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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




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.


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

see SLIDESHOWS for more details




By keef and annie hellinger, Oct 8 2016 08:23AM


Motorhome trip No29 : Sept 26th- Oct 6th 2016


NOTTS->Dawlish (Devon) to Fraddon & Bude (Cornwall) & Stonehenge (Wiltshire) ->NOTTS 698 miles


Amazingly good weather for this time of the year in the UK or maybe not, our Motorhome experience tells us that May & September are generally great months to go away weather wise!


Anyhow travelled to the lovely Cofton Country Holiday Park (ACSI site) near Dawlish in Devon where we stayed for 4 nights. We called in on Dawlish before making camp and had a good look around. This is the coast where the railway was washed away by sweeping seas not that long ago and is a traditional seaside town , slightly run down but we liked it.


At Cofton there is lots to do and lovely large grassy pitches, only a few hard standing. Met nice couple from Leicestershire of all places. One outdoor and one indoor pool, indeed on the last day we had it to ourselves for most of the time, plus games rooms, keep fit (you are joking?), bars ,cafes and restaurants .

On our second day there we caught the Stagecoach bus just up the road to Starcross and took the ferry over to Exmouth landing at the fabulous marina. Great fun day out – well worth it.


The next day we did the short country walk from Cofton to Cockwood passing very interesting wild flowers, nature gardens and loved seeing the wild pink orchids. It was a lovely sunny day and you come our at the boat moorings inlet of the river Exe. We did our own version of a pub crawl visiting both pubs in Cockwood. The Anchor (an old smugglers inn) did the better beer but the Ship had the best gardens and flowers.


After our fab 4 day stay in Devon we set off to visit my sister Linda and her husband Ian in Fraddon Cornwall for 3 nights parking the van outside their lovely new house. On route we used our English Heritage concession membership to visit both Okehampton Castle (still Devon), originally owned by Baldwin de Brionne of 1066 fame and Launceston plus town. Launceston was the original capital of Cornwall (Kernow) and has lovely panoramic views from wherever you look and a load of history, namely St Cuthbert, the messenger who delivered details of Nelsons death at Trafalgar up to London and its place in the Civil war. We know the one in Tassie , Australia but not this one on home soil. They are quite unalike but we love them both.


At Linda’s we went out for a lovely meal, visited Pendennis castle with lovely views of St Mawes, Fraggle lighthouse, Falmouth and the river Fal…. Views to die for! We also went to the very tropical gardens of St Marys and a café at Gyllyngavase beach , Tribute from a barrel, bliss and a nice drive around some great places they knew especially Chapel Porth. Only October but we also had a nice Xmas dinner including our nephew Adam.


Saying our fond goodbyes we drove off to Wooda Farm (ACSI) site just past Bude (Cornwall) visiting the recommended Widemouth (pronounced wid-ee-muth) bay and the lovely Bude. Bude is fab, nice walk along the canal to the sea where it joins with the river tributary. Great craft shops as well and Annie got talking to the lady in the wool shop.


We had 3 nights on pitch E50 at the site with a perfcet view of Bude castle and coastline from our pitch, whilst very sunny it was mega windy on occasions forcing us to “come inside”. The site is great with many facilities – farm yard animals, woodland walk (with pixie dell see the pics if you don’t believe in them), lakes galore, 9 hole pitch and putt (big course probably golf really I’m no expert), restaurants bars and craft shops. We went walking 2 days in a row. Would highly recommend this site also its proximity to Bude.


Want to see the SLIDESHOWS



Falmouth Docks Cornwall
Falmouth Docks Cornwall





By keef and annie hellinger, Aug 30 2016 07:09AM

Motorhome trip No28 : Aug 27-29th 2016


NOTTS->New Lodge Farm,Bulwick, Northamptonshire ->NOTTS 178 miles


250 years plus and 30+ camping years under our belts collectively ;)


A lovely (mixed weather) August bank holiday weekend away with our dear pals Pete & Joy. Our usual yearly camping jaunt this year was made a little more tricky to find a adults only camp site by virtue of leaving it a bit late and it being a very popular weekend for folk to go away. However we were all pleasantly surprised by what a nice site and welcoming set of people there are at New Lodge farm.


Called in on C&L on route to drop off Bondi Banana bread and a few pressies plus got a quick cuddle with baby Edie to set us up for the weekend #fab


Then it was off via M1, A14 but found the A43 was closed near Bulwick so we made a detour via some lovely Northants villages, namely Weldon, Upper Benfield,Glapthorn & Southwick.


Lovely sunny Friday afternoon so we checked in and set up including the awning on pitch 21 with nice views of the 200 acre farm and put up our table and chairs on pitch 23 to reserve it for P&J. After a bit of sunning ourselves we soon took the awning down when the wind got up!


Nice evening meal of lamb burgers, bratwurst and salad with copious amounts of ale, wine , port & madeira to wash it down. Lovely evening chatting and catching up.

