Another Week in Norfolk…

A wet and windswept sandy dog!

Monday and the sun was shining. After a quick breakfast and walk for Reg, we headed out towards Norwich and a Hand Car Wash! Finally, we were able to get Nortia cleaned (outside) for the first time since France in February! We had meant to clean her while in lockdown, but there always seemed to be another day available until we left, then the opportunity hadn’t happened since….

Tuesday and we headed up to the coast and Cromer, famous for dressed crab and the Seacroft Caravan and Motorhome Club Site. It’s a great site, just off the Norfolk coast path. A short stroll and you are on the beach, which is lovely and sandy as the tide goes out. We met a couple with a young dog and Reg and Pippa were soon running around in circles along the shoreline.

Wednesday and in true autumn fashion it rained (again). Reg however, wasn’t unfazed by another trip on the beach and enjoyed playing in the waves.

Thursday, one of the things we’d looked forward to whilst in Cromer was visiting No 1 Cromer. https://www.no1cromer.com/ This is an award winning Fish and Chip Restaurant and Takeaway owned by Galton Blackiston. We’d heard about it so many times watching him on James Martin’s Saturday Morning. This place does not disappoint! This was possibly the best we’d ever had. If you are in Cromer, we would recommend this highly.

We headed down the coast from Cromer to Great Yarmouth and the Caravan and Motorhome Club Site at the Racecourse. This site is another so close to the beach and the town, that it’s great for a stay. There is a monument to Lord Nelson, which is now located in the industrial zone, but commemorates Nelson’s birth in the county of Norfolk.

As always, thank you for reading. We hope you and your families are safe and well. We’ll have more to share soon. Stay Safe 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.

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: 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.

The Adventure Continues Week 3: Crawley to Dorset

This week, Reg had two firsts – first tunnel, the Shoreham Tunnel, and first ferry the Sandbanks to Studland Ferry. We left Crawley and the site at Gatwick, having managed to have the long awaited dentist appointment for Ric (if you remember one of our December posts, you’ll know the importance)! Next, we headed to Brighton and a long awaited post-lockdown haircut, I (Sarah) am a bit fussy when it comes to having my hair cut and have had the same hairdresser for a long long time, and am always incredibly grateful when I can be fitted in.

Appointments completed, we set off again again and headed to Wimborne, on the edge of the New Forest and a small Caravan and Motorhome Certified Location – Omaha Meadows. It’s a lovely small site, next to the Moors Valley Country Park. Reg had a swim in the river too.

After a couple of days, we left and headed to Sandbanks, outside Bournemouth to take the Chain Ferry to Studland. The weather changed and the glorious views we were hoping for disappeared into the mist and rain. We didn’t spot Harry (Redknapp) either! We had a couple of nights at the Caravan and Motorhome Club Site: Bingham Grange. There wasn’t much change in the weather, so we went for a drive, down to Lyme Regis and up to Axminster before returning to the site.

It’s taken us a while to get back into the travelling mode, but we have learnt to slow down and take in the scenery and activities on offer on our doorstep. We aren’t always the most social of people, but the COVID-19 pandemic has made us a little less so. The Caravan and Motorhome Club and the Camping and Caravanning Club have both done alot to put secure measures into place and we feel very safe on their sites. The relief of being able to be back on the road has done wonders to our wellbeing and we’re also able to train Reg in the basics! The campsite at Bingham Grange has a lovely free to roam dog walk, and we were able to hesitantly let Reg off the lead, but he came back!

As always, thank you for reading, we hope you and your families are safe and able to get out and enjoy the outdoors. We’re heading off again next week and we hope you can follow our trip.

The Adventure Continues – Week 2 Minehead to Crawley

England is still in partial lockdown, but campsites are open (with social distancing) and we’ve continued our journey.

We walked through the town in Minehead and along the promenade to the harbour, passing the marker for the start (or end) of the Southwest Coast Path. When we first set out last year my (Sarah) sister, loaned me a book – The Salt Path by Raynor Winn, it is the memoirs of a couple who set out to walk the Southwest Coast Path, having been made homeless. We hadn’t originally set out to stay in Minehead, but we are so glad we did.

The beach at Minehead is not dog friendly (in the summer), so despite a quick set onto the sand with Reg, we thought we should go somewhere he was welcome and headed up the coast to Burnham-on-Sea, where the campsite is close to the sea at Berrow. It’s a long sandy, dog friendly beach, and Reg was able to run on it (once we’d navigated the sand dunes). He also had his first venture into the sea, but was more amused with trying to eat the seaweed and drinking the sea water!

