Easter Holidays Pt 4- Isle of Skye

Thursday

Bluebell the motorhome is parked up next to another motorhome down the end of the beach road at Staffin Bay. We are parked up underneath the cliffs, at sea level, next to the beach that is famous for its dinosaur footprints. The weather is clear (hurrah)

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our pitch at Staffin Beach

Today, we drove the road from Broadford to Staffin, that passes through Portree. As soon as we departed Broadford the scenery stepped up from what we’d seen yesterday (granted the weather definitely helped!) As we got towards Portree Keith suggested we try the walk to the Old Man of Storr seeing as the weather was behaving. Our guide book intimated that this was the most popular walk on the island, and given how busy the car park was I’d have to agree.
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the view of The Old Man of Storr as we approached on the road

Thankfully we’ve (I’ve!) been trained well and so before setting off we made a full packed lunch including flasks of soup and tea, sarnies, cake, crisps, choc and a cheeky tinny of Tennants! (It was only 10am!!) We also made sure we had all our hiking gear on, boots, weather trousers, macs, fleece etc, as despite it saying it wasn’t a hard walk in the book, you just can’t be too sure. I’m glad we did- unlike every other person we passed (and there were lots) it never fails to amaze me seeing people rock climbing in converse, and today- heeled boots!!!!

We took (by accident) the more advanced rock climbers scramble to the base of the Old Man – and it was tricky to say the least at the top. I possibly had a minor panic when I realised the path around the base was non existent, but I’m proud to say we persevered and survived(!) and scrambled round, and therefore were rewarded with the most amazing views:
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Having carted my tripod up, I was pleased to be able to give it a whirl, and I was very impressed especially given the wind speed up there! The spikes on the feet are ingenious.

Naturally, once having our picnic sat underneath the old man himself, we noticed the far easier and safer path that we should have taken up, so we had a good chuckle about that and looked forward to our descent.

Once safely back in the van, we drove on 5 miles or so for our second luncheon of the day- this time at Kilt Rock waterfall view point. The waterfall falls over the cliff into the sea and is next to the rock formation entitled Kilt Rock- supposedly it looks like a kilt. I will let you decide!

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Next and final stop, the beach at Staffin to a) see if we could stay overnight there and b) hunt these dinosaur footprints. We’d read the best time to see them is at low ride, which we’d missed by 4 hrs, but nevertheless we happily hunted for an hour or so, aided by the trusty hip flask of homemade sloe gin of course as by then we knew we had found our pitch for the night.

Sadly no such luck with the hunting of footprints, but we will stick around until low tide tomorrow, due at 1137 to see if we have any luck. Keith asked a local who was walking his dog, and apparently he’s lived here years and NEVER seen them. So we will see!

Friday and Saturday

Bluebell the motorhome is parked by a river, in a sheltered valley behind Brit Stop number 822.

We woke up after a quiet and relaxed night to a bit of a murky one in the weather department, but it didn’t affect our plans- we were going to have a late breakfast then go footprint hunting at low tide, then drive the 5 miles or so to the Quaring- a mystical unusual rock formation, including The Needle, The Prison and The Table. Our book told us that whatever the weather it was something to visit.

First things first- the dinosaur footprints. I’m happy to say, after an exciting (and competitive) hunt, Keith found them, we think! This to us looks like the photo displayed at the info board, and we are fairly sure it is it, but without the Staffin museum open and no indication on the beach it’s a bit difficult to be 100% sure. 🙂

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Next we drove up a great pass to take us to the start of the Quaring walk. At first the path seemed a breeze, much easier than yesterday’s Old Man of Stoer, but as we approached the bottom of “the needle” a trickier path presented itself to get us to “the table”. We took the path with some sense of trepidation, but equally were keen to get to the top section to appreciate the full sense of enormity. The path was hard going, but we got there eventually, just in time for the mist to come down! Typical eh? Oh well, we got to the top.

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Once back at Bluebell we were exhausted, cold, wet, hungry and a bit grumpy, so rather than venture out to find a new spot for the night, we decided to head back to the familiarity of the Staffin Beach spot, where we’d spent a pleasant night last night. We weren’t the only ones- our fellow motorhome neighbour had also returned, so we settled in for a chill and more importantly an early night.

