Shutterspeed-Logo

KEEF & ANNIE's TRAVEL BLOGS NUMBERS 1-67

MotorHomeTravels

OLD SITE BLOGS For New Site Please now use www.motorhome-travels.co.uk               These have not been migrated as there are too many of them - sorry

go button new site A-Z Index Find us @ .NET BLOG INDEX Keef Channel Topper

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, 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, 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


A tranquil site, ok apart from us ;)


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, Apr 30 2013 03:20PM

We have been lucky enough to spend 3 months away recently firstly in Malaysia where our youngest son got married which included KL, Langkawi , Georgetown (Penang) and latterly Melaka, then hired a Britz Mercedes Sprinter 313 Motorhome for a month to travel around the top half of North Island New Zealand We spent 4 months seeing North & South island of this lovely country back in 2007/8.


We then travelled the Nullabor plain from east to west in Australia, again in a Britz Sprinter van but this time with a built in external gas BBQ, bliss! Oz also included Sydney, Tassie, Adelaide, Perth and Geraldton.


Including our previous trips to OZ we have now travelled around the outside from Cooktown (QLD) to Geraldton (WA) plus Broome, Kunnarra, Darwin and thru the middle on the Ghan including Alice & Uluru.


We heart Oz & Nz. We finished our trip with 2 weeks in lovely Singapore. If we tot up the miles / kilometres we drove on this trip we can say we drove the equivalent of the distance from London to Tashkent (Uzbekistan)...


It is nice being back in the UK to our own little Motorhome with a whole host of new exciting trips to look forward to.


If you wish to see pictures of this trip chose our dedicated website for all slideshows & photos. It will hopefully work on all tablets and mobile phones .Thanks for looking.


Note both our hire vans were mercedes.


Big 4 site Coober Pedy
Big 4 site Coober Pedy

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

By keef & annie, Aug 20 2012 08:35AM

Norfolk, Motorhome trip No5 : August 17th -19th 2012


NOTTS->SWAFFHAM,NORFOLK->NOTTS 200 miles


The warmest weekend of the year, so far. Up in the 30’s C. Lovely stuff and a great weekend with our dear pals Pete & Joy. We have a yearly camping jaunt away with them and have done so since both our sets of children were very young, usually somewhere equidistant from each of our homes so often in the Norfolk, Oxford, Cambridge , Suffolk sort of areas.


This year if was Swaffham. We have been to Pentney Park just down the road in years past but as it was school summer holidays we opted for Breckland Meadows ADULT only campsite. They are a great idea for (sorry) some peace and quiet or it seems if you have a dog. Not the greatest site we have ever stayed at , as rather small pitches and facilities that may need an upgrade, but perfectly acceptable for a long weekend and cheap with very very friendly staff!


We mostly spent a relaxing time at the site as such superb weather chillin’ via eating, drinking ,reading and jawin, great to catch up *smile* but we did take a walk into town along the old railway track which was very shady (about 30 mins) past the Eco Centre with Wind Turbine, 300 steps to the top, but just too hot for that so gave it a miss. The town centre itself is lovely and has 6 pubs and a bandstand and a Saturday market plus the (supposedly) 5th best fish and chip shop in England. Pub-wise we settled on the Kings Arm’s , a lovely old coaching inn , great beers, friendly staff and beer garden. We liked it so much we went back for Sunday lunch! The town sign is also just so English! Take a look, Swaffham is well worth a visit if you have not been there.


Already looking forward to next year’s trip.


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


11 Photos available in the SLIDESHOW


By keef & annie, Aug 8 2012 07:42AM

Came across this great site that is only 26 minutes away from sitting there and watching your fave athletes, how good is that. And its a very reasonable price with good facilities.


Just a thought!


Highly RECOMMENDED by motorhome-travels blog!


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


By keef & annie, Jul 18 2012 04:58PM

Lincolnshire, Motorhome trip No4 : July 9th -16th 2012


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


As we were offered 2 free weeks holiday by Don Amotts (apart from paying for electric hook-up and entertainments) when we bought our motorhome from them who are we to refuse? So we decided to take the 1st week at their Lakeside Park Holiday park in North Somercotes. All their parks are in Lincolnshire, not normally a place we would chose to visit for obvious reasons that will become clear later in this blog. Lakeside is the only one of the 5 that caters for tourers, the rest seem to be entirely about static caravans!


So we packed up and set off in the usual UK s(b)ummer 2012 of thunder/ lightening and torrential rain which lasted all the way there and beyond. We had 3 super pitches whilst there for a week 77,42 & 47 mostly to accommodate our wishes but to satisfy weekend family camping.


