Saturday, 31 December 2011

Winter Caravanning

Lizzie and I have decided that as we have a lot of money invested in our caravan we should make good use of it all year round!
We settled on Dulverton Caravan Club site for our first go at 'Winter Caravanning', but with me having so many commitments in Chipping Sodbury, council meetings, Crib Festival in church, where I was transporting Donkeys around in a horse box, and the Victorian night, oh and new carpets being laid at home, we were not able to get away until the 7th of December.
We made sure we had propane gas on board (Butane does not work in the winter) and  collected the caravan from storage and set off. We decided that we we would head south, straight through the middle of Bristol, and pick up the M5 somewhere near Bridgewater. It was raining hard, and as we approached the site there were many large puddles. That meant the bottom of the caravan and the Freelander both got an extremely good wash.  When we arrived on site, both the caravan and the Freelander were pretty filthy.
We soon set up and put the small Christmas tree up in the front window!

The site is right in the middle of town.  Literally a 200 yard walk to get the papers, do some shopping and have a beer!
The first night there was a slight frost, but with no effort at all we had the caravan at a very comfortable 28 degrees.  With the awning up the heat did not escape too easily. All our heating came from the electric on board heating, at no point did we need to put the gas fire on.

Whilst in Dulverton we were able to drive over Exmoor, and when it was not raining we were able to take a few decent shots:

Whilst we were traveling around we went to Minehead, Porlock Weir and  Lynmouth and Lynton where we were able to do some Christmas shopping.

Every where we went there were so many puddles to splash through that driving was great fun.

We were amused by the following sign,

There were plenty of these signs, and also loads of Pheasants, but unfortunately we were unable to catch any!

On the Saturday we decided to visit Dunster as it was sure to have a Christmasy feel about it!  What a disappointment. There were no Christmas lights that we could see. or any decorations.  There was just one small Christmas tree at the entrance to the castle!

We had another pleasant run over Exmoor back to the Campsite.  We  then had an excellent dinner in one of the local hostelries. 

We drove home on the Sunday, again in the pouring rain!

We had endured pouring rain, high winds, frosts, bright sunshine, cloud down to the ground!   Would we do it again?
Well we are booked into another site for the third week of January, so maybe next time we will caravan in the snow!  It would seem that the bug has really got us!

Fairlight Caravan Club Site. 23rd - 30th October

After our last lot of exploits up 'north' we go involved in decorating the hall, stairs and landing and also updating the kitchen.  Well if the house is going to be untidy, you might as well do it properly!

We set off for Fairlight, which is a couple of miles east of Hastings.  M4, and M25 were busy but no problems and we soon found our way onto the sight.
The site is in the middle of Fairlight woods, so as you can imagine, there were rather a lot of trees there. The caravan pitches were in small groups based in clearings in the woods.
Now as it was autumn, the trees were shedding their leaves and they were getting every where!  the wardens, were constantly out sweeping and collecting leaves!
As usual when we got to the site I asked the warden, what he reckoned was the 'best pitch available'?  we were directed to use pitch 5, as although there were trees overhanging it, they were not the sort that were dropping nuts, conkers or acorns.

Whilst we were at Fairlight we visited, the following places:
Bexhill, a town that has certainly seen better days!
Hastings and thoroughly enjoyed wandering round the old fishing area.
Rye, a quaint old town on the edge of the Marshes.
Dungeness where we were able to watch the train travelling across the marsh.
We travelled up to Folkestone on one day so Lizzie could relive old haunts, and then went on to Rainham where we met my cousin Lee for dinner.  It was very good to see her looking so well!

For some reason, probably the inclement weather we took only 4 photos on our week away!  Note to self , take more photos.  I did take this one of Lizzie in Hastings though.

Wednesday, 21 September 2011

Burrs Country Park, Bury. 8th - 12th September

We decided to get some new passports so that we could venture up north!  The main reason for our trip was that it was Cathy's significant birthday, so we thought that we would make a few days of it.  It took us about three and a half hours to get there. The site was superb, if a little open. Running beside it was the East Lancs Railway, so we were treated to steam trains regularly throughout the day.
We decided that a trip on the train was must, and it was good.  As we went past the site we could see our caravan!

We visited all sorts of places.

The scenery was superb, and we will be back to the area again.  We even experienced the world Black Pudding throwing competition. On the Sunday morning we took the awning down as it was so windy.

