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….

Twixmas 2011 – Daisy’s finale voyage…

One of the drawbacks with being a musician is that November and December turn into absolutely CRAZY times! It was this, and the fact that Daisy was having a new water pump fitted, that following our October jolly, we weren’t able to get out again until in between Xmas and New Year. We didn’t know it at the time, but this was to become our finale voyage in dear old Daisy, as unbeknownst to us (until a particularly large amount of rain one afternoon) we discovered the thing that most motorhomers fear…. the DREADED LEAK! 😥 We were staying on a nice little site just outside of Cromer, Norfolk , with my Dad and Jen, and we started noticing the tell tale signs. We tried to justify it, saying it was condensation at first, but as time went on, and the walls got softer and softer, we soon realised we were dealing with the real macoy – a proper Talbot reknowned leak. Still, we managed to grin and bear it, and had a lovely time. The site was lovely – http://www.moorlandpark.co.uk/ and we had a great walk all the walk to Sheringham for fish and chips and a pint, then shared a taxi back. 🙂

Chasing the Easter Bunny all the way “ooop north” – Easter 2011 – Scotland and back up the East Side *PART 2*

Apologies for having to do this in two stages- I managed to loose the latter half of my blog rather annoyingly. I’ve had a good day though so I refuse to get moody about this now!

Whilst in Edinburgh we spent some time doing the normal touristy things like the castle and the mile etc. I have to say I really like Edinburgh, it’s got such a great atmosphere. I was lucky enough to have a month there playing at the fringe in 2007, so it was good to be back and in true muso style, visiting some of my old haunts!

After a couple of days in Edinburgh (and an ALMIGHTY hangover on the middle day- by the way, we climbed Arthur’s Seat, accidently taking the proper hardcore route and not the mamby pamby route up that we discovered once at the top!- not the best activity when you are rough as a badgers bum bum but a flipping fab view at the top!) we headed for a few days around Braemar. We visited the Falkirk Wheel which we both found interesting- I first became interested in this after seeing a programme on the mechanics of it whilst at Uni- I surprise myself sometimes…! We also visited Scone Abbey, which was great! I sat on the throne.. oops, I mean the stone of Scone, otherwise known as the stone of destiny. It was used by Scottish Monarchs on their coronations. I’ve just wiki-ed it, and found out that the one at the Abby that we saw is actually a replica- I hadn’t realised that- never mind, I still enjoyed my time on the throne.

At Braemar itself, we did another really awesome walk up a large mountain, and were once again really lucky that when we got to the top we had clear views and my goodness, what views they were. We stayed on a camping and caravan club site for a few days, and to be honest we were ready to move on when we did. There wasn’t anything wrong with it, but it just wasn’t our cup of tea- wardens too-ing and fro-ing constantly and a hi-de-hi feel to it.

We headed south via The Trossachs, Hadrian’s Wall, Goathland and then York. We loved every minute. We walked for miles, we had fantastic weather, we even ran out of shorts and summer tops, so had to do an emergency charity shop run in York.

Below are a snap shot of some of the photos we gathered!

Chasing the Easter Bunny all the way “ooop north” – Easter 2011 – Scotland and back up the East Side *PART 1*

Following on from our Scottish trip in 2010, we could not wait to return, but this time we were determined to avoid the dreaded Midges, cos poor ol’ Keefy got EATEN ALIVE on our last adventure. In true Daisy fashion, we wanted to make sure we saw lots of places before we hit “the main feature” so decided to work our way up the East side of England and then spend a week or so meandering along the Braemar valley.

First stop- Sherwood Forest! A lovely day trip to see Major Oak, and a good stretch of the leggies round the forest, and the dreaded council estate too…

We then worked our way up to Dracula’s old haunt, Whitby. We decided to splash out on a DELUXE pitch at the Whitby Holiday Park, with a promise that we would have the best pitch on the rather large site. And boy did it deliver. When we pulled onto the site, we both looked ahead with trepidation- there was a club house, loads of statics, and all the other things that we would usually not go for and run a mile. We persevered through the lengthly check in procedure and was shown to our pitch.

Pretty awesome, huh?

One of the things we were determined to do this time round, was travel early, pitch then explore. So off we set to Whitby, and enjoyed a mosy round the streets, a couple of beers and the BEST FISH AND CHIPS IN THE WORLD. Hells bells, I can still remember. Yum- tastic! It was precisely after these fish and chips, and during a pint to wash em down (rude not to eh?) that I had a geographic moment of inspiration (these don’t happen very often). I realised we are about as far on the east coast as we could be and, doesn’t the sun come up on the east? As a keen photographer, I decided that I, Lydia P, hater of early mornings, was going to attempt to get up in time to watch the sunrise. Ha, Keith scoffed. YEAH RIGHT. Off we tottered back to Daisy and I eagerly checked sunrise times on my iPhone, set my alarm and fell asleep to Keith going on about how unlikely it was going to be, blah blah blah. What were the chances of a) me waking up, b) me getting up, and c) if I had managed to overcome a and b, what were the chances of being able to see the sunrise- it was early April and you know what British weather is like!

