French Fancies- where shall we go?!

Bluebell the motorhome is taking us to France at the end of this week for 10 days and we can’t wait! Sunshine (hopefully!) wine, cheese and saucisson – yes, yes, yes!

Our excited faces…..

We’ve got nowhere specific planned to go to, our only plan is to follow the sun! We have been having a little think about it this morning though, compiling a list of places we wouldn’t mind revisiting, and places we’ve never been to that we fancy trying. Ultimately though we will be looking at the weather forcast closely from Wednesday morning, again on Thursday morning at 6am when we get up for work, we will work from 08:40 to 13:00 in Norwich, nip back, final Bluebell prep, work 16:00-18:30 in Thetford, zip back load Jazz in lock up and be on the road for 19:00 ready for our Eurotunnel at 23:20! During the drive to Folkestone we will double check where the sunshine is, and once on French soil we will bed down at Cite Europe for some kip, getting up bright and early Friday to drive to wherever the sunshine is! Exciting!

Our list so far of places we’d happily revisit:

St Tropez
Ramatuelle beach , just south of St Tropez is a fab motorhome aire right on the dog friendly beach. Very tempting to head due south for a few days on the beach.

this was me and Jazz on the beach at Ramatuelle last August on our return from Italy. It was a great beach to chill on, bonus that dogs were allowed and a good place to nose over all the luxury yachts through my super zoom camera…ahaha!
read about our stay at St Tropez in 2013 here!

Carcasonne: wonderful medieval walled town to explore again; eat, drink and be merry with fantastic surroundings. The aire is right next to the ramparts.


these pics were taken on our 2011 visit in Bluebells predecessor, Daisy!
read about our 2011 trip in Daisy here!

Dordogne: we both fancy a week following the Dordogne river, enjoying France Passion sites – on our last stay in the Dordogne we experienced the clearest night sky we’ve ever seen- allowing us to view the Milky Way with no telescope or binocs!


pics taken at an amazing France Passion site situated on the banks on the Dordogne on our 2011 tour of France in Daisy
read about our 2011 trip here!

Chataeuneuf Du Pape not sure a trip to France would be a trip to France without another stop over at the vineyards of our all time favourite wine


Places that we’ve not been to that we fancy:

Narbonne Apparently (thanks Dad!) there is a nice aire here situated on a good stretch of beach, with ample cycle routes, and a nice historical town to explore. Our only worry is whether or not the beach is dog friendly at this time of year.

Canal Du Midi
Really fancy spending a few nights by the side of this UNESCO canal- which links two seas, the Med to the Atlantic. I’ve read a lot about how lovely it is and given that there are lots of pretty waterside motorhome aires and cycle paths it does seem a good place to visit
Canal Du Midi

Mont Blanc
One off my bucket list- a trip up Mont Blanc to attempt to stand on the viewing platform here I’ve had this on my list for a while now but recently Jenny (Dad’s partner) was there on a business trip and seeing her pics has increased the draw for us to head East rather than west!

Lake Annecy
We almost got here last year, but instead headed for the Med. I really fancy a few days chilling lakeside with the dramatic mountain vistas on the horizon.

Recommendations via Twitter:
@paul_jackson: @saxylydz We stayed on the aire at the Knight’s Templar village of La Couvertoirade last year. Very atmospheric:
Also sounds right up our street!

So as you can see, although our plan is to have no plan and follow the sunshine, we’ve got some ideas – let’s just hope Mother Nature plays ball and throws us some mid 20s sunny days 🙂

Have you got any tips on where to head? Any must see sites? Beaches? Rivers we can swim in? We’ve got a list, and we’re not afraid to add to it!! 🙂

1 day to go :-)

Bluebell the motorhome is all packed, plugged in and ready for the big off tomorrow evening!

It’s been a staged prep, as we’ve had a busy old week or two what with concerts, exams and general end of term ness

Last Friday Keefy had a day of tinkering inside the van, washing curtains, cushions and fixing little bots and bobs here any there.

On Monday we sorted out all out clothes so they were ready to pack in. Then we took Bluebell out to get diesel and do the food shop which we loaded straight into the cupboards (apart from the fridge stuff)


Today (Wednesday) I loaded the clothes into the wardrobes and cupboards, Keith plugged Bluebell in so her fridge gets nice and cold and I loaded the fridge stuff in.


I also got busy in the kitchen making loads of sweet treats for the road 🙂

Everything gadget wise is on charge, so I think we are ready for the off now! Just got teaching this afternoon, a school concert tonight, and a full days teaching tomorrow to get through then we will be on the road and heading for the border crossing at Carter Bar!

In other news, I found out today that one of the places that we are heading- Loch Etive near Glen Coe is where Daniel Craig and Judi Dench filmed Skyfall so that’s very exciting as we will definitely be hunting that one out! >


One week til we’re off…..

Bluebell the motorhome is getting excited. She can always tell when preparations are being made for a trip as the humans start pottering in and out, checking cupboards, filling cupboards, and this week she had an extra treat- she got stripped bare and all her cushion covers, curtains, blankets etc got taken into the house and came back out all sparkly and clean. She knows something big is about to happen……

That’s right- next Friday, the 4th April she will be hitting the highway and heading north for our annual pilgrimage to the highlands. Excitement is hitting the household and plans are being formulated.

As ever, we’re going to follow our nose mainly using BritStops and wild camping, but there are a few places we are aiming for. We’re heading for Loch Lomond for day one, to our fave spot on the Bonny Bonny banks of Loch Lomond, where we shall no doubt partake in a few whiskeys at the Inverbeg Inn.

