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By keef and annie hellinger, May 10 2018 12:40PM

Motorhome trip No33 : May 7th- 9th 2018


NOTTS->Waterclose Meadows Campsite,Houghton Mill, Cambridgeshire ->NOTTS 198 miles


254 years and 30+ camping years under our belts collectively ;)


This was our second visit to Houghton Mill with our dear pals Pete and Joy. See BLOG 119 for our 1st excursion. This time all around the mill was visible, the scaffolding having been removed and Britain’s best early May day bank holiday weather for 80 years (allegedly)- Sun, Sun, Sun!


It is a very nice site in a gorgeous location next to an old working mill (owned by the National Trust) with its own pond on the banks of the river Great Ouse in Cambridgeshire. Pete & Joy arrived at the site first in their still lovely new Baileys autograph motor home. We had attempted to arrive at 12 noon but Mill Road leading to the site was crammed with both folks leaving the site late and day trippers approaching the attached public car park. So we decided to head back out towards Huntingdon, parking in a car park besides the Boat house on the banks of the Great River Ouse. We then had a good ½ hour stroll along the tow path enjoying the river activities in the sun, sheer bliss!

We were on grass pitches 28 & 29. The site is only grass but has pods at £50 per night and a new one with en-suite at £75 per night, minimum stay 2 nights. We had a look inside and very nice this one was too, but not as nice as motorhoming! The grass pitches are £23 per night.


We had a lovely BBQ on the Monday eve and cooked brekkie on Tuesday before strolling into town for a mooch around and the odd bevy at the 3 horseshoes. We strolled back past the sleeping swan, artist and hordes of bathers to get ready for our evening meal partaken at the 3 horseshoes and very good it was too.


We said our fond goodbyes on Wednesday morning and hope to meet up again soon. Lovely few sunny days in Cambridgeshire. On the way back we visited Grafham water and the lovely village of Ellingham. Have looked up the Grafham water site since returning and will definitely stay there on a future trip, it is only 400m from the waters edge.


The only drawback to the site was the lawn mower man who basically destroyed the peace and tranquillity on 2 days endlessly driving his mover around. We did ask him to desist on May day but to no avail. Annie and I left early on Wednesday morning to escape his noise! Shame it is such a nice site.

If you would like to see slideshows and a video of our fun please CLICK HERE, thanks


If you wish to look at our complete set of UK Campsite stays click HERE, thanks


friends outside the mill
friends outside the mill




By keef and annie hellinger, Mar 29 2018 06:47PM


Motorhome trip No32 : March 22nd – 27th 2018


NOTTS->Threlkeld, Lake District NP, Cumbria ->NOTTS 396 miles


Used the truck nav which took us up the east side of the country i.e M1, M18 , A1(M) until about Scotch corner where we travelled across the fabulous A66 and old roman road route through the Pennines to Penrith and then onto Threlkeld to the Threlkeld Hall site on a farm. We were meeting up with our group of long time friends who had initially camped over the fell at White Horse Bent by Scales in the Lake District National Park in August 1973 some 45 years ago. This is our 2nd reunion having met up in London in August 2016. Sadly not everyone could make this one but we welcomed back into our fold Peter Linnett who I personally have not seen in the last 45 years, such a joy to reconnect! The whole weekend was a delight and we both still have a heavy glow of happiness and inner well being. The expression may well be “Far out & Solid”!


The campsite was a short walk across fields into Threlkeld where most of our pals were staying in the cottage opposite the Horse & Farrier Inn called Heather View. At night if the A66 was closed for road works we could walk up it back to the campsite with torches in the dark. If not it was generally a muddy trek in the dark avoiding the dog dirt (a personal pet hate…. If you will forgive the pun)


The site was hard standing with all 3 services, water, electrics and grey water disposal which was good. However on the negative side at £25 / night the facilities were very very limited for 20 pitches having only one shower and loo and sink for men and women. Apart from its convenience to us in terms of closeness to Threlkeld I could not recommend it.