Saturday we walked into Bulwick , alas Annie had a nasty tumble on route and grazed her arm, bruised her foot leg and shoulder and damaged her pride. We relaxed in the Queens Head garden until the rain started and made a dash inside to the snug. As it stopped-ish we went to the horticultural show in the church opposite to see the oversized vegetables. None of those but lots of other interesting stuff, including the under 4 who won 1st,2nd and 3rd place in the “my mum judged this” section! After that it was tea, coffee, cake and sarnies at the village hall, amazingly good value and then with minor drizzle back to the camp site. We had a drink in the café/ restaurant there when the heavens opened , just so dark at about 4-ish and what a hum dinger that was, thunder and lightening and it lasted for ages. On the positive side it reduced the humidity a bit however.


We got changed and headed back for our lovely evening meal at the site restaurant. It is a farm shop as well with great produce. Nice friendly people Simon, Sarah, Mark and Caroline (I think). Overnight we had the gentle soothing thump of the illegal rave to “rock” us to sleep….. NOT!


Sunday as Annie was feeling a little sore we had a cooked brekkie on the hot plate and sat in the sun reading and chillin and chatting. Lunch was a homemade Victoria sponge from the shop tea and coffee then we had a lovely greek-style Barbie that P&J did for tea, yummy


Much Trivial Pursuit Globetrotter edition was played under the influence of alcohol, well that’s the excuse the boys are using for being so roundly thrashed.


We said our goodbyes on Monday morning and hope to meet up again soon. Lovely weekend, nice site and area, we will be back as don’t really know Northamptonshire at all.


Want to see the SLIDESHOWS



Friends, New Lodge Farm, Bulwick
Friends, New Lodge Farm, Bulwick


By keef and annie hellinger, Oct 14 2015 02:23PM


Motorhome trip No24 : October 7th – 14th 2015


NOTTS->YORKSHIRE including Holmfirth, Hebden Bridge, Cragg Vale,Bronte Country,Settle, Grassington, Wharfdale (Yorkshire Dales) then up to NORTHUMBERLAND Berwick upon Tweed for time with friends then back to YORKSHIRE including Sutton Band Hill (25% steep avoid in future although trusty van OK),Pickering, Rosedale (North York Moors), Scarborough & Castle, Filey , Flamborough Headcand Bridlington ->NOTTS 654 miles


Lovely time spent touring areas of the Yorkshire Dales we missed out on our last trip in September then a weekend with friends up in Northumberland on the Scottish borders at Berwick upon Tweed and then touring the North York Moors national park and ending up on the east riding coast.

Great weather mostly for mid October, shorts and flip flop time again!


6 days away all Caravan club sites ;- 1. Hebden Bridge HX7 5RU no facilities but nice tranquil site by the edge of the river Calder 2. Wharfdale BD23 5PN beautiful site on back of major holiday park, pheasants everywhere, so peaceful, good TV hookup on posts 3. Berwick Seaview TD15 1QU fab views bus and easy walk into town over old bridge and nice fish & chip shops, pubs, esp Old Barrels Inn and Micropub (did 2 nights here with friends) only down side is it is on the main east coast railway line 4. Rosedale Abbey YO18 8SA – absolutely loved this site although it is grass (bad when wet) and no facilities but its upside is location and proximity of pub opposite, gr8 ales and food esp recommend Desperate Dan Cow pie (home made) Yummy! 5. Bridlington YO15 1DU expensive for what you get and weird enclosed area with long walk and no cut through to amenities block, would go back again and 4 miles to brid…


DAY1: Wet Holmfirth, saw picturedome where Graham Parker and the Rumour will play their last ever live gig. Cleared up a bit in after noon, stayed site no 1


DAY2:Visited Cragg vale, Hebden Bridge, Oxenhope, Howarth,(interesting climb), Settle and railway station, Grassington and Wharfdale, stayed site 2.


DAY3:Drove long way upto Berwick Upon Tweed arrived about 3.30pm at site 3, set up and then met Chris & Allyson and Lawrence &Yvonne in evening… walked to Barrel inn for 3 pints of Bolt maker then late fish and chips at Fowlis on Dock Road before returning to vans for more drinkies and chat, late to bed 1-ish am


DAY4: Nice bacon stottie at L&Y’s van then into town for look around, scotch pie, Brewers Inn in the high road (Scotland Vs Samoa , many scots in pub happy) then onto the Curfew Micro Pub (lovely pint of Manchester’s Lagonda) then walk back to vans for lovely meal cooked by Allyson of beef stroganoff followed by Cheese and bikkies, K’s bondi banana bread and a game of Bullshit (balderdash) SPVA… (special park village abuse lol!) V late to bed again


DAY5: Up early cooked egg and bacon butties for all, long natter, then said our goodbyes (until next time pals) then onto North York Moors NP (long drive) Saw Pickering just as light was fading then to site no 4. Great meal in pub opposite. Log fire, ale and class food


DAY6: Visited Scarborough and most specifically English heritages’ Castle and Anne Bronte’s grave. Great views from castle and very interesting audio tour. Met aussie couple from Adelaide. Went to Filey ,walked a bit, got wet, lunched then onto Bridlington to dry out and campsite after brief stop at sea front (reminded us of Bognor)


DAY7: Drove home not a bad drive about 120 miles, mixed weather


All in all a nice time, very relaxing we will be back to both these areas


Want to see the SLIDESHOW