On ‘How Time Flies’..

Time is precious.  We all know that.  We also know that life’s too short.  This is why we embarked on this adventure – taking a year out and travelling.

We are struggling to believe that we are already nearing the end of this year (I know we still have 4 months of the year remaining, but remember we ARE in the UK and we WILL lose the weather sooner rather than later.  We are however desperately wishing for a prolonged Indian Summer so that we can keep travelling through to later November.  We understand that we have a maximum, therefore, of 3 months travelling in the UK.

Being at the end of August we were expecting to be in Scotland by now…  Actually, we expected to have almost finished Scotland by now!  The furthest north we have got, however, is Whitby in North Yorkshire – there is so much to see and do in this wonderful country of ours.

Back to the point of this post though.  Time is indeed flying by, but what I have found is that when we spend time with family and friends it flies even quicker.  The last 2 weeks have seen us spending a week in Cornwall (my favourite spot in the whole world – keep an eye out for my post on this) to celebrate my friend’s 40th birthday, followed by a return ‘home’ to catch up with family (in particular to make sure that Calv’s grandchildren still recognise him!), and to celebrate my friend’s birthday again (on the actual day this time 🙂 ).

This time is going by so quickly that it simply emphasises the point of our travels, of our year off, of doing this before we run out of the energy or the desire to do anything.

Everyone tells themselves that this is something that they would love to do in some capacity (i.e. not necessarily in a motorhome!), but there is always a reason not to take the plunge.  They don’t have enough money, they need to keep an eye on the kids (adult kids even), they just need to see through this big project at work, they couldn’t possibly give up work…

All valid reasons of course, and, don’t forget, we all have different motivations and desires.

However (and it is a big however), we truly believe that we have changed our lives for the better.  Despite the fact that there have been a few bumps along the way (I shan’t go into that now!) which meant we had less money available than we initially thought, this hasn’t detracted from our enjoyment of our time on the road together.  We have found that we want for a lot less, we have become far less materialistic if you like.

I didn’t actually consider myself overly so to begin with to be fair, but even I have noticed that I want for less – apart from reading material and the occasional new (but useful) gadget for the van!  Even our grocery shops have declined (although they’re still more expensive when we’re meeting up with people.  Alcohol. Of course…!)

Even with all the time in the world that we have gifted ourselves we still never seem to have time to do everything.  We have learned to relax (even Calv, it might surprise some of you to learn), although it doesn’t seem that we actually do that very often.  We only realised this yesterday when we did actually relax for the whole day.  We sat reading (well, I did – he hasn’t changed that much!), drinking tea (yes, tea), enjoying the sunshine and then went on a lovely walk in the countryside to a local country pub (The Old House at Home in Chidham, well worth a visit, and actually much older than it appears from the outside).

 

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Looking over towards Emsworth on our walk to the pub
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Looking over the water towards Bosham on our walk home from the pub

We have loved spending time with friends and family, apart from the fact that we also put weight back on when we see them – so in 2 1/2 weeks our waistlines have taken a definite hit!

But we are also looking forward to getting back on the road.  On Tuesday we will be heading north again, taking in the Yorkshire Dales and the top of the North York Moors via York itself, before heading into Northumberland – which we believe (and hope) will be the highlight of our trip so far.  We suspect that by the time Northumberland has finished with us, and us with it, it may be time to cross over a little to the west coast and start making our way home.

We are sad that we won’t make Scotland this year but, if all our plans come together, we would like to think that we’ll head straight there for some time next year.  We have lots of plans going forward – another by-product of this time is that we really talk to each other.  A lot!

Please stay with us as we tell you about our adventures yet to come over the next few months, as we visit yet more places that we have never been to before and create more wonderful memories – trust me, we will always have something to talk to each other about!!  Please feel free to comment with your own thoughts and experiences – we love to hear from you!

I will aim to tell you about Cornwall as soon as possible – but we are busy seeing people over the next few days before we head off again!

