Week 21 and 22: Cornwall to Sussex

We left Tavistock and followed the map over Dartmoor. For a change we had sunshine on the moor, normally it gets dark and overcast and snow falls with a strong wind – regardless of the time of year! We headed off along the road, until we were met with a road width restriction. We were too large to attempt it, so back we went.

On the way back, we saw Dartmoor ponies by the side of the road and then, there they were reminding us of the reindeer at the Arctic Circle, on the road, walking towards us! We have never seen them before on the moor, probably because of the weather, but…

We ventured into Exeter, on to Lyme Regis and then Charmouth, where we stopped for the night. Again we were the only people there! There was a lovely looking pub in the High Street, but it was closed until the next day. The following morning we took a short walk to the beach and looked at the spectacular Jurassic Coast, before setting off along the coast to Portland Bill.

Neither of us had been to Portland Bill before, so this part of the trip was definitely one of firsts! I can remember the television programme from when I was younger, and again proceeded to annoy Ric with the theme tune – which I proceeded to play on you tube to him and it stuck as his earworm for the day!

We stopped and had lunch, before watching a Coastguard Search and Rescue Helicopter practising manoeuvres. We drove up to the point and the Lighthouse, before returning to look at the Olympic Rings from the 2012 London Olympics’ Sailing Events. We headed on to Wareham, where we stopped for the night, but first had the experience of live tank fire on the artillery range, and road signs indicating which road was open and could be used. The roads have signs warning of tanks crossing too, it was like being back in Poland!

From Wareham we went on to Fordingbridge, where we’d been recommended a jet wash, big enough for the lovely Nortia, who by now was looking a whole lot worse for the weather! All she needed was a typical comment – Also available in white!

After an hour or so we were ready to continue or journey, homeward bound. Nortia, looked clean and despite the weather a little cleaner, although we were a whole lot colder after the experience!

We arrived at our stop for the next couple of nights – Brighton. We are now close to home and were able to make the necessary appointments, pick up post and sort a bike wheel we had damaged – pot holes don’t just harm cars!

The next week or so we’re just going to be catching up with family and sorting appointments and getting ready for our next adventure. We’ve had Albi seen by the vet and his passport checked for our next trip to Europe. We’ve booked our tickets to France for next week and our adventure will continue. The weather has been really bad here, so there aren’t even good photos to show you…

Thank you again for reading and we’ll be back to update you in a week or so…

Week 20: Wales to Cornwall

Nortia at Lizard Point

We stayed in Llanberis for three nights, taking advantage of a 3-4-2 offer (well it has to be done!). After our scrumptious roast beef dinner with exceptional roast Yorkshire Puddings, we set off into the town. It hadn’t changed a lot since our last visit, but a lot of the attractions were closed as its the low season. We had seen that the little train around the lake was still running (but typically not on a Monday! maybe tomorrow then). We had a lovely breakfast/lunch in a cafe in the village and took some time shopping for items we needed. I had lost my hat a few days previously, and although I kept wanting to change it there was nothing wrong with it; that said I didn’t loose it on purpose!

The next day, it rained and rained and rained, even taking the dog for a stroll was a feat. We chilled, tidied and completed the laundry, not really living on the edge but… Then in true style, we got an Indian Takeaway from the village. Ric ventured out in the bad weather to get it!

The following day we headed out of Llanberis and started to head south, the Navigator did take a couple of wrong routes to get out but it was fine! We headed up to Caernarfon and then down towards Dolgellau before we decided to head for Shrewsbury. The lands up here have suffered a lot with the amount of rain and there is a lot of flooding, fields and roads are under water. We chose to stay at Love2Stay Campsite, it is so plush and even has a dog agility course. As Albi is still limping, we didn’t make him do too much but making him walk the see-saw and ramps made him put some pressure on his foot and as he didn’t seem in pain and willing to continue, we started seeing some small improvements. The campsite even has complementary White Company Toiletries in the showers!

We left Shrewsbury and returned to Wales. The weather has not improved. There are still floods and now local warnings of road closures including the M5. We chose to take the main road (rather than the B-Roads) over the Black Mountains. We followed an incredibly large load along the A40 to Crickhowell, before reaching the Prince of Wales Bridge back into England. We found a campsite to stay at in Cheddar.

Trying to find some sun, we headed off again in the morning. We met with family for lunch locally and then headed off to Brixham. Here the sun started to shine (at last)! The campsite was a surprise at the top of the hill overlooking the bay, it has a swimming pool and cafe. In the night it rained, heavily, but the sun did come out in the morning.