All was well until around 6pm when our alarm bells were raised when our neighbours very quickly packed up shop and moved up to the next layby- a higher slip layby, that was right on the edge of a cliff. We couldn’t understand why they had moved in such a rush- the wind was picking up and it seemed odd to us to go to a higher lever on a cliff edge. Ever being the optimists, we decided to punch their spot, as they’d nabbed the best spot earlier and settle in for a panoramic view. About an hour later the wind picked up, and convinced it was just a passing storm, we made light of it, and settled in waiting for the storm to pass. By 10pm it was showing no sign of easing, if anything the winds were getting stronger and stronger, and bluebell was rocking further and further. Keith admitted to me this morning by this stage he’d noticed the windows buckling. We out an hour later, we’d managed to get enough mobile data to load the met office and bbc weather, both of which saying that the winds were south westerly and would increase to 50 mph by 5am. As we were parked our bum was totally the first thing these south westerly winds were grabbing as they bounced off the sea. Excellent- obviously this is why the other motorhome moved!

We set the bed out deciding once again (like Glencoe on Sunday) it was now far too dark and dangerous to drive and that we would be brave and hold tight. Once the bed was out we lasted approximately 5 mins before I decided enough was enough and that we were moving. My justification was that the exit road followed the south westerly wind so the wind would be pushing us up the hill rather than crossing us and making us wobble.

We got the 500 odd yards up to where the other motorhome had retreated to, and to our surprise there was no sign whatsoever of the winds in that spot, so we joined them and hit the sack. All was well, apart from the battling rain, I can’t remember ever hearing such heavy rain until 5am when the wind swiftly changed direction to the west, which meant we were now entirely swaying, the bike rack was clattering, the TV Ariel was squeeking- you name it. Keith this time made the call to move- this time back up to the main road and along maybe 10 miles to a sheltered pull in where we got an extra hours kip.

So when we woke up at 8am, it’s safe to say the mood was fractious- we were both drained and in addition to our lack of sleep the bed had broken, one of the lights had fallen off and the fridge door had broken! We spent the next half an hour fixing Bluebell, but we were both thrilled that other than these minor unrelated problems, there were no signs of leaks, or outer damage. Hurray, we’d survived.

We decided a chill was in order, so drive round the coast road to Uig, to stop at the Isle of Skye Brewery to stock up, then onto the Fairy Glen- a magical mystical small valley just outside of Uig where it’s really unnaturally green, and the hills and lakes are all in miniature! This is a natural phenomena caused by glacial meltwater ten thousand years ago, but I can see why the myth is that fairies live here as the hills look tiny and perfect and have ridges round them- you honestly can imagine the fairies living here!!

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our visit to The Isle of Skye Brewery, in Uig

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The Fairy Glen

We headed towards Dunvegan and are now happily nestled behind a sheltered Brit Stop- an old hunting lodge that is now a bar/restaurant and inn and so, seeing as it’s Saturday night we are going to have a few drinks and a chill in there tonight. Sounds perfect, and just what the doctor ordered after last nights adventures!

Sunday
We had a great relax at our Brit Stop last night, and got mildly tipsy on the inn’s special ale- brewed specially for them by the Isle of Skye Brewery. It was delicious and we happily chatted to the landlord and landlady for a couple of hours.

After a great nights sleep, we hit the road in the rain, and managed to full with water at Dunvegan. We had a bacon butty looking out towards the castle, and then followed the road to Carbost, home to the Tallsiker distillery. Sadly the distillery is closed today, however there is a fantastic smell of whiskey lingering in the air, and the pub here, The Old Ship, is a fantasticly warm and cosy place to spend an hour or so, before heading back towards Portree for our final night on Skye.

Perfect!

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Dunvegan Castle

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Portree

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storm brewing over Cuillin Hills

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pleasant way to spend our last night on Skye

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our pitch over looking the Cuillin Hills, and half a mile stagger from the Sligachan Hotel bar!