After a couple of days, we headed up to Bristol. Not too sure what to expect, we arrived at the campsite and were in awe! The campsite backs onto the Floating Harbour at Baltic Wharf and a gate at the rear, allows you to access straight onto the harbourside walk. There were views up towards the Suspension Bridge and towards the S.S. Great Britain (closed at the moment but still iconic).

We walked up the hill to the Cabot Tower (again closed) and along the harbourside. We discovered the Banksy Mural of the Girl with the Earring (complete with face mask) and several other sculptures and statues – including Samuel Plimsoll – the man responsible for the Plimsoll Line on ships, indicating the maximum load for a ship, and John Cabot (an Italian who discovered Newfoundland in 1497, with the backing of the mayor of Bristol and King Henry VII).

The following day after a morning walk around the harbour, we walked up to the Clifton Suspension Bridge, through the Leigh Woods National Nature Reserve and then over the Bridge (take care if you suffer from vertigo – especially at the moment with social distancing in place)! Before walking back down through the Hotwells district of the city.

We headed off again on Saturday to Winchester and the Caravan and Motorhome Club Site at Morn Hill. The campsite is just too far to walk to the city in the rain, but lovely grass pitches and a big-ish dog walk. The A303 as usual was very busy but the views over Stonehenge can’t be faulted.

Sunday, saw us head back to Crawley. We have a couple of appointments we need to attend to, these had been put on hold during Lockdown and a week into our trip, they started to be rebooked, it was too good an opportunity to not return for – especially as one was for the Dentist we had been waiting for since the hospital trip in Spain in December.

As always, thank you for reading, hopefully you and your families are safe and well. Join us next week to see where we get to!

Lockdown Week 16 / The Adventure Continues Week 1: Chichester to Minehead

Reg’s first countryside walk

Monday morning and we woke up to the relative peace of a campsite, rather than the hustle and bustle of town life. Taking Reg for a walk in a place he’s never been before (the countryside – rather than the road) was entertaining – he saw rabbits for the first time and also cat’s eyes in the road – which he wanted to chew!

We had planned to cycle to the Marina in Chichester, to catch up with my (Sarah’s) mum, before we disappeared again! We checked the route and strapped Reg into his trailer and set off. One hairy moment when he slipped his straps (Houdini strikes again) and ran along the side of the trailer along the busy road. A quick stop to remedy the situation and attach another lead to the trailer and harness and hopefully he’ll be safe in the future.

We arrived at the Marina, after having to navigate a very difficult kissing gate – it’s designed for wheelchairs, but to get a bike trailer through you have to dismantle the trailer and go through individually! Mum was glad to see us and we spent a lovely afternoon, socially distancing on her boat. We said our goodbyes and set off back to the campsite (and Reg’s friends).

Tuesday morning, after a quick trip to the Farm Shop opposite https://www.southbournefarmshop.co.uk/ and stocking up with some lovely food, we headed off to the New Forest and the Caravan Club Site in Bransgore. The facilities are open on Caravan Club sites, with social distancing measures in place (not that everyone understands how it works!). We had a nice grass pitch and managed to wander to the Airfield Memorial, before the weather changed.

We headed off after a couple of days (the weather was due to brighten up and campsites were getting booked up) to Exmoor House Caravan Site, in Dulverton. Dulverton is such a lovely town, with a traditional butchers and greengrocers. We had a wander around and the next day, we headed into the town for fish and chips – which we’d both been craving, whilst in lockdown and it didn’t disappoint.

Reg went for a swim in the river next to the site – he decided he wanted to jump in and off he went, luckily he was on a lead as the current was very strong. He did have a moment when he got back on the shore trying to dry himself!

From here we set off to Minehead. It’s only a short drive but we fancied a couple of days by the sea. We had a short walk to the beach and despite dogs not being allowed on the beach, we couldn’t resist – Reg has never been to the beach before and the sand was too inviting to him; he was trying to play with it on the prom! Our walk took us past Butlins, which is still not open and looked a bit sad. The walk back in the heat was a bit too much for Reg and he had to be carried part of the way.

We got the barbecue out in the evening and had lovely steaks, from the butcher in Dulverton,

We’re now planning our trip for the next week – we’re heading back towards home as lockdown easing has allowed the dentist to open and Ric can have the treatment we’ve been waiting for since Spain and December!

As always, thank you for reading, we’ll update you with the rest of our adventure soon #theadventurecontinues. Stay safe…