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KEEF & ANNIE's TRAVEL BLOGS NUMBERS 1-67

MotorHomeTravels

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By keef & annie, Oct 27 2013 07:06PM

Blackshaw Moor, Nr Leek , Staffordshire


Motorhome trip No14 : October 26th – 27th 2013


NOTTS->LEEK,STAFFORDSHIRE & INTO THE PEAK DISTRICT ->NOTTS 89 miles


Didn’t get away until about 12.15 after sorting out car and glasses and doing a little of the Big Shop, tee hee! Fairly bright and sunny and arrived in Leek after about a hour, never been there before. A very Victorian town with cobbled market place and some old mill trade factories in Victorian small red brick, plus some much older ones. Parked on the outskirts and walked in. Interesting place, the centre of which reminded us of Ashbourne.


Bought some stuff in the Trade hall indoor market (see pic with stain glass type mosaic). Then back into the van and onto the Blackshaw Moor caravan club site. There is a Caravan & Camping club site about ¾ mile back down the road from this. Both for families to take their kids to Alton Towers which isn’t that far away. Our site had 50 kids on it so we pitched as far away from them as poss, sad old gits that we are, LOL xxx Nice site and very close to the Roaches and 2 resevoirs. Alas it rain most of the afternoon and all of the night but very relaxing reading and having the odd bevvie! Annies nice homemade oat cheese and onion quiche for tea heated in the oven plus cheese & bikkies and posh pud. Yum! Extra hour in bed as well so can’t be bad.


Very windy Sunday morning, packed up in the rain and headed across the border into the Peak District, mountain /rock formations amazing , never seen them before, must come back in the summer as beautiful views but all too windy and wet so we came home early on the Sunday.


All in all a nice 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.


31 photos in the SLIDESHOW




The Roaches in the Peak District National Park
The Roaches in the Peak District National Park

By keef & annie, Oct 5 2013 09:44AM

Stamford Caravan Club Site, Lincolnshire


Motorhome trip No12 : September 28th – 29th 2013


NOTTS->FINESHADE WOODS, NEAR STAMFORD, LINCOLNSHIRE ->NOTTS 140 miles


A weekend of truly wonderful weather, incredibly hot when one considers it was the end of September. We only stayed the one night at the Stamford Caravan Club site as Keef is now back at work. Lovely site and we were lucky to get an end pitch against the sloe bushes with uninterrupted views across the woods. Fineshade woods is a Forestry area set aside for walkers, cyclists etc with a café and a few cycle / walking paraphernalia shops. It is lovely and tranquil and because the weather was so good we sat out reading until quite late with a spot of collecting sloes at the same time for the trad family sloe gin… 6 bottles this time, hic!


One drawback of the site is there is no amenities block but that is adequately compensated for by the stunning price of £13.60 for the night , plus the café 5 minutes walk away has a loo but beware it shuts at 5pm.


Did mesquite chicken, new potatoes & veg for tea all washed down with our scrummy and very alcoholic plum wine. Oh and I confess the odd beer throughout the afternoon, heaven!


Then on Sunday after a leisurely breakfast we packed up and travelled off to Burghley house via the lovely village of Duddington, who has heard of this hidden gem? Weather at Burghley was again

fan-tab-e-dosie. House , gardens, gardens of surprise with water features for the kids (and us), sculpture garden and the lake with sculpture & boathouse were all wonderful.


Drove back through Rutland and stopped at Frankie & Benny’s for tea in Notts.


All in all a fab relaxing weekend!


See our pictures on the slideshow tab for more details as well as the embedded slideshow here if you prefer


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.


86 photos in the SLIDESHOW



Sloes for Sloe Gin @ Stamford Caravan Club site
Sloes for Sloe Gin @ Stamford Caravan Club site

By keef & annie, Aug 12 2013 07:13PM

This is a retrospective post as I came across a few pictures of our first ever trip away in our then new motorhome. Ahhh the days. It was a very wet few days at the Caravan Club site at clumber park, not too far to drive but a great way to try out all the things that one is seeing for the 1st time since the demo when you bought the van and a great learning experience it is.


We had issues with some leaks and a few other grumbles / things we couldn't remember how to do them but as it was all under warrenty and our sellers were not far away we got most of them sorted.


We would wholeheartedly encourage any one buying a new van to do the same, just a few days away initially to try it all out. As the UK is still cold at this time of year we even tried out all the fires, hot air blowers,gas & electric operations.... do the lot .... create a snagging list and get back to the seller /garage straight after and get them sorted then your 1st real trip away in your new van will be a pleasure.