It is a very classy site and good for a short holiday with lots to do: golf, footie,tennis,boule, outdoor lawn bowls, sauna,steam room, fishing, exercise equipment plus a restaurant, pub, snooker room/wifi, shop,launderette,café,nightclub(?) with dance floor and disco. Note the pub sells Tom Wood lincs real ale but the best I found was Summer Swallow by Batemans , a great pint! For those of my family who remember a bit like Potters for motorhomes!


Plus despite the rather bad weather and outlook we got 3.5 days of very hot and bright sunshine in 7 , not bad for a british summer and we both look a little brown and sunburnt, yippee!


We did go out and about a few days but here’s the rub… Grimsby, Cleethorpes, Mabelthorpe, Chapel St Leonards, Ingoldsmells & Skeggie are not our cup of tea, but having said that North Somercotes itself is lovely, great walks and Saltfleetby & Theddlethorpe beach and dunes are spectacular and deserted. Louth centre and Afford are also interesting & very old towns. Plus we visited the NT house and gardens at Gunby Hall. Gunby is the site of a medieval town that was killed off by migrant workers bringing in the Black Plague into Lincolnshire in 1300s (I think). The gardens are lovely and the head gardener is a nice man who gave us a wealth of info. Besides gardening for England he is on the ‘talking’ team *smile*


So all in all we had a nice week away and look forward to our 2nd free week there later in the year to try out the lovely Indian restaurant in North Somercotes. We did read a lot of books and generally chill whilst here as a lot to do on site if the weather is good! The pool when not!


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


36 Photos available in the SLIDESHOW

By keef & annie, Jun 15 2012 02:44PM

Motorhome trip No3 : Scotland - May 29th – June 11th 2012


NOTTS->ALNWICK->FIFE->ANGUS->KINCARDINE->ABERDEEN->BANFF->MORAY->NAIRN->INVERNESS->ROSS & CROMARTY->SUTHERLAND->CAITHNESS->SUTHERLAND->WESTER ROSS->SKYE&LOCALSH->INVERNESS->ARGYLL&BUTE->NOTTS 1675 miles


Oh and we loved every moment of it. Scotland is such a fabulous place , breath taking views, lochs, castles to die for, interesting history and of course the deep fried mars bar. Sadly I still haven’t had the chance yet to sample this delicacy but scotch pies , white pud etc etc were yummy!


Pictures available under the site photos and slideshow tabs. In order to see these it is necessary to login using either your Facebook login / password or set yourself up one for our site, which will mean supplying your email address and accepting the automatic link that is sent to your inbox. EASY


Remember a picture paints a thousand words!


Basically keeping to the coast we travelled up the east, across top and then back down the west.

As we have been to most of the islands already and the cost of taking the van over was not included in our budget we just had our memories and the views from the mainland. Maybe they are for another trip depending upon how much CalMac have ramped up the price for the multi-island passes, must check when I’ve finished this blog!


So we left home and spent the night with our lovely friends Chris and Allyson in Alnwick, what a great Madar Jaffrey curry , thanks Chris. Part of this trip is inspired by a trip Chris & I did over 40 years ago when we were about 18 and we both hiked & hitched around Scotland, not been back to some of these places since and part so that Annie can get to John O’Groats as well as Landsend, I kept telling her she hadn’t missed anything and that proved to be true *smile*. Plus thanks to George & Emma for allowing us to park in Green Batt , George suggested his Auto Sleeper Executive and ours may well breed if they got a little closer. Haha – maybe an Eriba. Anyhow after a bit of shopping in Alnwick we set off for the borders.


Then over the impressive Forth Road Bridge and into Fife. Did you know that Dunfermline (home of Annie’s ancestors) was once the capital of Scotland. We stopped at the Royal Burgh of Culross to visit the palace there, but sadly it was closed (something to do with a wedding and a corporate ‘do’ for the National Trust of Scotland). This didn’t stop us though and we still looked around the outside, gardens and interesting cobbled back streets. A real nice place. Give it a whirl sometime. No probs with parking the van either, 2 very big car parks that were hardly full. We discover Scotland has a lot of Royal Burgh’s an award which seems to have been bestowed the moment a Scottish King or Queen visited but I could be wrong!

Then we drove onto St Andrews for the night, the home of golf, it hardly ever stopped raining. The site was a little expensive at £24 a night but they justified it by having a new indoor heated swimming pool and bar / games room. We went over for a swim but sadly it was a woman only eve, felt a bit conned. Still had a nice evening meal and some wine instead!


Next day we visited Falkland and Falkland Palace, a very impressive castle. The Scots sure know how to do castles. It is also the home of real tennis, the very knowledgeable guide told us there had been a world championship there recently with the team from Ballarat , Vic, Aus represented. Blimey, we have been to Ballarat and it is the most unlikely setting for real tennis. *surprise*. It is still effectively owned by the Queen jointly with the NTS (Nat Trust for Scotland) and previously the kings of Scotland.


