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…..