Burford is a small medieval town on the River Windrush in the Cotswold Hills and is often referred to as the ” gateway” to the Cotswolds. It’s famous High Street sweeps downhill to the river crossed by a three arched medieval bridge.
At the bottom of the town is the impressive church of St John the Baptist whose graveyard is encircled by the river which is populated by swans and other water birds.
Mid morning we met up with my sister and brother in law ( who don’t live too far away) and started with coffee in the courtyard of the Priory Cafe, it turned out to be their wedding anniversary so it was pleasant to spend some time with them. After a gentle stroll around town we went to a different cafe, Cafe Fifteen in the grounds of the church where we had lunch.
After we said our farewells we walked to a park at the top of the town, close to the campsite, where we allowed Layla a good run round.
It’s been a pleasant day, sunny but cold, a pleasant way to break the Covid lockdown.
Obviously Homer hasn’t real wings so perhaps wing mirrors would have been more apt😊 but it’s with great delight that we have taken to the road again for a short two night break. We are staying at Wysdom Camp site at Burford in the Cotswolds which is within minutes of the town centre.
We have, when the weather allowed, spent time over the past month readying Homer for the road, cleaning polishing etc putting equipment back in and filling the cupboards with food basics. This morning we went shopping for the fresh food, stocked the fridge, filled the water tank and we were ready for the off.
We are using this trip to make sure everything is working ok before we head off next Tuesday on a trip to the Yorkshire coast, although the Covid Roadmap opened the campsites two days ago we couldn’t take advantage of a long trip as I have my second Covid jab next Monday afternoon.
When travelling we struggle to get a good TV signal, it doesn’t bother us a great deal at times but during the dark nights or inclement weather, it is useful to have the TV as a destraction. So this trip I am trialing an Amazon Fire Stick linked to a new MiFi which is linked to three.
The site is quite small, it has pitches separated by hedges, and is immaculately kept, site managers are friendly and helpful, quite good for £20 a night.
Homer’s wheels have been stationary since the end of October 2020 when he was MOT’d and serviced and had two new tyres on the front, the previous set had done 18,000 miles.
Several times recently we decided to use Homer to do a short, Covid accepted, trip to the supermarket or the DIY store, just so that his tyres might park up differently on his return home and the engine oil etc would get warm. Every time we nominates day something occurs to prevent us, twice now a heavy snow fall, we’re not going to select a day now, just get up one morning and go before anything can prevent us🙂🙂
We bought him a new wireless reversing camera for Christmas, Michelle said I bought it for myself😉 but the weather has been either too wet or cold for me to work outside to fit it. Never mind it looks like it may be months before we get the OK to travel again so we should have plenty of time.
I’m due the Covid vaccination sometime in the next fortnight, if they bring out a vaccination passport who knows I may be able to travel sooner than expected. I would have to go with just Layla as Michelle is far to young to have the vaccination in the near future😂😂
Ah well stay safe everyone, keep dreaming of future travels.
We took the easy way home today heading north up the M5. The southbound lanes very busy and there were numerous motorhomes heading south, escaping? who knows, the number of areas without Covid restrictions is lessening.
Homer has to have a service and be MOT’d before we can make another trip and we are going to keep our fingers crossed that we will still have the freedom to travel and there are places accepting visitors in November.
We have enjoyed the past six days, driven 463 miles, visited three different counties, we saw some attractive scenery, walked for miles each day and marvelled at the beautiful Autumn colours.
Cheddar is the largest village in Somerset on the southern edge of the Mendip Hills. On the northern edge of the village is Cheddar Gorge and Caves, the gorge is the largest in the UK. It has several show caves including Gough’s Cave, the gorge has been the centre of human settlement since neolithic times.
This morning we decided to take a visit, there are two footpaths one on each side that go up and along the ridges of the gorge, however as traffic was light we opted to walk along the road, no footpath in many places. The road winds it’s way through the gorge and thankfully does so at a steady rising gradient so the walk up wasn’t too difficult. As it wasn’t too busy and virtually no-one was parked in the numerous lay byes we had time and space to look at the rocky feature, the rushing streams and the wild Soay sheep grazing on the rocky outcrops.
Of course no visit to Cheddar Gorge would be complete without purchasing a piece of cave aged cheddar cheese, this being the birth place of Cheddar Cheese.
We commenced the day by driving down to Monks Yard Cafe outside Ilminster where we met up with Keith and Jenny friends for over 50 years. Due to health issues we didn’t go to their house but sat outside the cafe with coffee/ scones and tea cakes and spent a while catching up on news, face to face instead of our regular email contacts. It was a pleasant time.
Back on the road we went to Street to the Clarkes Outlet Village, all too expensive for me but Michelle managed to buy a pair trainers from the children’s section!
