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KEEF & ANNIE's TRAVEL BLOGS NUMBERS 1-67

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By keef & annie, Oct 27 2013 07:06PM

Blackshaw Moor, Nr Leek , Staffordshire


Motorhome trip No14 : October 26th – 27th 2013


NOTTS->LEEK,STAFFORDSHIRE & INTO THE PEAK DISTRICT ->NOTTS 89 miles


Didn’t get away until about 12.15 after sorting out car and glasses and doing a little of the Big Shop, tee hee! Fairly bright and sunny and arrived in Leek after about a hour, never been there before. A very Victorian town with cobbled market place and some old mill trade factories in Victorian small red brick, plus some much older ones. Parked on the outskirts and walked in. Interesting place, the centre of which reminded us of Ashbourne.


Bought some stuff in the Trade hall indoor market (see pic with stain glass type mosaic). Then back into the van and onto the Blackshaw Moor caravan club site. There is a Caravan & Camping club site about ¾ mile back down the road from this. Both for families to take their kids to Alton Towers which isn’t that far away. Our site had 50 kids on it so we pitched as far away from them as poss, sad old gits that we are, LOL xxx Nice site and very close to the Roaches and 2 resevoirs. Alas it rain most of the afternoon and all of the night but very relaxing reading and having the odd bevvie! Annies nice homemade oat cheese and onion quiche for tea heated in the oven plus cheese & bikkies and posh pud. Yum! Extra hour in bed as well so can’t be bad.


Very windy Sunday morning, packed up in the rain and headed across the border into the Peak District, mountain /rock formations amazing , never seen them before, must come back in the summer as beautiful views but all too windy and wet so we came home early on the Sunday.


All in all a nice relaxing weekend!


Note: The Index shows ALL blogs already published or you can find Blogs about a specific subject by clicking on a word in the TAG CLOUD, thanks, motorhome-travels.


31 photos in the SLIDESHOW




The Roaches in the Peak District National Park
The Roaches in the Peak District National Park

By keef & annie, Oct 13 2013 07:08PM

Stroud Hill Park,Pidley, Cambs


Motorhome trip No13 : October 12th – 13th 2013


NOTTS->PIDLEY, CAMBRIDGESHIRE ->NOTTS 192 miles


We have been here before a few years back with our dear friends Pete & Joy, but we were in tents then. It did rain then but not as much as this weekend. We left early on Saturday morning and arrived at the site thru some horrendous showers to bright sunshine, so much so that Keef wore his shorts. We sat out for quite a while enjoying the chat and warm weather before going off for a lovely walk across the surrounding fields to the Mad Cat pub at Pidley where we had a nice baguette lunch and some very nice pints of Inflammable (4.2%) hic! The ladies had something else.


Walked back before the onslaught of rain but had a few more beers & wine etc outside before it started so into the van for a few more bevies, hic! Then all bar Keef adjourned to Pete & Joys van. Cooked Steak & Kidney puds, mash & veg and carried over all 4 plates in the rain, yummy followed by nice cheese & bikkies and grapes.


All very tired so retired early to bed, maybe it was the alcohol, maybe not! Bucketed down over night but being in the van is so much better than being in a tent. Sunday am spent relaxing, breakfast, reading before packing up the van and having a 3 course lunch in the site restaurant, which we can thoughrally recommend. Classy food for £17… example menu wood pigeon starter, roast beef main (or nile perch which Pete had) followed by gingerbread and orange cheesecake and fruit coulis, annie has a triple choc torte pud, all yummy


Then after our goodbyes it was off into the rain, and back home, not too bad at just over 1 ½ hours.

All in all a fab relaxing weekend!


Note: The Index shows ALL blogs already published or you can find Blogs about a specific subject by clicking on a word in the TAG CLOUD, thanks, motorhome-travels.


15 pictures in the SLIDESHOW

Us and Pete & Joys van, bit of a wet weekend but fun !
Us and Pete & Joys van, bit of a wet weekend but fun !

