Week 36: France to England (Appointments and a Road Trip)

England Bound

On Monday, we left Montreuil-sur-Mer, and set off to the tunnel. It was a little strange, as we normally have to go to the pet check-in first and then sort ourselves out at the check-in booth. The last time the procedure had changed, but this time it stumped us. Last time we were able to self check-in, but after three goes of checking in this time, we remembered that last time we bought our tickets direct from Eurotunnel, this time we bought them through the Camping and Caravanning Club (you get a great discount, this way!). Much to the annoyance of the car behind, we had to ask him to back up so we could reverse up and go to a manned booth. After check-in it was an eventless trip and we arrived back in England.

We headed to our overnight stop at Brighton, going along the coast road from Folkestone. The sun decided to come out for a while and the coast road was a lot more inviting than the last time we drove it (after a New Year stop in Canterbury).

Arriving at Brighton, we settled in and started our chores – the laundry, the last week’s campsites hadn’t had a laundry at all, so it was beginning to pile up. Next to sort out the Dentist and Doctors (both had been due and one of the reasons we were coming back) – appointments made next I (Sarah) needed a haircut and that was quickly sorted too – this was too good!

Tuesday, more washing – we stayed at Brighton for another day and once the washing was complete, we walked down the road to the cafe for a lovely English Breakfast for lunch. I headed off for my hair appointment, leaving Ric to have an afternoon of peace, alone! The last time we’d had time apart for any length of time was in November!

Wednesday, we set off up to the Gatwick Caravan site and were able to go to our respective doctor and dentist appointments, along with a quick shop – the rumours we’d heard about were true, the shelves were basically empty of essentials, thank goodness we’d bought toilet paper in France!

Thursday, still at Gatwick, we had one more appointment and in the meantime we decided to see if a different shop had groceries – this time it was even more soul destroying there was hardly anything in the shop. Next we thought we’d get our tyres checked at ATS and they confirmed Ric’s suspicions and our front tyres were barely legal. Luckily for us they had a set which would fit and an hour later we were back on the road with a lovely set of new black boots!

Friday, we decided to head off on a little road trip and head up to Yorkshire. We’ve got an appointment in Harrogate next week! We got onto the M25 eventually – Ditsy Daisy Sat Nav, had her moment again and sent us off the wrong way on the M25, so a quick turnaround at the next Junction and we were off in the right direction. We headed up the M40 toward the lovely Cotswolds and stopped for the night at Morton in Marsh. This is is definitely somewhere we will come back to on another tour.

Saturday, and we set off again this time to the Peak District. Our first stop was a Morrisons for groceries, we have decided to make sure we have enough provisions to make sure we are sorted if the Coronavirus (Covid 19) shuts down England for a while (or we need to self-isolate)! Next stop gas, and a great find in Leamington an actual Auto-Fuel Station and 50p a litre. We returned to the M6 and passed three (closed) football stadia to add to our list for the week, Monday at Brighton we’d passed the Amex, now today we saw Villa Park, The Hawthorns and the BET365 Stadium at Stoke. Our stop for the night was Blackshaw Moor just outside Leek.

Sunday, and we’re off again heading into Yorkshire. We left the Peak District and headed into the Yorkshire Dales. The scenery was amazing and each time we drive through the English countryside, we see it in a different light in different weathers. We headed up through Buxton, on towards Manchester and Burnley before reaching Skipton. Turning off the main road, towards our stop for the night in Bolton Abbey, we were confronted by a large stone arch. A bit of jiggery with the mirrors and we were through. The Caravan Site at Bolton Abbey is a lovely small campsite in the dales and we will definitely add to our list to return to.

For now, we’re hoping to be able to continue our trip to Harrogate, there is talk of isolation and non-essential transport being stopped but no actual news at this time. Thank you again for reading and we hope that you and your families are safe and well. We’ll be back next week, with more news (hopefully)!

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