Saturday, 1 October 2016

Whitby and The Adventure Overland Show.

Well two days at home and we were all loaded up and off again. This time we were heading for Whitby, an area we had never visited before.   It was off up the M5, M42 and M1.  We were heading for Poolsbrook Caravan Club site for an over night stop. When we arrived the warden greeted us warmly as we knew her when she was at Burrs CC site over the last three years.
The site is a very new one and could do with a lot more tree and bush planting to break up that car park look that the CC are renowned for.

The following morning we were off again up the M1 and A1(M), then round York on to Pickering and finally onto Whitby Holiday Park. 
We could have stayed at the CC site in Whitby, but that would have been several pounds a night more and would have far less in the way of facilities.

The view over Whitby as we descended Blue Bank

The view from the caravan
We were on pitch 70, on the edge of the cliffs with superb sea views. The site was also very busy, as it was pirate weekend in Whitby.

On the Saturday we drove to Staithes, but found that the village was shut for an Arts weekend. So we drove on further up the coast and saw some lovely countryside, but also some very depressing small towns. We finally came to Saltburn by the sea, which was a neat little holiday resort, but more of that later.

On the Monday we set off across the moors to Goathland, which is the village of Adensfield in the Heartbeat series on television.  We really enjoyed our visit to the North Yorkshire Moors  Railway station. It is a beautifully presented twin track station set up how it would have been in the 1950's.
We saw several trains arrive and depart. The noise of the locomotives pulling up the bank from Grosmount to Goathland was something special.

Goathland Station

The actual village of Goathland however was a bit of a disappointment as it was so commercialised.

So we set off across the moors to Pickering which was a really busy market town. From there we headed off towards Scarborough before turning North back to Whitby.

The next day I walked in to Whitby. The path was along the top of the cliffs, past Whitby Abbey and then down 169  steps into town.  Now Whitby had been really busy on Saturday when we drove through it, but it was just as busy on a Tuesday.  It really was absolutely heaving!

The walk down into Whitby
As i walked past the Abbey I spotted this Land Rover Ice Cream van driving up the hill.

Thick fog greeted us on the Wednesday morning, and we had intended to ride the railway, but the weather forestalled that.  We popped out in the Freelander to get some shopping, and the Freelander was not running at all well!  We managed to complete the shopping and got back to the caravan where I rang Land Rover Assistance (LRA).  They promised to send somebody, but rang me back a bit later to say the LRA man could not get to me until the next day, so would I like the AA.  I opted to wait for the LRA man the following morning,

He duly turned up at 9.00 am and fiddled and reprogrammed the ECU. We then went for a test run, and it was still not much better. Whilst he had been fiddling with the car he said that he also drove a Freelander2 and towed a caravan. We got back and he got on to his office and they rang me to say could I get to the Land Rover Main agent in Pickering where a replacement vehicle. a brand new Discovery Sport HSE, complete with tow pack would be there for me, and it was ours to use until the Freelander was fixed.  We could even use it to continue our travels with the caravan, and they would deliver the Freelander back to us when it was fixed, wherever we were in the country.

On the Friday the fog had finally gone, but it was horrifically windy. We drove down the coast to Robin Hoods Bay then on to Scarborough which was a nice place with a lovely beach. Then on to Bridlington, which we were not so keen on.  We then turned back up the coast to Flamborough head, before returning to the caravan.

We headed up the coast to Staithes on Saturday. Staithes was a very quaint little place which was very well worth visiting.

  We moved on to Saltburn on Sea, where we managed to park by the beach.  We  sat outside a small cafe, it was 25 degrees C and very sunny, enjoying morning coffee.

We wandered along the front admiring the beach and a smart little pier.

Saltburn on Sea

We drove back over the moors on the A171, where the Discovery Sport was able to stretch its legs!

On Sunday we drove the Dalby Forest trail, which was through Dalby forest. I had hoped that it would be a rough track, but it turned out to be a metalled road. Still a good drive though and we saw some lovely properties on our travels. It would be a super place to cycle and there were lots of places to park up and enjoy the scenery.

