Our first taste of “Wild Camping” – North Norfolk Feb 2012

One of the things we were rather excited about when we picked up our new pride and joy (Bluebell) was the prospect of having a go at “wild camping” – since our leisure battery seemed to hold its charge more we figured we could occasionally last a night or so parked up somewhere other than a campsite.

Unfortunately England isn’t quite as geared up for Wild Camping as Scotland or even the Continent.. in fact technically it’s classed as not legal, but of course, there are all sorts of loopholes and as far as we were/are aware it is tolerated as long as you are not breaching any public order notices/traffic orders or similar, or blocking anyone’s view, on their land etc etc.

For us the appeal was to be able to park up where we like and when we like. Don’t get me wrong, we enjoy staying on campsites, but sometimes we leave them thinking “flipping heck, that was a bit noisy for our liking” or “25 quid to stay for a night?!” We found ourselves sometimes paying up to £30 per night and then begrudging spending any more in the local pub for a meal or whatever, cos we aren’t made of money and if we’ve paid £30 to stay a night in an area it cuts into our holiday spends budget so are more likely not to spend as much money in that local area…

So after A LOT of research on the internet we found this website called http://www.wildcamping.co.uk. WHAT A FIND. We quickly joined for £15 and in return downloaded over 4000 gps coordinates of spots where you can park overnight to our trusty sat nav. We decided to give it a go one night at the end of February, and decided to head towards the North of the county. We visited Walsingham Abby to see the glorious snowdrops (my favourite!) and then headed north towards Wells Next to Sea. There was a spot in a little car park near to Wells that we had read about so headed straight there. When we arrived it was a fantastic location, right on the sea and in a harbour carpark. We spent the afternoon walking up to the main beach, chilling out and enjoying the view. It was glorious. But there was something niggling me. We had seen a small sign saying “no camping” and although we were fairly sure we would get away with it, we both decided that we would rather not risk it as we didn’t think we would be able to relax. So, we watched the sun set over the sea and decided to head into Wells Next to Sea. We found a quiet secluded road and parked up, then went for a walk around the town. We had a meal in the local pub and a few drinks around the town. We wandered back to Bluebell about 9pm and settled in for the night. We set the alarm for 7am and after a great nights sleep we just got straight up and left. We went and had bacon butties back at our spot from the day before and were thoroughly chilled out by the time we headed home to work that afternoon!

From our first experience, we took the following things..

1) If you don’t feel comfortable in a spot, don’t stay

2) Have more than one option of a spot to stay for each area you go.

3) We really enjoyed our wander around the Wells pubs, even though I didn’t have a drink “JUST IN CASE” we were moved on

All in all, we had a great time, and couldn’t wait until the next time.

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FEB Half term 2012 – first trip in Bluebell! <3

So, we picked Bluebell up that afternoon, mad dashed it back home to get packed and then set off oop north! We were using my dads drive in Newark to break the journey up, and of course, to show off Bluebell.

When we left Marquis we had a full tank of water and we ready to rock and roll. What we hadn’t anticipated was for that Friday to be “rather chilly” – it was so cold that our full tank of water FROZE on the journey to Newark. Whoops, that wasn’t the plan, obviously, and we were rather worried we’d knackered our water tank up in the process. As soon as we parked up, we got the heater on and crossed our fingers and toes and hoped for the best..

We set off bright and early for our first stop – Hutton Le Hole. We hadn’t anticipated the amount of snow we passed, especially during our journey up Sutton Bank, but hey ho, it sure looked pretty and Bluebell got us well and truly up those steep windy roads! We had a little stop on Sutton Bank for a walk (still no water by the way – despite trying to force boiling water that we got from the nice lady in the tourist centre on Sutton Bank down into the tank…) to watch the gliders taking off..

We arrived at our site for the night The Crown, Hutton Le Hole, and settled ourselves in. It was -10 degrees and our water was still well and truly frozen – a bit like the atmosphere that was brewing inside the van.. not the start we were hoping for! We kept the electric heater on full blast, and went for a drink or 5 to drown our sorrows. We were sure we’d busted the van on our first night. We had to go without water the whole night and next day, as it was so cold that the pub’s water pipes had frozen! We went on a long walk on the Sunday up on to the moors and left the heater on, and crossed our fingers. The next morning, at 5am we awoke to a large sloshing noise and glugging and tapping. Hurrah, our pipes had thawed and our water came back to life, with no signs of any damage. PHEW! We could now relax and enjoy the rest of our holiday.

If you haven’t been to the North York Moors, you really must go. It’s a fabulously bleak place, with many ancient crosses dotted here and there. A real gem of a place for walking and we just loved it. We were treated to some fabulous scenery as it was snowy and cold, but we loved it!

We moved from Hutton Le Hole to the Hole of Horcum for a couple of nights. Another mystical fascinating place! On our way to the Hole of Horcum we made a detour to go for lunch at a pub that has the title of the most isolated pub in the moors, The Lion Inn, Blakey Ridge

http://www.lionblakey.co.uk

My, oh my, it was bloomin lovely and well worth the journey there. The views were lovely, and it was so cosy! It had a lovely interesting interior and was packed with walkers. Just up our street. We enjoyed a gorgeous lunch there before heading to the Hole of Horcum.

My favourite thing about this time of year is the snowdrops- my favourite flower. The pretty little villages dotted along the Moors were lined with beautiful displays of snowdrops, a real treat to see.

 

After a couple of days exploring the Hole of Horcum by foot we headed to Robin Hoods Bay and found a gem of a site for a fiver a night WITH ELECTRIC!!! Needless to say, we booked onto there for 3 nights and set up pitch. It was FAB! We thoroughly enjoyed exploring Robin Hoods Bay, from this site, and the view from our brand new rear view lounge was just what we had anticipated when we were deliberating which layout to get.