Hope it helps let us have your feedback via the comments below


See SLIDESHOW


We returned again in 2019 and were on Pitch 9. CLICK HERE to see the return


Rgds Keef & Annie

clumber park site,nottinghamshire
clumber park site,nottinghamshire

By keef & annie, Aug 12 2013 06:19PM

Ever thought of a use for old veedubs? Found these 2 recently


What do you think, is this art, sacrilege or very just practical?


Have you say ....PLEASE put a comment below get the discussion going


Want to follow our Motorhomes pinboard on Pinterest?


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.


Please note this blog was initially published in April 2012, not entirely sure why it has been repulished apart from Keef (foolishly) playing with a few blog options and buttons, hee hee

one VW up top
one VW up top
2 vw(?) up top
2 vw(?) up top

By keef & annie, May 18 2013 06:25PM

Malvern Hills, Worcestershire


Motorhome trip No8 : May 14th – May 17th 2013


NOTTS->BLACKMORE CAMPSITE, HANLEY SWAN->NOTTS 180 miles


Our first trip away in the campervan of 2013.


What a fabulous area of the country and apart from Great Malvern not an area we have ever been to before. Stayed at the Caravan Club site called Blackmore at Hanley Swan , Worcestershire. This site has a twinned Camping & Caravan Club site and a Girl Guides site all with great views of the Malvern Hills. We were on pitch 140, hard standing but there are lots of pitches that are grass as well. It is a very big site as 4 or 5 times a year caters for visitors to the Malvern Show Ground which is only 2.5 miles away. The days we were there people were prepping for the Quilt show.


We stayed for 3 nights and visited Worcester, Great Malvern, Hanley Swan and the fabulous Upton-upon-Severn. The 363 bus conveniently stops outside the site going to Worcester in one direction (£3 return fare) and Upton (£2 return fare) in the opposite direction. To get to Great Malvern and the hills by bus suggest walking about a mile to the crossroads at Hanley Swan and catching the 42 bus (£2 return fare) although you can catch the 43 bus at Upton to save the walk but it was so pleasant with great views.


After 3 months away in the southern hemisphere it was great to see some really old English traditional towns. Worcester’s Friar Street and Art Gallery / Museum are well worth a visit and the Tudor house (free). The oldest pub in Great Malvern the Unicorn offers fab food and a lot of it as well as some very interesting and unusual real ales. Remember Malvern is quite steep as built on the hill side. Upton is just great with 17 pubs and some lovely little quirky shops and medieval architecture plus the great views from the river side. It also holds one of the biggest free Blues weekends in the UK. Step aside Glastonbury!


We had 1 free night voucher kindly given to us by our dear friends Pete & Joy for Xmas plus as a mid week booking pitch prices were half price, so all in all good value. The wethaer was mixed but considering the forecast said rain all 4 days that was a real bonus.


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.


53 pictures in the SLIDESHOW


mr elgar great malvern
mr elgar great malvern

By keef & annie, Jan 20 2013 11:36AM

So glad we invested in the breathable cover. See earlier article for further details


One extra tip. If its gonna be a long harsh winter, which alas it probably is with snow, is to ensure that there is charge to your engine battery. We have the van plugged into the garage with a timer, set for a few hours each week just to give a trickle charge to the engine battery, with the internal switch set to engine rather than habitation as one would when in normal mode at a camp site.


Hope the tip helps.


Have a safe and secure winter.... best wishes from motorhome-travels blog!


See the photos on our SLIDESHOW page


Additional thoughts...remove any curtains they can mould, bring them indoors and ensure all security systems are fitted. We left the power to the engine on via the garage at 6hours once a week, enough to keep the engine ticking over, oh and rolled the van back and forth monthly to stop the tyres from getting excessive weight in one place. Hope it helps.

Breathable cover
Breathable cover

By keef & annie, Nov 26 2012 11:32PM

Here are some of the nice motorhomes we came across on our travels this year. As it is well and truly 'hibernation' time for our lovely little van thought it would be nice to reflect on some of the summery highlights as the days shorten to black.


If you want to see many,many more of the motorhomes, campervans and RVs we like why not take a look at our pinboard called Camping/Motorhomes


We currently have 481 pins/ images of lovely motorhomes, modern, old and damn right quirky. Please let us know which you like, those you don't and why and feel free to share links or images of motorhomes, campervans, RVs that you like or indeed are lucky enough to own.