Easter Holidays 2014: Pt 3 Glen Coe to Skye

Tuesday:
Bluebell the motorhome is parked up right next to the gorgeous white sands of Arisaig, just off the road from Fort William entitled “The Road to the Isles” – the A380 to Mallaig.

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Today we left Loch Leven fairly early, as we wanted to get some supplies from the Morrisons at Fort William. After a quick scoot round, a few mins online, a diesel fill and a calor gas exchange, we were back on the road, heading towards Mallaig. We had a brief stop at the Glenfinnan Viaduct and monument. The viaduct was used for filming some Harry Potter scenes (we’ve actually not seen HP so this was lost on us!) However, it’s a nice location with a visitors centre and of course the Bonny Prince Charlie monument too.

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Our intention for the rest of the day was to get to a campsite that we’d booked onto, allegedly on the beach that Local Hero was filmed at (Camusdarach Campsite). I say allegedly, as either we totally misinterpreted their website when booking, or someone was slightly exaggerating their position on the coast- either way on the road down to this particular campsite, we passed some stunning beaches and beautifully located campsites right on the sea front, so our hopes were getting higher and higher as we anticipated our arrival. When we arrived, we were surprised that the campsite was half a mile or so back off the coast, there were limited limited sea views, and the actual beach used in the film was over a mile away! Keith went in to check, and decided once he was told there were no sea/beach view pitches etc (despite pics on the website showing sand dunes and seaside) that we would not take our pitch and we would look for a different site. I was pleased in a way when he returned to the van to tell me, as I’d spent 10 mins sat in the van feeling disappointed the site wasn’t as we’d expected it to be.

So off we drove, this time slightly back on ourself maybe 2 miles. The first site we passed was called Silver Sands so we pulled in to check it out. As we drove down the entrance road, we were thrilled to see pitches with a sea view that seemed vacant (tick), with hook up (another tick) We drove up to the reception and was greeted happily with a sign saying if you can find a pitch, it’s yours- we will be round in the morning to collect money (£16 pn with electric): perfect. We bagged a stunner of a pitch, which was hard standing (unlike the grassy boggy pitches of Camusdarach Campsite- another cross by their name). It was £9 a night cheaper, the sun was shining, and so naturally we plugged in, cracked a beer and went for a chill on the beach. Chill is an accurate word actually, as the driving wind was freeeeeeeezing, but the sunny skies and beach/sea combi more than made up for that!!

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So a lovely relaxing evening was had by us all, Jazz enjoyed an hour or so tearing around on the beach, I was happy playing with my camera and tripod and Keefy spent an hour umming and aa ahhing about whether or not to bbq! Decided against it in the end due to rain clouds looming, so we settled on the Aberdeen Angus steak each anyway but cooked inside (still fab view though!)

We had a wonderful night at Siversands , and would whole heartidly recommend. Just to warn you though, you can’t book, so it’s luck of the draw I guess if travelling during peak season.

Wednesday:
Bluebell the motorhome is parked up overlooking the mainland (well, if we could see it that is- visibility not good today) We went to visit the beach filmed on for Local Hero this morning with the help of this handy site
it turned out that you could access it 1/2 mile further on up the B8008 past the Camusdarach campsite (not what we’d been led to believe) The beach is a hidden gem, that has huge sand dunes protecting it from the road, and is a good half a mile wide of pure white sand. You can see where they built “Bens Shack” for the movie, and also the church, which isn’t actually a church in real life, they dressed it up to look like one. This is also he stretch where Burt Lancaster arrived in his helicopter at the end of the film. It was great to finally visit the official one- over the last 5 yrs we’ve stopped at a number incorrectly!!!

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We then carried on up to Mallaig to board the Calmac ferry to Skye- a 30 minute crossing which we’ve done before but I doubt will do again!!!! Well- it’s taken us both til now (6hrs) to vaguely recover. I never get sea sick, until today that is. Bleughhh. To be fair, it is a wee bit murky out there, and we probably should have not bothered with the sausage baguette each beforehand.

