Sunday, 18 March 2018

Tredegar House, CMC site, Newport, South Wales.

So we decided a week away would be a good idea as the weather looked fair. We have been to Tredegar House before some four years ago. What should have been a short journey of some fifty minutes, turned into a journey of over two hours as there had been an unfortunate accident on the Motorway. The journey was further complicated by massive road works as we approached the site.
Anyway on to the site and we set up at the top of the site, big mistake as  you get more road noise at the top of the site.
We set up and put the awning up. Pegging it down was really difficult as the hard standings were the hardest I have ever experienced. Many bent pegs.  The warden did say though that in October 2018 the hard standings were all being replaced, and the ablutions block was going to be replaced as it was rather tired!

Our Pitch

The view across the site

We settled down for a relaxing time, and were able to pop down to the Tredegar House Tea shop
Tredegar House is a National Trust Property. At this time of year the gardens are open, but the house is closed up.

The main entrance to Tredegar House

We went over to the St Fagans National Museum of History at St Fagans. This is an estate which was donated to Wales some seventy years ago.  When it was donated there was a Castle at the top of the site and a farm house at the bottom. Since then over forty original buildings from different historical periods have been brought from all over Wales and re-erected  on the hundred acre site.
All the buildings are open to visitors, and often craftsmen are working in them. It really is worth a visit, and it is free.

The Village Stores

The working water wheel, that powers the working Flour Mill

This is the pig sty, built in a circular shape to stop pigs digging in the corner!

Inside one of the cottages

On one of my wanderings round Tredegar House I came across these film crews who were filming 'Jerusalem', a spy thriller set in the mid 1940s for channel 4.
It was really amazing just how big the film crew was and also how many takes they did for each scene.

The film crew

This was in the background of the scene being filmed. Poor chaps were going backwards and forwards with these chairs.

At the end of the week we cleared up and were home in under the hour .

Thursday, 1 March 2018

2018 gets under way!

Well for our first trip of the year we decided to head for Burrs Country Park CC site in Bury, so we could see Kathy. Robert and Dennis the Dawg.
Unfortunately a couple of days before we were due to leave our Discovery Sport decided to play up. A quick phone call to Land Rover Assistance and one of their technicians duly turned up. He diagnosed a faulty Ad-Blue injector. Discovery booked into the dealer and eventually two days later,   we were supplied with a brand new only 11 miles on the clock Discovery 5. (They had difficulty sourcing a Land Rover with a tow bar).

The Discovery 5 we were loaned. £73.000 Price Tag

So the following morning we were off. As we cruised up the M5 followed by our caravan we had a phone call to say ours was ready. I explained where we were, and that I had just put £70.00 of Diesel in! OK I was told, carry on with your plans and bring it back next week!

A long run up to Bury, horrific roadworks on the M5 and M6. We arrived at the site, set up on our favourite pitch, and it was round to Roberts for Dinner.

Friday was dry so i put the awning up first thing. We then went down to the market in Bury, where new iPad cases were purchased. We then cam back to the caravan where I caught the steam train that was running. As it was half term the train was quite busy.

This was the Engine doing the half term Steam duties. 

On Saturday Robert Kathy and I went up to Wetherspoons for breakfast. Then Kathy went home and Robert and I went off to ride the diesel trains that were running all day.

Robert in conversation with the driver

This DMU was doing the Bury Ramsbottom shuttle

Driver View from the DMU
 Later in the day Kathy collected Lizzie and we all met up for an early dinner at another Wetherspoons.
Then Robert and I went off to ride the evening trains between Bury and Heywood. These trains were double headed to start with so the engines made a real racket. The last train of the evening was single headed.

On the Sunday we spent time at the caravan watching the train go past, before going up to Roberts for an excellent Sunday Dinner.

The view of the trains from our caravan

Passing the campsite.
Monday saw me at the market first thing, before meeting up with my cousin.

We cleared up on Tuesday morning before heading home. For a change we came down the M6, M6 toll, M42 and M5. This route avoided an awful lot of the road works.

