Norfolk and back x 2 – 24 Sept to 9 Oct

This is why we’ll never make travel blogging a job – we get so carried away with what we’re doing we forget to update it!  Sitting down last night, we thought our last blog couldn’t have uploaded properly but then when we looked at the PC, we realised we hadn’t actually written anything 😊

Here we go with a couple of weeks of bouncing back and forth between Norfolk and home – not the best thing to have to do when there’s a fuel shortage! However, it couldn’t be avoided and luckily we were never in the position of almost running out of diesel.

We had a couple of days at Swans Harbour Campsite, Barford just to the west of Norwich so we could pop and see Amy in her new house. Not our favourite campsite! It seems that about half the pitches are permanent residents and the whole place felt very tired and worn down.  We also had a neighbour who came home between 2/3am the three nights we were there and proceeded to shout at his girlfriend each time.  However, the local farm shop was a great find and we had a visit from an old school friend of June’s who happened to be in the area.

A cracking self service farm shop
Holly Farm Cottage

We then headed up towards the coast, spending one evening with Bob’s cousin in Stanhope, staying at Holly Farm Cottage CL, an immaculately kept grass field behind the owner’s house and next to the village pub (sadly not open Monday or Tuesday nights at time of writing).  That was followed by a night in Burnham Market, AKA Chelsea on Sea due to the number of rich bankers owning second homes in the village! Fallowfield CL is just on the edge of the village and whilst the CL was full, we were able to park in the adjacent rally field. We did manage one short walk from here, spending an afternoon wandering around the various Burnham villages.

After a quick trip home, we moved just a couple of miles up the road to Burnham Deepdale to spend the weekend with fellow motorhomes, Jason and Katie plus Elsa of course! Deepdale Camping has something for everyone whether in a motorhome, caravan or tent and also has a hostel on site.  Local shop and café just outside the site and there was a mobile pizza van there on the Friday and Saturday night we were there. 

A tad windy on the beach

The plan was to walk a little and lounge around the vans but the weather intervened and we got rather wet and windswept on the one day we did get out!  The weather did let up in the evening which allowed us to get to the pub for dinner and watch the sun set over the marshes. Rainy days do though give us the chance to catch up on admin and laundry (very cheap washers and dryers here!).

Rained a little

The next stop was Wells-Next-The-Sea, a picturesque village with a harbour full of boats. Mill Farm seemed to have a couple of camping areas and we were in the CL with views across the fields to the marshes.  We were able to follow the coast path through the marshes to Stiffkey where we sat on the white sand for a coffee watching the bird life and whilst stopping for our last coffee break of the day, an old work colleague of June’s walked past with her husband and dog!

Beautiful Wells-next-the-Sea

The area is known for its seal population and a number of local companies do boat tours.  On Katie and Jason’s recommendation we went with Beans Boats (£20 per person for a 60-90 minute trip) but sadly the trip wasn’t so successful in that there were no seals basking on the sand banks as the weather kept them in the water – who knew that seals don’t like the rain!

Our last night in Norfolk was a free overnight stay in the car park at the Water’s Edge Restaurant, Woods End where we had dinner with an old boss of Bob’s – this was a real sociable couple of weeks!

The view from Water’s Edge Restaurant

We’ve loved the short time that we’ve spent in Norfolk and will be back.

After a couple more days back close to home clearing admin and doing the washing, it is time to move on much further afield and 180 days from the day we were released in April, for the last night of this post were sat in a field (Page Farm CL – great for easy access to the Eurotunnel terminal but would also be a good base to explore the local area) near to Folkestone ready for the 7.20am Eurotunnel train to Calais tomorrow.

Our plan is a quick dash through France, stopping long enough to get a PCR test for Italy where we heading to the Dolomites to visit a couple of places we missed when last there. On then to the Julian Alps in Slovenia before spending 7 weeks or so in Croatia and Bosnia.

Let the Schengen Shuffle begin!

Sites used:

Swans Harbour Caravan Park, Barford, Norfolk: £16 per night.  EHU, water and dumping facilities.  Showers and toilets also available but we didn’t use them. Mixed pitches.