Then onto Glen Coe, for some walking and incredible views


20140327-202703.jpg then to Arasaig to see the glorious white beaches where Local Hero was filmed. We’re aiming for a few days on Skye, then back via the East coast, especially popping in the small village of Pennan- where they filmed the town scenes of Local Hero

(Pics above taken by ourselves on previous trips)

This will be our 5th trip (4th Easter trip) to Scotland and if you are interested in touring Scotland in a motorhome (or otherwise) you may be interested in having a scroll through some of our previous entries:
Scotland 2010 – The First Trip

Scotland 2011part 1

Scotland 2011- Part 2

Scotland 2012 – The Hebrides and beyond

Scotland 2013- part 1

Scotland 2013- Part 2

Scotland 2013- Part 3

Scotland 2013- Part 4

Scotland 2013- Part 5

Scotland 2013 – Part 6

So my question to you is, where is your favourite place to visit in Scotland?


Sunshine on the Norfolk Broads

Bluebell the motorhome is back home and emptied after a lovely weekend up on the Norfolk broads.

We had two meetings this weekend, one in Norwich on Friday afternoon and one in Hingham Saturday morning, so decided to turn it into a micro break- this is why we adore living here! Luck was on our side as the forcast was good too!

We set off Norwich bound Friday after a gig, and headed for the Toys R Us carpark just off St Benedict’s st, as we knew that had no height barrier. We left Jazz guarding the van and darted off to the city to make our 4:15 appointment (top secret) 😀

An hour later and we were back at Bluebell and heading round the ring road towards Wroxham. We consulted our ever trustworthy BritStops book prior to leaving and as luck would have it, one of our faves was listed in the 2014 guide and was right near where we needed to be for our top secret meeting on Sat morning. We arrived at Brit Stop 235 just before 6pm, double checked we were ok to stay and booked a table for dinner. After a quick shower and a leg stretch for the pooch, we hot footed it the hundred yards or so across the car park and got ourselves a pint of Nog each and the menu.





This is one of our faves because it serves the most amazing locally sourced food- every time we’ve been we’ve had the venison pie, it is gorgeous and tonight was no exception! We both chose a starter too- I had black pudding Bon bons and Keith had mussels cooked in Ale. Both were mouth-wateringly good – the mussels working surprisingly well cooked in ale!

We managed to sink a few pints of nog in the process of eating and we both were mildly tipsy by the time we hit the sac a couple of hours later! We even managed to buy 4 pints of nog to takeaway 🙂 brilliant and another reason why we adore using BritStops. We paid far more than we could have for one night on a campsite, but enjoyed a great meal and some beer and don’t have to drive! The pub made £70 out of it- Win win

Next morning we arose with a slightly sore head I’m not going to lie, but a bacon bap soon sorted that and we hit the road towards Hingham, where we were meeting a man about a boat 😉

Hingham is a gorgeous little village and we spent a great 3 hours or so exploring and chilling in the beer garden of the Swan Hotel, watching the world and his wife go by (I was still hanging so was on the coca cola!) Keefy however was living by the “hair of the dog ” prophecy and enjoyed 2 pints of Adnams Broadside which he tells me worked like a treat.




Around 2pm we checked our ever trusty Bible (ie the BritStop guide) and found a little pub not far away that we hadn’t been to before. 15 mins later we were installed into a nice quirky type pub and enjoying a cream tea.




This, along with a 2 hour nap(!) fixed me so at dusk we took Jazz out for a leg stretch and to take in the sunset.







We had a great nights sleep despite our two hour afternoon nap and awoke fresh as daisies this morning. We had passed a very pretty village yesterday, Coltishall, so headed there for an hour before heading home in the glorious sunshine.







Until next time

Wish I Was There….

I adore this photo- it’s my screen saver on my ipad and my phone and every time I look at it, I just can’t help but smile. It was taken on our trip to France last May, and we were staying at a France Passion orchard near to Mont St Michel. As you can tell from the photo, the weather was lovely and I think that afternoon was our most chilled of the trip. We arrived at the orchard, who’s produce was Cider and Calvodos, parked up right amongst the apple trees, and spent an afternoon sampling, buying then more sampling (well you have to be sure, right?!) their delicious cider. Our dog, Jazz, wasn’t immediately sure of the neighbours as you can see, but after a good sniff of each other’s bits and a lick for good measure they were like best buddies…. (If only humans were the same eh?!) 

Is anyone else dreaming and planning of where they are heading for this year? 

We’ve just received our Tesco Clubcard vouchers through the post, and this has got us thinking about when we will nip off to France for our annual trip this year (we are trading in our vouchers for Eurotunnel tickets). The current Tesco clubcard scheme allows you to triple the points, so £10 at Tesco = £30 to spend on the Eurotunnel. We’ve managed to acrew £32 in vouchers which means a very healthy amount to spend on our crossing! Happy Days

So now we just need to decide when to book the crossing for….. there have been several options and ideas floating about (sometimes we wonder whether we get more fun from the planning stages?!) but I think we have now finally made our mind up about trips for this year. 

Places we know we want to visit this year….


Cornwall and Devon



We originally had planned to do Scotland in Easter as usual, Cornwall and Devon in May half term, France Germany and Austria in August and Wales in October. Several factors, the main being a friends wedding in August in Reading, are now making us think we should do the Cornwall and Devon tour in August, bugger off to France again in May half term and stick with Scotland and then Wales for Easter and October respectively. If we do it this way, we can still manage 10 days in France in May which should allow us to get to St Tropez for a blast of sunshine and possibly Carcassone and Dordogne (our favourite places) AND we get to make use of our years breakdown cover that we purchased at the start of Aug last year for our France/Italy trip. We will also get to visit the Bristol Balloon Festival which we wanted to go to lat year, as it’s the week prior to the wedding. Looks like Germany and Austria will have to wait til next Summer! 

This blog post is part of a competition run by Al Fresco Holidays.  Wish I Was There competition

Fingers crossed!