The Lake District, Britain’s Highest Pub (Yorkshire) and south to Leek.

We chose to cycle to Maryport along Hadrian’s Cycle Route, National Cycle Route 72. From the campsite it is almost all off the road on a cycle path and the promenade (there are signs warning not to use the promenade in bad weather – it is so exposed to the sea). Luckily, it wasn’t on the road as in a catastrophic failure, I managed to cycle into the trailer when Ric stopped, landing face down in the grass – it could have been so much worse, though! We do have hand signals warning that we are stopping or slowing, but thinking he’d dropped something he stopped dead!

From Allonby, we headed into the Yorkshire Dales, via Carlisle. We were due to stop the night at the Tan Hill Inn, outside Reeth. It is the highest pub in the British Isles at 1732 feet (528m) above sea level. We had pre-booked and booked a meal in the pub – our first real night out since Sweden! The views are amazing, it is right on the Pennine Way and the footpath leads right down to the village of Keld. We walked up to the top of the path before returning back to Nortia! It was freezing and wet underfoot, but the views were stunning. Motorhome parking at the Tan Hill Inn, is unmarked, so literally, where you can! It was somewhere we’d wanted to stay, but wasn’t the place we’d thought it was!!!

We set off back through the Yorkshire Dales to Kendal, back in the Lake District. Our trip back took us up towards Skipton and back down to Kirkby Lonsdale, the scenery is amazing and we love this part of the world. The campsite in Kendal is about four miles outside the town, although it is possible to walk it, we walked to the Farm Shop at Sizergh, instead!

We set off again, heading south. Our plan was always to move south at this point, but it also coincided with the threat of a new COVID lockdown being placed on the North West. An announcement was due tomorrow.

We arrived at Leek in Staffordshire, a site we have stayed at before, but I didn’t recognise either by name or location, but Ric did – I was adamant we’d never been here before, until the Warden checking us in recognised me! Then the penny dropped! We stayed here in March, on our way to Harrogate. We had arrived in the dark and without a dog to walk around the site, we hadn’t really taken it in. I’ve had a nightmare of a week, hopefully next week will be better!

As always, thank you for reading. Stay Safe. We’ll be back soon…

The Lake District – Coniston, Borrowdale and Allonby.

We’re still in Coniston, near to Coniston Water – the lake where Sir Malcolm Campbell set the World Water Speed Record in 1939, at 141.74 miles per hour, in his Blue Bird K4. His son, Donald, continued the tradition, setting four faster speeds between 1956 and 1959. In 1966, he wanted to exceed 300 mph, but unfortunately, was killed in the process. Incidentally, the lake in our local Park, is named after the Campbell family, who owned some land and tested the floatation devices for the Bluebird K series prototypes.

After a day of rain, where we followed the path along the lake to Torver Jetty and back, we spent a sunny day up on the fells above Coniston (the foothills of the Old Man of Coniston). This was Reg’s first adventure up in the hills. There were plenty of sheep to keep him occupied too. As we headed back towards the campsite, we found an amazing waterfall and lake.

After, Coniston, we headed north-west to the Borrowdale Valley, just outside Keswick. Although, we’ve stayed at the Camping and Caravanning Club Site in Keswick, we’ve never been here before and it was a gem. The Caravan Club Site in Borrowdale, despite having no facilities, is right on the edge of Derwent Water and under Cat Bells. We had hoped to walk up Cat Bells, but the weather had other ideas – we almost managed it once before, but the weather forced us back then, hopefully we’ll be third time lucky! Instead, we walked along the edge of the lake and around to Grange – in – Borrowdale and back to the campsite. We had a cheeky Saturday Walk for breakfast at the Grange Cafe. It was amazing and despite the weather, we were able to sit outside socially distanced.

Reg is definitely a water dog! He loves to chase the waves or ripples, as we found in a stream by the campsite! He’d jump in and try to catch the water as it rippled down over the stones, all fun, but add his wetness to the mud in the field and we had to wash him down before he could come back in the Motorhome!

Leaving Borrowdale, we headed north to the coast at Maryport and up to a Certified Location at Allonby. Old Kiln Farm CL Site https://www.caravanclub.co.uk/certificated-locations/england/cumbria/maryport/old-kiln-farm/ is a small five pitch site, just off the Solway Firth, with views across the sea to Scotland. It is a short walk to the village or a cycle ride to Maryport and Workington.

Reg again showed us his love of the beach, running circles on the sand and attacking the waves, trying to bite the surf!