As for the Discovery 5, well it was ok, and comfortable, but no better than our Discovery Sport.
It only did 19.6 MPG, whereas ours does 31mpg towing. So we definitely made the right decision.

Wednesday, 24 January 2018

Exmoor House CMC Site, Dulverton.

Well it is December so for our final trip of the year we have set off for Dulverton. This time, in view of the road works on the A39 we have opted to use the M4/M5 option. Traffic was not too bad and we passed a few other caravans on the road. 
We arrived at the site and soon were set up on our fully serviced pitch.
All set up

As it was Friday we opted for fish and chips for dinner from the local shop, which is only a two minute walk from the site.  
One of the real advantages of this site is that it is right in the middle of town, so there is no need to use a car.
On the Saturday we went down to Morrisons  in Tiverton, where Lizzie enjoyed zooming round the store buying Christmas treats for the family whilst I got on with the normal shopping.
I went to Church on Sunday morning, then we spent much of the day in Dulverton where 'Dulverton by Starlight' was taking place. Then it was back to the caravan where we cooked dinner and then watched the firework display.

On Tuesday we had an early start as Lizzie had a check up after her cataract operation that had been done the previous week. For this we had to go to The Circle hospital at Peasdown St John, which is just south of Bath. We had a good run up, M5, then on through Wells. 
Check up done, we headed back and came through Dunster and then over the top of Exmoor. 

Wednesday saw us driving to Bideford to inspect the house that Jade and James are hoping to buy. House looked good and was close to the sea. Looks as though we will be driving to Devon on a regular basis now.

Woods Restaurant in Dulverton was where we went for lunch on Thursday. It was absolutely superb as usual.

Inside Woods


 So that was it, our last trip of the year over. Commitments at home prevent us getting away in January, so our next trip will be early February.

Friday, 29 December 2017

Old Oaks Caravan Site Glastonbury

Well having heard so much about Old Oaks, Glastonbury, and what a perfect site it is we decided to visit it for a week.

Our nice shiny Discovery Sport.  

We drove down on the Sunday and were soon set up on a pitch at the top of the site. The pitch was quite tight and the Discovery had to go in the front of the caravan.
This was our first excursion with our new to us Discovery Sport that I had collected from Bury the previous day.

Our Pitch

We shopped on the Monday in nearby Glastonbury Town.

As the weather was so nice we headed for Yeovilton Fleet Air Arm Museum. We spent a very pleasant day there viewing all the different exhibits.  There now follows a selection of photos we took as we toured the museum.

We were able to watch Helicopters flying outside from the large viewing windows.

A general view of the museum, with a Box Kite at the front.
If you are ever down that way it really is worth a visit.

I went to the local Land Rover breakers on Thursday to find a reflector for Roberts Discovery 3. Found one and it cost all of £2.00, far better than the £20.00 that Land Rover wanted.
We then popped into Wells but the weather turned a bit inclement so we did not stop
We decided to go to Clarks village on the Friday, but it was so busy we could not find anywhere to park to we adjourned to Morrisons instead.

We cleaned up on the Saturday, and left early on Sunday to get home and see Jade who was stopping at our home.

A good week, but nothing special about the site that would make it one we want to visit again.

Saturday, 25 November 2017

Leek and Bury

Well it was soon time to head off again. Our first site was to be Blackshaw Moor, Leek, which is in the southern Peak District.
We had a good run up, taking about three hours and found the site very easily.
Overnight it was very wet and windy, but we survived.
Pitched up at the top of the site.

Sunset over the site.

We popped into Leek to do some shopping and discovered that their Waitrose had recently closed down, so it was off to Morrisons.

Leek has quite a decent shopping centre which I enjoyed wandering around.

Robert and Kathy, and Dennis of course, came to join us on the Sunday, and we set off to the Churnet railway.

Dennis being a big softie.

Our engine running around the train

We enjoyed the ride, especially the long haul up the Ipstone incline! Good to hear an engine working that hard.

A great day out.

As the weather was looking good Lizzie and I decided that we would head to the National Tramway museum at Crick. The weather was remarkable  and we were able to ride a tram and the wander round the rest of the village. Another great day out.

