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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 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









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, Sep 13 2018 09:18AM

Motorhome trip No34 : Aug 27th- Sept 12th 2018


NOTTS->Scotland and the Isles via Lake District ->NOTTS 1313 miles


Troutbeck nr Penrith,Greystoke, Glasgow, Mull, Iona, Ulva, Kintyre including the Mull of Kintyre, Bute, Arran, much of Argyll & Keswick, Lake District


Summary Overall


A fab time away visiting our dear friends Chris and Allyson in their new home at Ardtun (pronounced Hard – Ton) on the oh so peaceful Isle of Mull plus pulling in 7 ferry trips, 5 Scottish islands, a lot of miles, 2 great days out in Glasgow (which is a truly fabulous city – much better than when we cowered under the bench overnight in Buchanan street bus garage 40 years ago – city of culture now), a great Sunday dinner with friends Lawrence & Yvonne, Strathclyde country park - the old lady who had lived there all her life and not found the Roman fort (lol), classy Charles Rennie & Margaret MacDonald Mackintosh, the Glasgow Boys,Riverside Museum, Hunterian, George Square, Murals, Kelvingrove, real pizzas, Sir John Moore and true scotch food, Hard Rock Cafe, HOHO bus, Bellshill station, scotch mist,wind and rain a plenty on some of the isles plus lots of sunshine, Connel, trying to find the amphitheatre in Oban, humming Mull of Kintyre, Chris reminding me about a lift we had on Mull all those years ago where the lifter played Planxty, the burg, Cnoc Mor, tea and cakes Bunessan, a revisit to Threlkeld, Keswick and a first visit to Tarzan’s Greystoke, Fionnphort, great walk to coast on Iona in the sun (now costs to go around the abbey - progress?),learning something about crofting and de-crofting,that multi-seen french yacht, 2 busted ferries to and from the Isle of Arran, Crab & Lobster soup in the Boathouse Ulva, Shiela's cottage,Lachlan MacQuarrie's mausoleum Mull (Benmore estate - born Ulva as were Dr Livingston's grand parents) , Uisken beach and the big chair, Ardalanish beach rain and red admirals,Bob Ryan MBE Ardalanish weavers,Tarbert, Campbeltown, Mull of Kintyre, Machrihanish, views of Islay, Loch Fyne, revisiting Tighnabruaich,Rothsay, Winter gardens and harbour, Port Bannatyne, Ardrossan, Brodick and castle and grounds, shifting from the dog lounge to the coughing suite on Arran ferry, the Big stone (both Arran and campsite Troutbeck), Corrie, Lochranza and castle, hills of Sannox (lunch twice),fake sheep and a very convincing seal, my first red squirrel in the UK, seal shores views - kildonan, Kinloch, Old byre visitors centre - Machrie, wild camp A83, learning more functionality on our camera, waterfalls galore in Loch Lomond NP and oh so much more, very relaxing, we really enjoyed ourselves.


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


Updated Plan


DAY 1 Mon 27 Aug 3hrs 30mins 178 miles Home to Penrith (straight there 6hrs 10mins 284 miles… too much for 1 day!!!) stay at Troutbeck head site, Troutbeck, Penrith, CA11 0SS (a C&M site) Booking confirmed £33 0008542092

DAY2 Tues 28 Aug 3hrs 4 mins 155 miles Morecambe Bay to Strathclyde Country Park Caravan Club Site L&Y Bothwellhaugh Road, Bothwell, Bothwell, G71 8NY Booking 0008543275 £70.50

DAY3&4: Wed & Thurs 29 & 30 Aug 3 nights with Lawrence & Yvonne, 2 days in Glasgow… note that is 12 miles away by bus.. see Y&L tues eve , they are off Weds so we will probably do 2 days in Glasgow. Park and ride (free) at Bellshill train station, only £4.40 return to Glasgow Central station. What a fab place it is. The hop on hop off bus is only £16 for 2 days. Guess what Glasgow has a Hard Rock Cafe

DAY5: Fri 31 Aug 3hrs 106 miles to Oban, stay at campsite there North Ledaig Caravan Club Site Connel, Oban, Argyll & Bute, PA37 1RU, Scotland C&M club site booked ref 2450 £28.20-£10 deposit paid. Had a quick drive up to find the Victorian amphitheatre at Oban but couldn’t find it, interesting climb on single track road. Campsite wonderful, on beach front with clear views of the isle of Mull

DAY6 – 11 Sat 1 Sep – Fri 7 Sep Ferry Oban to Craignure : on Mull with Chris & Allyson. Leave Fri am 6 full days. Take tickets BOOKED leave oban checkin closes 8.10… leave craignure checkin closes 9.25

£41.20 return #wow . Drive to Cnoc Mor takes about 1 hr, allow 1hr 30 on way back because of traffic.