We’re here for a few more days, so there’ll be more to come. Thank you again for reading. We hope you and your families are well. Stay Safe, we’ll be back soon….

Heading North, Shropshire to Chester and into the Lakes

We left Much Wenlock, just as the sun began to clear the fog and headed up to Chester. Our plans have changed, slightly due to the recent local restrictions set out in Liverpool, Stockport and Manchester we have postponed our trip to the Wirral, Stockport and Blackpool – Blackpool is not currently covered by the restrictions, but we decided to stay clear of the region.

We have stayed at Chester Fairoaks, previously but only ever as a stopover, this time we were determined to explore the area. We got the bikes off the back of Nortia, did a quick maintenance check and service, fixed the dog trailer (we seem to have lost a bolt, somewhere along the way) with a metal coat hanger twisted into shape – we will try and source something more suitable when we get somewhere suitable!

Our first trip was along the Chester Millenium Greenway to Connah’s Quay, travelling over the border again to Wales! The following day we headed along the cycle route / towpath along the Shropshire Union Canal to Chester Town. Despite being very busy, we love the city and will definately be back to view when times are less restrictive.

After Chester, we headed up to the Lake District going along the motorway, just to crunch some miles and into the Southern Lakes. Our first stop over was just outside Grange-over-Sands at Meathorp Fell. We took a short 6 mile stroll into Grange and along Grange Promenade, stopping for a lovely ice-cream opposite the Station.

From Meathop Fell, we travelled slightly north to Coniston and the Caravan and Motorhome Club Site at Coniston Coppice. We took a stroll into the town of Coniston, stopping for a cup of tea along the way, before walking back along the lake to the campsite.

We’ve got a few more days here, so find out what we got up to in our next installment. As always, thank you for reading and we hope you’re all sae and well….

Heading back to England (again)…

What do you call a trio of Etruscos?

We left Gowerton and headed back to England along the motorway, so far this is the third time on this trip we’ve headed back, across the border! We had an appointment for the motorhome in Gloucester on Tuesday, so we’ve opted to return to Tewkesbury Caravan and Motorhome Club Site.

We’ve fallen in love with Tewkesbury and the town is very welcoming. Monday night, Ric’s birthday and we knew there was a very nice looking Indian Restaurant and Take-Away at the end of the lane to the Campsite. This was his choice of meal and I couldn’t have agreed more. The Mezbaan Fine Indian Restaurant: https://mezbaan.uk/ was just as good as their menu looked!

Tuesday and we cleared out some of our gear from Nortia, and headed off to Pearman Briggs Motorhomes for our habitation check. This is supposed to be completed annually as a safety and damp check and something we are keen to have completed prior to purchasing Nortia, from Erwin Hymer. We arrived and also explained that we have concerns over the position of our Gaslow filling cap – we have caught it on a couple of occasions, without serious damage – and they were able to move it for us to a less prominent position. However, with the latest COVID-19 restrictions, our gear needs to be completely removed to carry out the habitation check… We’ve re-booked it, and will be back in Tewkesbury, again!

The weather has got a lot warmer this week and we have decided to purchase a driveaway awning, partially to enjoy life out of the wind and partially in anticipation of our habitation check – we can dump all our gear in it whilst the check is being carried out! We went to Allwoolls Camping in Worcester and purchased a Vango Noosa Driveaway https://www.attwoolls.co.uk/vango-noosa-tall-driveaway-awning-p-2828 We’ve chosen this as it is lighter than an air tent and therefore will not add to much to our payload. Returning to the campsite, we had a quick go at putting it up! We needed to make sure that we had all the bits before driving off and to ensure there was nothing wrong with it! The moment we got it out of the bag the wind picked up and we managed to check it out, before repacking it and stowing it away! Normally, we would pitch a new tent in our garden to ensure we knew what we are doing, before looking like numpties in public! (We have even pitched a brand new tent in the living room, just to check it out)!

We left Tewkesbury and started our trip north. Our next stop is a small Caravan and Motorhome Club Certified Location (CL), just outside the village of Much Wenlock – birthplace of William Penny Brookes, who contributed to the rebirth of the Modern Olympic Games. He apprenticed with his father in Much Wenlock and trained as a physician and surgeon at Guy’s and St. Thomas’s Hospital in London, at the Sorbonne and in Padua, before taking over his father’s practice in Much Wenlock. Here, he was keen to improve the health of the villagers, along with sanitation and hygiene and he set up the Wenlock Olympian Society and campaigned to get Physical Education onto the school curriculum. His annual Wenlock Games, encouraged all villagers to keep fit and compete and not just a privilege of the elite He was visited by Baron Pierre de Coubertin, who later set up the Modern International Olympic Committee, based on the Much Wenlock Games held in his honour.