We then left Fife and travelled into Angus staying at a lovely campsite in Carnoustie, you will need your satnav, it isn’t straight forward but Annie thought facilities wise it was the best we stayed in throughout Scotland, and it isn’t a Caravan club site.


Having left there we went on through Arbroath & Montrose and visited a bird sanctuary /nature reserve in river basin with great views of Montrose. Never been in this area before but really nice, we would go back again. Whilst in the area we visited the famous House of Dun (NTS), it was owned by Lady Augusta FitzClarence, the illegitimate daughter of William IV (Queen Victoria’s dad) and his ‘actress’ mistress Mrs Johnson with whom he had 10 kids, she had over 20 in total with about 8 different partners, scandal, love it…. She never married any of them but apparently was great on the stage (or was that bed). The other things we remember were the last working damask linen handloom, big sequoias in the garden, the house had many doors that don’t open, they were just for symmetrical structure, each side was a mirror image of the other throughout, and joy of joy it had the best 1960’s stereo system I have ever seen, I want one. Mick Jagger bought the 1st apparently.


It was then on into Aberdeenshire and Stonehaven which has a heated art deco pool plus we visited Dunnotair castle, are you getting it yet? castles and deep fried Mars bars with the odd Belhaven 80/- beer thrown in and a few lovely single malts and wine. Our ideal hols, hic! We avoided the city of Aberdeen as we had been there before when we went to the Shetland Isles.


The onto the Feughside caravan park in Strachan Banchory Deeside, nice views, mostly a static caravan site though and a very nice pub / restaurant on the riverside less than 2 mins from the van. On this occasion we didn’t eat there however as we had fresh food to use but it looked lovely and many of the other ‘vanners’ were going there. Strachan pronounced “strawn” must be the origins of its sister town in Tasmania, Oz. The river Dee is lovely and looked like a heavily used fly- fishing area, trout apparently.

Got up early the next day as much to see and big distances to travel. Visted Crathes castle & gardens nr Banchory and the craft village. There were many germans, dutch, french, italians with motorbikes, caravans & motorhomes and this repeated itself throughout our 2+ weeks in Scotland especially in the highlands, great to see! Crathes castle gardens had a floral tribute to the Queens 60th jubilee.


By the time we had finished at Crathes it was getting on so I rang the Culloden Moor Caravan Club (CC) site to warn them we would be late. As long as you let them know you can arrive anytime up to 8pm in the eve.


Then it was onto Cruden bay, fish & chips and Viking ships. Lovely quiet harbour and a beach to die for. Highly recommended! Then onto buller o’buchan just down the road. Similar to Pancake Rocks blow holes in NZ but not so dramatic and only one, maybe Scotland’s answer to Durdle Door in Dorset but with a wave pool. We did go thru / stop at Peterhead & Fraserburgh but not much to recommend them unless you are into industry and oil, sorry!


Then turned the coastal corner into Banffshire – Macduff, don’t mention the Scottish play – did WillS really travel this far?,Banff with its own version of the Banff Springs hotel (haha – not surprisingly missing out slightly in the class / cost stakes, Then Morayshire including Portsoy,Cullen where Cullen skink comes from (a haddock soup) and thru Nairn onto Invernesshire for the 1st time this holiday.


We stayed at Culloden Moor CC site for 2 days, nice setting and facilities, but v busy. From here we were able to visit Culloden Battlefield , one of the best historical presentations we have ever seen anywhere in the world and great use of technology to deliver the story. Well done them, do visit you will learn loads, we did. All about bonnie prince charlie,duke of Cumberland and what a disaster the dukes 25th b’day party was for the Jacobite clansmen. There long march and hoped for surprise (haha) just didn’t work and after 1 hour they had lost many many body. Interesting Charlie saw the writing on the wall and ran off after 10 mins (over the sea to Skye and never ever to return). The battle field is rather poignantly a war grave. In the afternoon we went in search of the Thane of Cawdor (oh no not the Scottish play again) by going to Cawdor castle, just down the road from the campsite, so all in all a great choice of site for the closeness of stuff to see nearby.


The next day we called into Inverness to get fuel etc but didn’t stay long as we have been there a few times in the past. Then it was up the A9, across the Cromarty bridge and into Rosshire, Alness (nice) and Invergordon (not so nice, oil platform restorations) there was a German cruise ship in presumably so they could visit Culloden etc, surely not Invergordon itself? Then onto Tain (brill) where there was diamond jubilee celebrations for the bank hol including Capercaille playing for free, alas we couldn’t stay on as they weren’t playing until late in the evening but they are great and were on previously in Culross for £25. Had my 1st warmed scotch pie here *hungry*


Then a visit to the Glenmorangie distillery where I bought a glass. Annie stayed in the van as she said no interest in whiskey. I bought 2 bottles of single malt whilst away, Old Pultenay & The Dalwhine, nice flavour both.


