Our Tour of Southern England – Part 2 & 3: Lynton to Exeter (Our Tour of Wales Part 7 & 8) and on to Sturminster Newton, before heading back to Sussex.

Rain, Rain, go away, come again another day…. We’re heading south in search of the sun! (Update as I write, be careful of what you wish for – we are currently in the middle of an amber extreme weather warning for heat with the temperature currently rising to 29°C – it’s 11:00a.m in England).

We have chosen to stay at Plymouth Sound Motorhome and Caravan Club Site, overlooking the Sound and watching Brittany Ferries, cross-channel ferries, arrive and depart wishing we were on them to head back out to see more sites and continue our trips (technically, I’m glad we aren’t on them, as I don’t sail too well, without seasickness meds, but I’m sure you understand what I’m saying)!!

Plymouth Sound Caravan and Motorhome Club (CMC) Site https://www.caravanclub.co.uk/club-sites/england/devon-and-cornwall/devon/plymouth-sound-club-campsite/ is located in the village of Downs Thomas, overlooking The Sound, with great views, when the weather allows! A short walk down the hill takes you to the beach and part of it is dog friendly and on to the Coast Path. The village has a pub, local store and Post Office and the local bus stops outside the shop to take you on to Plymouth or the surrounding areas. The Club Site Shop stocks local Pasties from the Pasty Maid, advance order – Monday and Fridays.

Leaving Plymouth Sound we headed to Newton Abbot and the CMC Site at Stover https://www.caravanclub.co.uk/club-sites/england/devon-and-cornwall/devon/stover-club-campsite/. Located on the edge of the Stover Country Park, with lovely walks and a lake. We followed the Heritage Trail up to The Canadian Forestry Corps World War I Statute. The Canadian Forestry Corps was affectionately known as the Sawdust Fusiliers and was made up of 1600 Canadians, drafted over to help fell trees for the troops in France and Belgium. Our short walk turned into a 4 mile trail, up to the Stover Canal – a disused canal and over the railway, which doesn’t look like its been used in a while, but take care crossing, just in case! We arrived on the right day to get an lovely wood-fired pizza from Sid’s Woodfired Pizza, who just happened to be at Stover CAMC, on Wednesdays https://www.facebook.com/sidswoodfiredpizza/ Whilst in Newton Abbot, we attempted to buy rear brake pads, from Euro Parts, but apparently they don’t stock them! However a very friendly person in Halfords directed us to their website, where we ordered them from EuroParts to be delivered to our next stop – Exeter.

A short drive up the road to Exeter, we collected the previously ordered brake pads and checked in at Exeter Racecourse CMC Site https://www.caravanclub.co.uk/club-sites/england/devon-and-cornwall/devon/exeter-racecourse-club-campsite/. Located in the centre of the Racecourse, you are able to walk the course too, along the road, unless it’s race day. It’s a very popular site for stopovers to and from Cornwall and the Ferry to France and Spain, with lovely helpful and friendly staff too. The facilities are a little dated, but owned by the racecourse, and spotlessly clean. Whilst here, we thought we’d change the brake pads. We borrowed a Torque Wrench from another camper and removed one of the wheels, only to find the pads were the wrong size! But, we did discover that they aren’t worn as much as we thought so still have plenty of life (miles) left! We opted to stay another night here, the weather was heating up and we were settled! It was here that we were the victims of fraud – a phone call with a lot of personal information supplied by the fraudster, meant I let my guard down, we will let you know more soon, but we are still awaiting the investigation results. As far as we are aware, it has been sorted, but it’s very quiet out there….

We returned to EuroParts and returned the brake pads, before we headed east to Sturminster Newton and a CMC Certified Location, aptly called What a View https://www.caravanclub.co.uk/certificated-locations/england/dorset/sturminster-newton/what-a-view-cl/. If the weather had been a bit cooler the village was a short distance away and we could have walked in to see it, but we were walking the dog before 08:00, along the very pretty footpaths and bridleways as it was much too early for the village to open up! We did, however, drive in when we left, and visit the lovely Oxfords Bakery for lunch on the road. We had been trying to find somewhere, affordable, for our next few days but many were full, so we decided to cut our losses and return to Sussex and the local Slinfold CMC site https://www.caravanclub.co.uk/club-sites/england/south-east-england/west-sussex/slinfold-club-campsite/ – it was a bit of a drive in the heat, but gave us a good base to sit out the expected increasing weather temperatures.