Holly Tree Cottage CL, Stanhoe, Norfolk : £15 per night.  EHU, water and dumping facilities.  All grass.

Fallowfield CS, Burnham Market, Norfolk: £13 per night.  No EHU (available on main field) but water and dumping facilities.  All grass.

Deepdale Campsite, Burnham Deepdale: £21.33 per night. No EHU (available on pitches) but water and dumping facilities. Mixed pitches.

Mill Farm CL, Wells-next-the-Sea: £20 per night. EHU, water and dumping facilities.  All grass.

Page Farm CL, Postling, Kent: £15 per night. EHU, water and dumping facilities.  All grass.

Derbyshire Peak District via Tring and Cropredy – 10 Sept to 22 Sept

All home stuff and admin done we couldn’t wait to get back in the van and hit the road again. We knew we would have to make a couple more trips home so decided not to go too far although too far for us though is probably someone else’s epic trip!

Balmers Campsite. Van sporting the new Angles Morts stickers ready for France

First stop then was Balmers at Tring, a site that has popped up a few times already and there’s nothing new to add about it. It’s close to home so ideal for making sure we had everything (trips home involve moving bags of “stuff” in either direction be it washing, bits we don’t need or new things we think we need) and we had made plans to walk this weekend with a friend from home. Despite the campsite being just off the Ridgeway footpath and Tring Park being across the road, we’ve never walked here so with a good weather forecast it was time to put that right.

Tring Park

Tring Park is a former Rothschild estate and an area of woodland and open grassland. Lots of footpaths cross the park and connect to other paths to explore the area beyond. There is also the Walter’s Wanders trail through the park which insights in the life of Walter Rothschild and the history of the park. The trail begins at the Natural History Museum at Tring and Walter bequeathed his zoological collection (one of the largest private collections ever assembled) to the public in 1892.

A bit random and for only the reason of having dinner with friends, we next headed towards Cropredy. The campsite was Bridge Meadow which, as the name suggests, is located next to the bridge over the Oxford Canal and on a large field between the canal and the River Cherwell. Given it’s a low lying field between two bodies of water, the ground was a little soft but we were directed to the best places to park and provided with mats to stop any sinking. The weather was still good when we arrived so we followed the Cropredy Circular Walk along the canal and cross country to pass a couple of hours.


The rain came in the following morning so a van day and a good day for visits – Bob’s old colleague Dave came by for coffee and then it was off to Waddy and Jo’s for dinner.

The hills were calling and we were desperate to get the boots on again so we made our way to the Derbyshire Peak district. Our first campsite was Heatherhill Farm, a new CL in the village of Bamford. It was a small field with a mix of motorhomes, caravans and tents (as well a permanent “glamping” tent) which might get a little overcrowded in the summer but the owner was keen for feedback to improve the site. The facilities are basic but clean and the campsite has easy access to public transport including the Hope Valley Sheffield to Manchester rail line.

We took the train into Sheffield to meet Chloe who was in town that week with the touring version of Heathers the Musical and after one false start in Liverpool, we finally got to see the show this time.

From the campsite we were able to pick up the footpath to the Ladybower Reservoir. After changing our route several times we extended the walk to also take us around the Derwent Reservoir and the Derwent Dam which would be familiar to anyone who has seen the film “The Dam Busters”. The site was used by pilots of the RAF 617 Squadron to practice low level flying to prepare for the dam busting raids on the Ruhr Valley dams in World War 2.

As well as the reservoirs we also had a cracking walk to Win Hill having come up to the ridge via Hope Cross. With the glorious weather we had stunning views across the Peak District in all directions.

View from Win Hill

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We moved a few miles along the Hope Valley to the village of Edale and Newfold Farm campsite, a large mixed campsite for vans and tents. Glamping options were also available in a neighbouring field.

However before stopping at the campsite we paid a visit to Chatsworth House, the seat of the Duke of Devonshire and has a 105 acre garden both of which are open to the public and the estate hosts various events throughout the year. Various ticket combinations are available but we paid £14 each for garden access only deciding to leave the house for another day. The gardens alone were worth a visit!