From there we drove via Wells here to Cheddar Bridge Camp Site where we are booked in for two nights. After pitching up we walked into Cheddar did a quick stroll around the village, bought a sourdough loaf and went back and chilled out. We are pitched next to the River Yeo.
I seem to have had a relapse today with a gippy stomach and feeling drained of energy I even resorted to buying some Andrews Liver Salts.
We were going to visit Dorchester today but I didn’t fancy walking around a large place so we took short run from Corfe down to Swanage. It was beautifully sunny there but with a very stiff wind blowing off the sea, it certainly blew the cobwebs away.
We drove from Swanage to Yeovil, the town centre gave the impression it had seen better days, as is often the case there was a lot of development on the outskirts of the town, with new supermarkets etc. We spent an hour in town buying a little bit from M and S food hall and a book from a charity shop.
Our next stop was where we are parked up for the night, a large picnic area with a purpose built cafe and toilets. It’s a popular overnight stop for truck drivers and motorhomers, with the benefit that it’s free, if not a little noisy from the adjacent A303.
I’ve felt a little more with it today, yesterday’s diet of toast with a late night medicinal brandy, plus a good nights sleep appeared to have helped, I wouldn’t be surprised however if I don’t develop a cold.
Today we zig zagged south crossing the Salisbury Plain passing tank manoeuvre areas and army bases. Michelle wanted a glimpse of Stonehenge ( visits had to be prebooked) so we took a detour along a road that gives you a reasonable view of the stones, what you have to do to keep some people happy!
We are parked up for the night at Corfe Castle Camping and Caravanning site. Some of the roads we took today were not the best for Homer and again the Sat Nav / Ipad took us on some seriously strange routes including one for two miles where the hedges brushed both sides of Homer and there was no turning round. It didn’t help that we drove straight past the little lane to the site because there was no sign obvious, that was because no one in their right mind would have approached it from the direction we came.
We stopped en route at Shaftesbury where we eventually managed to find a parking spot at Tesco’s next to the charity donation bins, the long stay car park in town was useless unless you were driving a small saloon car. Having said that, Shaftesbury was a little gem and we enjoyed walking around, taking the obligatory photo of Gold Hill, famous for its use in an old Hovis bread advert. Shaftesbury is the only hill top settlement in Dorset being about 215m above sea level. It is the site of the original Shaftesbury Abbey which was founded in 885 by King Alfred.
After setting up Homer we decided to go for a walk to Corfe Castle, we had only walked a few metres when it looked like we would be invited to a Stag Party!
I have never been as close as 5 metres to a wild stag before, it was magnificent, not far from him were 3 does.
The walk into Corfe Castle was enjoyable we were last here about 10 years ago for a fleeting visit, sadly as is common everywhere at the moment there aren’t many shops open.
We drove here today via the country route through the Cotswolds, echoing for a lot of the journey the route we took last December to Bath.
Although the route and driving conditions were ok it wasn’t the easiest of journeys. Yesterday I gradually began to feel unwell, commencing with the need to dash to the toilet on numerous occasions, during the night I alternated between shivering and sweating with many trips to the bathroom. But you may as well feel under the weather whilst visiting new places instead of sitting at home. So this morning dosed up to the eye balls with medication I strapped myself into the driving seat, gritted my teeth and drove the 110 miles to Devizes.
Devizes is a small market town in the middle of Wiltshire, it developed around Devizes Castle an 11th century Norman Castle, originally there was a Roman settlement here. The Kennet and Avon canal runs around the town with a large flight of locks known as Caen Hill. It began to rain when we arrived and we had a soggy walk around town. When we had finished we drove a further 3.5 miles to tonight’s stop over at Devizes Camping and Caravan Club Site.
Sadly tonight we have reached the end of our Welsh trip. We left Saundersfoot this morning leaving behind the stresses of narrow B roads and drove to Carmarthen. Tesco’s provided us with a convenient parking space but I did have to park with my front wheels on the flower bed, Peter and Alison parked sideways across three bays. I enjoyed the walk around Carmarthen it has a variety of shops but we didn’t see what a great deal of what was the historical heritage of the town.
We drove from Carmarthen to Brecon, parked on the car park by the side of the river Usk which we used approx a month ago.After lunch we walked into Brecon and found the market hall which had a craft fair on.
It wasn’t far from Brecon to tonight’s stop at Talybont on Usk, the site is large but not too many motorhomes/ caravans are allowed to stay, it’s well kept and in pleasant surroundings,
Talybont is sandwiched between the Usk River and the Brecon Monmouth canal, the canal is a few metres from the campsite and after our evening meal we went for a walk along the towpath. Like many areas of the country it has a history of industrial development.
Sadly it’s the end of a great week away, we have enjoyed beautiful scenery, stayed at some wonderful campsites and have walked for miles. The news about Covid hasn’t been great, we aren’t sure if and when we will be able to take our next trip, but fingers crossed it won’t be too long.