By keef & annie, Oct 5 2013 09:44AM

Stamford Caravan Club Site, Lincolnshire


Motorhome trip No12 : September 28th – 29th 2013


NOTTS->FINESHADE WOODS, NEAR STAMFORD, LINCOLNSHIRE ->NOTTS 140 miles


A weekend of truly wonderful weather, incredibly hot when one considers it was the end of September. We only stayed the one night at the Stamford Caravan Club site as Keef is now back at work. Lovely site and we were lucky to get an end pitch against the sloe bushes with uninterrupted views across the woods. Fineshade woods is a Forestry area set aside for walkers, cyclists etc with a café and a few cycle / walking paraphernalia shops. It is lovely and tranquil and because the weather was so good we sat out reading until quite late with a spot of collecting sloes at the same time for the trad family sloe gin… 6 bottles this time, hic!


One drawback of the site is there is no amenities block but that is adequately compensated for by the stunning price of £13.60 for the night , plus the café 5 minutes walk away has a loo but beware it shuts at 5pm.


Did mesquite chicken, new potatoes & veg for tea all washed down with our scrummy and very alcoholic plum wine. Oh and I confess the odd beer throughout the afternoon, heaven!


Then on Sunday after a leisurely breakfast we packed up and travelled off to Burghley house via the lovely village of Duddington, who has heard of this hidden gem? Weather at Burghley was again

fan-tab-e-dosie. House , gardens, gardens of surprise with water features for the kids (and us), sculpture garden and the lake with sculpture & boathouse were all wonderful.


Drove back through Rutland and stopped at Frankie & Benny’s for tea in Notts.


All in all a fab relaxing weekend!


See our pictures on the slideshow tab for more details as well as the embedded slideshow here if you prefer


We loved the area so will be back again soon, we hope. Anyone else been there and want to share their views on the campsite or the area?


Note: The Index shows ALL blogs already published or you can find Blogs about a specific subject by clicking on a word in the TAG CLOUD, thanks, motorhome-travels.


86 photos in the SLIDESHOW



Sloes for Sloe Gin @ Stamford Caravan Club site
Sloes for Sloe Gin @ Stamford Caravan Club site

By keef & annie, Aug 23 2013 09:23AM

Cornwall trip


Motorhome trip No11 : August 15th – August 22nd 2013


NOTTS->CHARD->FRADDON->PENZANCE->SCILLY ISLES->CIRENCESTER ->NOTTS 767 miles


A week of mostly lovely weather. Had a fabulous time and was able to visit Linda & Ian on route which was a lovely weekend with them both, thanks so much for your hospitality and sense of fun, big love to you both from both of us.


We started on the Thursday and travelled to the Ilminster Caravan Club site near Chard in Somerset. Nice friendly site with recently refurbished amenities block, would thoroughly recommend. Sat out reading in the sun and dodging the black clouds. Nice couple next door from Ilkeston (nearby home) who were down for the Levellers Beautiful Day concert weekend nearby, Ocean colour scene, Primal scream & Levellers headlining each of the 3 days. Boy did he know his music, great chatting about Grateful Dead/ Fairport etc etc. Went for a little walk around site and outside in lane. Poured overnight!


Then onto L&I’s for weekend, rained most of Saturday so chatted a lot, great fun, watched Expendables 2 in eve, what a hoot. We will be back, hee hee! Sunday great weather , visited the lovely St Just in Roseland, saw the pirate graves and had a little walk then onto St Mawes with views across to Falmouth. Nice walk past fab houses and some lovely plants , it’s the gulf stream you know! Turned back when luckily for us Jess was knackered , well she is 77 now!


Monday after saying our goodbyes set off for Penzance, sadly fatal crash caused by foreign tourists driving the wrong way down the A30 and colliding with an oncoming lorry at about 10 pm Sunday eve, meant A30 closed until 1.15pm which delayed us slightly. Filled up in hayle and by the time we had re joined the A30 the road was open. Shopping, enough for 3 days at Morrisons Little Rock. Went to Newlyn and Penzance and had a quick look around. Quite like Penzance, sea water jubilee pool apparently only £1 all day, nice for a hot sunny day.


Stayed at Cardinney Caravan & camping site for 2 days, not bad, cheap , nice flowers, dodgy electrics and antiquated showers but OK! Site was between Land’s end & Penzance, about 5 miles outside Penzance on A30.