Chatsworth House

One of our criteria for picking a campsite is easy access to a footpath and from Newfold we were able to go cross country and up the ridge to Hollins Cross. From there we followed the well trodden footpath to Mam Tor, down a small gap in the ridge and then back up again to the much less busy Lord’s Seat for another lunch with a view!

View from Mam Tor

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Sites used:
Balmers CL, Tring: £7 per night. No EHU but water and dumping facilities. All grass.

Bridge Meadow CL, Cropredy : £10 per night. No EHU but water and dumping facilities. All grass.

Heatherhill Farm CL, Bamford, Derbyshire: £20 per night. EHU, toilet but no shower, water, and dumping facilities. All grass.

Newfold Farm Campsite, Eda
le, Derbyshire: £22 per night plus £4 for EHU. Hard standing and grass pitches

Home again via Liverpool, Norwich and Basingstoke!

After a wonderful six weeks exploring Wales (but still so much to see so we’ll be back!) it was time to catch up with children which is not so easy when they are spread across the country 😊.

Ferry across The Mersey

First stop was Liverpool to see Chloe and the latest production she is touring with (Heathers The Musical for anyone interested). Hidden Corner was a quiet, well looked after site close to Maghull North station, a short train ride in to Liverpool. As this was also around June’s birthday, Amy took a train from London to join us and for one night we had an AirBnB in the city. There was a slight hiccup with the show we’d booked being cancelled due to positive COVID tests so although we couldn’t see Chloe at work, it did mean that we got more time to spend with her. We spent a couple of days on the tourist trail taking in the sights via a bus tour and on foot – more exhausting than hiking Welsh mountains!

As previously mentioned, one good thing about travelling round the UK is being able to catch up with friends and here we met up with Helen, former customer turned friend of June’s, who drove us out to the coast to see the Anthony Gormley’s “Another Place” statues on the sand before meeting up with her family for dinner.

The overnight stop at Oaklands Farm was on our way to Mercedes for a couple of quick jobs to be done on the van. It’s a shame we couldn’t have stayed longer as it was an immaculate site surrounded by rolling countryside so it’s on the list to go back to.


Our next proper stop was near to Cromer, north Norfolk. Bramble Park was a small, but again well looked after site within walking distance of the beach at Cromer and Felbrigg Hall, a National Trust property. Our reason for coming here was to move Amy from her university accommodation and put her stuff into storage ahead of moving into a shared house the following month. Luckily we managed to get everything, and she had a lot of stuff, moved the few miles in one go in the small van we’d hired which allowed time for lunch and shopping.

Felbrigg Hall

We had something a little different planned for the weekend – the Van Life Eats Big Picnic festival being held at Dummer Down Farm near Basingstoke, so we spent one night at Popham Airfield to make sure we were there as early as possible when the gates opened. The CL is a field close the hangars and runway so a great place to watch small planes and microlights.

Chef Benji at Van Life Eats Big Picnic

The festival was a weekend devoted to van living (although mostly in campervans and conversions rather than motorhomes) and food so right up our street! We had also arranged to meet up with several other van owners that we had previously only known through Instagram. It was a great weekend putting faces to names and chatting about van life, gadgets and future plans whilst sitting around the fire pit. We didn’t get to too many of the talks nor did we see any of the live bands but we did go foraging and to a couple of cookery demonstrations.

We had intended to stay on the south coast, moving on to the Portsmouth area to have some work done on the van which is required to keep the warranty valid but the garage called to cancel as they had a number of staff off sick. We therefore spent just the one night in Winchester before heading home and spending a couple of nights at Wyatts Covert before putting the van into storage for a week.

Wyatts Covert is another great site for plane lovers as it’s across the road from Denham Airfield but the planes only tend to fly during daylight hours so it’s quiet at night. We had planned to walk to Denham Country Park but sadly the HS2 works had closed a number of footpaths leaving the only access to be via walking along the main A412 which has no pavements so we gave that a miss.