We drove off the ferry and travelled 1/2 mile somehow to the visitors centre where we emergency pulled in (you don’t need to know the rest!) An hour or so later, we felt better enough to check out the wild camping spot at the south of the Island. It was nice and had a cracking sea view- but it’s elevated position and today’s windy weather meant that we felt like we were still on the boat. Down we came, and trundled about the roads between Armadale and Broadford for an hour or so, feeling uninspired, tired, hazy, spinny and nauseous still. We are now parked on the sea front at Broadford, within walking distance of a chippy and a pub. I suspect this combination of establishments will aid our recovery, and so we can set off tomorrow feeling normal again

Until next time

Lx

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Easter Holidays 2014 Pt2: Loch Lomond- GlenCoe

Saturday
Bluebell the Motorhome is parked up in a large viewpoint car park on the side of the A82- on the map it’s called Black Mount. The views are stunning:

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Sunday
We drove down the 16 mile long minor road that wound through Glen Etive, finishing in a small carpark on the banks of Loch Etive. The drive was stunning and followed a picture perfect river all the way through the Glen. I would certainly recommend heading off the A82 down this road, signposted Glen Etive, as it was stunning and well off the beaten track. About 4 miles down, we stopped at the point where Daniel Craig posed as James Bond in Skyfall and reinacted the moment with my own James Bond, aka Keefy 😉 Once at the bottom, we parked up on the shores of the Loch. Despite it being a very small cut off road we weren’t the only ones down there- there were some very hard core wild campers in tents sharing the spot with us. We went to say hi and got the distinct impression they weren’t impressed with us being there! Oh well we thought, and retreated back to Bluebell for lunch- eggy bread and baked beans- a new firm favourite of ours thanks to the VW Camper Cookbook I got last year off Sam (thanks)! As the weather was rainy we had another day of chilling, apart from a short stroll along the banks in a window of dryness after lunch.

Around 7pm, and after several dodgy things happening over at the tents which we are fairly sure involved drugs, we decided that neither of us were comfortable being that isolated with some randoms that were starting to give us the eeby jeebies. So we decided to pack up and head back towards the main road. About half way back along the road we encountered two further strange folk that looked like they were up to no good, so we stepped on the gas and departed a beautiful area, sharpish! I’m sure it was all innocent, and it’s more than likely that we over reacted based on watching too many films and getting wrong ideas, but we both felt uncomfortable and our golden rule is always to move on if we feel like that. One advantage to moving on was that we saw loads of red deer and half a dozen or so stags grazing in the dusk. Gorgeous.

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So we arrived at the main viewpoint in the middle of Glen Coe at 8pm and were relieved that the no overnight signs that we saw on a previous trip had been removed. Unfortunately it was blowing a GALE, so much so that I was scared we would topple over – the gas kept being blown out on the fridge and the heating – but equally I didn’t fancy hitting the road anymore as it was definitely unsafe. It was nerve racking to say the least, and I may or may or have had a minor meltdown (il leave it up to you to decide that one!) but we battened down and sat it out with the help of Criminal Minds series 2 on Sky Go (no wonder we get the eebie jeebies!) and after 6 hours of spectacular Scottish storm with two eye of the storms passing through, all went calm and we could finally go to sleep without panicking!

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Monday
All was calm when we awoke in Glen Coe, and I was relieved to see no damage to the van. The views were spectacular so it more than made up for the stress of the night before. We planned a chilled day of visiting the Glen Coe visitors centre, the village, then Loch Leven, which is where we were staying, at the Brit Stop number 820. It was nice to revisit the visitors centre at Glen Coe, last time we came in Aug 2010 it was peeing down and we couldn’t see past the end of our noses- today was overcast but dry, and definitely we could see the mountains. We did a little mile walk from the visitors centre to take in where the Glen Coe Massacre happened in 1692. 38 people were murdered here in cold blood by troops carrying out government orders (again, no wonder we get scared!) After the walk we then nipped into the village for supplies.

We took the road around Loch Leven towards Kinlochleven, at the head of the Loch. It was another pretty journey, and I’m fairly sure I saw a Golden Eagle too! We did a little walk to look at the Grey Mares Waterfall, which we saw signposted off the main road through Kinlochleven. It was a great waterfall, with some really cool boards to walk on to get close. A really nice treat, we always like to take in a waterfall!

