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Keef & Anne's Travel Blog

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By keef and annie hellinger, Feb 22 2020 06:40AM

Not the Motorhome trip No9 : Feb 17th – 21st 2020


NOTTS->Knockerdown Farm, Peak District, Derbyshire, DE6 1NQ ->NOTTS 103 miles


This was our 4th visit as a family to Knockerdown Farm, twice when the boys were younger and then for Annie’s 60th and now again during the half term break with Craig, Leanne and Edie. Lovely time although the weather as expected in early February was not that great being both very cold and wet, however this did not dampen our spirits one iota.


Our full list of visits is

1. 3-6 Dec 1993, Wisels Cottage

2. Feb 1996, Wisels Cottage

3. 3-6 Jan 2014, Farwell Cottage

4. 17-21 Feb 2020, Sabinhay Cottage


Left home about 1 pm on the Monday and went to Carsington water (see BLOG 49) where we had a bit of a damp stroll to the Visitors centre and a lovely cup of freshly brewed coffee in the mainsail café overlooking the lovely waters.


We could not get into the cottage until 3pm and were surprised how close to the visitors centre the Cottages were. This time we were in Sabinhay, the one over the archway. In the past we have stayed in both Wisels and Farwell.


Leanne and Edie arrived very soon after us and we all spent a bit of time unpacking the cars from in front of the cottage and then reparking them in the car park out front. Having settled in we went off for our daily swim. A ritual (including sauna for Grandpa) that we re-enacted daily, one of the real advantages of Knockerdown when the weather isn’t so great. Edie is really coming on in the swimming stakes, won’t be long now before she is a fully fledged dolphin ;)


The other advantage is the very close proximity of the Knockerdown Inn, 2 yards over the road where we ate on both Tues and Weds evening. A very friendly family run pub with great food and Edie loved their doggies. We also discovered they run a campsite with facilities at the back of the pub so we may well yet we back in the motor home.


Craig arrived after work at about 5.30pm. Grandpa cooked halloumi burgers with salad accompaniment for tea. We all retired pooped fairly early which was quite a theme throughout the hols , mostly a combination of fresh air and relaxing in my humble opinion.


On the Tuesday C&L cycled around Carsington Water, a distance of about 8 miles. We took Edie to the playpark, Stone Island, button pressing in the Severn Trent exhibition area and then for a massive slab of choccy cake in the mainsail café. C&L joined us there after their ride.


Wednesday we visited Matlock Farm park where Edie cuddled a guinea pig called Cinnamon. We saw lots of other lovely animals but it was seriously cold so we warmed up with lunch in their café then some indoor fun for Leanne and Edie in the Rainforest shed on the big slide.


Thursday Leanne left for her spa days with Claire and we headed off to the Crich Tramway museum only to find on arrival it was sadly closed. Maybe we should have checked first, DOH! Anyhow no worries we spent most of the day at the Unesco World heritage site of Sir Richard Arkwright’s Cromford Mills, great fun and educational.Grandpa cooked Hunters chicken, Jacket pot , Cauli cheese and carrots for tea.


Friday morning we were all up early to breakfast and pack the cars, then we visited the National Stone Centre at Wirksworth where Granny bought Edie some polished stones. Quite an interesting walk around and somewhere we had never been before. We then returned to the Priory at Loughborough for a final family lunch together before heading homewards. All in all a fab family break. Annie and I loved spending time with family!


If you would like to see the slideshows and videos please CLICK HERE


Annie in the Kitchen, Sabinhay Cottage
Annie in the Kitchen, Sabinhay Cottage

Edie at Carsington Water playpark
Edie at Carsington Water playpark

Lovely Carsington Water, Derbyshire
Lovely Carsington Water, Derbyshire




By keef and annie hellinger, Oct 18 2019 03:44AM

Motorhome trip No40 : Oct 14th- 17th 2019


NOTTS->Greetham, Rutland and Surrounds ->NOTTS 247 miles


This was our second trip to Greetham after a failed attempt with Craig and Edie in August because of too much rain.