Denham Airfield

A few days ago we had put the van on a weighbridge and discovered we had an issue meaning we had to drop 190kg quickly – we knew we’d be close to one of the axle limits (total gross weight is fine) but were shocked to find we were so much overweight. On the way from Norfolk to Hampshire we stopped at home to unload some big items, eg the unused bikes and collapsible ladder, and changed our policy of travelling with a full water tank to lose most of the weight. We also tried to redistribute what weight we could to the front of the van and we used the time at Denham to have another sort out of “stuff” to see what else we could leave behind. We knew these first few months would be a learning process but this had been quite an eye opener as we had always been conscious of what we were carrying. We look at other vans and see what people unload from their garages and wonder if they have any idea of their weight!

And then a week in a proper house and back in our old bed which now is nowhere near as comfortable as our bed in the van! It felt strange being in the house as is the short time we have been gone, Chloe has, rightly, stamped her mark and rearranged things. We did a few things around the house and tidied the garden a little. It was great though to catch up with friends although at the end of the week we were both itching to get back in the van – it did feel like coming home when we picked it up from storage and headed to a nearby campsite.

Balmers Campsite near Tring

Sites used:
Hidden Corner CS, near Liverpool: £16 per night. EHU, water and dumping facilities, showers (coin operated) and toilets. All grass.

Oaklands Farm CL, near Peterborough: £15 per night. EHU, water and dumping facilities. Hard standing pitches, some sloping.

Bramble Park CL, near Cromer, Norfolk: £16 per night. EHU, water and dumping facilities, shower and toilet available. All grass.

Popham Airfield CL, near Basingstoke, Hampshire: £10 per night. No EHU but water and dumping facilities. All grass.

Morn Hill CMC, Winchester, Hampshire: £21.96 per night. EHU, water and dumping facilities. Hard standing pitches. Laundry rooms.

Wyatts Covert CC, Denham, Bucks: £30 per night. EHU, water and dumping facilities. Hard standing pitches. Laundry room.

Here, there and everywhere

15 June to 28 June 2021

Back towards home and London for a week to see family, visit the dentist (again) and meet former work friends. We tried, new to us, Home Cottage Farm CL in Iver as it was convenient for home and seeing June’s mum. We originally missed the entry to the site as it’s via a, currently closed, pick-your-own farm and the site is nothing more than a small field at the end of a narrow track through the farm but it was a great find! Despite the closeness to major roads (M25 and M40) it was very peaceful and the wildlife abundant – whilst we had family over for lunch three large deer wondered out of the woods and across the adjacent field and this was after watching a woodpecker feed as we had our breakfast and a small fox cub playing in the long grass.

Home Cottage Farm, Iver

The original purpose for this week was to catch up with old work colleagues and a slight change of plans had us heading into central London twice for drinks and dinner. It was strange to be back in town which is still under the influence of COVID with so many places still closed and too many looking permanently shut. We had previously been frequent visitors to Borough Market and despite it being a Saturday, it was so easy to move around but again some stalls had not yet reopened. We wandered around town for a while and finally managed to buy the lightweight chairs we’d been looking for. We wanted something to fold small to take out walking with us and found exactly what we wanted.

Borough Market

Mid-week we moved from Iver to the CMC site at Abbeywood, SE London. We would highly recommend this site when visiting London as the train station is less than 10 minutes walk away with trains directly into London Bridge and Charing Cross. There are various pitches available for motorhomes, campervans and caravans, a tent field and various pods/lodges plus two washing machines, all situated in well kept grounds with friendly and helpful staff. Lesnes Abbey and woods are a short walk from the site and well worth a visit.

Lesnes Abbey

Up until COVID we had both worked in central London and had enjoyed the buzz of the city but neither of us is keen to rush back again after this visit. It was great to see friends and we will always make time to do that but we think we’ve taken to the quiet life more than we thought. Time to escape again!

After leaving London we kept the link with the city by heading upstream along the Thames into Oxfordshire and Gloucestershire where we could explore more of the Thames Path

Our first stop was Newbridge Farm CL near Witney. The site is nothing more than a farmer’s field but located within easy reach of the Thames Path and a couple of pubs. We met Sharon, a friend and former colleague of Bob’s and cycling buddy to us both at the Maybush. Although we didn’t eat there due to a miscommunication, the food had been recommended to us. The campsite backs on to the A415 and was a little noisy at times but that aside, it was excellent value for money.