We were on pitch 9 and our pals Chris & Allyson were on pitch 12. Some of the things we did were catching up, Keswick, Threlkeld views, eating/ drinking and making merry, Mandy’s local fete near Ullveston, Blues festival at Bowness. We were really lucky with the weather in the Lake District for March with 3 days of sunshine, lets not talk about the other days…. There were elements of monkeys and brass involved and the proverbial liquid sunshine.


On the way back we used the M6 and cut across at Stoke. It took 5 hours returning and 3 and half hours getting there.


Want to see the SLIDESHOWS


If you wish to look at our complete set of UK Campsite stays click HERE, thanks


Re the fab band we saw at the Bowness Bay Blues at the Hole Int Wall pub they were Changing State and they were fab.

Changing State are a young South Lakes-based band. This group of talented teenagers play solid blues infused rock music, but they draw their influences from diverse sources including modern jazz and punk as well as classic Led Zeppelin-style rock. Changing State are: Michael (vocals); two Jacks (both guitar); Fergus (bass); and Maddie (drums). 2021 Uodate, Sadly now disbanded to follow their own other musical interests



Bowness Bay Blues, Changing State
Bowness Bay Blues, Changing State
friends outside pub in bowness, band playing
friends outside pub in bowness, band playing
the last supper
the last supper

By keef and annie hellinger, Oct 9 2017 03:21PM

Motorhome trip No30 : October 6th- 8th 2017


NOTTS->Houghton Mill National Trust Site, Cambridgeshire ->NOTTS 187 miles


252 years and 30+ camping years under our belts collectively ;)


A very nice site in a gorgeous location next to a old working mill on the banks of the river great ouse in Cambridgeshire with our dear pals Pete & Joy, who arrived in their lovely new Baileys autograph motorhome. A lovely grassed site with very modern heated facilities. We would highly recommend this site but remember to take your ramps, many of the pitches require them. You can get food in the local NT café at the front of the site if you don’t want to venture further into either the village of Houghton or Hemingford Abbot (about a mile away over the river) We of course did both!


We travelled via M1, A14, A151 to Houghton. Took about 1 hour 30.


Lovely sunny Friday afternoon with sun so we checked in , filled up with water and set up on pitch 10 and put up our sign and water hose on pitch 53 next to us to reserve it for P&J. Weird pitch numbering system that we didn’t try and explore. After waving furiously at the wrong people (blush) who arrived in a Bessacar we net up with P&J. Its been a while. We had tea and some of Annie’s lovely homemade cake.

We them walked to the 3 Horseshoes (own barrel room) for some pre dinner drinks then a simple evening meal of lasagne, salad and garlic bread. Lovely evening chatting and catching up.


Saturday after a nice scrambled egg and smoked salmon brekkie we walked into Hemingford Abbot cross country and through the lovely village with many thatched cottages and 3 (yes 3) rectories. Had a lovely lunch and drinks in the Axe and Compass – a very nice old style pub.We then walked back past the cows and visited the Mill shop where we bought some Potto Brown flour. He is the local Quaker hero and miller born in Houghton. To find out more click here.


Luckily back before the rain so we played who wants to be a millionaire, guess the wine and chatted followed by some nice cheese and bikkies .


We said our goodbyes on Sunday morning and hope to meet up again soon. Lovely weekend, nice site and area, we will be back. As we were both not so well we cancelled our additional 2 days in Rutland and returned home early.