It really was good break.  Cathy's party was good fun.  A bit of a nightmare journey home as it was the tail end of  Hurricane Katrina, so the journey back down the Motorway, was a bit of a nightmare, as caravans do not travel well in high winds

Tefi Meadows, Lampeter, Wales 30th August - 4th September

Cathy and Robert invited us to join them at Tefi Meadows for a few days. This was their base for two weeks. It was a beautiful site, chickens running around, fresh eggs and best of all electric hook up, and all for £13.00 per night.  The only downfall was that as we were in Wales it was raining!

We spent two days off roading, and travelled through some amazing countryside.  A small selection of the 250 photos that we took follow!
It was a really amazing few days.  Cathy, Robert, Zak and Ethan are excellent company.  Hopefully we shall be able to do the same again next year.

Land Rover Max Landrover Show. 12th to 14th August

Away again, this time to the Landrover Max show, which was being held at Stoneleigh show ground, near Warwick.

Collected caravan straight from storeage and set off. Straight up the M5 to Tewkesbury and then the A46.  It took us a couple of hours to get there.
We were first to arrive so we set up at the back of our pitch. Soon the rest of the 'Landytown' crew arrived.
For the record it was the Doves, Mal and family, Cainsie, with his two year old daughter and Mat. Keith turned up on the Saturday morning. We soon had the club display set up.

It was a goodish show, with an excellent beer tent.

We ran a Tombola in Aid of Kendal mountain rescue team.  Thorny is one of their members and came with their display

Plenty to see and the weather was good.
Many thanks to Robert Dove, who took the photos as for some reason I did not take any!

Start Bay. 17th July - 7th August

Our second visit here. We camped this time on Pitch 18 which is huge!

As we were going to be on site for three weeks, we took our time over setting up.

This really is a beautiful part of the country, and we are considering moving here at some point.
During our stay we went to Totnes, Hope Cove, Salcombe. Kingsbridge, Brixham, Dartmouth, and so many other places.

Having joined the Scottish National Trust, its half the price of the English one, and get in for free to all National Trust sites, we went to Overbecks.  This a house above Salcombe, which we thought rather overrated.  Compton Fishacre, which is just outside Brixham was far better.

Some of the other things we did was to use my over 60's Travel Pass to go on the double Decker from the site to Kingsbridge, and also to Dartmouth.  It was rather exciting as the road is very narrow, so the bus often has to reverse. Also from the top deck the views are superb over the South Devon Coast and country side.

Halfway through I came home to cut the grass, pick vegetables and to collect Zoe, who was spending ten days with us.

I also bought a Fishing Rod, so spent many happy hours fishing from the beach.

Zoe and I went Sea fishing, and actually caught some Mackerel which we the brought back to sit and cooked.

During the last week we took a boat trip up the Dart Estuary, which was excellent.

On the Last Friday, we hired a motor boat for a couple of hours, and were able to explore the Salcombe Estuary.

Hopefully we will be able spend a long period of time on a site like this again

Heddington and Stockley Steam rally. 1st to 3rd July

A short trip this time, as the rally site was just near Bowood House.  It took us abou forty five minutes to get there. We set up in the top field next to Chunkster's caravan. No electric hookup here!  Emily and Zoe were with is again, so no hair straighteners for them. Mal and family arrived, as did Griff and the Flumps, who put their tents around the two caravans.
As you can see Friday evening became a bit of a party!

As this was a 'Landytown' event we set our stand up. It was a lovely warm day, and there was plenty of interest in our display and the stand in general.  We also ran a 'Help For Heroes' stall.
Saturday evening we had a group BBQ, where everybody cooked on our Cadac.

Sunday was warm again.  There was plenty to see.
This really was an excellent weekend. Hopefully we will be there again next year.

Pembrey Caravan Club Site, South Wales. 24th -28th June

Our second visit here.
Arrived on the Friday, pitch 80, which was against the forest. and guess what it started to pour with rain.

Saturday was misty, with Low cloud and rain, so we set off inland to explore the country side, or at least what we could see of it.  We came across a quaint little railway line so investigated that.
They had a food fair on here that looked interesting.  Unfortunately you had to travel to it by train, as it was at the next station up the line.  The next train was in an hour, and the station where they were holding the fair was inaccesable by road so we gave it a miss.

When we got back to the site, the sun came out! Hooray.
Sunday was areal contrast as the Temperature reached 31 degrees.  We went to investigate the country park and beach next door!
Monday started beautifully, so we went to Mumbles. It was beautiful there, with clear blue skies and it was warm, however we were in Wales, and by lunch time it was raining!

