“Road Ahead Closed” doesn’t always mean the road you are on – it could be a side road, and as there were no diversion signs and nothing to suggest any issues we carried on. MISTAKE. Back we went (where of course there were plenty of diversion signs) through Wells and onto the lorry route to Cheddar. Not a motorhome-friendly route and far better to approach the place from the other direction,
Cheddar village centre is ok with most of what you need while the walk up to the gorge reveals more interesting bars, tea rooms and gift shops. Trouble is by the time you walk from the campsite to the gorge you don’t feel like walking much more, let alone climbing up to the viewing points. There is loads of parking at the gorge, so maybe a place better visited by car. A place to return to after doing a bit more research.
Cheddar tourist part – Arthur been here?
There is public transport to Wells and Weston and a few other places. We went to Wells for an afternoon – busy but pleasant.
The Bishop’s Palace
Getting into Salisbury was bad, but getting out was worse. No matter – Crossways was easy enough:
Two campsites here – Caravan Club one where we were and the Camping and Caravaning Club one pretty much next door. Oddly, the latter is the more manicured of the two. The Camping Club one has composting toilets and they did smell a bit but not of compost – just an odd whiff which was neither fragrant or unpleasant and no reason for anybody to be put off. Just don’t drop your phone down the loo.
Train station next door has a regular service to Weymouth, Dorchester, Poole, and further afield. We skipped Dorchester (probably a mistake) and went to Weymouth and the Saturday and Poole on the Sunday, Weymouth was pleasant with a castle to go round whereas Poole seems a bit less interesting but featuring boat cruises. Unfortunately on a Sunday on a bank holiday weekend, the place was mobbed and so were the cruises.
Who ate all the pies?
Tudor toilet where the pies ended up
Brokenhurst to Salisbury – easy drive apart from the Saturday morning Salisbury ring road. Confusing and busy.
Salisbury is a pleasant enough place with a cathedral, nice architecture, decent public transport and a nice ambience. The Magna Carta is here but that is a bit out of date these days. Salisbury seems like a very cool place to live but on first impressions is lacking a bit as a tourist destination. No doubt we’ll come back after doing a bit more research into the local area.
There is a big Spitfire on a pole outside the campsite:
They built them here and (other places) without Hitler knowing about it.
Of course the main reason to visit here is the stones, and here they are:
Arrived in the New Forest following a few days each in Birmingham, Winchester and Bognor. Plain sailing until the Bognor-Brokenhurst leg where we got thouroghly lost.
Unfortunately it has rained cats and dogs since we arrived in the New Forest. We have no idea how long or easy it is to walk to the village since the rain was never off long enough even to attempt it. In the little bits of respite we managed to meet some of the natives:
Some deer in the New Forest
A horse in the New Forest
Another horse in the New Forest
Leaving for Salisbury tomorrow, hoping for less rain.
Ariived at Somers Wood, Meriden, a wonderfully screaming-children-free adults only site on the outskirts of Birmingham. Here is a bit of trek to the bus stop along a busy road but the lack of child induced mayhem make it worthwhile. Moved on to Moreton-in-Marsh next for a couple of nights before going back to Chapel Lane and finally to Ross-on-Wye before returning home.
The Birmingham arrival coincided with the bank holiday event at the transport museum, so here is an old bus that we got a ride on:
HOV685 at Wythall Transport Museum
Ross-on-Wye is a good place to go with decent public transport links, some interesting shops, a good butcher and a pleasant riverside walk. Or it would have been pleasnt had we not walked up every hill in the place at least twice to try and fnd the river, eventually discovering there is a prefectly level approach through Aldi’s car park. The campsite is a short walk to a Morrisons supermarket so no need to go hungry or thirsty.
Metal bird sculpture on riverside walk
Shop with many signs – Ross-on-Wye
We took the bus to Hereford from here. Good shops, Cathedral, old map if you pay the money (we didn’t as we had both seen it before), and a generally very pleasant place to amble round.
Our first trip this year took us to London – in February. It was pretty cold. Our first stop was Kingsbury Water Park near Birmingham, followed by Moreton-in-Marsh in the Cotswolds.
Not much tourist activity on this trip, although we finally got to the tower, on a miserable grey day. The hiighlight was the Beefeater guided tour. Our Beefeater was ex-Navy, a jovial chap and highly entertaining. The group following us got an ex-Army, who took his role-play seriously – half the group looked terrified. The crown jewels were suitably impressive but also somewhat depressing, having seen the puny-in-comparison Scottish crown jewels a few years ago.
Visited Greenwich on one of the better days:
Docklands from Greenwich
Greenwich Foot Tunnel – south entrance
Returned home on 9 March via a couple of nights at Chapel Lane.
Plan was to go to Dorset, maybe Minehead since we don’t see the sea often these days and the weather is still ok. Plan stuffed by the fuel shortages with the crisis still in full flow. Tewksbury seemed like a good idea, since it is only 100 miles away, more or less on the way home and has shops and good public transport links. We still have a possibility of moving somewhere else afterwards should the crisis abate. Every petrol station we passed on the way had queues or was deserted, and none had any diesel. Load of cars going into every motorway services.
Day one was very pleasant – sunshine and people sitting out even though it could hardly be described as warm. Here is the abbey bathed in sunlight:
Day two rained cats and dogs all day. Not going out in that, so no wine and still no fuel.
Day three and very cold out. Got the bus to Cheltenham which took longer than expected, The bus passed many petrol stations, all of them with queues to get in and yellow tags on the diesel pumps saying “not is use”. Cheltenham was freezing and not much fun, but at least we got to see a half-man half-bull person:
The Minotaur and the Hare
We did not intend to go home this early, but the fuel situation is hopeless. Home is a couple of hours away from here and we have enough diesel to get there – just. Meanwhile, government ministers rant on about there being plenty of fuel at the refineries, so no crisis. My arse – if it can’t get to the pumps, I can’t put it in my tank, so their words are as empty as the petrol stations. And idiot in chief, I mean Chief Secretary to the Treasury, says that the shortage of lorry drivers (which is causing all of this) is nothing to do with brexit. Really? That was a waste of an expensive and elaborate education. Muppets.
Next stop Sparkford:
Why come to this small village a few miles from Yeovil? Simple – this.
An excellent collection of vehicles, mostly free of the ropes that usually fence off access to the exhibits, meaning we can walk around most of them Well done to Haynes for setting it up like this.
Lancia Flavia convertable
Why are all the cars I picked red?
Breaking news – fuel crisis. Not so much panic buying when we got here but the pumps were dry by the time we left. 200 miles from home with just over half a tank of fuel, maybe about 250 miles worth in real world driving. Pants – this holiday is coming to an end.
Another mini-holiday kicking off from Birmingham. Next stop Winchester:
The campsite is due to close for refurbishment, to reopen next summer. We’ll be back then as it’s a handy distance from the midlands and an easy drive.
Usual things to see in Winchester:
Fine building – but they are charging money to go round it. The French ones are usually free.
This one is impressive, interesting, and FREE. No doubt if this was in France it would cost money to go round.
2020 was a disaster due to Covid. We managed to get a short break after the 2021 lockdown:
Nice Campsites and nice weather, but France this was not, which is where we would expect to be at this time of year.
Tank floral arrangement at Bridgenorth
These flowerbeds at Bridgenorth were great. In addition to the tank were other war-related subjects. These were in the castle grounds in the upper town. Best thing about Bridgenorth, though, were the hot spicy sausages from the butcher in the lower town, not far from the funicular.