 

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Introducing… BLUEBELL! Our new VAN! :) FEB 2012

 

February 2012 – we bit the bullet and spent some of our savings on a new van! Not new new, but substantially newer than dear old Daisy, who, after almost 10,000 miles in 18 months, became unusable due to a rather nasty leak up the front end. Apparently Talbots are known for this problem, its to do with the shape of the roof and also the joins wern’t made well back in the 80s. We looked at replacing the roof, as we are a pair of sentimental fools and it broke our heart to have to say goodbye, but sense finally prevailed and we started the hunt for our next home on wheels.

We spent a few weeks decided on what layout we were after to replace *her highness*, and after much deliberation decided on a rear lounge being the most important thing for us. After many hours searching, we decided the Ravenna Autosleeper ticked our boxed, and we soon found one within 50 miles of us, at Marquis Motorhomes, Ipswich. https://adventuresinamotorhome.wordpress.com/ I want to write it here – we absolutely can not fault the service we received from Marquis one bit – right from the first phone call right through to the present day, we have had FANTASTIC service. Hadyn and his team, particularly Gavin were fab! THANK YOU!

To cut a long story short, from the minute we stepped into Bluebell we knew she was the one, and before long we had signed on the dotted line and arranged pick up within the next couple of weeks.

Of course – us being us, had planned a holiday for the day we were due to pick up Bluebell, we were heading to the North York Moors, so we ended up doing another Daisy type mad rush – leaving Marquis in Ipswich at 2pm, driving back to our house, loading everything then hitting the road OOOP NORTH!

 

Find out how we got on here….

Hello world!

Hi Everyone!

My name is Lydia, I live in beautiful South Norfolk with my fiance Keith, and we are freelance musicians/teachers. Having spent the majority of my childhood holidays under canvas here in Blighty and France, I suppose I could be classed as a well seasoned camper. We’ve been motorhoming for the last 2 years, we’ve covered about 15,000 miles in 2 vans, Daisy and Bluebelle (retrospectively)

This blog will document not only our travels in Bluebelle (a 2001 plate Autosleeper Ravenna) but also cover our fantastic voyages in Daisy (an F reg Talbot Highwayman) . We’ve traveled to the most north westerly point in the UK (the Butt of Lewis in the Outer Hebrides), as far South as the Med, as far west as the Welsh coast and as far East as Sheringham and Cromer (granted we are nearly there already..!)

Things you will learn about Keith and I if you can bear my waffling…

1) we are pretty spontaneous (you will learn more abut this in a moment)

2) we have lots of holidays (we are both self employed, and our work is mainly based around the school terms – lucky for us..)

3) I am not lost for words very often… in fact I am a bit of a rambler… sorry about that

4) We name everything… and I mean EVERYTHING!

5) I’m rather keen on taking photos and I go wild for Cath Kidston

6)We love motorhoming, and we think the British Isle is flipping gorgeous. But we have a soft spot for Europe too, and don’t mind partaking in a few glasses of French plonk. Or Italian, if we must!

If you see us on our travels, give us a wave! Or even better… mines a pint!

Background

When I moved away from home to go to Uni, my Dad and his partner Jenny decided to buy a 20 odd year old Hymer (Hilda) to replace the 20 odd ye

ar old gap left in the house by meeeee! They had loads of great adventures in ‘Hilda’ over the following six years or so that they owned her, but it wasn’t until they were selling her that my life took an unexpected turn…

The weekend that Dad and Jenny were selling Hilda, Keith and I happened to be visiting. Keith hadn’t seen Hilda before, so naturally, my Dad was very happy to spend some time showing her off in all her glory. I know Dad and Jenny were really quite

gutted to be parting ways with good ol’ Hilda- but they were experiencing more and more electrical problems, so decided the time was right to upgrade. On the way home from our visit, Keith couldn’t stop talking about Hilda and how great she was and wouldn’t it be awesome to have one ourselves, etc.

Within the two and a half hours drive home, we had decided that a) we wanted one, and b) that we could afford one, so therefore we had sourced out all our local second hand dealers, and picked a couple we liked the look of (thanks iPhone!) As soon as we got back, we called the dealer and arranged a meeting for the next morning. The rest is history… we were so very excited to welcome ‘Daisy’ into our family, an F reg Talbot Highwayman (see right)

What I have failed to tell you is that we were due to go away for a two week camping holiday on the Friday of that week. We had booked this holiday with the intention of covering some serious miles in my little sporty convertible ‘Pug’ (Peugeot 206cc) and ‘Tilly’ the tent ( a limited edition Cath Kidston print, Eurohike 4 man SMALL tent!)
It was the Sunday beforehand that Keith met Hilda, the Monday that we test drove Daisy and paid a deposit, and begged Mike the Dealer (AKA Bill Bailey, as he was the spitting image of THE Bill Bailey) to get her ready for collection on the Friday morning. Tuesday we spent the day ringing round all the sites we had booked onto changing them to Motorhome pitches, Wednesday we had a day in Norwich buying bits and pieces for ‘Daisy’, Thursday we were like excited children all day and Friday we picked her up, taxed her, filled her with everything other than the kitchen sink, and hit the road, aiming for first stop- Eskdale, the Lake District. As my Dad lives 5 minutes off the A1, we decided it would be rude to not drop in to show off ‘Daisy’- so we stayed on his drive (AKA Chris’ Aire) for our first night of proper motorhoming. I will do a separate blog post about our very first adventure soon.