This was our second visit to Pembrey.  Our reason for going was that this was the site we first visited with the caravan.  We are not sure if we will go back there again, as there is so much more of england to see.

Tuesday, 20 September 2011

The Dunsfold Collection. 17th to 19th June

We loaded the Freelander and set off to collect the caravan, then away up the M4 to Reading, before turning South and heading towards Guilford and beyond.
All was well as far as Guilford, before we met a traffic jam. One hour to cover two miles.
Eventually we found the site, it was marked by 4inch square signs that were difficult to spot.

We were the first of the 'Landytowners' to arrive, so we found a campsite, and set up in the long grass. no electric hook up here. Mal arrived at about 8.00pm

Saturday morning saw us up early effecting the club stand, we had the 'Camel Trophy' lot opposite us.

Frog, the Flumps and Griff all turned up, and it began to get very muddy.

An amazing number of Landrovers on the site. This is the Dunsfold collection after all which has examples of every Land Rover ever built.

There were some horrific showers during the day and it got muddier and muddier. 900 Land rovers on site.

An excellent auction in the evening.

Sunday was a much better day weathwise, but major parts of the site were roped off as they were so muddy.Over 700 Land rovers on site.

Moving the vehicles from the display area back to where we were camped proved to be an interesting drive, but as usual the freelander showed just how good it is in adverse conditions.

Cleared up and attached the caravan. As the field was so muddy we had to do a figure of eight in the field to make sure we were lined up with the gate to be able to tow the caravan out without damaging it.

An excellent weekend

Photos to follow

Photos to follow.

Start Bay. 29th May 4th June

Well we collected the caravan and set off for Start Bay Caravan Club site. Emily and Zoe came with us, although for the first night they stayed with Emilys mum and Andy at Bee Sands. We all had dinner on the first night down at Start Bay.
Monday dawned wet, although it soon brightened up. We went to Bee Sands and then into Salcombe for a light lunch. Salcombe was unusually quiet for the time of year.

The weather became very warm, so the girls spent time on Tor sands where that were able to play in the sea.
We spent all day in Salcombe where the girls really enjoyed crabbing.

On Thursday, Jade and James came down to join us. They stayed in the tent, whilst the girls moved into the caravan with us. Fortunately the weather was very good, so plenty of Barbecues and lazing about.

Sunday, 12 June 2011

Tillshead, salisbury Plain

Salisbury Plain  “8th April – 2nd May
This time we were heading for a more rural Setting. Tilshead, on Salisbury Plain.  Took the Disco this time and, with its new rear shock absorbers fitted, towed like a dream.   Pitched up and later Cathy and Rob arrived.  Lots of other Landrovers on the site.

Friday was royal wedding day, so we went to Salisbury to do a bit aof shopping, and were able to watch the Wedding Highlights in Waitrose. Went for a run over the ‘Plain’ with Mal and some of the others.  The ground was so hard, that we pulled out after about 8 miles as we feared damaging the Disco. Zoe drove some of the easier sections!
Saturday was again warm and sunny, so we set off for Thruxton to see the Touring car Championship  as well as some other races.  Were able to get in and had almost free range of the circuit, including the pits.  Lewis Hamilton was there.

We were woken by bright sun on the Sunday, so after  getting the papers and a bit of shopping, we spent the day on site, reading and the odd glass of vino.  We did om and ah about going laning but Rob had damaged the Range Rover, so we quickly dismissed that idea.
A leisurely start on Monday, and we packed  up for the journey home, via Mal’s to drop off the event shelter.

A brilliant hot sunny weekend with excellent company.

Monday, 23 May 2011

Off Roading in France

Well just to prove that a Freelander2 can do it, here follows a few shots of us Offroading in France. Admittedly we only lasted half a day as it began to get very scratchy and we did not want to do any damage to the vehicle.
Now that was an easy bit. The lanes became steeper and much more enclosed!

 We were following Cathy and Rob so got some idea of the angles that we were going to be at. Cathy took the photos, (Thanks)

A rather tight lane as you can see!
Well after that we left the rest of 'Landytown' to it, and had a gentle drive back though the stunning French countryside to the camp site.

A couple of days later the girls joined the other Landytowners at an off roading site. Grateful thanks to Greg and Nigel for letting them drive their vehicles. A couple of shots follow!

Keep following us.  More France to come , and then Salisbury Plain!