Newbridge Farm

Our walk from here was upstream to the nature reserve at Chimney Meadows where we found a great little bird hide from which we were able to look over the fields and the river. A lot of the path here is overgrown and we were frequently walking through grass up to our waists – not good for the hayfever! We tried to take a slight detour on the way back which involved crossing a ford which we knew could be deep at times but we thought as it was June we might be OK…. When we got there the depth was showing over 60cm deep and not being prepared for a swim we decided to walk back the way we came!

Chimney Meadows

We moved a little further upriver to Friars Court in Radcot. They have two camping areas and we were on the island CL which gave us a riverside pitch (room for all five vans to be riverside) from where we could watch the people and wildlife on the river. This was a fantastically relaxing place to stay and was also very convenient for Ye Olde Swan pub where this time we met Andy, a friend of Bob’s and his wife Debbie, to while away a few hours over a drink or two.
Another hayfever inducing walk along the path heading towards Lechlade where we stopped to have our lunch at St John’s lock watching as boats went through the lock. There were several geocaches along the path but the battle with the nettles proved too much and we had to register a few as “did not find”.

Friars Court, Radcot.

Our final Thames stop was the Bridgehouse Campsite in Lechlade which is located by the bridge over the Thames just minutes walk from the high street. It was also close to Cotswold Canoe Hire from where we were renting a couple of canoes for a day’s paddling further upstream with Bob’s son Tom and June’s daughter, Chloe. And quelle surprise, it was just across the road from a pub where they conveniently opened for breakfast so that got the day off to a good start!

We paddled a total of about 14km with the return being far easier as we were going with the flow of the river. This part of the river is mostly unnavigable for anything larger than a canoe which meant we didn’t have to deal with any boats….thankfully given our skill level! We finished the day with a BBQ and two of the largest steaks we could find.

Unexpectedly one of June’s school friends was staying locally so we spent a couple of hours one afternoon with Caroline and Ashley. We hadn’t managed a reunion at home for sometime but being on the road is really helping us to catch up with family and friends across the country.

Sites used:

Home Cottage Farm CL, Iver, Bucks: £10 p/n. No EHU but water and dumping facilities. All grass.

Abbey Wood, CMC Site, SE London: £27.60 p/n. EHU, water and disposal points. Laundry. Various pitches (we had hard standing).

Newbridge Farm CL, Witney, Oxfordshire: £6 p/n. No EHU but water and dumping facilities. All grass.

Friars Court CL, Radcot, Oxfordshire: £10 p/n. No EHU but water and dumping facilities. All grass.

Bridgehouse Campsite, Lechlade, Gloucestershire: £22 p/n. EHU, water and disposal facilities. No laundry (as at end of June 2021, not all entries for this campsite appeared to have been updated with this information).

A weekend in a Tree

When your anniversary falls on a weekend you have to make the most of it I think….

So October 2015 I started planning for May 2016..  I wanted to find something different and special.  I found a Tree House on the East Sussex / Kent that looked stunning and it didn’t let us down.

All booked, June had no idea at all where we were going.  I threw in a few red herrings like ‘we need sleeping bags’ etc to throw her off any scent she may have picked up.  I even packed the sleeping bags in the car as I left for a training course the week before.

Picking June up from the station she still was totally unaware of the Tree House.

The Tree House
The Tree House

The Tree House
The Tree House

It was a stunning location.  Complete with king size bed, en suite, heating and even a breakfast hamper.  Everything I had hoped and more.

The next day we decided to use our National Trust membership and visit a couple of nearby.  First on the list was Scotney Castle….  Not a bad pad

Scotney Castle

Scotney Castle

Scotney Castle
Scotney Castle

From there we moved on to Bodiam Castle….  A slightly better pad albeit a lot of roof was missing 🙂

Bodiam Castle
Bodiam Castle

Bodiam Castle
Bodiam Castle

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A Bank Holiday Weekend in Hertfordshire

Knowing the roads would be busy over the August Bank Holiday weekend and not long back from Pembrokeshire made a return visit to a small campsite just outside Tring an easy choice.

