Now being classed as ‘semi-retired’ i.e a part-time job means that I’m limited as to when I can get away. This coupled with Sue’s on-call commitments and theatre schedule at the hospital means that our trips are a bit last-minute. Regular readers will know that since buying our caravan we have always tried to fit in a Christmas Market trip, just to get into the festive spirit. This year looked like it was not going to happen. However, having to use up the last of my holidays before year-end and coupled with the fact the cardiac unit at the hospital was quiet meant we could just about fit in a cheeky little break before Christmas. We had originally set the time aside for a possible trip down to the Isle of Wight to see some friends as one of them was due to undergo surgery a couple of weeks earlier. However surgery was delayed and it would have been too soon after the op. So the next problem was where to go?
Sunday 6th September
Despite the weather the previous week being a bit ‘iffy’ Sunday started out bright. We had loaded up the caravan the previous day and within 20 minutes of arriving at the caravan storage compound we were hitched up and ready to set off by 9:35 for the 170 mile journey south to Plough Lane Caravan Park ( a member of the growing number of Tranquil Touring Parks sites) near Chippenham in Wiltshire. Continue reading
Part Two of our Cheltenham and Oxford festive outing…
Wednesday 10th December
Thankfully the wild weather that was affecting northern England and Scotland didn’t extend as far south as Gloucestershire and after a bit of a late start we were packed up and ready to say goodbye to Briarfields and set off for Oxford. We called in reception to drop off our electronic tag that operated the security barriers and waved goodbye to our neighbour who was leaving in his campervan after an overnight stay. The Sat-Nav gave a distance of about 37 miles and a time of one hour twenty minutes to complete the journey. We pulled off the site just before eleven o’clock and headed out into the late morning traffic enroute for Oxford Camping & Caravan Club site. Continue reading
Monday 27th October was the start of our next trip, our annual ‘cycle Blackpool Illuminations. Well I say annual, it was actually the third time we have done this. We again opted for a return visit to one of Tranquil Touring Parks member’s sites, the excellent Manor House Caravan Park at Marton Moss run by Jeremy and Sharon Haworth. Continue reading
What!… It’s only August!
One of the great things you can do in the run up to Christmas to get you into the swing of things is stay a couple of nights at a site that’s within striking distance of one of the many Christmas Markets held all over the country (and Europe for that matter) Staying local also allows you to sample some of the mulled wine and cider that’s on offer.
Last year we had booked to visit Cheltenham’s famous Christmas Market, but unfortunately due to the builders not removing scaffolding from around the house in time we had to cancel. However to make up for it we decided to do two markets this year! We have booked into Briarfields an independent site just outside Cheltenham with a good bus service right into the centre of the town. From Briarfields we then head back north to Oxford to the Camping & Caravan Club’s site for a few days so we can ‘do’ Oxford’s Christmas Market too!
If you fancy the idea of visiting one of the UK’s many Christmas Markets we use this handy website that lists all the dates and opening times… http://www.christmasmarkets.com/UK.html and currently they list over 150 markets in the UK and over 250 markets all over Europe.
If you have never caravanned ‘out of season’ don’t worry. Caravan’s are great in winter… when it’s nice and toasty inside with some mulled wine… who cares what the weather is doing!
So it may only be August, but find yourselves a Christmas Market, find a site and get booked in and even better invite some caravan or motor home friends to join you.
A very early Merry Christmas.
Simon & Sue
We had another chance for a few days away mid week again and decided to visit another Tranquil Touring Park site in Wales. Daisy Bank Touring Caravan Park is located almost on the Wales England border in Montgomery, Powys.
Monday 9th June
I’d uploaded POI’s for the site and some of the attractions around the area and checked the route. It should only take just over two hours to drive the 95 miles from home to the site so it was an easy start to the day. Thankfully the light rain had stopped while we loaded up the Freelander. We pulled out of the storage compound just before 10:25 and headed for the motorway to take us west towards Chester. It was a busy day for caravans and motorhomes… every other vehicle passing us in the opposite direction on the M56 seemed to be one or the other. By the time we reached Preston Brook the on again off again rain had stopped, and looking west the clouds were clearing and blue was becoming the prominent colour. Continue reading
Monday 12th May
The site we had chosen didn’t allow arrivals before 2:00PM, so it was an unusually lazy start to the day. Loading up the Freelander in the Manchester drizzle wasn’t much fun, but the forecast for the rest of the week said it was going to improve. We left home and arrived at the caravan storage unit still in the grey drizzle, and got a bit damp transferring our bits and pieces over to the caravan, but by the time we were hitching up the rain eased off. We pulled out of the compound at 1:30 and the sat-nav predicted our arrival to be around 3:15 and 87 miles down the road. Continue reading
Previously: Time With Friends… Pt 1
Wednesday 9th April
We left Morn Hill around 10:40 and set off for The Old Oaks, F & R following in their motor home. Somewhere along the route we caught up with a police escorted wide load and for around 40 minutes remained at a slow steady speed which didn’t do much for our MPG!. However just before we reached Longleat, the load headed off in a different direction and we could continue at our normal pace. Passing Stonehenge I noticed that F & R were not behind us anymore… As we were coming through Pilton on the A361 I said to Sue “that looks like F & R’s motor home in front”. We followed it through West Pennard and debated on whether it was F & R a few cars in front of us. When they slowed and turned right into Wick Lane, it could have only been them… unless someone else had hired a motor home from the same company and were also staying at The Old Oaks. (I never did find out exactly where we lost them and which route they took). It was exactly 13:00 when we pulled in so the 81 mile journey took us 2 hours 20 minutes averaging a little over 34 MPH Continue reading
… not that the Duke and Duchess knew we were there of course! We had booked in at the Caravan Club’s Chatsworth Park site for a couple of nights. Considering the weather so far this year it was kind of a gamble as to what we were going to get. Friday 31st Jan started off dry although another front was forecast to arrive hitting the south-west and west coast up to the Scottish borders with strong winds and rain. As you can’t arrive before 1:00pm at the site due to the limited access road, we didn’t leave home till around 11:30 to pick up the caravan from storage, and we had just coupled up as it started to rain. The drive out of Stockport along the A6 heading out past Lyme Park and on to Chapel-en-le-Frith wasn’t too bad and by the time we turned onto the A623 just through Chapel we lost most of the traffic and with nothing behind us is was a pleasant run even if it was raining over the hills towards Stony Middleton. As we passed through Baslow, we turned left onto the A619 for around 400 yards before the right turn into the private road that leads through the Chatsworth Estate to the site. Continue reading