It was a bit damp on the Monday, but we still decided to ride on the North Yorkshire Moors Railway.
We got a taxi down into Whitby station for the the 2.00 train to Pickering.  The reason for the Taxi was that it would cost about the same as parking in Whitby.
We enjoyed the journey up to Pickering, which takes 1 hour 40 minutes.

 We  came back on the 4.10 train to Whitby where we bought some superb fish and chips for supper, and took them, via a taxi ride back to the caravan.

On Tuesday I went to Pickering to collect the Freelander and then drove back to Grosmount to visit the sheds of the NYMR.

For those who want to know its number is 37264

We cleared up on the Wednesday morning and set off  for The Firs CC site at Belper. We stopped there for two nights and then headed south to Stratford on Avon Race course for the Adventure Overland show. We met up with our friends, Robert, Steve and Barry there.

Robert, Steve, Barry and Lizzie. In the pot hanging over the fire a whole chicken is roasting 
We set up our small Landy Town display and enjoyed the show and the continuing good weather.

There were many amazing vehicles on display there.

Forward Control Land Rover that has been converted to a camper van.

I wonder how many gallons to the mile this does?

Towing its own caravan home!
Steve and Barry left on the Sunday, but Robert and us stayed until the Monday when we cleared up and left at about 12 noon.
We had a good run down over the Cotswolds, getting home at about 1.30.

Thursday, 29 September 2016

Away with the Grand children!

As we had promised to take Izzy and Freddie away in the caravan we booked two nights at Northam Farm, Brean.
Amy brought the two children up to us at lunchtime, and they had no idea that they were coming away until they saw the booster seats being put into the Freelander"
Well we set off with two very excited children, and traveled the M4 / M5 route down to Brean.
We were soon on site and Izzy and Freddie 'helped' us set up.
We had fish and chips for supper and then all went up to the Club!  (not one of our usual activities), where the children enjoyed the entertainment!
We left at 9.15 and all collapsed into our respective beds!

In the morning we all enjoyed a proper English breakfast, whilst we decided what to do as it was raining very hard!
We decided that the Seaquarium in Weston-Super-Mare was the place to go. 
I have to say that it was an amazing place, and we all really enjoyed our visit.
The rain had now abated so it was back to the caravan and the children could play outside,

The playground. Photo taken by Izzy

Sunday dawned bright and sunny, so after another hearty breakfast it was off to the beach, where the children played and had ice creams.
Izzy, photo taken by Freddie.

Freddie, photo taken by Izzy!

We returned to the caravan  and cleared up, leaving the site at 3.30.  We drove home up the Weston road and through the centre of Bristol,  therefore avoiding the inevitable Sunday chaos on the M4 and M5.

A thoroughly enjoyable week end but also a very tiring one!

Wednesday, 28 September 2016

Cholwells CL, Woolaston, South Devon.

Well we drove down to South Devon on Wednesday 24th August, taking our usual route, stopping in Wells for lunch at Clive's Burger van.
We found the site easily and set up on the farthest pitch from the road, with views over Thurlestone Bay. Water and Electric were supplied to each pitch.

On the Thursday we drove over to Teignmouth to meet up with Angela and Alan. We had an excellent day with them, having lunch at Teignmouth Golf Club.   We then drove back through Brixham, crossing on the ferry at Dartmouth then along the coast road through Start Bay where we were a couple of weeks ago. 

This tall ship was in Dartmouth for the regatta.

I popped into Kingsbridge on Friday morning to go to the bank, and discovered that we could get free WIFI at the information centre and it was very quick.  We then spent the rest of the day sat in the sun reading as it was very hot.

We spent time watching the harvest being brought in!

James, Jade, Jack and Josie were staying in Kingsbridge for their summer holiday, so we met them for lunch at the Seven Stars.
In the evening we got a taxi into Salcombe and went to the Fort for Dinner and it was very good!