Tuesday was a great day, taxi 8am, Scillonian III to St Marys Scilly Isles, what fab weather all day, both got a bit of sun burn. 4 ½ hours on the island, loved every moment we will be back. Hughtown and beach and boats fab. Took 1948 Austin coach tour around the island, the old guy doing the commentary was hilarious. Sat outside on the way over and inside on the way back. Delayed taxi back to site so got back at about 8pm. Long but wonderful day.


Wednesday much driving in heat to Cirencester. Had lunch on A30 lay bye 20 miles from M5 at Exeter. Stayed at Cirencester caravan Club site, best yet, we will be back. Thursday morning parked in Waitrose and walked into Cirencester, very nice Cotswolds old town, 2nd roman city in UK. Had a good mooch around including very interesting Church, almost a Cathedral in our humble opinion.


Then back home and unpacking in the rain late afternoon. All in all a lovely week and lovely to see my little sis again. Ahhh….


Note: The Index shows ALL blogs already published or you can find Blogs about a specific subject by clicking on a word in the TAG CLOUD, thanks, motorhome-travels.


200 pictures in the SLIDESHOW



Coming into Hugh Town, St Mary's,Scilly isles
Coming into Hugh Town, St Mary's,Scilly isles
Fraggle Rock
Fraggle Rock

By keef & annie, Aug 12 2013 07:13PM

This is a retrospective post as I came across a few pictures of our first ever trip away in our then new motorhome. Ahhh the days. It was a very wet few days at the Caravan Club site at clumber park, not too far to drive but a great way to try out all the things that one is seeing for the 1st time since the demo when you bought the van and a great learning experience it is.


We had issues with some leaks and a few other grumbles / things we couldn't remember how to do them but as it was all under warrenty and our sellers were not far away we got most of them sorted.


We would wholeheartedly encourage any one buying a new van to do the same, just a few days away initially to try it all out. As the UK is still cold at this time of year we even tried out all the fires, hot air blowers,gas & electric operations.... do the lot .... create a snagging list and get back to the seller /garage straight after and get them sorted then your 1st real trip away in your new van will be a pleasure.


Hope it helps let us have your feedback via the comments below


See SLIDESHOW


Rgds Keef & Annie

clumber park site,nottinghamshire
clumber park site,nottinghamshire

By keef & annie, Jul 29 2013 08:05AM

Motorhome trip No10 : July 26th – July 28th 2013


NOTTS->FIELD BARN FARM, CLAPTON ON THE HILL,COTSWOLDS->NOTTS 183 miles


A weekend of mixed weather, incredibly hot Friday and ½ of Saturday but some serious rain in the afternoon and overnight. T’was a case of opening and closing the windows and fly screens ad nauseam.

Had a lovely relaxing weekend away with our pals Pete & Joy on our yearly camping trip with them , this year in the Cotswolds near Bourton on the Water. And the first year neither of us were under canvas as they now have a lovely Bessacar motorhome.


The field barn farm site is an interesting one of mixed pros and cons. The very roomy grassed pitches with wild flower hedges are perfect for a lovely relaxing time, the setting in a dip near the wind rush valley is also perfect but the long hike to the excellent amenities block, poor water taps and unclear waste disposal sites a bit of a problem, still it was a lovely weekend.


Did a BBQ of garlic chicken, sausages, salad etc on Friday evening – stuffed accompanied by the odd beer and wine, very nice too.


The walk down the hill into the lovely Bourton on the water on Saturday , although a little strenuous on my failing knees was a lovely one and the village beamed with Cotswold charm and was packed with families picnicking and paddling by the river. Fish & chips, merriment, ice creams and the lovely Charles Wells Duke of Wellington pub made for a really enjoyable ½ day.


Sunday was spent dodging showers, chatting, reading and packing up the vans. Then after a slight direction malfunction we had a nice Sunday dinner at the Lamb, Great Rissington before heading our separate ways.


Thanks Pete & Joy for another fab weekend away, here’s to many more!


We loved the area so will be back again soon, we hope. Anyone else been there and want to share their views on the campsite or the area?


Note: The Index shows ALL blogs already published or you can find Blogs about a specific subject by clicking on a word in the TAG CLOUD, thanks, motorhome-travels.