We stayed at the Coates CL for the weekend, and we used it as a base to travel out and about around the local area, travelling to Telford and Ironbridge. The countryside and views are stunning, as is the village of Much Wenlock. Reg also had a field of friends, for his stay!

We’re off again tomorrow, heading north. Thank you as always for reading and we hope that you and your families are safe and well.

Wales: continuing along the south coast – Freshwater East to Gowerton

Shipwreck on the Cefn Sidan Sands, Pembrey, Wales

After Reg’s first proper paddle in the sea, we took him up along the Wales Coastal path and up onto the headland. He did get to enjoy more time on the beach, but not in the sea, as the weather changed and the thought of a damp and smelly dog in the motorhome, was not one we wanted to have!

After our first day on the beach the weather changed and heavy clouds, sea mist and a light rain stayed with us for a couple of days. On our second day up onto the headland, we looked down into the bay and could not see a lot, then as we stood and looked, a tanker appeared out of the gloom, like a ghost ship, but the mist had started to lift.

As we left on Wednesday, the sun came out and the sky was the perfect blue. Before we left, we spotted a falcon on the campsite, proudly displaying its kill. We headed eastwards to our next stop over at Pembrey Caravan and Motorhome Club Site, on the edge of the Pembrey Country Park.

As we checked in we were informed that the beach was dog friendly (westwards). The first day was a little explore of the country park, followed by a take-away! Thursday, we set off to explore the beach, after a good stroll through the park, Reg was able to run on the grass (off lead) and then we got to the beach…. Seven miles of golden sand and the tide was out!

We let Reg explore a bit off lead again, until we came across a whole strip of beached jelly fish, as inquisitive as he is, we thought it best to steer him clear. Further along the beach was a ship wreck, the coastline here is littered with wrecks from the 18th and 19th centuries, storms have shifted the sands to reveal more and the forest in the park is believed to be haunted with the souls of those whose ships have run aground!

Friday and we set off again, Pembrey is definately a site we will revisit – the fact we could only book two nights should have told us as much!

We headed just along the bay to Gowerton, at the start of the Gower Peninsula. Despite a walk through the park to the town and a takeaway (chinese and it was delicious) there was not a lot you could do directly from the site. It is on National Cycle Route 4. but, this part was a bit too treacherous with the dog trailer, single track road in places, with cycle path along the two sides and a tight bridge and bend in either direction. We did walk along the Coast Path for a bit and manage a circular walk, but…

We’re heading off again tomorrow, where to you’ll find out in our next post. Hopefully, we’ll have news to share! Thank you as always for reading. We hope you’re all fit and well.

A Week in St. David’s, Pembrokeshire, Wales

Seal at Whitesands Beach

This week, we stayed in one place! We have been to St David’s before on our trips and had hoped we would be able to stay here, despite the pandemic. We were able to book a week on the Caravan and Motorhome Club Site, a short walk from the town and Whitesands Beach.

The first day, we were here, we headed back to the beach, taking Reg up on the sand dunes and the rocky outcrops (the beach doesn’t allow dogs until 1st October). Up on one of the outcrops, our attention was drawn to a mass in the water. Did it move? It did, oh my what was it? Then a head popped up and we were being watched by a seal. He was watching us and us him, then he was gone! We headed back to the main beach and enjoyed a lovely locally made ice cream, watching the tide recede from the beach.

The next day, we took a stroll into the City. St David’s is the smallest city in the UK, both in size and population. We walked up to the Cathedral and around the old town, before walking back tot he campsite and spending time in the sun. On the way back to the campsite we found a memorial to the crew of an RAF Liberator KH183, based at RAF St Davids, and that sadly crashed with no survivors on 8th July 1945, three months after VE Day and one week before VJ Day.

Wednesday, and the rain arrived, so we took a drive out, heading up to Fishguard and touring around returning to Haverfordwest and St Davids.

Thursday, and as predicted, the sun was back. We spent the morning completing chores – tidying and washing, before heading back to the beach via the Golf Club Road and the Pembrokeshire Coast Path. We had hoped to get another ice cream but the kiosk was closed!

Friday and another great weather day. We headed back into the city, and hoped it wasn’t as busy as the last time. It wasn’t and we were able to have a wander around and return to the campsite. Reg is getting better at walking on and off the lead.