If you wish to look at our complete set of UK Campsite stays click HERE, thanks


see SLIDESHOWS for more details



Lunch at the Axe & Compass, Hemingford Abbot
Lunch at the Axe & Compass, Hemingford Abbot

By keef and annie hellinger, Aug 9 2017 12:09PM

Here is a summary of our Motorhome Travels in South Island New Zealand


Arrived in Picton from Wellington on the Interislander ferry, Early morning start, Very wet day (haha welcome to south island), Shakespeare bay, Queen Charlotte Sound, Queen Charlotte drive, Ngakuta bay,Havelock, Green Mussels (yummy), Read all about mussels opposite (please) its very informative, Lady from Auckland, Freshness, straight from the sea, Long windy wet drive to Nelson, Town centre camp site over a bridge with a stream, nice calming stream noises, WOW museum and classic cars, so many clever costumes (see the slideshows),Lippydeema, Lord Maharajah and the Star bride, Goodbye Versaille starring Mrs Du Barry's monkey, Ishmaelian wingflapper to name but a few... go on look, you wont be disappointed.... What's the line "WOW makes Lady Gaga look like a librarian", Amazing Bras, Cars were Minis , Locomobiles, Vauxhall Vivas, Shaguar and many more, Tahunanui beach reserve , Board walks, Lunch, Winery areas, Pears, Apples, Kaiteriteri, Beach front history, sunsets, Wilsons ferries, Beached Whale pub, Fire, Singing barman, Rugby - Christchurch Vs Wellington, Abel Tasman National Park, The man who emptied his loo in the water area and covered it with leaves (Yuk! Sick!), Abel tasman boat trip, Totaroa, Awaroa, Medlands, Tonga Quarry, Torrent Bay, Bark Bay, Picnic, Coffee, Wind & Sun, New Zealand fur seal, Adele island and many other islands, kayaking, Solar panels, Tides , Motueka river, Kahurangi National park, Low cloud, Hinetai hops, Tapawera,Railways, Old police stations, Wooden Cow, Eels, Lake Rotoiti, Mr Angry and his boat, St Arnaud, Lake Rotoroa, Wet feet, nature walk, Red toadstools, Trees, colourful leaves, Buller river, Murchison, Heritage area, Fuel fillup, Buller Gorge Swing bridge, Waterfalls, Earthquakes, Floods, 2010,1929,White creek peninsular circular walk, Wagtails, Wekas, Bushline walk, Araki waterfalls, Logging on the buller,Springs junction for a pie lunch, Lewis pass, Waiau river, Kaikoura range, Road to Kaikoura Highway 70 via Rotherham and Waiau as SH1 closed due to Kaikoura earthquake 2016, Kaikoura camp site, Fish & Chips in town at No2, the best one (Tiki Takeaways) was sadly closed, Fyffe Quay, Old House chimney remains, Mountains, Snow covering, Boardwalk, The Point, Seal colony, No fishing, Smells, Views, Seals asleep on boardwalk and rocks, Road back, Many roadslips, Woodchester, Monet autumn views, man with coffee, Rejoin empty SH2 via Waiau, Christchurch, Britz office, Extra bedding, C&As van fixed - brakes/ headlamp bulb, Ours for internal light only, School party and rain at Christchurch Top10 site, Blue route bus into Bus station, Ballantynes department store, Devestation, Sad, Cathedral, Customs House, Chalice sculpture, Vintage trams, New Regent Street, Murals, Container City, Quake museum, Kiwi humour in the face of adversity, Columbo street, Mexican restuarant, Workman everywhere, often playing, Rain, Loosing each other on ring road around the airport, Sheffield pies,West coast road, Lake Lyndon, Castle Hill, snow, mountains, roads, State Highway 73, Kumara Junction, Great alpine way, Grasmere, Lake Pearson, great farming flats, Cass laggon track, Otira gorge and viaduct, Jackson tavern, Arthurs pass, Arthurs pass national park, Waimakariri river, Railways,Tranz alpine, Bridal veil falls and lookout, Visitors centre, Cobb & co stagecoach, Devils punchbowl bridge,Kumara gold town, Theatre, Hokitika, Tasman sea, Old town, Signs and chairs, Glow worms, Rainbows (lots of them), Ross Gold mining town, gaol, Heritage walk, Gold panning, Chinese influence, Jones flats, Museum, De Bakker cottage, Philip Ross May (local hero & Historian),Autumn colours, Mine shaft, Catholic church, Mining Memorabilia, New ross gold mine, Hari Hari, Guy Menzies, 1st solo flight Oz to Nz, Southern cross junior, Lunch, Whataroa river, Glacier flights, Rain, Glacier highway, Franz Josef wet