80 pictures in the SLIDESHOW




By keef & annie, Jun 14 2013 07:49AM

Rutland Water, Rutland


Motorhome trip No9 : June 3rd – June 6th 2013


NOTTS->GREENDALE FARM SITE, WHISSENDINE, RUTLAND->NOTTS 110 miles


We went away with Brian & Gina, Annie’s brother, for a few days to the lovely Rutland Water area. The weather forecast was fine and we did get 2 days of very good weather. Brian & Gina were travelling back down from Leeds having had their vans hab check. An essential each year for all motorhomers!

We visited the wonderful working Whissendine windmill where Nigel Moon the miller and his 90+ year old mum still produce flour. We even bought some, well worth a visit.


We also spent a very sunny afternoon wandering through Oakham, a lovely town with buttercross and castle, plus a whole stack of churches and then onto the fabulous Barnsdale gardens , owned by Geoff Hamilton of BBC’s Gardeners world fame, so sad that he passed away so early but his legacy of gardens is well worth a visit. In late eve we went and had a stroll around Hambleton village in the middle (-ish) of Rutland water. Meeting the local trout fly fisherman on route.


Rutland water is especially good for picnics assuming you don’t mind sharing your lunch with the ducks, they are mighty persistent *smile* oh and they now have public Barbie stands to use.


We also visited the lovely town of Stamford, Britain’s best stone town (claim and to be believed) , take a stroll around its many churches and along the river welland but don’t forget Barn Hill where Charles 1’s spent his last night as a free man…. Hey my neck is really itchy!


Greendale farm site has some lovely views and is small and compact with sadly only one loo / sink and shower for the 11 pitches. The pool despite the advertising was never open and the weather for a change was good enough oh and the camp site owners are a little too intrusive and rule conscious for our liking. We will not return! It was part of the “tranquil site” mag and it was mostly that so we will try some other ones.


Thanks again to Brian & Gina for a lovely few days.


We loved the area so will be back again soon, we hope. Anyone else been there and want to share their views on the campsite or the area?


Note: The Index shows ALL blogs already published or you can find Blogs about a specific subject by clicking on a word in the TAG CLOUD, thanks, motorhome-travels.


80 pictures in the SLIDESHOW



Nigel Moon Whissedine Miller
Nigel Moon Whissedine Miller

By keef & annie, May 18 2013 06:25PM

Malvern Hills, Worcestershire


Motorhome trip No8 : May 14th – May 17th 2013


NOTTS->BLACKMORE CAMPSITE, HANLEY SWAN->NOTTS 180 miles


Our first trip away in the campervan of 2013.


What a fabulous area of the country and apart from Great Malvern not an area we have ever been to before. Stayed at the Caravan Club site called Blackmore at Hanley Swan , Worcestershire. This site has a twinned Camping & Caravan Club site and a Girl Guides site all with great views of the Malvern Hills. We were on pitch 140, hard standing but there are lots of pitches that are grass as well. It is a very big site as 4 or 5 times a year caters for visitors to the Malvern Show Ground which is only 2.5 miles away. The days we were there people were prepping for the Quilt show.


We stayed for 3 nights and visited Worcester, Great Malvern, Hanley Swan and the fabulous Upton-upon-Severn. The 363 bus conveniently stops outside the site going to Worcester in one direction (£3 return fare) and Upton (£2 return fare) in the opposite direction. To get to Great Malvern and the hills by bus suggest walking about a mile to the crossroads at Hanley Swan and catching the 42 bus (£2 return fare) although you can catch the 43 bus at Upton to save the walk but it was so pleasant with great views.


After 3 months away in the southern hemisphere it was great to see some really old English traditional towns. Worcester’s Friar Street and Art Gallery / Museum are well worth a visit and the Tudor house (free). The oldest pub in Great Malvern the Unicorn offers fab food and a lot of it as well as some very interesting and unusual real ales. Remember Malvern is quite steep as built on the hill side. Upton is just great with 17 pubs and some lovely little quirky shops and medieval architecture plus the great views from the river side. It also holds one of the biggest free Blues weekends in the UK. Step aside Glastonbury!


We had 1 free night voucher kindly given to us by our dear friends Pete & Joy for Xmas plus as a mid week booking pitch prices were half price, so all in all good value. The wethaer was mixed but considering the forecast said rain all 4 days that was a real bonus.


