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Keef & Anne's Travel Blog

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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






By keef and annie hellinger, Jul 6 2019 04:38PM

Motorhome trip No37 : May 5th – July 3rd 2019


NOTTS (home)->Faroes & Iceland via Holland, Germany & Denmark ->NOTTS (home) 5257 miles


What a fantastic 2 months away, scenery to die for, lovely people, couldn’t have asked for better weather in Iceland, as an example the preceding June it rained non stop for 28 days. We had 16 consecutive days of 24 hour sun. You get used to the sun falling and then re-arising moments later. It just never got dark in either the Faroes nor Iceland so it was really weird when returning to Germany via Denmark when it did go dark.


Besides 6 countries, 5257 miles by road (wendy house was amazing up some of the mountain sides) , snow, sun , fog, polar winds, more sun we also spent 7 days at sea so it was like throwing in a mini cruise as well on both Stena lines Harwich-Hoek Van Holland return and Smyril lines MS Norrona from Hirtshals top of Jutland, Denmark to initially Torshavn in the Faroes then Seydisfjordur, East Iceland return. Smyril line is a Faroese owned passenger and cargo ferry / transportation company.


The ferry goes right past the Shetlands, indeed when we were younger it did stop there but as not enough traffic now Smyril stopped it. Bad news for Brits as you now have to go all the way thru Europe to get there!


It is worth saying that the Faroes has 18 islands connected either via Ferry, Bridge or undersea Tunnel. Some we weren’t able to do especially Sandoy… ferry over subscribed and the far north islands as the tunnel at 3.1m was a little too low for comfort when taking the van thru. The Smyril line provide you with a booklet for download of the Faroes campsites. A selection of our fave places where Gasadalur on Vagar, Torshavn campsite views of Hestur, Kaldbak on Streymoy,Vestmanna, Gjogv on Eysturoy, Hosvik, Saksun (both Streymoy),Vikings at Leirvik, Trollanes on Kalsoy. See the pictures to get a feel. We loved it , a week and a half is probably enough but you are guided by the ferry timetable! Also glad we went there 1st before Iceland, I think on balance it’s the right order.


Iceland is a magnificent place to visit. Absolutely bowled over by it. Apart from my scary 2nd day morning climbing over the mountain out of Seydisfjordur in driving snow and winds where you could barely see the road, much less that it was surrounded on both sides by frozen lakes… it was all a joy! Get an Iceland camping card if you are staying more than 2 weeks, sites are plentiful in the east, south west, western fjords and the north… not so in big stretches of the southern coast. Sites are not great but mostly adequate with the exception of Reydarfjordur, Isafjordur and Siglufjordur which are wonderful. If you are not using the card it can be very costly. Reyjkavik for example is not part of this scheme and about £39 / night. Take as much canned food, rice, pasta etc with you that you can fit in your van to control your expenditure. Sadly whale watching for us at Husavik was off, foggy and blowing a hoolie! A selection of our fave places were Reydarfjordur (east) and areas out to Nordfjord, whole of the western Fjords, Vatnajokull NP, Jokulsarlon Lagoon Icebergs,Porshavn (north),many of the lovely fjords and Waterfalls, the Kerfla active volcano area (north west) , Siglufjordur (north),Husavik (north), Grindavik (south west) and as a city Akureyri. See the pictures to get a feel.


If you would like to see the slideshows of our fun in the Faroes please CLICK HERE, or for Iceland please CLICK HERE thanks


For the videos please CLICK HERE


The calendar here shows our day by day activities / whereabouts… enjoy x


Siglufjordur, North Iceland
Siglufjordur, North Iceland




inside the van (panorama) gjogv, esturoy, faroe islands
inside the van (panorama) gjogv, esturoy, faroe islands


funningur - lovely village, esturoy, faroes
funningur - lovely village, esturoy, faroes







By keef and annie hellinger, May 2 2019 03:51PM

Motorhome trip No36 : Apr 30th – May 1st 2019


NOTTS (home)->Clumber Park, C&MC site, Nottinghamshire ->NOTTS (home) 98 miles


Almost exactly 7 years on from our first trip in the Wendy House we returned to the Caravan and Motorhome clubs site at Clumber Park, an area of preserved special interest. How nice to see the wild life, trees everywhere especially Lime trees and listen to the endless bird sounds of Cuckoos, Woodpeckers, Chaffinches, Robins and a whole host more. Beyond relaxing!


This time we were on pitch 9, last time Blog 60 retrospective we were on pitch 7.


We can thoroughly recommend the site, it is peaceful and extremely well serviced with new facilities and at least 3 motorhome service points.


Whilst there we were principally trying out the van for the season after its engine and hab services. All tickerty boo thank heavens!


