Friday, 27 July 2012

Greenacres Farm CL, Bibury. 19th-24th July

Hooray the weather has changed at last! It is bright and sunny. Greenacres Farm CL is just a short jaunt of thirty miles for us. We were on site by 1.00pm, and there was only one other caravan there. The site was very large, so we chose the end of the field, in the corner where we could be relatively private. I have to add that the pitches were 18m apart, and each had its own plug and tap.

On the Friday we had a prior arrangement to collect Lizzie's mum and  Roy from Gordano services on the M5. They had been on a coach trip to Ireland. We set off to collect the, going via Chipping Sodbury caravans to pick up a proper television aerial. Driving down the M5 was not a lot of fun as it was the first day proper of the school holidays, they were duly collected and dropped to their home in Winterbourne and we returned to site. As we had gone through Chipping Sodbury, we had called in at home to collect the post. The Caravan Club's guide to sites in France had arrived so I was able to look forward to reading that over the next few days and get more planning done for our proposed trip to Corsica next summer.

On the Saturday, it was so hot. We only went into Bibury for afternoon tea and a visit to the local tea rooms at the Trout farm. It certainly is a nice place, but was rather full of tourists, fortunately none when I took this picture!
We drove though part of the area as we had spotted some green lanes we thought we could drive. When we got to them they were so overgrown that we could not attempt them in the Freelander2.

Some super gardens though.

Three more caravans arrived on site, so it was now full!  One chap kept visiting the rest of us, inviting us to come up to his awning to share a drink and chat. We decided that a short visit was ok, so we popped up for half an hour. That was plenty!  we were soon back in our own area.  Enough said!!!!

The Sunday was even hotter so we popped into Cirencester to get the papers and some salad stuff. On the way back we stopped at 'The Village Pub' in Barnsley.  This is a delightful village and the pub looked interesting!

Well it was very nice, but also very, very expensive! A glass of wine was £7.50.
 It was nice to park amongst all the Range Rovers and Discoveries!   At least ours was the newest!
We decided to stay for an extra night, so the following morning it was off to Chedworth Roman Villa. Driving through the countryside was rather enjoyable!

Then it was back to our pitch, where Lizzie wanted to get back to reading that book!

We cleared up the following morning, and set off home. I was a pleasant drive, spoilt only by a few drivers who pulled out in front of us and then proceeded to drive slowly in front of us. We travel on normal roads at about 50mph, which is the limit when towing, so having somebody driving in front of you so slowly is annoying. It also makes the traffic behind us think that we are holding them up. So a hasty pull into a few laybys, to let the traffic clear, and also let vehicles following see that we are not the cause of the hold up.

Anyway, that was our trip to Bibury.  We shall definitely use this site again.
Home now for a few days before our next trip.

Thursday, 12 July 2012

Aberbran Caravan Club Site 4th - 8th July

Aberbran Caravan Club Site

Well Zoe has gone to Cyprus so we decided that we would slip over the bridge to the land where Dragons live.  Aberbran CC site is about three miles to the west of Brecon.  It is built on the site of an old railway station. It has been a caravan club site since 1967. As it is small, with only 25 pitches it is run by a team of volunteer wardens. It really is one of the neatest sites that we have stayed on.

 This means that it is a long narrow site.  When we arrived the wardens greeted us with the news that we had been allocated pitch 7, which was at the far end of the site, and was the only one with a really good view.  Getting the caravan in position was a bit tight, which lead me to wonder how we would get it out again.
This was also the first time out with our new awning, which went up easily and stood up to the weather very well.  Once we were set up this was our view.
On the Tuesday we decided to go for a circular drive around the Brecon Beacons. It was very wet so photos are not so good so only one of this part of our trip.