We headed down to Fowey, having crossed to Dartmouth on the ferry and then stopped in the town for a quick lunch. We crossed into Cornwall and headed up to Truro, where we’d chosen to stop for the night. The days are definitely getting shorter, we seem to be arriving at the campsites at dusk, and our day trips seem to be shorter.

We couldn’t leave Cornwall, without heading to Lizard Point and Land’s End. We paid to stop and have lunch at Lizard Point looking out over the bay. The road down was a little tight but we fitted! Land’s End is still very touristy, so we took photos and left! We headed back up the A30 across Bodmin Moor but it was disappointing to realise the new road bypassed Jamaica Inn, as we found out too late – as dusk was falling.

We stayed at a campsite in Tavistock, on Dartmoor. Normally, we manage to drive onto Dartmoor in snow, so we’ve got our fingers crossed tomorrow’s drive will be in sun not snow. Tonight though we’re cooking a home made Cottage (Motorhome) Pie!

Thank you again for reading, we’ll let you know what our journey across Dartmoor was like in our next tale….

Week 19: Scotland to Wales (via England)

Scotland and the South West Coastal 300. We left Edinburgh (without visiting the City as the weather was so bad) and headed off towards Moffat and the SWC300 heading clockwise to Lockerbie and on to Dumfries, before stopping at Dalbeattie. Despite the weather the views were stunning. We have driven this part of Scotland before but always on the motorway in order to get somewhere. It was so nice to be able to view it properly.

After Dalbeattie, we headed of again towards the Mull of Galloway, the most southerly point of Scotland. We’d stopped for lunch in the very pretty, typically Scottish-looking village of Newton Stewart, then headed over to Garlieston, where the Mulberry Harbours for WWII were tested, as the beach was similar to the Normandy Landing Beaches. We found a lovely, little Caravan and Motorhome Club, Certified Location at Low Glengyre Farm. We had the whole site to ourselves! Here, we found that our video from Latvia had been published by Erwin Hymer and Etrusco UK.

We carried on the SWC300 and took a sight detour to Kilmarnock, as this was on Ric’s wishlist. We headed up the coast to Stranraer and Cairnryan, then on to Turnbury Golf Course which had held the Open four times, the last one being in 2009, before being bought by Donald Trump.

From here we headed up to the Royal Troon Golf Course, which has also hosted the Open, nine times, the latest being in 2016. We ate our lunch looking over the golf course. Kilmarnock, was a surprise, not knowing what to expect the town was a beauty. We returned to the SWC300 at New Crummock and headed through Sanquhar, where the oldest Post Office is located, to Wanlockhead, Scotland’s highest village on to Moffat, where we chose to spend a couple of nights to recharge our batteries and clean up the MoHo. It was lucky we chose to stay here as the weather turned and it rained solidly for the night and the following day, so a short walk into the town was off the cards! However, we did discover an Indian Takeaway, which delivered! It would be rude not to!

We crossed back into England and down to Cumbria, avoiding the motorways. We travelled down to Kirkby Stephen and up to the Yorkshire Dales to Hawes, the highest Market Town in England. Hawes also has the tag in our memory as our expensive town, as the first time we had been there, we left having purchased two coats, a pair of Toggi boots and a pair of Barker’s Brogues! The Caravan and Motorhome Club Site at Hawes is situated about a five minute walk to the town (Albi still has a poorly foot so a long walk is still off the cards). We drove to the car park in the town centre as we left, to have Fish and Chips from the Chippy.

We continued our journey south, through Burnley, Accrington and Oldham before turning towards Glossop and the Snake Pass. All along our route the signs had said that the pass was open so we carried onwards until we were met by a sign stating the road was closed. After discussions with the locals (who were keen to use the pass) and checking the Highways Agency App, which said the Pass had been reopened, we gingerly headed up and over. It was easy to see that there had been a problem as there was a lot of water on the road, but it was now passable with care. We arrived at a campsite in Castleton in the Peak District, in the dark, so we had to wait until the morning to see the true beauty of the area.

The Peak District didn’t disappoint. The following morning, the views were stunning. It was a cold and crisp Remembrance Sunday morning. We had been advised to either leave early or later due to road closures in the village, for the Parade. We headed up the Winnats Pass towards Chester and the snow-capped mountains of Snowdonia. We were heading to a site we have stayed at before in Llanberis (we’ve found a deal 3 nights for the price of 2, so were here for a while)!