Saturday, we took another stroll to the beach and were able to have another ice cream!

On Sunday, we set off again, this time to Freshwater East and a beach where Reg was allowed! He happily went into the surf and had he not been on a lead, we might have struggled to get him out!

As always, thank you for reading. We’re continuing our tour in the UK hoping not to have to return home soon! We hope that you and your families are safe and well, too. What happens next week, we’ll endeavour to share as soon as we can (WiFi has been very hit and miss recently).

The Adventure Continues: Wales, England and back to Wales

Reg meets a cat in Tewkesbury!

We left Newport and headed back across the border to England and the historic market town of Tewkesbury. Neither of us had been here before and the initial sight of the town, with it’s historic battlefield statues, Victor and Vanquished – The Arrivall, commemorating the War of the Roses and the Battle of Tewkesbury on 4th May 1471, on the roundabout as we approached, along with the colourful pennants outside houses and the historic Abbey.

We had a walk around the town and onto the Ham before returning to the campsite and finding a local Indian takeaway in the process (if you’ve read our previous posts, you’ll know we love a curry, or chinese or pizza…..!)

We went for a longer walk the following day over the Ham again and up to the Marina, returning to the campsite via the Abbey. The weather was a little doubtful first thing but slowly the sun came out and the walk was very warm. We returned and carried out a few chores, before planning our onward journey.

We were all packed up the following morning, and Reg walked, just as the rain started and it continued for our whole journey back to Wales. We headed to our stop in Brecon, via Monmouth, where we had planned to stop and have lunch. The traffic and weather gods were against us – Monmouth had road closures and diversions, trying to negotiate the one-way system in Nortia, took away any enjoyment and we carried on to Brecon.

The rain was relentless, full wet weather gear donned and we checked in and sorted out our pitch. Of course the moment we’d finished the rain stopped and we were able to see a bit more of the countryside surrounding us.

On Friday, we walked along the Monmouthshire and Brecon Canal – the same canal we’d cycled along in Newport! Here though, the canal is navigable and there were holiday boats on the canal, along with paddle boarders and canoeists.

On Saturday, we went for a drive over the Black Mountains, we have been over them before but the scenery is fantastic and well worth a trip.

On Sunday, we headed off again, this time to one of our most favourite places, the city of St David’s in Pembrokeshire. St David’s is the smallest city in the UK (both area and population). We’re looking forward to our week here, so you’ll hear more about our trip in the next blog.

As always. thank you for reading. We hope you and your families are safe and well.

The Adventure Continues: Dorset, Somerset and Wales.

Leaving Dartmoor, we headed east and into the most torrential rain we’ve seen for ages. We stopped to stock up as we’d found a little CL (Certified Location) site to stop at in Middlemarsh (just outside Sherbourne), Dorset https://www.cherrycottagecl.com/ The Caravan and Motorhome Club Certified Locations are small independently run campsites with 5 pitches.

The following day the rain stopped and the sun arrived. We went for a walk in the countryside, getting lost once and resulting in a climb over an eight foot high gate! Luckily, there was a wee gap at the side and Reg was able to be sent through – we did try it but it wasn’t wide enough for us!!

Then, more rain – all day on Wednesday. Even walking the dog around the dog field resulted in a soaking, each time we tried to go out in the dry, halfway around the field, the heavens would open! We spent the day catching up on the blog and just chilling. This is one site we are definitely coming back to so there will be plenty of time to explore.

Moving on, we headed north to Minehead, we were here a few weeks ago and knew we liked it, but it was a stopover and an ideal place to catch up with some of the family. We caught up with the washing, did a quick top up of LPG and had a Chinese Takeaway from the local parade.

After a night we were heading off again, it’s getting close to the Bank Holiday and places are getting booked up, we were heading off to Newport, Wales. We’d checked with Ditsy Daisy and Gloria Google Maps, and on the motorway it would take us 58 mins from Bridgwater. We’d arranged to meet some of the family at a lovely cafe, just off the M5, Pyne’s of Somerset https://www.pynethebutcher.co.uk/ it’s so much better than a usual motorway cafe, and worth the drive.

As we set off to the M5, we were stuck in traffic, this queue continued all the way to Newport and two and a half hours or so later, we arrived at Tredegar House. We have stayed here before, but many years ago, in the Campervan. The house was closed (again – it was the last time we were here too), but the gardens are open and an ideal place to walk Reg.