It was very wet and windy overnight, but the sun soon came out so we went out to explore some villages that we do not know so well. We first went to Aveton Gifford then on to Loddiswell where we came across Loddiswell station, which was on the Kingsbridge branch line. The station is now a self contained holiday property.
We then continued across the South Hams through Marliegh to Slapton beach, where we sat and enjoyed ice creams in the burning sunshine!

These trees on the skyline looked to me like giant Hedgehogs moving along.

We made a mistake on a burning hot August Bank Holiday by arranging to meet Jade, James and his parents at Bigbury Bay.  After a few minutes driving we ground to a halt through the pressure of traffic. We turned back to the caravan to sit and have coffee. Mean while Jade and company headed for Start Bay.
We had to collect Jade from Slapton to get her and deliver her  to Totnes Station for the 3.50 train to Bristol as she was attending a wedding the following day.
On the way the main road was totally blocked at Hallwell,  as a Land Rover had hit a bus head on.  We turned round, and using our local knowledge quickly found ourselves another route through some very narrow lanes with grass up the middle.  She got her train!
On the way back the road was properly shut, so we used our diversion again.

The mist over the Kingsbridge estuary!

Another caravan had arrived on site. It was driven by a very smart 87 year old man with his wife. He informed me that he had just ordered a new BMW X5 and a new Swift Caravan!  Forward thinking at his age.

We made our first visit of the summer to Hope Cove for morning coffee, then back to the caravan where it was so hot.

Inner Hope at Coffee time!

Salcombe was our coffee destination on the Wednesday, and then we went to Kingsbridge for a little shopping.  It was James's dads 60th birthday, so we all met up at the Crab shell in Kingsbridge for dinner!  We had a very good evening, but were not at all impressed by the menu, so will not be going there again!

We cleared up on the Thursday and had a good run home for a quick turn around as we were off again in the morning!

Monday, 22 August 2016

Start Bay, Devon

We decided that the South Hams would be our next destination, so with the Freelander and caravan loaded we set off taking our usual route down through Wells, Glastonbury and Street, aiming to join the M5 at Bridgwater, thereby avoiding all of the congestion that happens each week end between Bristol and Weston Super Mare.
Our plan worked and when we joined the motorway the traffic was flowing well.
Our first stop was to be Steamer Quay CC site at Totnes. This site is unusual in as much it is the only one run by the Caravan Club that does not have Electric hook up!

The River at Totnes looking north.
The site is right in the middle, almost on the edge of the river.  We arrived at 4.00pm and I wandered into town to book a table for dinner. No luck though as everything was fully booked, so at 6.30 we had some excellent take away pizzas.

Looking South.

At 10.30 the following morning we were packed up and on our way.  By stopping at Totnes overnight we are able to get to Start Bay Caravan Club site  for 12 noon.

As it was we arrived there at just after 11.30, having had an excellent run through the narrow roads, and were allowed on to the site. We pitched up on the grass, and soon had the awning up along with Zoe's tent.
Our set up!

The site was looking superb, with the managers Steve and Sue obviously having everything well under control.
Later in the afternoon I wandered down to Tor Cross to check out the beach!

Looking North along the beach at high tide.

Zoe and Mitch arrived the following day.  I popped into Salcombe to arrange some Mackerel fishing for later in the week.  It was regatta week so the town was very busy.  Unfortunately the Monday turned out quite wet, but that was the only rain we were to experience over the next couple of weeks.
On the way back from Salcombe we called into Cholwells Farm CL, as we are booked in there for later in the month.  £12.00 a night as opposed to the £25 we were paying at Start Bay.

On Wednesday, Zoe, Mitch and myself headed for Salcombe to go fishing. Unfortunately, Just as I had paid the parking fee we had a phone call to say no fishing as beyond the Bar the sea was far too rough. We were however rebooked for Thursday afternoon.

We went fishing in glorious weather on the Thursday afternoon, and came back with loads of fish!

Heading out over the Bar to fish!