We decided to walk into Hardwick Village on the understanding it was 10 mins away and less than a mile, 2 ⅔ hours and 5 miles later we returned but it was a fun walk. Stopping for coffee and a mars bar / kitkat at Beryl the land rover café on the edge of Lake Clumber by the weir. It was so so sunny and the views spectacular. Even the village owned by the Dukes of Newcastle was spectacular.


We will return!


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






By keef and annie hellinger, Jan 13 2019 08:37AM

Not the Motorhome trip No7 : 10th December 2018 – 10th January 2019


NOTTS->Gatwick to Singapore to China to Singapore ->NOTTS 19,346 miles


Spent Christmas and New Year with Doug , Phoenix & Charlie in Singapore and China. Wonderful times and so nice to be able to spend so long with them all.


It should be noted that the concept of Motor homing in Singapore (not big enough, but tent camping is possible in East Coast Park) and China (just culturally so foreign to their nature) is unlikely but who is to say in the future whether or not it will happen. When our daughter-in-laws parents visited us in the UK way back when and I showed her father around our Wendy House he asked if English people lived in them. This trip allowed us the opportunity to repay the visit by spending time with them in their home town of Foshan, Guandong province, China and most welcome they made us too. It is fair to say that language is a barrier but Phoenix and Charlie (as interpreters) and a snazzy app on the iPad meant we could communicate just a little. We loved China, what an opportunity, not somewhere I suggest westerners try without some language skills and WeChatPay and Alipay or a whole stack of cash. Most purchases are via the aforesaid app via your phone!

We were extremely lucky travelling with Norwegian from Gatwick to Changi that we got a Premier economy upgrade, the extra comfort and luxury made the 14+ hours journey to Singapore a whole lot better. Top films in my humble opinion – Hoover by Clint Eastwood (way out), Bad times at the El Grande (way back)

We went to Balalaki Greek Taverna in the historic Tiong Bahru heritage area for Doug’s birthday, and very nice it was too, plus a revisit to Muddy Murphy’s for Xmas dinner, although a new venue this time at the other end of Orchard Road.


We flew out to China the day after Boxing day and spent time in Foshan, Guangzhou and Zhuhai (on the border with Macao). Such an experience, loved every moment. We celebrated Annes’ 65th birthday there at a local village wedding and the Western New Year (clearly not Chinese New Year.. 2019 being the year of the Pig).


We returned to Marine Terrace, Singapore on the 4th and made good use of the pool etc at Nora & Michaels at Cote D’Azur near Parkway Parade before sadly saying our good byes and returning home to a somewhat cooler UK. Singapore was 34c, China sometimes 3c and UK 6c


Among the many highlights in Singapore apart from seeing family were the Q8 at SAM , Singapore Art Museum's spin off for new Artists (the old colonial art museum is currently closed for refurbishment for 3 years), this is located at Bras Basah, The Singapore Heritage Museum, Muddy Murphys in Orchard Road, The Buddha Tooth Relic Temple and Museum in Chinatown, Parkway Parade, the ever wonderful East Coast park, Cote D'azur pools, Tiong Bahru heritage area, Gardens by the bay, Asian civilisation museum, Cavenagh bridge area of the Singapore river and the Paranakan Museum and restaurant in Armenian Street.


Among the many highlights of our time in China I would list shop and chop house establishments, Starry Four Seasons Hotel, Lingnan quarter, Lion dancing, old orange peel, turtle soup, Zumiao museum, firecrackers, Titian village family wedding, Annies 65th, Nanfeng ancient kiln, Ming & Qing pottery, the Canton or Pearl river, Guangzhou south station (so busy), High speed trains, Yuwenquan hot springs resort, Macao boat trip, MGM studios (Macao),Tea, Dim Sum, cantonese food, deep fried scorpion, gooses intestines, worms, beef knuckle, Hong kong-zhuhai-macao bridge, Cold and Warmth, Rickshaws, Paw-Paw & Gong-Gong, straw hats, Air B&B, Chen Clan academy, Starbucks, Guandong museum, Fans & western trade historically, Canton Tower, young chinese girls wanting their photo with me (what an ego boost ;) ), Buddha in many forms, chinese weighing scales, crocodile and goat, buttons and zips.


Looking forward to the next family meet up, “missing you already”

Longer term 2020 Beijing for 600th anniversary of the Forbidden city but hopefully also before then!


If you wish to see the SLIDESHOWS CLICK HERE, thanks



So Guangzhou, China
So Guangzhou, China


Near Tiong Bahru Heritage area , Singapore
Near Tiong Bahru Heritage area , Singapore

Chinese New Years
Chinese New Years