Well, I did, and this is how it was: (I actually took over 200 photos that morning, before 6 am, thats a record for me- these are my favs)

That was one of those moments where you just stand, in humble silence, everyone else on the campsite was fast asleep other than one guy who was snapping away too, and it was just awesome. I even blubbed.. !

Anyway, I was far too pumped to go back to sleep, so sat and went through my photos time and again until it was a reasonable time to eat, and bugger on off, both well chuffed we had splashed out and for once the good old english weather had been kind to us!

Next stop- Holy Island (Lindisfarne). We’d both been here before, but very much enjoyed it this time, driving across the causeway in Daisy with a great view from our high driving position! We were treated to a spectacular sunset that night from our campsite, a perfect end to a perfect day!

Next stop, Edinburgh- time for me to meet Keefy’s cousin Simon- unbeknownst to Keith, Simon and I had shared email conversations earlier that month, as I was in the middle of organising a surprise party for K’s birthday. We had lots of fun trying to be discreet, as we got drunker and drunker and drunker!

Daisy’s First Trip (and our very first motorhome adventure) – August 2010 – The Lake District and as much of Scotland as we could manage in a week!

So if you have got this far, it is likely that you have read how we got to this point.. Madness/Spontaneity mainly…!

We set off on our merry way “oop north” having only owned the van for 6 hours. Bearing in mind that although we had both camped in the past, neither of us had owned a van, camped in a van, driven a van or cared for a van, we quite literally had no idea what we were supposed to do, how we would make the electric work/ gain water, level up, you name it. But we had got advice about what we would need to take with us. So we figured/hoped that between us we would work it all out, and we were so excited we just didn’t really care!

We started on our journey from Norfolk to Newark with tremendous excitement. I took the first shift of driving whilst Keith familiarised himself with all the different knobs/flaps/buttons etc (insert your own joke here…) About half a mile down the road we heard a rather large clatter which made us both white with fright. We thought we had broken Daisy! In actual fact, what had happened was the fridge had swung open throwing all the contents across the floor! It turns out there is this plug type thing which you need to secure the fridge door so it doesn’t open when you turn corners. We didn’t have one, so I rang Dad, and he managed to make us one ready for when we arrived at theirs. The rest of the journey was spent with Keith sitting in front of the fridge door so it didn’t open, until we swapped and he took over the driving and I took over the important job of making sure our beer stayed secured in the fridge! We had a great night on Chris’ Aire, and set off on our way up to the Lakes at around 4am.

Because we had originally organised the trip for a car/tent, we had given ourselves quite a few miles to cover each day (having much more experience now, I’m not entirely sure why we were going to attempt such a mammoth journey, but that’s a different story)

Our POA was as follows:

Day 1: Eskdale

Day 2: Loch Lomond

Day 3: Fort William/Arisaig

Day 4: Isle of Skye up to Clactoll (Mainland)

Day 5: Loch Ness

Day 6: Blair Castle

Day 7: Northumbria

Day 8: Family wedding in Newark

We had an absolute BLAST! We spent a fortune on petrol and campsite fees, and we drove miles and miles each day- we visited every brown sign attraction that we saw on the road and arrived at our new campsite at dusk every night. It wasn’t the way we would do it now, but we wouldn’t change a thing about our first tour in Daisy. By the end of our 7 days, we were HOOKED!

I won’t recount everything we did, but a few of our highlights were…

1) rather than retracing our 30 odd miles back to Fort William from Arisaig to get to Clachtoll, we decided to trace 10 miles onwards, catch a ferry to Skye, drive 15 miles or so on Skye and return the main land via the Skye Bridge, all before lunchtime

2) having a lovely lunch at Wasdale Head in the Lakes, and then having Dinner on the banks of Loch Lomond, on the same day.

3) Arisaig (where they filmed ‘Local Hero’) – one of my absolute favourite places in the UK so far.

4) Clachtoll Beach Campsite – one of my favourite campsites that we have ever stayed on: http://clachtollbeachcampsite.co.uk/

5) Having a BBQ on the banks of Loch Ness

6) Buying (and then drinking) lots of Sloe Gin from The House Of Bruar http://www.houseofbruar.com/ It was so good, we had to go back in the morning to replenish our stocks. Seriously, if you like Sloe Gin, you need to visit.

Some photos of our trip:

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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.