This is the tram that was running on the day of our visit.

The drivers view going up the track.

The Tram shed. Each track has at least three trams on it.
Inside the museum

We set off for Burrs CC site in Bury on the Wednesday . Although we have been to this site many times before, this was our first time since the new pitches had all been opened up. First impressions were good, although there does seem to be an awful lot of fully serviced pitches.

On the Thursday I bought a new to us Discovery Sport, for delivery in about 10 days.

We spent Friday watching a steam charter train chugging backwards and forwards on the railway, before setting off for Bury Market.

The site was absolutely full on the Saturday

Saturday was the start of the East Lancs Railway Steam Gala. So Robert and I set off to spend the day riding on different trains.

 We were joined at Lunch time by Mark and his Dad. We did spend time at Ramsbottom and Rawenstall away from the trains whilst we visited a few local hostelries.

They watched me as I took the photo!

We spent Sunday watching the trains again, before joining Kathy and Rob for Sunday dinner.

Pulling away from Burrs Country Park Station'

On Monday we drove down to Stretton to meet up with my cousin Tony and his wife for lunch. Good to seem them again.

Tuesday saw us clear up and then a gentle run home.

Friday, 17 November 2017

Carrog Station Camp Site, North Wales.

10th of September saw us heading up to Carrog Station Camp Site, which is on the side of the Llangollen railway.
We were in a big field directly behind the station and had good views of the Station and the railway, which was operating steam trains every day.
Our nice new awning went up easily . Kampa Rally Pro 260, the poled version.

Carrog Station from the road bridge.

I enjoyed traveling on this DMU

Thhis engine had just run round the train to take it backwards to Llangollen

Carrog Station. The two storey building is a private house.

On the Tuesday we went to travel on the train, which was absolutely packed. Good ride up and down the line though, and it is very scenic.

Heading towards Llangollen

We went out for a run in the countryside up through Ruthin, before going on to Aldi in Llangollen for shopping. Very scenic area and enjoyed it. There was a storm forceast overnight, but apart from some heavy rain, the strong winds did not materialise.

On the Thursday we headed up North towards Rhyl and Prestatyn. Very showery day . When we got up to Rhyl and drove along the coast we were amazed at how many caravan sites there were, mostly statics with a few touring ones. We then went on to Flint, before cutting South to Mold and back to the caravan.
It was an excellent day out

Friday was again very showery, so Lizzie had a PJ day and I spent most of it up at the station, photographing trains.

Next to us on the site four families pitched up. There were very well organised and had a great weekend.

It really did rain overnight, but the sun came out, so I went up to the railway again to travel on the Diesel Multiple Unit that was running on the line.  It was built in 1958 and was in superb condition.

The  Diesel Multiple Unit.

Every day we watched coaches arrive at the station, loaded with tourists, who were going to ride the railway. Two coaches that arrived on the Sunday were full of American Tourists, who had come from a cruise ship that had berthed in Liverpool
Whilst up at the station on the Sunday I was invited up into the Signal Box that was a very interesting experience.

Inside the signal box.

The Ffestiniog railway was our destination. We had a good run over to it and the journey on the train was good. Again the Photos can tell the story.

We ran out of gas on the Monday night, so I set off to find a Calor Lite bottle. Well they seem to be like hens teeth in North Wales. The Calor dealer in Llangollen did not have any, but he gave me a 6kg cylinder as long as I paid for the gas, and let me keep my Calor Lite, so I could exchange it elsewhere.

On the Wednesday we took a packed lunch down to the Bala Lake railway.
It is a narrow gauge railway built on the track bed of a disused standard gauge railway.

Bala Lake Railway

On the Friday we departed at 10.45 for the Adventure Overland show on Stratford race course, where we met up with Robert and Kathy, Dennis the Dog, Steve and Barry.
 We had an excellent weekend and headed home late on Sunday afternoon,

Barry, Steve, Kathy, Dennis the dog, Robert and Liz

Our Stand.

Again an excellent few weeks away.