Keep travelling! xx

 

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Discovering more delights in Scarborough – North Bay and the Castle

This is a final mop-up of our time, so far, in Yorkshire (we’re heading back via York next week..), and it will cover a 2nd visit to Scarborough – to the North Bay area and the castle, a flying visit to Burton Agnes & the Rudston Monolith, the Muston scarecrow festival and Boggle Hole (visited on the way home from Whitby).

So let’s start with Boggle Hole (where the main picture was taken).  We just saw the sign on the way home and thought it was a good name and we’d have a look!  We took the lane, which turned out to be long and narrow, until we came to a small parking area – keep going, says Calv.  Only we couldn’t as there was a sign up advising against it!  The lane that we walked down was steep and led to a YHA hostel and the Quarterdeck café.  These were nestled at the top of a rocky cove where fossil hunts are regularly held Continue reading “Discovering more delights in Scarborough – North Bay and the Castle”

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)”

A cycle ride from Aldeburgh to Thorpeness, Sizewell Beach and Leiston Abbey

Our last day in Suffolk before moving onto Norfolk (‘South Folk’ and ‘North Folk’ denoted by where they lived in relation to the river.  I’m not sure what river – there are many, many rivers in this area!)  We’d already decided that this was the day we would cycle from Aldeburgh to Thorpeness – because the children were going back to school!

It turned out to be a lovely day, if a little windy.  We parked at the south end of Aldeburgh on the Slaughden ‘peninsula’ (mainly because it’s free..) and cycled along the seafront, this time going on past the Scallop, which was as far as we got last time.

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I did think that the cycle path went all the way to Thorpeness, however, whilst there is a path all the way along the seafront, there comes a point where it isn’t suitable for riding on so we had to move onto the road.  However, the road is absolutely fine and not too busy so it wasn’t a problem.

Thorpeness is just a few miles away from Aldeburgh and it is absolutely charming.  Originally conceived as a purpose built, upmarket holiday village Continue reading “A cycle ride from Aldeburgh to Thorpeness, Sizewell Beach and Leiston Abbey”

The Suffolk seaside and a lost city

Southwold is not your normal seaside resort.  Yes, it has plenty of beach huts, a boating lake, mini-golf and a pier, but there aren’t any amusement arcades or a promenade lined with pubs and cafes.  What you have instead is a quaint and historic town, and a pier with rather different attractions (although there is a small amusement arcade as you enter).

The pier has a couple of classy, for a seaside pier, eateries, an attraction in the middle called ‘The Under of the Pier Show’; what this actually comprises are handmade up-to-date arcade attractions – a lot of fun and very popular and a couple of up-to-date artworks.  These include a tribute to George Orwell, who lived in the town for some time, and a water clock, initially made to highlight water re-cycling.  This is a lot of fun on the hour and the half hour when there is a little display involving shorts dropping and water squirting!

I loved the beach huts in Southwold! Continue reading “The Suffolk seaside and a lost city”

Back in the UK – home and then a return to Kent.

I was really surprised to feel so at home when we stepped back into the van after flying in from Ibiza.  It just goes to show how comfortable we are in the van.  This is something that we don’t think people understand – we constantly have, very kind, offers of a room when we’re in home territory, as everyone seems to think we might like a break from the van.  It’s very sweet of you to offer but we really are very happy and comfortable thank you (and we’ll soon ask if we want a room!!)

We were quite busy over the weekend, including helping our friends out so that they could stay on the same site as us on Saturday night.  They had a courtesy car without a towbar so we towed their caravan for them…

Yes – we did get some looks!!  (We didn’t, of course, use the little car on the road – that would be illegal..)

After a night out on Saturday we had a long lie-in which was desperately needed due to our self-inflicted ‘tiredness’.

On Tuesday we set off again for Herne Bay.  However, the beauty of having no particular plans (i.e. bookings) is that you can change your mind whenever you want.  In this case it was when we saw that Steve & Denise, who we had met in Spain, had finally returned to the UK and were staying overnight at a Caravan Club site on our route.

So we diverted to Bearstead, having asked if they minded of course… However their wifi was hit and miss so they didn’t get my message.  When Denise replied to say ‘yes, of course, where are you?’ I answered – ‘In reception!’ Continue reading “Back in the UK – home and then a return to Kent.”

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)