Merry Christmas 2021

Merry Christmas!

We must apologise for our lack of content since October, we have been ok and on the road, but the lack of WiFi signal in some places in England, including the outskirts of Cambridge and Salisbury, made life a little difficult. Since we last wrote, we finished our tour of the East Coast, coming from Cromer, down through Norfolk and Suffolk, stopping off at Aldeburgh and seeing the Giant Scallop Shell Sculpture https://artuk.org/discover/stories/maggi-hamblings-scallop#:~:text=On%20the%20beach%20near%20Aldeburgh,coastline%20between%20there%20and%20Thorpeness.&text=Hambling%20sees%20Scallop%20as%20more%20than%20just%20a%20sculpture. in tribute to the Composer, Benjamin Britten, by the artist Maggi Hambling and over to a wonderful Caravan and Motorhome Club (CMC) Certified Location (CL), Lost Acres. A smallholding with pigs, sheep and chickens, wonderful hosts and access to the Fens. https://www.caravanclub.co.uk/certificated-locations/england/cambridgeshire/cambridge/Lost-Acres2/ Before heading for home via the Camping and Caravanning Club Site at East Horsely https://www.campingandcaravanningclub.co.uk/campsites/uk/surrey/east-horsley/horsley-camping-and-caravanning-club-site/.

Once back home we had flu jabs and boosters booked, staying at the CMC Gatwick Site, before it closed (lack of staff – we completely understand, the staff have all worked so hard through the pandemic keeping the sites running and looking good), we’ll be back when it re-opens. We hired a car, which allowed us to get about and see family. https://www.gatwickcarandvanrental.com/

As the Gatwick CMC site closed, we headed west, our destinations were Longleat CMC Site – right next to the Safari Park, a CL outside Bath, Willow Farm https://www.caravanclub.co.uk/certificated-locations/england/bath–north-east-somerset/bath/willow-farm-1/, Bristol Baltic Wharf CMC site – this has had a reprieve from closing for the time being but… another CL, Rowberry Farm, Priddy, Somerset, Minehead CMC site (perfect for the town, sea and a chinese), Cadeside CMC Site, Wellington, Somerset https://www.caravanclub.co.uk/ecommerce/uksites/booking/listing?region=Southern+England, before heading to the Camping and Caravanning Club Site at Salisbury. This was perfect to explore Old Sarum and the City, there are cycle and footpaths into the centre of the city.

We headed home (again), via Waterwells Farm CL https://www.caravanclub.co.uk/certificated-locations/england/hampshire/winchester/waterwells-farm/ A lovely site, with super hosts, a pony and barn owls, close to footpaths and the countryside and a short drive to Winchester and on to Hayling Island and Stoke Farm CL, we have stayed here before but this time the ground was relatively dry and dog walking a joy in the countryside and along the Puffin Billy railway line (disused), https://www.caravanclub.co.uk/certificated-locations/england/hampshire/hayling-island/stoke-farm/.

Since then, we have alternated between Sumners Ponds and the CMC Site at Brighton. Our plans, along with those of many others, have gone awry, we had hoped to head to Spain after spending Christmas seeing families, we’d booked Reg into the vet for his Animal Health Certificate, located PCR tests to enter France and then the French President closed the border to non-nationals for non-essential travel. Not wanting to be stuck in a lockdown abroad, we’ve chosen to wait for borders to reopen and travel freely.

As always, thank you for reading, we wish you and your families a very Merry Christmas and hope that you get to spend time with those close to you. We WILL be back with an update and more tales, soon…

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.