College Farm Campsite
College Farm Campsite

College Farm Campsite is a 5 pitch Camping and Caravanning Certified Site (CS).  It is basic with electric hook up,  fresh water, and a  chemical disposal point.

Grand Union Canal junction with the Wendover Arm
Grand Union Canal junction with the Wendover Arm

Saturday was dry and so we took a walk along the Grand Union Canal, only a few minutes walk from the site, south and then up to Ashridge National Trust site. We often cycle here for a coffee and cake at Brownlow’s Cafe.

Return route was via Aldbury and managed to grab a Geocache that had eluded us on our last trip and a pint at the Grand Junction, Bulbourne.

The only bad thing of the day was June’s huge blister on her heel…  The boots, although newish, had never given grief before so it may have been down to the socks….

As a result of the blister Sunday is a stay around the motorhome day 🙂


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Site contact details.


Helen 07798 525374

The Peaks

Following the brilliant wedding of Tom and Jade we decided to head north to the Peaks.  We stopped at the Caravan and Camping site at Hayfield. Meeting up with Waddy and Jo who were already there.  Bob used to work with Waddy in the day on the unit.  There were going to be a few old war stories of daring do and how they saved the world….even when it didn’t need saving..

The campsite is really well placed for walking up onto Kinder Scout which we did on the Sunday.

It was a great day out on the hills albeit we didn’t follow the footpath a few times we did manage to bag a cache by Mermaid’s Pool at a lunch stop.DSC_5985

The next day Waddy and Jo had left for home so we wandered into the village on the lookout for a cafe…  After a good 30 minutes or so we gave up and wandered slowly back to the van….  We saw the cafe the next day…shared with a drapers!

Still a great weekend and really good to catch up with friends.

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Hurst View Camp Site Lymington

Friday 29.03.13

Having done a pick up of food from Tesco the roads to Lymington got a little busy as we got closer to the camp site.

The site itself was still quite wet around the edges and having walked over the grass to test it we managed to get a spot big enough for us and Chris, Penny and Tia who would be joining us later.

The camp site is very chilled out. Very few rules…… You can even have open fires. The shower block appears quite new and the showers were hot, free and powerful. What more can you ask.

Saturday 30.03.13

We ran out of gas just after the morning brew. Quick pack up and off we went, taking Tia with us, to the nearby Shell station. Brilliant to be able to fill up the Gaslow system with twenty odd pounds worth of gas and knowing that it was cheaper and in wasn’t handing back a bottle with gas still in it. Gaslow is quite a cost to fit and I’m not sure we would have ever had it done but the new van came with it.

We had a quick troll about Lymington looking for a parking space big enough for us but no joy. So back to the campsite before we walked back into town, only a couple of miles.

It was market day but that didn’t stop us from lunching at Cafe Nero….. where I managed to through a cup of coffee over Amy and June caused a bit of distress by choking…

We managed to escape without succumbing to the call of the market traders….

We even managed to bag a geocache 🙂

Sunday 1.04.13

This morning it was Chris and Penny’s time to run out of gas….. but Chris has previous for doing that. While we were in the Peak District he offered to host a BBQ only to find he had run out of gas.

There are quite a few walks from the site and we decided to wander out to the sea wall, again managing to bag a couple of caches, and onto the Gun at Keyhaven for a quick lunch. During the walk we have a bit of an egg hunt with the girls… apparently I wasn’t meant to eat them once found they were meant to be re hidden…. well you live and learn…and eat!

Gas Gas my kingdom for Gas


The Grand Easter Egg Hunt


Lymington…. Easter shake down

Tomorrow we are off to Lymington for the Easter weekend. It will be the first time we have been away in the new Starline and it will be a great chance to check it all out before the Moroccan trip in May.

We will be meeting up at the campsite with Chris and Penny, friends who are also coming to Morocco.

Can’t wait

Bossiney to Boscastle

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