What we learnt about the UK in 2017 – Part 1

We spent less time travelling around the UK than originally expected, and didn’t get anywhere near as far around the country as we thought we would.

We set off at the beginning of April and the weather finally beat us at the end of October.  We arrived home on 23rd October, a few weeks before we were hoping.

Instead of making our way around the whole of the UK and spending a couple of months in Scotland, we explored the east coast fully, and just made it into Scotland (the furthest north we got was Dunbar, just east of Edinburgh) before we started making our way home via the Lake District and Blackpool.  In this time we also had a week in Ibiza for a family wedding (and what a wonderful week it was too!),  and a couple of weeks, in total, staying near home to catch up with family and friends.  Meaning that our actual time on the road in the UK was 25 weeks (including a diversion to Cornwall).

Obviously we already knew rather more about the UK than about France, Spain or Portugal, but we did learn new things on our way around the country 🙂

So here goes! Continue reading “What we learnt about the UK in 2017 – Part 1”

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Cambridge – City of Sightseeing & Cycling (or Buses and Bikes)

We left Sheringham in the rain to travel about 60 miles south to Cambridge.  Shortly north of Cambridge you will find Ely (that’s Eel-ee as opposed to Eel-I…), a city that I have been fascinated by since I was a child.  I have no idea why – I think I read a book that was based there; anyway I was very excited to think that I was soon to visit!

We drove past on the way to Cambridge and the cathedral was clearly visible from the A10 – just heightening my excitement 🙂

We were always going to visit Cambridge, but timed our visit to coincide with my cousin’s barbeque.  Therefore we stayed in the closest campsite to them, which turned out to be Highfield Farm Touring in Comberton.

On Friday we went into Cambridge.  Don’t drive into the city centre!  There are 5 park and rides available Continue reading “Cambridge – City of Sightseeing & Cycling (or Buses and Bikes)”

New Discovery – Sustrans website for cycle routes in the UK

This is slightly different to my normal posts but I just had to share!

I am just sat here doing a bit of research on our next destination, Rye in East Sussex (which looks rather special I have to say).

Having found out about the main attractions I went in search of cycle paths, and stumbled across the Sustrans website.  This gives you the means to find ANY cycle path in the UK – it will get some heavy use from us for the rest of the year.  I wish I’d found something like this for Spain – if anyone knows if such a thing exists please let me know..

We have had a wonderful time catching up with family and friends, even if it has been a little stressful having to work to a schedule!  We now have 3 more days before leaving for Rye – all of them busy.

Having looked at what’s on offer in Rye and it’s surrounding area we are very much looking forward to the start of the next bit of our adventure, and also, of course, to telling you all about Rye and the campsite we’ve found 🙂

BTW – did you notice that we’d brought the sun back with us?  Just saying….!

(Picture credit – Flickr)

 

Day 8 – Tuesday 7th June.Bike ride & interaction with the locals

A beautiful day dawned today – lethal, as it was the start of me getting sunburnt shoulders (which are still painful as I write this on day 11 (Thursday)).

As it was so lovely we just chilled by the pool (just the 2 of us, lovely).  I kicked a sunbed resulting a bruise wrapped around my little toe – fairly standard for me.  This is to add to my collection of bruises on my legs, some are biking injuries, others I have no idea where they came from!

We both completely forgot about the ‘no shorts’ rule so you’ll have to wait another day for a glimpse of Calv in his Daniel Craigs!

In the afternoon we set off for a bike road going the other way on the cycle path.  The cycle paths over here are fantastic (there seems to be a real understanding as well on the roads – for the most part)  Some of the cycle paths even have their own ‘road’ number!  We visited the village of Lege Cap Ferret, just a mile or so away, which was totally charming, but everything was shut!  This included the café we tried to use, which was shutting at quarter to 3..

So back onto the cycle route.  The path was completely straight with forest on either side.  We came across the abandoned petrol pumps and there were no barriers to going to look at them so I insisted (Calv didn’t want to).  We went and had a look, and as I was riding back down the lane this bloke came hairing up in his pick-up.  As he went past me Calv’s hat flew off my head, so I had to stop to retrieve it.  All the way this guy has now parked up and is watching us closely – I don’t know what he thought we were going to do – we don’t exactly look like master criminals do we?!

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After 5 miles we realised that we still had 5 miles to the next town/village and it was literally baking.  With only 1/2 bottle of drink left we decided we’d better head back.  We got straight back in the pool, but we had to share it this time – very refreshing though 🙂

Later in the day Calv got the idea that the Air Con needed re-gassing (well, he already had that idea, but he decided we should do something about it), so we visited 1 garage where we managed to ascertain they couldn’t do anything until next Tuesday, so we tried the Renault garage over the road from the campsite.  Again I managed to make myself understood, again they had bookings and couldn’t do it quickly.  But then the lady wanted to be helpful so she said she could fit us in at 8.15 tomorrow morning (we were leaving at about 10am) – this was all in French you understand!  Her co-worked (we assume her husband) was very clearly not happy with her…  So she’s gone out of her way to help us out.  We get back to the van and Calv says “I’ll just check it’s not a fuse”.  Well, guess what?  It was!  So all that effort and hard work for nothing.

By now it was about 8pm so we thought, rather than just not turn up, we’d write her a note (with the help of a translation from Google!), and pop it through the door.  Only when we got over there her horrible husband was still working.  He was sat in a recovery lorry.  “We’re closed”, he barked (literally – and in French).  I said we wanted to see the lady in reception.  “Pour Quoi?”  (Again barked – horrible man).  Calv gave him the note.  All very well, except I’d finished it with a sentence saying that I hoped we hadn’t upset her colleague too much!

On the move again tomorrow – heading down to the Pyrenees (look out for Day 10- hopefully I’ll be able to upload plenty of the pictures we’ve taken 🙂 )