On Saturday, the rain returned, so we had a tour in Nortia. We drove to the Fourteen Locks, but despite having checked the website and finding it had parking for coaches, there was nothing suitable on arrival. We headed off up to Caerphilly, in search of cheese. Despite a good walk around there was no cheese shop to be found, but we did find a statue to Tommy Cooper, who was born in the town. Next, we headed into Cardiff, and the National War Memorial and the Norwegian Church, before heading back to the campsite.

On Sunday, the weather brightened up and we took the bikes out for a trip, along the Monmouthshire and Brecon Canal aiming to get to the Canal Basin at Pontymoel, along National Cycle Route 4. After 10 miles of derelict and overgrown canal, we decided to head back and a wrong turn later, we arrived at the campsite having completed 26 miles!

Reg has now crossed his first country border. He has a few to go before catching up with Albi, but Albi hadn’t crossed a country border at this age!

We’re heading off again, tomorrow. Thank you again for reading this. We hope you and your families are safe and well.

The Adventure Continues: Week 6 – Cornwall and back to Devon

Reg lording it in his trailer

We left the Roseland Peninsula and told Ditsy Daisy Sat Nav, we wanted to go to Falmouth. In true style, we found ourselves in a queue for the Chain Ferry – the King Harry Ferry over the River Fal. Luckily, we had checked the signs and we were light and short enough to use it. We stopped off in Falmouth to see our friends (who we used to work with 20+ years ago and now run a B&B). The sun was blazing and we had a lovely afternoon, before heading to our stopover outside Polperro.

When we arrived the sun was shining and we sat outside enjoying the warmth, then as the evening wore on the clouds came in too and they stayed until we left! We did enjoy a dog walk from the campsite and Reg saw his first horse for a while (the last one was when he was 8 weeks old)!

From Polperro we went to a site outside Ilfracombe, this site is right on the National Cycle Route 27 Devon Coast to Coast Route and we cycled into Ilfracombe to see the Damien Hirst Sculpture – Verity, through the very busy town and then up towards the Ilfracombe Viewpoint, before returning back to Nortia, just as a storm rolled in!

From Polperro, we headed inland to Dartmoor and a campsite on the edge of the Moor at Sourton. The campsite is right on the Granite Way Cycle Route ( part of the Devon Coast to Coast Route) and although we didn’t cycle on it this time, we did walk to the Meldon Viaduct and then onto the Reservoir before returning.

We’re definitely getting used to our slower pace of life, finding campsites where we can explore on our terms, without being in too crowded places. As always, we hope you are safe and well and thank you for reading. We’re carrying on our little tour next week, so you can find out where we get too, next.

The Adventure Continues: Week 5 – Devon to Cornwall

Tamar Bridge – Devon to Cornwall

Leaving the campsite and heading off towards Cornwall, should have been relatively easy. The sun was shining and we were feeling very positive, until we hit a traffic jam on one of the small country lanes. In asking the man behind to reverse so we could, I was informed that it was our fault that there was a traffic jam! As we weren’t local and shouldn’t have come this way – it was the only route suitable on the map! It had absolutely nothing to do with the two towing caravans, three lorries and general traffic at all! An hour later with the help of a friendly off-duty Police Officer, the road was cleared and we were on the A38.

We crossed the Tamar Bridge and headed to our first stopover in Looe. Cornwall appears to have been the place everyone has flocked to this month, the campsite was very busy. We, also have to remind ourselves, we’re not normally away in August, preferring to wait for the children to go back to school, and last year we were in Scandinavia! We walked into the town, again very busy and returned back to the campsite via another part of the South West Coast Path. The walk was much longer than we thought but worth the views.

After Looe, we headed to St Austell, and a campsite in the outskirts in a town called Par. The weather changed when we arrived and the sea mist rolled in, followed by rain!

A day or so later, we were able to see the views and the sea – who knew it was so close! We walked down to the beach (on another part of the South West Coast Path).

From Par, we headed to the Roseland Peninsula and stayed in a lovely campsite, the weather was again quite warm, we opted to do a fews chores (and watch the Grand Prix) rather than do too much! There is a footpath from the campsite which takes you to the dog-friendly beach, and we had hoped to cycle to the passenger ferry to Falmouth, but after our experience in Devon, thought we’d give it a miss this time – Reg is still getting used to the trailer and the thought of impatient drivers too much of a concern.

As always, thank you for reading and we hope you’ve enjoyed about our week in south Cornwall. We’ll be back soon, withe the next part of our trip…. the adventure continues…