Having packed last minute stuff we headed off initially to Melton Mowbray, Leicestershire where we did the Treasure Trail quiz similar to that which we did in Whitstable. Sadly it was raining so a brolly for our walk around the town and parks was essential. The trail quizzes are a great way to get to know a town better and although we had been through Melton on many occasions it is not a place we really knew. It is a lovely place with many blue plaques celebrating the famous, especially Thomas Cromwell, Anne of Cleves and Henry VIII amongst others. Ye old Pork Pie Shoppe for which Melton is famed allowed us to buy at a reduced price a huge chicken, ham and pork pie, just so yummy!


By the time we got back to the van after our 2 hour quiz it was very dark and what can only be called a dramatic storm, which sadly was to continue for the rest of the day and night causing some rural flooding. Back at the van we had pre made sandwiches and some of our lovely pie.


Then it was onto the campsite at Greetham. Although we have been there before in November 2017, Blog 120 (CLICK HERE to view) we had forgotten how to get to the site as the SatNav coordinates don’t work. Luckily whilst pulled up opposite the Plough Inn Terry from the Camping and Caravan site rang as they wished to close early because of the weather and gave me great directions. It was almost 5pm. We will not forget if and when there is a next time. We were on pitch 25 for 3 nights,in the adult only area. All pitches have all 3 services i.e electrics, drinking water and drain for your grey waste, there is a mixture of grass and hard standing pitches


We went out each day, the weather being slightly better on the Tuesday and much better, indeed some sunshine on the Wednesday and typically full sunshine on the way home on Thursday.


We visited amongst others Apethorpe Palace, Northamptonshire – closed after English Heritage sold it to a French Aristocrat for a snip, Peterborough Cathedral, Cambridgeshire, Rutland Water, Eyebrook resevoir, the River Eye (very swollen), Lyddington Bede house, Lyddington, Rutland plus lunch at the Old White Hart , yummy and most of the villages in south east Leicestershire, the best of which in our humble opinion are Great Easton, Tur Langham and Carlton Curlieu.


All in all a very relaxing 3 days away in our lovely Wendy house.


If you would like to see the slideshow of our fun please CLICK HERE, thanks



Best Chicken, Ham and Pork Pie Ever
Best Chicken, Ham and Pork Pie Ever


Peterborough Cathedral
Peterborough Cathedral



By keef and annie hellinger, Oct 11 2019 05:55AM

Not the Motorhome trip No8 : Oct 4th- 10th 2019


NOTTS->Dorking, London:- Centre, Raynes Park, Clapham, Tooting, Wimbledon and Kent :- Chestfield, Margate, Sandwich, Whitstable, Meopham->NOTTS 397 miles


Left early on the Friday morning for London, M1 closed so used M42 amd M40 to get down to Surrey to visit Mum in her care home, she was bright and cheery and I fed her lunch. Annie packed away all her winter clothing we had delivered. After that we called back in at Mums house to pick up post, eat lunch, and update neighbours. Then it was off to the Travelodge at Raynes Park for our 2 night stay.


Friday evening I went up to meet Chris in London for his 65th birthday. We went to a blues bar in Kingly Street just off Oxford Circus and then after to a Lebanese restaurant.


Saturday was the 3rd White Horse Bent reunion at initially the Windmill on Clapham Common, then the Spice Village Indian restaurant in Tooting and finally the pub at Tooting Bec with Chris, Allyson and Kev, the rest having to get away to various things. Lovely to see David and Cathy over from Canada. Annie got to finally use her new bus pass as we rediscovered the delights of London travel, over ground, underground wombling free bus pass ;0)


Sunday morning after our mega breakfast for the 2nd day at the Travelodge we went to see Mum again via Wimbeldon where Keef took family residents pictures, then onto Kent to stay with Brian and Gina. Had a lovely time with them visiting initially Margate, Turner contemporary and seeing entrants for Turner prize 2019, weird and wonderful! Plus a Earl of Sandwich sandwich in Sandwich. Nice circular walk around Sandwich,a very interesting place. We had a quick walk around Chestfield the next day and finally a quiz walk around Whitstable, all great fun. Loved Ginas home cooking plus a fab Thai meal in Whitstable. The odd laugh thrown in *smile*


On the way back home we called in at Meopham for Keef to sell some old concert programmes and to see Craig and Leanne, all in all a lovely week away.