After our walk, we stopped at a gorgeous layby overlooking the loch for lunch (more eggy bread!!) and took in the views. We then made our final 6 mile journey to our pitch for the night, and we are now once again parked overlooking the Loch, with the restaurant behind us, where we are to eat tonight! We’ve just been in to reserve our table (a window seat- hurrah) and are now about to have a nap, then a cuppa and get our glad rags on for dinner!

Tomorrow is Fort William for supplies, then on to Glenfinnan Viaduct and Arasaig, taking in two more movie locations, Harry Potter and Local Hero.

Until next time
Lx

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Easter Holidays 2014 Pt1- Norfolk – The Scottish Border (A68) – Loch Lomond

Bluebell the motorhome is parked up once again (for the 4th year running) on the Bonny banks of Loch Lomond.

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we are parked in the layby closest to The Inverbeg Inn- ideal for walking down for a cheeky dram

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The weather is ok- it’s dry but overcast. We headed for our usual layby, but were disgusted by the amount of litter that’s been left, so moved on to the next layby. Same view, but cleaner surrounds. Unfortunately I fear that it’s fellow tourist/motorhomes that have left the rubbish- although to be fair there are absolutely no bins around whatsoever, unlike other areas of Scotland. For a country that welcomes wild camping, we find this no bin attitude a strange one.

We had a lovely couple of drinks at The Inn at Inverbeg– including their local whiskey- The Loch Lomond malt.

Other than that, we spent a happy and relaxing evening here, and a enjoyed a fantastic view to cook and eat tea from!! We fear the litterbugs’ reputation damage may mean that next year we are unable to stop here, so we made sure we enjoyed every last moment of daylight here this time round as well as picked a bit of litter up ourselves – however there is only a limit we can take with no bins to put it in for miles!

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Feb Half term- The Peak District, Pt 4: Railways and Ales

After a very blustery night (I honestly thought we would blow over at one point!) at our Brit Stop we awoke to a really rainy murky day which thankfully cheered up by the time we were ready to start our 1 mile drive to the Hartington Station car park of the Tissington Trail. Our plan was to have breakfast there, then a wander, then move back towards the Monsal Trail for the afternoon.

When we arrived at the car park we noticed 2 other motorhomes that had clearly stayed there overnight- and realising it was a nice spot, and that we were tired after our sleepless night we decided to copy! We chatted to the other motorhomers and they said we’d be fine to stay there, so we did. And we were. In fact, we had a great time- we walked from Hartington to Biggin, had a lavish meal at the Waterloo Inn in Biggin, and some beers ( well we were out of supplies!) wandered back, fell into a deep sleep, awoke about 8pm, had a sandwich and went back to sleep until 7am!!! It’s a hard life!

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We really enjoyed walking down the section of the Tissington trail, and it’s such a nice time to enjoy these trails as they aren’t too busy!

Next morning, we headed to Matlock, via Tissington

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Tissington is very pretty- it’s a good job, as it took us two attempts and a 15 mile detour to get there!! We missed the turnoff and then got locked into a small road where we couldn’t turn round! Never mind, in the process we saw some lovely little villages.

Matlock Bath- hmm, I’d been looking forward to showing Keefy round Matlock Bath having spent many a happy childhood days here. I don’t know if it was because we were out of season visiting (although still school hols??), whether since last visiting I’ve visited other nicer places, whether I just wasn’t in the mood, or what- but I couldn’t stand it there! No! I’m sorry Matlock, Derbyshire, fellow Midlanders – I just wasn’t feeling it there. It didn’t help that we wanted to go on the cable cars but just couldn’t bring ourselves to pay £14 EACH when we had already payed £4.40 in the car park, that we weren’t even supposed to be in due to the weight of our vehicle exceeding 2.5 tonnes but having no other options so had too.

