Ruby the VW Campervan is parked up at Hilltop Farm, CL (a caravan and motorhome club 5 van site) just on the outskirts of Saltfleet. Hilltop Farm is an adults only site and one in which we carefully selected as we mulled over our return to the big wide world following the COVID lockdown period. We were desperate to get out and about but carried nerves having been very cautious for the past 3 months. We decided to pick a site that had no facilities other than electric and emptying and this way we would be completely reliant on our own on board facilities.
We also wanted somewhere grassy to try out our new tailgate awning. This is going to double as our shower room and also will help air the van out during hot summer nights.
On route to Saltfleet, we made a (pre booked) stop off at Gunby Hall, a National Trust estate and gardens. Its always a treat to find dog friendly gardens to peruse, and this is one of them! The walled gardens were absolutely stunning. We really loved our visit here, and were pleased that the rain stopped literally as we pulled into the car park. The hydrangeas were just spectacular. If you are local to here or passing – its well worth a visit. I’d actually go as far as saying I’d make a special journey just to see these beautiful gardens.
We arrived at Hilltop Farm to a friendly welcome from the owners and pitched up sideways alongside the dyke- a rare treat for us as VW owners. The moment we finished our set up – which took a little longer this time as we had to remember how to get the new awning working – the heavens opened and we found ourselves in the middle of a huge thunderstorm. I ended up napping for an hour whilst it the storm passed over, but thankfully it cleared up to a dry evening although we decided not to cook outside as there were ominous clouds hovering! We were treated to a lovely sunset however and we enjoyed a little wander around the perimeter of the site – and even a little look in the nature hide over looking the surrounding fields.
Saturday dawned much brighter, and we enjoyed a bacon butty for breakfast. There really isn’t anything better than campsite smells on a Saturday morning – I believe every single van chose to cook bacon and the smell was immense. We were enjoying being side on to the pitch as the views were lovely – but it did compromise our privacy a touch so Keith put both our windbreaks up.
We were particularly pleased with our new tailgate awning, as we were able to lock the boot yet leave the awning pegged in in position which cleared up our worries of ” are we going to have to leave the van open”. Answer “No” – phew!
We went on a great walk – taken from the Country walking magazine routes – direct from our campsite. The route took us along the dykes and down to Saltfleetby Sand Dunes, where we almost got attacked by a horse- true story – and had to do an emergency hop over the fence to safety! We enjoyed a walk along the coastal path all the way back to Saltfleet and out through the absolutely horrific (IMO) static caravan park (Sorry I can’t stand them and this one was really really hemmed in..) to the New Inn, which was a really interesting building – it looked like an Old Mill, but inside it had been turned into a modern sports bar type place. Still – we were starving and decided to have a pizza for lunch here, which was actually really nice and dirt cheap!
After our walk, which turned out to be almost 6 miles long, we had a big relax on site, we even napped again – this was a treat before Keefy fired up the BBQ. It was a beautiful evening and we sat out until late playing monopoly and watching the barn owl(s) hunt for their dinner.
Sunday morning soon came round, and we packed up Ruby with an audience- everyone was sat outside their units watching intently. Thats our pet hate – even if I’m sure I’m do the same! 😉
We waved goodbye to Hilltop Farm and made our way to the Lincolnshire Wolds. We stopped at Tealby, which is apparently the most pictureqesue village in the Wolds. We absolutely agree, it was beautiful – charming and quaint – with rolling hills surrounding it. 1 in 8 of the buildings are listed and the village school even has a Victorian copy of a hammer beam roof. The stonework on the buildings is lovely sandstone and, as a complete surprise we managed to find the oldest thatched pub in Lincolnshire hidden within the village too. What more could we ask for; history and a beer garden!
After a quick drink we moved on towards Old Bolingsbroke – home to the ruins of the castle in which Henry IV was born in. Despite being a site of ruins, there was a very good artistic impression of what the castle would have looked like in its day – something like a traditional fairytale castle with beautiful white exterior and rounded towers, with the entire castle sat within a moat. The moat still remains, as does the foundations and actually some really well preserved sections. We throughly enjoyed our visit here and again would recommend a stop here if you’re in the area.
We were going to have a picnic within the castle walls but we couldn’t get parked near enough so left the grub in the fridge and after our walk to the castle and back found the highest point of the Wolds and a convenient lay-by for us to turn into a picnic area where we enjoyed lunch before making our way back to Norfolkshire..
We’d had a lovely mini break and are looking forward to some more of the same over the coming weeks. We’ve decided we are going to remain in the UK and take short breaks for this summer in a bid to be cautious.
I will do a full product review of the Tailgate awning and solar shower next week – We’ve just ordered another gadget to add too and will do a round up of them all together!
Until next time