walk, receding glacier, pain in knees , Lake Ianthe, Fox Glacier, Blue lake, Moraine, Haast valley, Bruce Bay, Stones for messages, Lake Matheson walks and views, Cafe, Coffee, Snow cover peaks, Knights point lookout, Whale watching, Mother and calf, Fox Glacier ski village, Pollax point peaks, Haast village, Haast campsite, Sunset, Eeerie colours on the peaks, Having to move pitches as the power didn't work at Haast Top10, Haasy-Jackson Bay road, Oturu, Harbour, Fan tails, Oturu river, Whitebait, Lobsters, Bridges (many), Neils Beach, Shearwaters, Hannahs crossing, Jackson Bay, Wharf (dodgy), Visitors centre, Whalers chimney remains, Whale (sighted by Annie), Pioneers, Fishing community, Return to Haast, Fuel station out, haast pass, Cameron Flat, Lunch, Mt Brewster and others, more snow, Mount Aspiring, Lake Wanaka, The Neck, Lake Hawea, Boundary Creek, Makarora Jack, Albert Town, Hawea, Wanaka, Snow predicted -2 it didnt arrive (hooray), Cold at night, Wanaka shore line, Luggate, Old motor cars, Town hall, Luggate - Cromwell Road, Tannersley estate vineyard, Lake Dunstan, 45th parallel, Lowburn, Mountain reflections, Cool seed pods, The Remarkables,Cromwell town - both new and old, Printing presses, Horses, Cartwheels, Paua art,Fruit town, sunshine, Goldfields, Kawarau gorge, Roaring Meg, Hydro power, A J Hackett bungy jumping, Warm outdoor fires, kawarau bridge, Shotover gorge, Queenstown campsite, Lake Wakatipu, Rainbows, Snow, Lumsden junction, Kingston, Old railway bridge, Garston, Mossburn, Stock crossing, Te Anau, lake Te Anau, Picture drome, Library, Coffee, Float planes, Kelpler track, Layby with Kea, Naughty alpine parrots - Kea, Car stripping trims, Homer Tunnel, waterfalls, Road slips, Rain, Milford sound lodge and camping ground, Milford village, Cruise terminal, Milford Mariner (our nature cruise boat), Nature cruise, NZ fur seals, Heron, Milford Sound is one of the true modern wonders of the world, Sigh loved it and nice to do it with pals, Low clouds, Mitre peak, The footstool, Sindbad gully, Many cruise liners, Massive crowds, Fur seals, Coffee, Warmth, Winds and cold,Tutoko Historic Suspension Bridge , Valley and river, Hollyford river and lookout, The Chasm walk and Kea (again) , Homer tunnel return, Mirroe lakes, such reflections, Ta Anau again, pitch where we camped in a tent in 2008, still there by the roses, Mossburn deer capital of NZ, red tussock grass, Lumsden, Gore, Clock tower and art gallery, Balclutha for a fab fish & chip lunch, Southern scenic highway, Dunedin, Otago peninsular (right hand coast), Taiaroa head scenic reserve, Royal Albatross centre, Prince Charles, Pilots beach, Blue Penguins (see video part 4), Portobello, Company bay, Broad bay, Wycliffe bay, Hooper inlet, Sandfly bay, Cape Saunders, Pilot beach viewing platform, Waiwhakeheke bay, Lighthouse, Dick Road, Allan beach, Sheep branding, Flotsam & jetsam, Lovely beach flowers, Highcliff road (scary and roadslips but great views), Dunedin city, Signal Hill lookot and memorial, University Oval cricket ground Dunedin, Baldwin street (the steepest in the world and I have the t-shirt somewhere to prove it!), Dunedin station lit up, travelling back to Portobello around the peninsular at night spectacular lights, Dunedin Vogel street murals, Blueskin Road, 19 Fathoms Foul memorial, Robert Falcon Scott memorial, Blueskin bay, Quarentine and Rakiriri islands, Waikouaiti and river, Karitane, Seacliff lookout, Pies in Waikouati village, Bushy beach reserve, Hide, Yellow eyed penguins, Oamaru victorian precinct, Jetty, Friendly Bay,Farmers market, Grain stores, Brewery, Distillery, Station, Picture frame, Steam punk (lots of it - class),Fat controller and the steam railway,Rakaia - salmon capital and goal, Banks Peninsular, Hilltop views, Akaroa, French very french, Jetty, Cinema, Passport office, Monet, Bedroom with a view, Churches, Roses, cats, Barrys bay, Little river, Silo stays, Over the hills in the rain, Gebbies pass, Dyers pass,Sugar loaf scenic reserve, Riccarton, Apollo motel (room11), Lone star last supper, Early rise, nice family, Airport off to Singapore (us), Hong Kong (C&A), tears, coffee in Sydney airport airside, Great times