We loved the area so will be back again soon, we hope. Anyone else been there and want to share their views on the campsite or the area?


Note: The Index shows ALL blogs already published or you can find Blogs about a specific subject by clicking on a word in the TAG CLOUD, thanks, motorhome-travels.


53 pictures in the SLIDESHOW


mr elgar great malvern
mr elgar great malvern

By keef & annie, Oct 16 2012 01:51PM

Blackwall Plantation ,Carsington Water, Derbyshire


Motorhome trip No7 : Oct10th – 12th Oct 2012


NOTTS->CARSINGTON WATER->NOTTS 60 miles


We had 2 free pitch night vouchers kindly given to us by the Caravan Club (CC) after an issue at one of our earlier Scottish site. So we decided to head off to the Blackwall Plantation CC site for a few days R&R. It is not that far from our home and we haven’t been to Carsington Water for many a year so it seemed an ideal choice, plus we had arranged to meet up with our pals Pete & Wendy in the Barley Mow @ Kirk Ireton on the Wednesday evening. One of the world’s best pubs. Everything about is is pre 1900 including the staff. The pub itself is 1600s. The beers (all great real ales) are only available straight from the barrels which are propped up behind the bar. HEAVEN for a Camra geek.


Like camping in a pine forest Blackwall plantation is a lovely site. We will revisit for longer next time.

Our pitch no 12 had a view through the trees of Carsington water. We had 1 ½ good days weather and did the walk around the site via the outer path which takes about 40 mins and good views high up of Carsington on the front side. In the evening the walk out of the site back gate is only about 1.1 miles to Kirk Ireton but if you go for a pint or 3 in the eve be sure to take a torch as it’s a very narrow set of roads and very dark and the locals drive really fast down these back roads. Be warned!


On the Thursday we did a 5 mile walk via Millfield car park around the Water to the visitor centre and back. The views are spectacular and tranquil. As you walk across the Dam wall you have Debyshire hills and undulating countryside on one side and Carsington water on the other side.


Oh and we had a nice coffee and cake in the visitors centre café , the mainsail haha!


So all in all a lovely mid week break, very relaxing , quiet and great scenery and beers!


Anyone else been there and want to share there views on the campsite or the area?

See the SLIDESHOW


Note: The Index shows ALL blogs already published or you can find Blogs about a specific subject by clicking on a word in the TAG CLOUD, thanks, motorhome-travels.


48 Photos available



Our van at blackwall plantation, derbyshire
Our van at blackwall plantation, derbyshire

By keef & annie, Oct 14 2012 05:08PM

Lincolnshire trip no2, Motorhome trip No6 : Sept 24th – 1st Oct 2012


NOTTS->NORTH SOMERCOTES, LINCOLNSHIRE->NOTTS 360 miles


We went back for our 2nd free weeks holiday from Don Amotts at their Lakeside Park Holiday park in North Somercotes. This time we were on the best pitch, pitch 43, which we have pre booked on our previous trip there.


The weather at this time on year was most kind to us and we had 3 full days sunshine enabling us to set up the chairs and table outside and read.


We also used the indoor pool again, luxury with steam room, sauna and Jacuzzi and a great retreat for when the weather outside was poor. They have now updated their technology so you can get free wifi down by the bar and inside the restaurant area. Very useful for catching up whilst away.


We had a day out along the coast, the best deserted sands being at Wolla bank but we did risk a walk around Mablethorpe and even on the beach. A little too ‘seaside’ for our liking but the beach huts were interesting. Saltfleet beach was a little too dangerous after we read the signs saying unexploded bombs possible from RAF Donna Nook.


One of the highlights of the week was a splendid Indian meal @ Zara’s in North Somercotes. A ½ hour walk in from the campsite. We can highly recommend the Mudani meal. Oh and the great sunset on the walk on the way back. Bliss!

Oh and OF COURSE we had to return to Appleby’s ices at Conisholm for our fave ice creams, Irish cream and mandarin respectively this time. Yummy!


Note: The Index shows ALL blogs already published or you can find Blogs about a specific subject by clicking on a word in the TAG CLOUD, thanks, motorhome-travels.


39 Photos available in the SLIDESHOW


lunch at wolla bank, lincolnshire
lunch at wolla bank, lincolnshire