On the Friday we were off to the Fairford Air Tattoo to meet Cathy and Rob.   This should have been a journey of some 70 miles that should have taken about 1 hour 45 minutes, but it was very, very wet and took us two hours. However we got there and survived the mud.  It rained all day, but Robert produced an excellent lunch.  We saw lots of planes arriving and watched some spectacular flying by the Black Falcons. Unfortunately our camera is not up to taking aeroplane's clearly so you will have to settle for one shot of the American ones.
Next year, if funds permit, we might go to the show proper for the whole weekend
The journey home was even worse. Horrific traffic from Fairford to Gloucester, due to roads being flooded. Once through Gloucester the roads were clear but it still took us three hours to get back.

Saturday was a cracking day so we sot off to drive up the Llanthony Valley in the Black Mountains.  I have camped in this valley so many times with Scouts that many memories came flooding back.
Llanthony abbey, despite being a ruin is still truly stunning.

The 'modern' building is Cafe/Bar and also has accommodation. Very busy place as this a good place to park up and walk from.
We drove on up the valley, climbing higher and higher!

Even Liz admired the view!

We drove on to the top of the valley, Hay Bluff, where the views were absolutely stunning.  Just like being on top of the world.   A few shots to demonstrate how good it is up there.

Sorry, but could not resist popping this one in!
We set off to drive down the hill back to camp when we spotted this caravan in the middle of nowhere!
It looked to be in good condition as though it was still in use.
This shot shows just how remote it was.

With that we returned to the site

Sunday also dawned fine and bright so we cleared up in a leisurely manner.  When the time came to hitch up we were able to pull the van round with ease. Several other caravaners came to help us but it swung round really easily.
A gentle run home, then the caravan back into storage ready for our next trip in a few days time!

Sunday, 1 July 2012

Bristol and West Land Rover Show. 22nd-24th June

Funnily enough the Bristol and West Land Rover Show is held at the Bath and West Showground, which is at Shepton Mallet. This show has been held a couple of times before, but is now being organised by a new team.
We drove down through Bath and the traffic can only be described as horrific, so a quick extra circuit of the roundabout and we were on our way through Bradford on Avon.  Soon we reached the showground, where Mal was setting up his tent.  We had been allocated a club stand right in the centre of the show.  We set up and others began to arrive, Ian and family and then Greg. As soon as personal needs were met, we set about building the club stall.

The Friday night was showery with high winds, but everything stayed up.
We were very busy on the Saturday with lots of general public coming through the gate.  Katie Pops turned up with her Land rover, and Snappylegs and his family also turned up for the day. Craig and his wife also turned up.
We had lots of interest in the club and forum. The weather was not too bad, very windy but at least the rain stayed off.
In the afternoon we all went off to join the BLESMA (British Limbless ExServices mens Association) Challenge. The aim was to create the the shape of a Land Rover Defender on the field using 1000 Land Rovers. It was quit a sight, although we only had about 800 Land Rovers so we did not quite make it, we did however raise over £8000 for BLESMA.

After that we set off in convoy around the showground, which was great fun as we were all able to see all the different Land Rovers that had come to the show.

All shapes and sizes of Land Rovers were there. Not sure if I would like to drive one of these although they are road legal!
Although there were a lot of vehicles in the convoy it is difficult to represent it with photographs.

I did like this one though. The one on the right is a Toylander, which we plan to start building.

The show was like any other with lots of trade and club stands, various competitions and other displays.  This one created some interest!
The toilet seat on the front, is a genuine product from Australia, and is called a Bumper Dumper.

Saturday night was horrifically windy, and our awning split.  I t has done over 125 nights camping and lasted over 21 months.  So a new Sunncamp XL will be ordered as soon as we get home.
Sunday however was a bright sunny day and the wind dropped steadily throughout the day.

Lots of people were at the show again on the Sunday. The show finished at 4.00pm, by which time personal tents were down and our caravan was cleared up. So once the Club stand was packed away, we all set off home.

It really was an excellent show, where we met many old friends, and made quite a few new ones.  We all look forward to the show next year, which hopefully will be even bigger.