Slinfold CMC site is one of our go-to sites. It is close to home and family and being volunteer run and without a toilet block, is only £17.00 per night- a significant difference to the larger sites in August, charging over £40.00 a night. The weather did heat up and we were able to sit it out with our newly acquired sun shade attached to the awning (a much welcomed Father’s Day present). We also parked up facing east instead of our usual west facing preference! It was hot though…

As always, thank you for reading we hope you and your families are safe and well and have survived the heat, hopefully the much needed rain will arrive as expected and cool us down a touch. We’ll be back soon, with more news and updates…

Our Tour of Wales – Part 6: Highbridge to Lynton – now technically, Our Tour of Southern England – Part 1!

Leaving Bason Bridge and the lovely Malthouse Farm CL, we headed along the coast to one of our favourite places, Minehead, Somerset, and the Caravan and Motorhome Club Site,https://www.caravanclub.co.uk/club-sites/england/southern-england/somerset/minehead-club-campsite/ just on the edge of the town, but close to all the amenities. One of our reasons for stopping is the lovely China Garden, chinese takeaway – cash only, and hygiene rated 5 – as well as the vast beach (no dogs May – September) and the harbour. Minehead also has 160 Metal Heads to spot (there is a map available at the Tourist Information Centre) https://www.mineheadbay.co.uk/point-of-interest/minehead-metal-heads-1 We thought there were several more than last time and research proved us right!

Our next stop, was the Camping and Caravanning Club Site at Lynton. https://www.campingandcaravanningclub.co.uk/campsites/uk/devon/lynton/lynton-camping-and-caravanning-club-site/ Located at the top of the hill (it is very steep and you do need to plan your trip), the last time we got a bus back, but this time we thought we’d walk – ever wish you hadn’t? Even Reg was flagging at the top! We walked down to the Valley of the Rocks, and along the coast path, spotting the goats on the cliffs, before arriving at the bridge over the Lynton and Lynmouth Cliff Railway – a water powered funicular railway which joins the two towns. We headed into the town and began our ascent back to the campsite… The following day, the weather changed and rain set in, so we caught up with a few chores and planned our next leg of the journey, where we go will be in the next round up!

As always, thank you for reading, we hope you and your families are safe and well and enjoying reading our brief catch-ups!

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…

The Adventure Continues: Week 4 – Dorset to Devon

On the Prom – Paignton

The COVID-19 pandemic is still prevalent and some of the sights we would ordinarily like to do and see are off our list. We are so grateful to be able to be out and about and trying to enjoy our little adventure. We have started spending longer in places and trying to use and see the local resources, walking or cycling, where we can. We are able to travel around and take in the places we’re visiting, rather than our usual rush to a place.

We left Bridport and after a trip for groceries, we set off to Putts Corner, a little village between Honiton and Sidmouth. The countryside and views were amazing.

We arrived at the Caravan and Motorhome Club Site, at Putts Corner. A little gem of a campsite with a great dog walk – which also goes to the pub! We took a stroll into the village, its at the bottom of a steep hill, but a typical Devonshire village. The steep walk back was worth it.

We left Putts Corner and headed to Stoke Gabriel, just outside Paignton. We found a lovely grassy spot, completed a few chores and sat out in the sun. The following morning we headed off on the bikes to Paignton Beach, about 5 miles away, down some amazingly tight country roads. On the way, we stopped off at Pets at Home, as Reg has outgrown his puppy collar (sob) – he’s definately growing up!

The beach at Paignton was busy and although most people were socially distanced it didn’t appeal to us, so we cycled back. Reg didn’t get to swim in the sea here!

After Paignton, we moved on to the Caravan and Motorhome Club Site at Modbury. The approach to the campsite is very tight and after a couple of miles from the main town, we arrived. We found one of the only remaining pitches – next to another Etrusco (an I 7400 SB – A Class). This makes our total number of Etruscos seen on the road now 4!

There was not a lot to do around the site, but thankfully the dog walk was great for teaching Reg a few commands! The weather also changed and it got fairly wet, the chocks sank slightly into the grass, but we didn’t get stuck!

We’ll be moving on again next week – thank you for reading. We hope that you and your families are safe and well. Enjoy the good weather and take care. Stay Safe, we’ll give you another update soon.