Salcombe from the estuary always looks good!

One of the yachts moored in the harbour.

Even the countryside looks good from the sea!
 The weather had turned really hot and sunny, so we occupied our time by sitting in the sun outside the caravan, or down on the beach. I also spent some time fishing off the beach for Mackerel.
Each morning I went for a long walk down to Tor Cross to collect the daily papers.  As I did this I was able to compile some good photos of the beach, and Slapton Ley, which is a large lake that lays behind the road.

Looking over Slapton Ley from the coast road!  I would love to live in one of those houses.

Slapton Ley from another angle.

Yet another view along the beach!

The tank on the beach
 Each day when out walking I would pass this tank!  It was placed here after being recovered from the sea.  This part of the South Hams was evacuated in November 1943 for the Allies to practice for the  invasion of France on D Day.  visit    for the complete story!

We spent the rest of our time there visiting local beaches and villages bathed in the gorgeous sunshine.

The weather stayed beautiful right up until we left on the 14th of August getting home late afternoon ready for Zoe's birthday on the Monday.

Sunday, 21 August 2016

Riat 2016, a wedding and Southwell

Well after a couple of days at home we were off again, this time to Fairford for the Royal International Air Tattoo.
We drove up there and met up with Robert who had arrived the previous day. We soon set up camp and settled down for a few days of serious plane viewing. We were in our usual position on the field so had a good view.   Our new awning, purchased from Norwich Camping had arrived whilst we were in France, so we were able to put that up for the first time.  It is exactly the same as the previous one.
This year we had decided not to go in to the actual airfield, just to sit and watch, as many others did.
Also on the Friday we were going to leave late afternoon as we were attending Bailey and Pauls wedding the following day.  So on Friday, when Mark had arrived we left for home. When we got home Jade, James, Jack and Josie were there.  Lots of hugs as we had not seen them for 11 weeks.
Enjoyed the wedding which was held a Tortworth Court

We arrived back at the caravan on Saturday night at about six pm, and joined Robert and Mark in the bar!
Sunday was spent watching the displays as we sat outside of our caravan enjoying the excellent weather.

Monday morning started early as all of the planes, some 300,  that had come for the show started to depart.  It was like being at Heathrow as there seemed to be take offs every minute or so.

  Whilst watching the activity we cleared up ready to move on.  The planes certainly got close to us as they lined up to depart!

We were moving on to Southwell to see Nic, Stuart and Scarlett for a few days.
Robert followed us north until we reached the M42, when hen sped off along to the M6 and we headed North North East towards Southwell.
We got to Maythorne campsite at about 4.00pm and set up. We were soon joined by Nic, Stuart and Scarlett.
We stayed at Southwell for a week, enjoying excellent weather. Whilst there we spent some time exploring the town which really is a delightful place.

Southwell minster
The Minster is well worth a visit, and I was fortunate enough to be able to attend one of their services.

Whilst we were at Southwell we all went to visit The Midland Railway, Butterley.
We went for a ride on the train, and were fortunate to travel in a Diesel Multiple Unit with seats right behind the driver!
Our view of the line

On our journey along the line we went through Swanwick junction where they encourage you to get off and visit the loco sheds.  We however decided to drive there, but there were no sign posts to it, so with some superb work on her Iphone Nic discovered the route.

It was a truly amazing place, with all the sheds open.  Unusually you could wander everywhere, even through the engineering works.  Very unusual to be able to do this in such Health and Safety concious days.
A selection of photos from the dozens that I took follow.

Our train

Some wagons and locos were stored outside

Inside one of the very modern workshops

Inside another of the sheds!  This shed needs a new roof though.

Next door was this place.

Inside it was full of all sorts of Fork Lift Trucks

 It  was good to spend time with them all, and also to meet up with Nics Mum and Dad again.

Scarlett making biscuits!

 After a few more days spent with Stuart, Nic and Scarlett, it was time for us to depart for home as Stuart and family were going to travel to their new home just south of Munich.