JOIN THE BLOG - by leaving your comments here against any blog you read, that way we can all learn more about the wonderful world of Motorhome Travels!

Autotrail Savannah
Autotrail Savannah
5th wheeler xtreme with truck
5th wheeler xtreme with truck
Autocruise Rhythm
Autocruise Rhythm
Mercedes truck conversion
Mercedes truck conversion

By keef & annie, Nov 5 2012 01:59PM

Winterisation (is that a word really?!)


Motorhome put to bed now for 2012 especially as the ice is drawing in.


There are some pictures of the van all packed up and covered for WINTER 2012 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


Luckily after our last trip away we happened to find a mega car wash on the Ashbourne road just outside Derby which had the facilities, staff and equipment to wash the motorhome. Only £15, a good deal for over 30mins of work. It looked immaculate! Plus it brought up shine again after the yacht waxing I’d spent all those hours doing during the year on the monocoche shell and the cabin waxing.


After we had driven it home, we took all the bedding, food cans etc etc out and stored them inside the house, well actually the food will obviously be well and truly eaten by next season.


I open all water taps up fully , inside and out, including the hot water pump inside to drain out ALL (hopefully) the water. LEAVE THEM OPEN ALL WINTER. I then took off all taps inside. Be careful so as not to damage the threading. I then used the pump to blow out any remaining water in the pipe work and it was surprising how much there is even though the outside taps had stopped draining.


We also made sure that the fridge was off and cleaned out, including any ice remnants in the freezer box. Put the plug in the sink to stop bad smells (if any). Connected up the electrics with an RCD / timer and wire cover into the garage and the engine switch on to allow a weekly charge just to ensure the engine battery doesn’t flatten over Winter, and probably more importantly turn off the Cat 1 alarm system.


I also put all manner of security locks on, 2 on the tyres, one on the steering column etc etc. We will shift it a few times over the Winterisation period just to ensure the rubber on the tyres doesn’t sit in the same position for too many weeks / months.


Finally we put the breathable cover completely over the van. Note this is not an easy task even for 2 with ladders, and brooms. Suggestion: Maybe get a few friends around to help.

Anyway that’s it. It is our first winter with the van so we will no doubt learn and let you know what we discover good and/ or bad.


Anyone else care to share what they have done to winterise their van or plan to do if anything. Is it a good idea or a waste of time? Have your say here in the comments under this blog. Let’s get a discussion going.


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.


96 Photos available in the SLIDESHOW

See you next spring!
See you next spring!

By keef & annie, Jul 29 2012 08:14AM

Having been away recently and rather frustratingly lost a wheel trim in transit I decided to use the plastic cable ties you can get on eBay to secure my new wheel trims.


The wheel trims are quite costly and if you lose one trim it is often very difficult to get an exact match so you often end up have to get a costly set of 4. So for £1 for a pack of 100 ties its a no brainer. I even managed to get a matching colour bewteen tie & trim so the tie is almost visually invisible. I decided to tie them up top and bottom as well just in case (heaven forbid) that in the future I clip a kerb or something.


Could save you some money in the future!


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.

secure your wheel trims
secure your wheel trims

By keef & annie, May 28 2012 08:35PM

Dorset and North Devon, Motorhome trip No2 : May 8th -21st 2012


NOTTS->CAMBRIDGE->NEW FOREST->DORSET->NORTH DEVON->NOTTS 1000 miles


Apart from our trial run for a couple of days to Clumber Park, Notts (in the rain) this was our 1st holiday in our brand new van. Our lovely Autosleeper Clubman Anniversary (nicknamed ‘Gav’, sorry can’t tell you why but it makes us laugh :))


We stocked up and set off to visit my friend Kev in Linton, Cambs and parked the van at the Caravan Club (CC) site at Cherry Hinton, Cambs. Quite a nice site but with differing levels and a rather sereve one-way system which meant you had to queue up at the gate to be registered and then ferried in one at a time, still very convenient for Linton, which we must say is a lovely traditional English village, give it a visit if you have not been there.


We then set off the next morning after a lovely meal, wine fest and sleep at Kevs for the Centenary CC site in the New Forest, Hants travelling round the outskirts of London, it never stopped raining so we were glad to arrive at the site (one of CC’s best) based on an old airstrip. Very modern and well laid out but guess what it never stopped raining. The setting for the site is brill and just out of the gate to see New Forest ponies. We will certainly go back again and maybe spend a little longer there next time.


