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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A lovely day on the Norfolk coast

Bluebell the motorhome was parked in the huge carpark of BritStop 219 on Saturday night. On one side was a large field where we were lucky enough to watch the deer, on the other side was my dad and Jenny’s motorhome, behind us was the sea ( well half a mile walk away) and in front of us was a rather exquisite restaurant.

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We started the day with a good leg stretch (4 miles no less!) around the pretty village of Burnham Thorpe, which is where Lord Nelson was born and raised. There are some beautiful country cottages in this part of the world including a gorgeous refurbished manor house complete with moat! Gorgeous and a very pleasant way to spend an hour or so, drooling over everyone’s houses and debating on what we will buy when we win the lottery!!
Haha

The weather was bright and blustery and certainly blew away the cobwebs that had accumulated after the previous nights tipples in the pub!

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After our pleasant walk we drove the 6 miles to our next destination, Britstop 219 on the coast, and waited for Dad and Jenny to arrive. We’d planned to get supplies from the farm shop that we knew was nearby, but travelling out of season put a stop to that, as it was closed. So we ended up having our lunch at our host pub, despite being booked in for dinner also.

It didn’t matter- lunch was delicious and was taken in front of a roaring fire with a pint or two of Aspall cider. I can certainly think of worse ways to spend a winters weekend! Feeling slightly guilty after a couple of pints and a luxurious lunch, we went for another leg stretch, down to the beach. Unfortunately the recent high tide flooding had resulted in the access path being shut off so we wandered the mile or so circuit round the village, stopping at another pub for a wee break and a wee dram!

It was soon time to get our glad rags on and head to the restaurant for our dinner. Keith and I had fresh Brancaster mussels to start (yum yum) and then I had fish pie for main, whilst Keith had cod in red wine sauce (yes, red wine!) – Dad had the biggest portion of battered haddock I’ve ever laid my eyes on and Jenny had fish cakes. The whole meal was delicious and we enjoyed a good catch up.

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The sea air and hearty meals (not to mention the booze) soon took its toll though and we all started fading at around 9:30pm, so we bid farewell and hit the sack. I’m glad we had an early night, as the wind really picked up and we* didn’t sleep too well, fearing we were going to blow over (* I say we
– more me – Keith managed to snore his way through the storm!) Luckily we didn’t blow over and the early night meant we woke up fresh as daisies ready for a morning trip to Brancaster beach.

We’ve never been to Brancaster beach before, I don’t know why- it’s gorgeous! There really is something about visiting the beach in the middle of winter, when it’s deserted and blustery don’t you think? We loved every second- the wind was doing its best to knock us over, the dog was going nuts running around and exploring, we had so many layers on we looked like we’d gained 5 stone each, but my goodness it was exhilarating and we couldn’t stop smiling!

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What’s your favourite beach to visit in the bleak mid winter?

Perfect pilgrimage to Walsingham Abby, Norfolk

Bluebell the motorhome is parked up in the car park of BritStop number 220
Her owners have been drinking in Nelsons local tonight after a very pleasant pilgrimage to Walsingham Abby today.

When we left home the weather was gloomy and wet, but we hadn’t even gotten out the village before the sunshine peeped out and the rain stopped.

We’ve visited Walsingham twice Walsingham Abby before and today’s trip was with the intention of visiting the grounds (£4 per person and dogs allowed on lead)

The snowdrops were simply spectacular, there were literally MILLIONs over the large site, all in full bloom- a real treat to experience

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The weather was really behaving, so we enjoyed a picnic in the tranquil but chilly grounds and then set off on a little saunter round the pretty village, which is like a time capsule (apart from the shrine building which is in contrast very new looking and made from bricks!)

We’d got a map of a walk from the village off walk4life.com and this took in part of the Pilgrims Way- a very well made track that apparently is ancient. We really enjoyed the walk, the weather was great and it was good to stretch the legs without getting too muddy!

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After a good 4 mile circuit, we drove the van the 6 miles or so to our overnight stop for tonight. We visited here back in July and enjoyed it then, and it’s close proximity to both the coast and Walsingham, along with its homemade Nelson’s blood rum (hic) made sure we would return.

We are online using our new gadget- the motorhomewifi directional antenna, which has not only picked up the pubs wifi, but also several bt hotspots. Not bad for a tiny village, so we should get on brilliantly with it on our travels.

Keith’s new favourite thing at home is checking the speed of our newly installed fibre internet, and he’s in his element to discover he can check the connection speed we are getting through the antenna too!

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