Cor, it really cheeses me off when you see signs forbidding motorhomes to park tourist towns. Do councils not realise the majority of motorhomers have a disposable income that they want to spend in their town?? And that by putting up a sign preventing them to park there means people who are driving expensive vehicles (expensive vehicle= money to spend surely??) are unable to park in their town and therefore spend money?? Argh, this country needs to wake up and provide decent parking for large vehicles ie motorhomes rather than treat us like scum. Sorry rant over

Not wanting to waste our car park fees, or be defeated, but feeling nervous due to the signs all the same, we wandered the town but not fancying fish and chips at 10am or playing the amusements (that’s pretty much all there was shop wise) we settled on a chocolate shop and a fancy hot chocolate. Once ordered we went to pay on card and she didn’t accept card, so we spent 20 mins and 3 failed attempts at broken cash points, before trying somewhere else. Same problem, no card payments only cash. By this time, not to mention my run in with the tourist info lady who couldn’t tell me whether we could walk up the hill or not, I was ready to jump ship.

Sorry Matlock Bath, I feel like I’ve betrayed you, I still have my many happy memories of visiting here, but unfortunately this time won’t be added to those memories. Maybe another time?

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By this time, my mood had plummeted which I took out on the top up food shop at Sainsburys in Matlock- returning with Ben and Jerry’s, cakes, crisps, you name it. Meanwhile, Keith had been studying the Brit Stop book, the road atlas and google, and in a desperate attempt to salvage the day, we hit the M1 southbound, bidding fairwell to lovely Derbyshire and heading for BritStop 505- nr to the site of the Battle of Bosworth, where King Richard III died, and a site we’ve been wanting to visit for ages.

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As luck would have it, they were serving one of the finest Ales I’ve tasted yet- Old Trip, a fellow Nottinghamer and after several pints my mood lifted and all thoughts of Matlock had drifted away and the day had been saved.

I’m not going to lie, I definitely am a lightweight these days, as I awoke with a mammoth ale head this morning! Whoops! And although Keith denies he was hanging, the joys of being in a small confined space like a motorhome means I heard him rummaging in the early hours for a sneaky annadin extra or two!! Busted!

The weather once again was on our side, so we set off to the Bosworth battlefield Heritage Site nice and early. The visiter centre has won lots of awards and I can see why- it was well presented and had lots of interactive features to help you guide your way through the history surrounding the death of Richard III, including some archeological finds from excavations on the battlefield itself. It was interesting and good value for money, however I would have preferred not to have to pay £2.50 to park in their carpark given that we were already paying £7.95 each to get in! I really hope that doesn’t make me sound cheap!

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Anyway, all in all, a great end to a brilliant week away! We’ve been beyond lucky with the weather, met some lovely fellow motorhomers, walked some terrific trails, ate and drank in some awesome pubs, and generally rested and recharged our batteries.

All thoughts are now turning towards our Easter adventure- Scotland! Whooo

So, thanks for reading, feel free to comment and enjoy the rest of your weekend, oh and sorry for the rant!

Until next time

Lx

Feb Half term- The Peak District, Pt 3: Railways and Ales

Bluebell the motorhome is parked up at home, having a well earned rest having driven 500 miles over the last week!

We’ve had a wonderful week, and have been very lucky with the weather, hence the lack of blog posts- we’ve been out and about, eating, drinking and napping!! Oh, and I actually started and finished a book I’d been wanting to read, which is what holidays are all about aren’t they?!

So, let’s rewind back to Tuesday morning, when we set off from our lovely little campsite and head off to visit the very pretty Spa town of Buxton.

We spent an enjoyable couple of hours wandering round the sites

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and enjoyed a coffee and people watch outside a cafe on the high street. We were gutted to realise that the one and only Brian May was playing at the opera house the following day, but unfortunately and not surprisingly, it was all sold out.

After lunch we set off towards The Snake Pass, an interestingly named pass that caught our eye on the map, that was to take us towards the Derwent Dam/Ladybower Resevoir. I’d read a little about this famous Resevoir, and knew Keefy would enjoy visiting, as a history lover I knew he would be keen to see for himself where the Dambusters practiced. Being a slight self confessed air head, and having never seen a real dam before (I don’t think) I hadn’t quite understood how large it would be and spent the first 15 mins feeling a bit underwhelmed

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Once I realised I was looking at the the wrong thing…durrr, I was genuinely impressed and excited- it really is an impressive bit of engineering and is huge- and I would highly recommend visiting if you are in the area.

