Hello and Happy New Year!
After a quiet autumn for motorhoming yet manic Autumn for life and work- we are back out on the road! 🚍 hurrah!
I have a small confession to make actually, this is our second trip of the festive fortnight- for the first time ever we spent Christmas in Bluebell the motorhome, just the two of us and Jazz of course. We had a lovely relaxing time, but having had a particularly stressful and tiring term, I declared a digital detox over Christmas and switched off the Internet/phones/camera- so no Christmas blog I’m afraid!
Twixmas 2016: Northumberland, Part 1
Thursday 29th Dec
Bluebell the motorhome is parked up at Border Forest Caravan Park, Northumbria. Situated right on the edge of Kielder Forest, but located just off the A68, the site is ideally located for convenience after a long drive North, yet benefits from miles upon miles of walking routes right from Bluebell’s door. We’re on a pitch overlooking a stream and therefore can hear the flow of water, beautifully relaxing.
We arrived mid afternoon after a decent run up the A1 including a quick comfort stop at The Angel of the North. Having passed the large sculpture many times it was quite something standing directly underneath, the sheer size was quite overwhelming!
It didn’t take long to set up, most things were already in from Christmas so we managed a quick leg stretch along The Pennine Way which runs directly behind the site. Just as the sun was setting – which was felt really early- being an area of official dark skies, there is no light pollution here at all- it was pitch black by 4:30pm, we (I think!) spotted a tawny owl hunting for its dinner!
We settled down with a couple of drinks and a book, before I prepared our own dinner- using the remains of the Turkey, a lovely turkey risotto.
Keith had a shower on site and declared it to be “the best shower he’s ever had, he didn’t want to get out”- anyone who knows Keith personally will realise this is rather high praise!
Santa bought me a telescope for Christmas which I was hoping to put into good use but sadly increasing winds and cloudy skies meant I was unable to do that tonight! Fingers crossed for the next few days! 🔭
Friday 30th December
It didn’t seem to get light til nearly 9am today so we had quite a lie in, which was lush! It was quite blustery in the night though but other than that everso quiet. Perfect.
After a frittata for breakfast, we made a pack lunch and prepared dinner for later; a small joint of ham stuffed with cloves went into the slow cooker along with a can of cider. Keith was consulting his memory map (ordnance survey) and had lined us up a nice circular walk along some of the Pennie Way, up to Hindhope Lin (Waterfall) and through the forest to The Three Kings Standing Stones before coming back to the van.
It was a lovely 5 mile walk, and we enjoyed our lunch up at the standing stones. We were back by 1:30 so had a nap and read our books for the remainder of the afternoon. Teatime came and we served the ham with cauliflower cheese and new potatoes. Wow, it was delicious! Sadly last night’s cloud hadn’t lifted all day so my hopes of using the telescope were dashed! 😢 however it sounds like the rest of England is covered in fog so can’t complain!
New Years Eve
We woke fairly early after another really quiet night, despite being just off the A68 there is zero traffic noise from our pitch near the stream. Today we were saying farewell to Border Forest Park, and moving further into Kielder Forest towards a Brit stop pub for the next two evenings. Before we could do this though, we had to find diesel! We made a big error on Thursday in not filling up with diesel in Newcastle cos we didn’t need any, and it nearly bit us on the bum because we didn’t see another fuel station at all! 15 miles before arriving at our site the dreaded light came on, and on arrival, the friendly campsite owner said the best bet was Jedburgh, 16 miles down the very hilly A68! Needless to say it was a rather tense 16 miles, with a fair bit of bottom clenching and even more coasting, but somehow we made it to the welcome Shell garage at Jedburgh! After a brief stop in Bonny Scotland and all our will power not to continue into our beloved Scotland for the remainder of our trip, we made a quick stop at Carter Bar to drop off a Geocaching traceablethat we picked up at Grafham water, Cambs, and we were back in England, ready to enjoy NYE.