DAY12: Fri 7 Sep Ferry Craignure to Oban Then on way back 50 miles 1hr 30 mins Oban to Tarbert ferry via Lochgilphead (all Argyll & bute) Camp near Tarbert @ killegruer caravan park, woodend, glenbarr, tarbert, argyll pa29 6xb email sent to book/ now confirmed pay cash We called in at this campsite and it was YUCK! So carried on and stayed at a lovely site just outside Campbeltown (a great town) on the Mull of Kintyre

DAY13: Sat 8 Sep Ferry Tarbert (Argyll mainland) to Portavaidie (across loch fyne) Turn up and go, see timetable then around loch riddon, drive Portavaidie to colintraive ferry terminal 40 mins 19 miles, then Colintraive - Rhubodach Ferry £5 1 way for motorhome plus passengers. Now on the isle of Bute, Spend the rest of the day on Bute… camp there then head to Rothsay. Camp at Roseland Holiday park, Serpentine Road Canada Hill, Isle Of Bute PA20 9EH email sent to book response hardstanding pitch secured. Not the greatest site but high up on the hills overlooking Rothsay so close to ferry. Hardstanding was in basically a car park £20 all in so cheap. Washrooms adequate (just)

DAY14: Sun 9 Sep Ferry Rothsay to Wemyss Bay , then Drive Wemyss Bay to Ardrossan 45 mins 18 miles, Ferry Ardossan to Brodick - Isle of Arran stay 1+ full days (lots to see and much bigger than Bute)camp at Seal Shore Camping & Touring Site, Kildonan ,Isle of Arran ,KA27 8SE ,01770 820320 £23/night 2 nights.. go anti clockwise around the island… 25 mins 14 miles Brodick to Lochranza, see castle… email sent to book Take tickets BOOKED Arran leave ardrossan checkin closes 12 noon… leave brodick (11th) checkin closes 9.15 £46.70 return Update… due to crane crushing drive on / off ramp had to take a later ferry so had nice lunch and coffee in Asda near the terminal. Drove up to Lochranza – nice place, hills of Sannox fab

DAY15: Mon 10 Sep Day on Isle of camp at same site Seal Shore Camping & Touring Site, Kildonan ,Isle of Arran ,KA27 8SE £23/night £20 deposit paid by card, sending confirmation. Drove right around Arran 30 miles top to bottom so about 60 miles in all. Called in at CalMac Brodick after text re ferry cancellation. As the second ferry from Brodick to Ardrossan was also damaged (how careless, winds from storm , ramp cracked – dry dock) and no vehicles over 2.8 meters high could leave we travelled (for the 4th time) back to Lochranza and got the 5.05 pm small ferry back to Cloanaig (Kintyre), very choppy and getting off was fun. Then A83 Lochgilphead, Inveraray (nice) and wild camp just outside Cairndow with own private waterfall

DAY16: Tues 11 Sep then back to mainland via drive Kildonan to Brodick 30mins 13 miles ferry Brodick to Adrossan, then drive Adrossan to Penrith Lake District 3 hrs 6mins 158 miles Stay at Troutbeck head site, Troutbeck, Penrith, CA11 0SS (a C&M site) Booking confirmed £26.80 0008542045 Update from Cairndow (up early) drive A83/ A82 past Glasgow back to Troutbeck campsite

DAY17: Wed 12 Sep Penrith home 3hrs 30mins 178 miles longer time wise via M6 about 186 miles


If you would like to seen details of our previous trip to Scotland in the wendy house please CLICK HERE


If you would like to see details of our trip to the Shetlands in 2001 CLICK HERE


If you would like to see Slideshows of our trip to the Isle of Lewis, the Uists and Benbecula in 1988, Edinburgh in 1993 when we holidayed in Lowick, Northumberland or Tighnabruich, Cowal peninsular which we revisited on this trip and it was Craig's 1st holiday back in 1982 CLICK HERE






Panorama: The Burg from Cnoc Mor, Ardtun, Isle of Mull #BLISS
Panorama: The Burg from Cnoc Mor, Ardtun, Isle of Mull #BLISS


just gotta do it tried it once thats enough
just gotta do it tried it once thats enough


fionnphort - isle of mull, argyll and bute
fionnphort - isle of mull, argyll and bute

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



Friends 'up Mill
Friends 'up 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


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).


Pitch 9 Threlkeld Hall Touring Park
Pitch 9 Threlkeld Hall Touring Park