to call ourselves @roadtripsandseadips.

Tell us more about Art Disco: Our brand Art Disco is our full-time job, and is what we do when not off in Pickle on an adventure somewhere. We design clothes and accessories for adventurous folks with a free spirit and a love for the sea. Art Disco gets its biggest inspiration from those daily getaways not far from where we live. Think dusty roads that lead to hidden swimming spots, stargazing in our trusty old Defender, and nights spent swapping stories next to beach fires with a salty sea breeze gently blowing in our faces. We’re all about fully embracing life.

The girls are big fans of the sea and the great outdoors

Our adventures inspire our designs; we hope that by sharing our experiences, we encourage others to get out and enjoy adventures of their own.

You say one of your biggest passions is the little adventures close to home. Tell us about some of your favourites: Take a dip. Whether in the sea, a lake, or a river. Especially when the moon is full or at sunrise and sunset. It can be incredibly peaceful, and a cold water swim certainly recharges you. One of our favourite local spots is the Falling Foss waterfall. The track down to the bottom of the falls winds through a stunning, ancient woodland.

The couple reckon there’s something primal about cooking over a fire

​​​​​We love a beach fire or barbecue. There’s something primal about cooking over a fire; it elevates your daily meal experience. The coastal path from Whitby to Robin Hood’s Bay is one of our absolute favourites. It’s part of the greater Cleveland Way (another superb path to explore), but this section is pretty rugged and rather spectacular.

Wolf Pack Pro boxes are used on longer trips

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Your Defender 90 takes you on road trips – tell us more about it: We’ve both always wanted a Defender since a very young age. Defenders were commonplace in the Yorkshire Dales while we were growing up, where they were used as utility workhorses. We spent years researching and saving for Pickle. We wanted a 90 because of its compactness and were swayed by the fact that this one had a galvanised chassis.

We always knew we’d use it as our daily driver. We were lucky to find a private seller who had already put much work and love into restoring Pickle. Eerily, they had already chosen our dream Defender’s exact style and specs: Pastel Green paint, galvanised cappings, Series doors… It was just meant to be.

Pickle has a retro look with steel wheels, an Exmoor Trim smaller steering wheel, and Series III front doors. Was that the plan? We love the mix of heritage and modern styling. We wanted the vintage look, but it still had to be utilitarian as we use it daily. We need to be able to wash out the sand and not feel like we are being too precious so we can enjoy it to the fullest.

The pair don’t have much kit, but what they do have is chosen carefully

Unlike many other Defender owners, you’ve kept your accessories to a bare minimum: We like to think of Pickle as a Swiss army knife. We chose a Front Runner Slimline II roof rack as a base for all the accessories we want to chop and change, depending on what we’re doing. We have a ladder to make getting onto the roof easy; it’s an absolute game-changer. We usually have the vertical surfboard carriers attached to the rack in their horizontal positions, as we use them regularly.

Surfboard carriers are always on the rack

When we want to go further afield, we flip the surfboard carriers into their vertical positions, which clears the entire roof rack deck so we can load up the roof top tent and three Wolf Pack Pro boxes. We love the boxes as you can fit loads into them, and they help create more room in the back of the Defender.

What is your favourite on-the-go recipe? We love outdoor cooking, and our absolute favourite recipe is waffles topped with bourbon bananas. We have a cast-iron waffle maker that’s great for campfires. We then add halved bananas to a separate pan and top them with brown sugar and a generous amount of bourbon, creating a rich, boozy caramel.

If you want to try it for yourself, here’s a link to our recipe: artdisco.co.uk/blogs/journal/bourbon-bananas.

Any parting words? Get outside and enjoy driving and using the Land Rover and the area you live in. It’s not important how far you go, it’s all about breaking from the mundane routine it’s so easy to slip into. Even adventures close to home can be great.

 


 

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