We travelled from the New Forest to Knoll beach Studland one of our fave beaches in all the world to meet up with Annie’s 3rd cousin to ‘do some’ genealogy. Alas no beach today as a washout but nice coffee and lunch in the café. We then went off to Hayman’s Cross , Dorset and stayed at Haycraft CC site for 2 nights. Just opposite Dunshay Manor, originally owned by one of Anne’s relie, way back. Rather fortuitously our Thurs / Fri stay there coincided with the Railway & Beer Festival, 5 mins walk from our site, now what more could one ask for, well ‘no rain’ really is the only answer! Went into Swanage on the steam train and visited the family tree research centre on the pier to finally meet up with the wonderfully helpful David Haysom who runs it.


After leaving Haycraft we spent the day as getting sunny on Studland beach and did our first walk in the sand dunes. Even read our books on the beach. After this we checked into Crossovers CC site near Bovington. Best site in the UK we have been to so far, like being in a Canadian outback forest site, but with eco long drop toilets. Not as bad as they sound (honest!) The Sunday we spent walking and sun bathing and reading, bliss!


Monday morning did some shopping in Tesco’s on the outskirts of Dorchester then visited Athelhampton house in the rain. Not NT but privately owned. Interesting history and gardens, never stopped raining alas BUT local uni students shooting a movie there, medieval costumes, swords etc what a hoot .


We then travelled on to almost Sidmouth / Honiton and a rather nice CC site at Putts Corner where we met a German couple on the next pitch who had bought their hired van over for Hannover for 3 weeks in the uK, claiming it was cheaper to hire and pay the ferry costs that hire in the UK, now that worries me . What are our UK companies doing? Our new pals had difficulty in getting the electrics to work, nothing too difficult, it was just the usual CC site electric ¼ twist to get it to lock in. How many others have suffered form that 1st time – I know I did


We then moved onto visit NT house at Killerton, been there before but love it, especially Tom the bears house. After Killerton it was onto Minnows campsite at Sampford Peverell, Devon. Lovely walk out the back of the site along the Grand Western canal, and such a lovely evening stroll ending up with a pint of Otter ale in the local pub.


We then had a lovely drive across Exmoor via Bridgetown. We both fell in love with Exmoor and are ashamed to say it is the 1st time we have visited but we will definitely be back again. After Exmoor we visted the delightful medieval village of Dunster and the NT castle before moving back into Somerset from North Devon and stayed at the Minehead CC site. A nice 3 levelled site with easy walking into town, we even went to see the outside of Butlitz (hehe), actually I was expecting minehead to be quite tacky and tasteless in a Scarborough sort of way but it was surprisingly nice, in fairness I’m sure Scarborough is now, it’s just memories I have from my childhood (Discuss!).


From Minehead we went off to Selworthy up a very interesting narrow road, not ideal for Motorhomes but do-able and visited the NT Holnicote estate (pronounced Hunnicutt), now this is what quaint English thatched villages are all about.


After Selworthy it was the prospect of Porlock hill (1 in 3), I chickened out and we went along the Porlock Manor Estate toll road (£4 for a van) and so glad we did and the views are tremendous. You can stop at the top and look out across Porlock Weir and the coast, yummy and those Exmoor ponies ahhh!

Then onto the lovely UK’s little Switzerland at Lynemouth & Lynton. Loved the place. The old funicular railway still runs but seems to be no longer water powered, which was its claim to fame. Nice place, nice Devon pasties. Oh and the Glen Lyn gorge is well worth a view.


We stayed the night at Willingcott CC site (no one there) having been through Coombe Martin and Ilfracoombe, not really our cup of tea I’m afraid, but Woolacoombe we loved. Voted 3rd best beach in the UK and I can see why.


Went to visit NT Arlington Court and the National coach and cab museum, all very interesting especially the convoluted link to Sir Francis Chichester.


Then stayed our last 3 nights at Damage Barton associated CC shared between the Caravan Club and Camping and Caravan Club, nice site, great sea views would thoroughly recommend it.


We had trips out and visited the charming Appledore and had fresh fish and chips whilst overlooking the sea. We gave Clovelly a miss as probably similar and just too packed /steep for the van. We did visit Bridport / Barnstable/ Broughton & Westward Ho as well.


Since the Olympic torch was being run thru our area causing 6 hour delays we got up at 5am on the last day and were well clear of the hold ups by the time the procession started. We made pretty good time back to home here in Notts.


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


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