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It’s was soon getting time for our traditional holiday nap, so we hit the road towards Castleton, with the intention of finding somewhere to wildcamp so that we were close to the attractions for the next day.

After a little bit of exploring we settled on a spot overlooking Castleton near to Mam Tor, and settled in for a night of Criminal Minds.

Next day, we awoke to thick fog- which was disappointing seeing as we were hoping to walk up Mam Tor BEFORE breakfast (yes you read that right..)
Doing the very British thing, we decided we wouldn’t let a bit of fog put us off, so donned our walking gear and set off up to the peak.

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I’m not entirely sure how we are both smiling at this point, being that it was before 8am and we couldn’t see a thing, but we were and even though we were disappointed we laughed all the way down )those of you that know me well, il let you decide how true you think that statement is…)
After a rewarding bacon and egg butty and a chat with the motorhomer parked next door, we head on down to the pretty village of Castleton for a wander, and to find a cave to explore.

It’s a very pretty town, with Mam Tor (known as the Shivering mountain to locals) in the backdrop

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The tourist information here couldn’t have been more friendly, helpful and dog loving- Jazz was allowed in and of course lapped up all the attention from the ladies who worked there! Having chatted to the TI lady we decided on visiting the Blue John Caves – the main factor in this decision being that we could take Jazz, the well travelled pampered pooch in.

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We enjoyed the visit, but wonder if we’ve been spoilt with other caves we visited elsewhere- it was nice to take Jazz in, we enjoyed walking down (and up again!) the 245 stairs to get to the bottom, but we both left feeling it was a little overpriced perhaps?

Seeing as we were a the top of the hill ( The Winnats Pass)

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It was well worth the second walk up the view was spectacular.

By now, it was coming up towards nap time again, and so we programmed the sat nav with a pub we’d seen in the Brit Stop book located near the Tissington Trail ready for tomorrow. After a nap, a couple of pints, a chat with another motorhomer also staying, we were worn out and so hit the sack!

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Feb Half term- The Peak District, Pt 1: The Crooked Spire of Chesterfield

Bluebell the motorhome is parked up in the car park at BritStop 518 (2914 book) overlooking the Derbyshire Dales and the town of Chesterfield.

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We didn’t leave Norfolkshire til lunchtime as we’d had a busy day yesterday moving Keefy’s mum. We weren’t in a major rush, as all we wanted to do was see the Crooked Spire of Chesterfield, and then chill and have a couple of beers in the pub.

It was a very blustery journey across the fens, but we still made good time, despite us rarely going about 50mph. We passed through rain and sun then rain again, but by the time we reached Chesterfield we had a break in the rain so found a car park right by the church and so set off for a quick explore.

The spire really is worth a visit to see, the crook in it is believed to becau sed by untreated timber being used when it was built 700 yrs ago- it’s very Tim Burton like.

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After a good circuit round the church ( there wasn’t much else to see in town) we drove the 4 miles or so out of town to our rural retreat of a pub which is on a hill so overlooks the valley. We had a good chill, watched a film, napped, went for a couple of beers and watched the International Space Station pass overhead, then turned in for the night.

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It was so peaceful during the night, and this morning we were treated to a gorgeous sunrise over the valley. We are feeling chilled to the max, and are looking forward to driving up to near to a Chatsworth house today for a good walk – and weathers looking promising so hurrah!

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In other news, I’m somehow picking up 4G from here which is a first for me, and although we weren’t able to pick up wifi from this site, my 4G on my phone is tethered to my ipad and Keith’s ipad and seems to be powering it very impressively. Currently I’m online uploading photos and writing this blog post, and Keith is online streaming music from Spotify, and enjoying his new Bluetooth speakers, which are fab btw (more on those another time). I will just have to keep an eye on my data allowance! :-/

Have a great Sunday folks, and happy half term to fellow teachers out there!

Until next time

Lx