Llanberis was just as we remembered, except this time there was snow on the mountain tops. We’ve chosen to have a roast dinner tonight, complete with Yorkshire Puddings.

Thank you again for reading and apologies for the delay in our posts. We’ve had hardware issues, hopefully now all fixed. The next episode of our adventure will soon be live…

Week 18: England to Scotland

England Bound

After spending the night at the Bearstead Caravan and Motorhome Club Site, we set off to Southend-on-Sea. After a few weeks in the relatively quiet roads in Europe, we found ourselves in the busy traffic of the M25 heading through the Dartford Tunnel. Once through the tunnel, we turned onto the road towards Southend and were promptly stuck in a road closure!

After a time, we arrived at the lovely seaside town of Southend. We’d been here several years before and enjoyed a drive along the Promenade and looking at the sites, including the Pier, which has had a facelift in the past few years.

After Southend, we headed up to Maldon and then on to Polstead, Suffolk. We arrived at the Camping and Caravanning Club Site just as dusk was setting in and the site looked lovely – it was a small but lovely campsite with a decent dog walk. In addition, there was a local curry house which delivered – after a few months without an English style curry, it was too good an opportunity to turn down, and the curry was well worth the wait!

From Polstead, we headed up north to Rutland and towards the Peak District. We headed off through the Suffolk countryside taking in the lovely views and villages. We chose to stay at the Rutland Caravan and Camping Park in Oakham. Another lovely site with a small village within walking distance. The weather has definitely started to turn and there was frost this morning. We’ve started counting English Counties and so far, on this trip, we have been to Kent, Essex, Suffolk, Cambridgeshire and Rutland.

From Rutland, we had a change of plan and headed off to the National Memorial Arboretum, outside Burton-on-Trent. It has linked in our trip last week to Dunkirk, the Belgium Cemeteries as well as family history. Due to the recent weather in England, there was a lot of water and flooding at the Arboretum and the Memorial we wanted to see was typically under water – we got wet feet, visiting it! After the Arboretum, we headed to the Conkers Camping and Caravanning Club Site in Swadlincote, Derbyshire. We have added a few more counties to our list – Lincolnshire, Nottinghamshire, Derbyshire and Staffordshire, taking out total so far to 10.

From Derbyshire, we headed north again to York and the Caravan Club Site in Sheriff Hutton. The site was a little further from York than we had thought but it was still a lovely site and we decorated Nortia for Halloween. Two more counties for the list – East Riding of Yorkshire and North Yorkshire.

From York we headed further north to Northumberland and the Caravan and Motorhome Club Site of River Breamish. Three more counties for the list – County Durham, Tyne and Wear and Northumberland the total is 15. After we set off from Sheriff Hutton, we went to the Yorkshire Village of Thornton-le-Dale to see the Matthewsons Shop and Auction Site, as featured on the TV programme of Bangers and Cash. However the village was very busy as they had one of their Auctions in progress, we will return with a little more planning! We had a traditional lunch of fish and chips outside Whitby Abbey. We arrived at the campsite in the dark, after a road closure and diversion. Nortia looks like we’ve been off-roading (honestly Erwin Hymer and Etrusco we haven’t, but its very wet here).

The next day, we headed to the National Trust property of Cragside. This is somewhere we have wanted to visit for a long time and finally we had the opportunity. Cragside is the first property in the world to be lit by hydroelectric power. It also has a number of electrical gadgets to make life easier back in the Edwardian period. The house is also decorated with a number of William Morris wallpapers. After a morning here, we set of to the town of Berwick-on-Tweed.

Berwick-on-Tweed didn’t disappoint, again we’ve been here before on a previous trip (we hired a boat and toured from Laggen Locks to Inverness and Fort William, before returning home down the East Coast of England). We had a lovely pitch with a view of the harbour. The weather was favourable and we saw the fireworks as they were set off around us. We’re very lucky as Albi doesn’t mind fireworks and will actually watch them, too!

The next morning, the weather changed again. We left in the rain and took a scenic tour up the Scottish east coast to Edinburgh. Our hopes of exploring the city were hampered by the heavy rain and the threat of bike thieves, so we decided we would explore the South West Coastal 300. We will set off in the morning for Moffat.

You can see how we got on in our next instalment. As ever, thank you for reading and commenting. We hope you’re still enjoying our little tour…..