Want to see more click HERE


To see a quick summary video with lovely Clannad / Paul Young soundtrack click HERE


Kaiteriteri Abel Tasman National Park, South Island
Kaiteriteri Abel Tasman National Park, South Island
The Famous Otira Gorge - Then & Now
The Famous Otira Gorge - Then & Now

By keef and annie hellinger, Aug 1 2017 06:08PM

A brief summary of the key highlights of our trip travelling with friends on the Big Trip Holiday 2017



cape reinga
cape reinga



Arrived (1st time) in Auckland from Sydney, Overnight then Cook Isles, Walk, Wait, Agapanthus, Arrived (2nd time) from Rarotonga, Cook Isles. 3 days central area, harbour, wharves, ferries,coast to coast walk (for C&A) , Maritime museum, murals, tepid baths,Britomart, Queens wharf, Quay st, Federal St, Churches, slopes,Hobson west marina, Masters games, Wynyard quarter, amazing architecture,Fish market, Heritage landing, North Wharf, Sarah, Pier 4, Rangitoto, Volcanic explorer tour,Summit views, Motutapu, Lava, Sunshine, Day out in Devonport, The Arcade, Esplanade Hotel,Victoria Road, King & Queens parade, various reserves, Mount Victoria, Clarys, Haircut, Hauraki gulf, Auckland art gallery, Maoiri paintings,The body laid bare exhibition, Joseph at the Civic, Collecting vans at Richard Pearce drive, Mangere, Auckland, Extra hidden costs, Orewa, Beach, Man with tourettes, Orewa beach,Countdown/Pac-N-Save/New World,shells, historic Puhoi, Twin coast highway, Mangawhai heads, Ruakaka beach, Whangerai, Hatea river, Town basin, glassblowing, canopy bridge, Tutikaka, Matapouri, Kawakawa, Ohua, Okiato, Russell, Hundertwasser, Hangi,Clapham clocks, Waterfall , Manawoara, Rawhiti, wetlands, marae, Waimarama bay, Bay of Islands, Historic Russell, pier, boat ramps, ferries, sunshine, exotic sub tropical plants, Tapeka point, Rocky bay reserve, Weka, Paihai, Water taxis, Waitangi, Whangaroa, marlin, wharfs & jetties, Volcanic plus, 90 mile beach, Twilight beach, Tapotupotu bay, DOC, Tyres R Us, Kevin the AAman, Cape Reinga, Lighthouse, Te Paki reserve, Old Kahina tree, Views to die for, Te Paki sand dunes, Broadwood, Kohukohu, Hokianga ferry, Twin coast highway, Rawene, Opononi, Aria-te-aru reserve, South heads, historic Dargaville, meeting up with C&A again in countdown car park, Donelly crossing, loggers, fab kiwi trees, Kaiwaka, farm stay, outside loo with a view, C&A visited lake Kai Iwi on the way to Dargaville, we did east coast, they did west coast, remet Whakapapa village then Wellington, Kaipara coast sculpture park, Helensville, Ginger crunch railway cafe, flat whites, Railways, Thames, Coromandel peninsular & Forest park, Wharf, Ferry, Shelly beach, Colville, Horse, Wahine, Music festival, Buddist retreat, Port Jackson, gravel road,Top of coro, Mercury bay, Tairua, freedom camping, waves, rain (lots),fishing off rocks, Waihi beach, Katikati, murals, Mount Manganui, Pilot bay, Marine parade, Motuotou & Moturiki islands, boysenberry icecream, Papamoa beach, beach street, strelitzia,Maori sculpture, bluebiyou restuarant, chalets, sunshine, relaxing, fun, chatting to guy from england , Pikowai, Pacific coast highway, Te Puke, Thornton, Whakatane, 2 islands, Smokin' volcano, Edgecumbe floods, Mt Edgecombe, Galatea road, sickly horse, Lunch at lake Aniwhenua, autumn colours, Hydro electric dam, Kopuriki, Road only just opened due to floods, Murupara, Maori funeral, Forests, Lake Taupo, Reids Carving, Breweries, Fooderies, Outrigger boats, Tourist info, icecream, Lake lookout, DOC site, Free, Tongariro views, sunsets, fishing boats, great sleep, cold at night - getting so, 5 mile bay site, Motuoapa bay, licorice (spelling haha!) cafe, flat whites, black swans, novelty VW cabins, Desert road, Turangi,National Park, Restuarant (not this time), Tranz Alpine station, Whakapapa village, rain, meeting up with C&A again at the dump station, Visitors centre, Cafe coffee, snow, Chateau Tongariro, Taihape, Gumboots, Spooner hill road, sheep, cows, Gentle annie pass, Moawhango, views to die for, Rangitikei river, Silverdale historic bridge, Valleys, Mountains, Hastings , 1930s architecture,Queens & Railway St, Westermans, Clock tower, Te Mata peak, Ocean beach, Waimarama, Blue cod, Fish & chips St Aubyn st, Surfers, Havelock north, Duart house and gardens, Murals, Wineries, Tukituki river, Kairakau beach, reflections, Paua shells, ice creams at waipawa, Waipukurau, Lake Hatuma, Wanstead, Wallingford bridge, sheep (again), Porangahau, Never finding the beach down the gravel road (cooks tooth), Longest name of place in the world (no don't ask me to spell it ;) ) ,Pacific Ocean, Cape Turnagain, Our hero Capt Cook, Herbertville, Wimbeldon, Route 52, Pongaroa, Eketahuna, Pagans, Hippies, Sacrificing virgins (ok maybe not!), Electricity, Late at night, Kiwi country, Herberts store, Steak & Cheese Pies, Museum, Masterton, Wool shed, Joseph Masters, Queen Elizabeth park, Aratoi, Maori ripoff, Tinui, Anzac church & cross, Castlepoint, Deliverance cove, Riversdale beach, Wairarapa wine region, late night into Martinborough, Memorial square, Pain & Kershaw, lake Ferry, Lake Okone and spit, old motorhomes, Cape Palliser, Paua shells, Palliser bay, Ngawi, Tractors, Rock lobster, Road slips,Putangirua pinnacles , Wellington Top10 campsite (so changed), Harbour from Pencarrow head to Lyall bay, shells, ferries, Ward island, Wellesley college, Eastbourne, Day bay,Wahine disaster,Moa point, Middle earth, Trolley buses, Waterfront at night, Te Papa, Macs Brewery, Curry, up early for Interislander ferry, Traffic jams


If you would like to see more please CLICK HERE



To see a quick summary video with lovely Clannad / Paul Young soundtrack click HERE


Eketahuna camping ground, quite  lovely so peaceful cheap but good
Eketahuna camping ground, quite lovely so peaceful cheap but good