Then it was onto Sutherland and many town / villages / hamlets the best of which was possibly Dornoch, nice old town and great architecture plus a good beach with the East Sutherland lifeboat station. There are also some nice lovely old towns at golspie,brora & helmsdale.


Then we were into Caithness where we stayed at the Wick riverside site, quiet and cheap if somewhat antiquated facilities. The couple running it were very helpful. The SatNav guides you to the entrance under a railway bridge, watch out it is very low, We rang them and the guy came out and guided us round through the other entrance. Enjoyed our stay at the site. Found out that Caithness glass closed sadly 2006, became dartington crystal then closed in perth, may now be in crieff? Shame some great glass pieces were produced by them, real works of art! After visiting the Old Pultenay distillery in Wick (2012 whiskey of the year) and the old harbour and heritage area we set off for John o groats. There had been a fire on the heather moors the previous day that had shut the A99 but today it was open but the smoke, fire and smell still raged filling the van with an acrid stench that was fun to get rid of.


We got great views of the Orkney & Stroma and did the usual tourist stuff but the craft area is not as active / busy as Landsend. We also visited Duncansby head and The Queen mums castle of Mey (v interesting) and stayed at Dunnet bay (view of dunnet head) caravan club site which has a great beach which we went for a walk on, we had it to ourselves and oh so sunny, best weather in the country.


The next day onto Thurso & rain & shopping then to scrabster to revisit the ferry we used in 1987-ish for our holiday to the Orkneys when the boys were v young. Then on back into Sutherland again. Thru Coldbackie, Tongue & the youth hostel (Chris do you remember this, chores using a toothbrush before we could go to catch the one bus that left every 2nd Tuesday, Royal Mail with veg and livestock?) then round loch eriboll (wow – the best) single track with passing places and very busy then onto Sango sands campsite at Durness where we stayed for 2 days. It was windy, remote but brill views, loved it! On the 2nd day we drove down to the Durness quayside about 2 miles from site and went on a truly memorable trip to the great cape wrath (see pix – loved it) and came back to the craft village at balnakeil and visited its beach/ house/ cathedral ruins…. Walk to faraid head is rated as a must but we didn’t have time to do it so walked some of the beach, you need to be careful as families have been cut off here by the returning tide which circles round the back of the sand. Our Cape Wrath guide warned us of this.


Then it was the roads to Ullapool, into Rosshire again and first Armaid and then to our Broomfield caravan park site next to Broom loch, conveniently places minutes from town and ferry terminal at Ullapool. Indeed the ferry runs past the campsite which I remember from when we went on it early 90s to Lewis & Harris. Would you believe it we couldn’t get a high tea in Ullapool although there appears to be a good Indian restaurant next to the campsite now!


The next day it was the Wester ross coastline a real highlight including the Corrieshalloch gorge & suspension bridge, a lovely valley, little Gruinard beach, loch ewe (home of war time exercises),loch torridon, the brilliant Inverewe gardens nts, some of the best in Scotland based on location and plantsmanship. Then loch maree, the wonderful road to shieldaig, gairloch, loch carron and then into Skye & lochalsh.


Here we saw a weird heather burn possibly that joined the smoke to the clouds, before reaching the famous road to the isles, which we have travelled many a time. Love it. We alighted at Dornie to see the most photographed Eilean doran castle, indeed Annie’s Canadian cousin Janet had this as her Facebook background pic. We stayed at Morvich CC site, very nice, for 1 night, superb beinn / mountains on all 4 sides.


We left the next day to return to Fort Augustus (too touristy for us) and the wonderful Loch ness although not surprisingly Nessie was not “out to play” that day!


From here it was to Fort William where the world Mountain bike champs were on that weekend at Beinn Nevis so very busy and wet *sigh*. We booked into Brumlee CC site at South Onich nearby for 2 nights overlooking Loch Linnhe. Great site great views great midges, don’t forget the spray folks!

We were planning to go up Beinn Nevis on the Monday by cable car as never having been up there but sadly we had a big leak in the van overnight which mean the duvet acted as a wick and woke up wet. So rang the van people who asked us to bring it back. So sadly but sensibly we left early. Wouldn’t have been good if it had happened in Europe. We want it fixed before our next trips!


So it was 400 miles back thru Argyll & Bute, loch leven , the truly wonderful glencoe, crianlarich, loch Lomond, trossachs, bypass Glasgow, Carlisle, M6 home… 6.5 hrs tired but ready to get the van into workshop the next day. UPDATE 15/6 they have found a seal leak around one of the windows so hopefully it will now be fixed. Currently undertaking serious soak test and leaving it out in heavy rain.


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


215 Photos available, go on you know you want to look *smile* See SLIDESHOW You just need scan down a bit to see them.


eilean donan castle, dornie, skye & lochalsh
eilean donan castle, dornie, skye & lochalsh