If you want to see the slideshow of pictures please CLICK HERE





By keef and annie hellinger, Sep 9 2019 06:51AM

Motorhome trip No39 : Sept 6th- 8th 2019


NOTTS->Swiss Farm Touring and Camping, Henley-on-Thames ,Oxon->NOTTS 290 miles


Almost 260 years around the table and 30+ camping years under our belts collectively , you could call us the Master Campers *smile*


We visited Swiss Farm Touring and Campsing with our dear pals Pete and Joy. A very well laid out site with good amenities, camping ground for tents, café and swimming pool (heated outdoors). If the weather had been warmer outside I would have gone in but on Sunday morning chickened out as 10c but it certainly warmed up later in the day.


We were on hard standing pitches 37 & 29 respectively on the same row but sadly not adjoining as we had rather gate crashed their weekend away and booked later, also we were on a 6m(etre) pitch and Pete & Joy on a 7m pitch. The lady on reception however had done a good job of getting us reasonably close.


After setting up we all walked into town , about a 20 minute walk at my slow pace. A lovely old market town on the river Thames with some amazing architecture. We had a few bevies in the 3 Tuns pub and a good catch up. In between it bucketed it down, just glad we were inside. Henley seems to have more pubs and dogs than people and the dog of choice for how shall I say this , “the somewhat wealthy” is the pug, not the most beautiful dog in my humble opinion. Stands back to deflect hurls of abuse *smile*


We then strolled down to the old river bridge sandwiched between the angel and red lion pubs, see what I mean about the number of hostelries and surprisingly they are all still trading, great views, great stories, great pictures.


We then moseyed back to the site along the edge of the boating Thames, well as best we could. Between Henley and Hurley is the Leander club, home of some very famous rowers. More chatting and supper of lasagne, garlic bread, salad followed by cheese and bikkies and some good wine, #bliss


Saturday we made our way back into town for a slightly longer explore and a bit of retail therapy. Asquiths world famous TEDDY bear shop was a real hit. Amazing animals in there as well as the very expensive Stief bears under lock and key. We then strolled along some of the back streets , half timbered houses, Georgian palatial abodes down to the river and back up to the Angel Inn on the bridge where we had lunch and ale / wine / soft drinks. Pete Joy & I had seafood chowder and very good it was too. Annie had terrine salad and rustic toast. The place was packed!


Bit more shopping as we strolled back to the campsite, sitting outside for a bit until the chill set in. Lovely evening BBQ steak, halloumi, kebabs, burgers salad and cheese and bikkies. Yummy! Thanks Pete & Joy.


Sunday after breakfast of croissants, pack up time and fond good byes until the next time. We went via Beaconsfield in search of Annie’s granddads grave in the historic Jordan’s Quaker burial ground 1688 and with the help of John in the Quaker meeting house found it easily. After that we returned via M25 / M1. All in all a lovely weekend and would recommend campsite and area. We will be back


If you would like to see the slideshow of our fun please CLICK HERE, thanks



Friends lunching, Angel Inn on the bridge, Henley on Thames
Friends lunching, Angel Inn on the bridge, Henley on Thames


Portrait time
Portrait time





By keef and annie hellinger, Jul 15 2019 05:11PM

Motorhome trip No38 : 12th-14th July 2019


NOTTS (home)->Sherwood Forest Holiday Park, Nottinghamshire ->NOTTS (home) 59 miles


A fab time with all the family at the campsite, in a lovely setting with many amenity blocks and playgrounds for the grand daughters. Also a lovely raised stream walk around the edge of the park backing onto Sherwood Forest. Outside the far end gate is a fishing lake and inside a duck pond and stream for kids to paddle in.


Nearby is Sherwood Pines and the Sherwood Forest steam railway and associated playpark both of which we visited.


We camped on pitch 1 and 2 at the far end of the park, lovely large grass pitches but the place was heaving , not a slot left so well done to Craig for booking. It was the first time they had put up their 8 person tent with awning so that was a fun family experience with all chipping in. Mostly good weather except overnight Saturday. We had lasagne and garlic bread for Friday eve, BBQ Saturday and lunch old at the nearby fab Dog & Duck Inn in Kings Clipstone.


We did the Gruffalo orienteering course thru the Sherwood Pines woods with varying degrees of success… the girls loved the assorted wooded play parks, and minus granny and granddad they all did the Green route cycle track.


It was so nice having Doug and family over from Singapore to be able to do this.


If you would like to see slideshow of our fun please CLICK HERE, thanks


If you wish to see the rest of the fun we had whilst they visited CLICK HERE