Monday, 28 June 2010

Beachy Head
View from top of lighthouse Dungeness
View of Ferry Port from the White Cliffs of Dover
Simon at Whitstable

Monday 28th June

Friday :
Simon spent the day in Brighton, I decided to chill out at the campsite, I wound the Awning out, put out the table and chairs and read my book in the sun.
Took Murphy for a walk, had coffee with a couple in a neibouring motorhome and then watched the football.
Saturday :
Justine ( Daniels Partner)and Neve came to see me on Saturday morning, we had tea in the sun then I was driven into Brighton.
We had a good look around The Lanes shopping area and was impressed by Snoopers Paradise a lot of small shops within a large shop full of so many collectables I could have browsed all day.
We met Simon had lunch and sat in the park.
While Simon and Justine had a drink Neve and I went for a look around the Pavilion , blown away by the magnificent Dining and Music rooms probably the best rooms I have ever seen, highly recommended if you are in Brighton.
When we came out Jeff (Daniels friend) and Zoe had joined Simon and Justine for a drink, I then had a cab back to the campsite took Murphy for a walk and Justine came and collected us both drove us back to her place and cooked us an evening meal which we ate in the garden.
Simon and I had a cab back late evening luckily the cab driver was ok with Murphy on my lap.
Got back and went to bed.
Sunday :
Simon rode off to Brighton where he met up with some mates who cycled part of the way with him.
Justine and Neve came to see me again, we sat in the sun,they helped me pack up, took me to Asda for a shop and then we went to a cafe for light lunch.
I then set off on my days trip through Brighton, Hove, Worthing stopping to take in the views then finished at Bognor Regis where we stopped for the night.
We were joined by Elsie ( Simon's Girlfriend ) and Noel ( Simon's Friend ) who have joined us for the rest of the trip.
Off to the Isle of Wight now so I will let you know how we get on.
All for now

Thursday, 24 June 2010

Thursday 24th June

Sunday afternoon :
While we walked around Tankerton Simon's friends Warren and Claire + baby Layla ? were in the area and joined us at the Fete, had a good afternoon, watched a couple of vintage planes do a couple of bypasses then walked back to the site for a quiet evening.
Monday :
I drove to Herne Bay onto Margate, Broadstairs And Ramsgate down through Sandwich (amused to also see a sign for the village of Ham ) and down for a stop at Deal.
Next stop was the National Trust site of the " White Cliffs of Dover ", Walked along the clifftop in the sun with Murphy and watched the Ships docking loading with Lorries and setting off for wherever then the next ships would arrive, just to think this is going on 24/7.
Had a pot of tea at the cafe but to my dismay I was informed that 2 coach loads of Italians had devoured all the food except Cakes and Crisps and I am off both of those.
Made my way to Folkestone then to our Campsite at Hythe, set everything up and took Murphy for a walk around a large dog walk on the site.
Tuesday :
Simon"s friend Rob arrived from London  to ride for 1 day. Rob rode the spare bike and I met them in the afternoon at  Dungeness. What an amazing place, Large Power Station, 2 Lighthouses and the whole area was covered by Shacks, some made from old railway carriages, some made from bits of wood and galvanise but not unsightly just interesting.
I climbed to the top of the Lighthouse and what a view 360 degrees?
When Simon and Rob arrived I looked after the bikes while they climbed to the top of the Lighthouse.
We had a cup of tea in the cafe and watched the smallest Public train pull into the station, fill up with passengers and off again to Hythe, about an Hour trip each way, the carriages were very small like at Paignton Zoo.
Went to Rye then onto Fairlight Wood campsite set in woods, very small and quiet and great sunshine.
When Simon and Rob arrived Rob said he was blown away by the ride and would have liked to ride till the end of the trip but he had to get back for work.
I drove Rob to Hastings to catch the train home then Simon and I returned to the campsite for a peaceful evening. ( nearly finished my book " The girl who kicked the Hornets nest")
Wednesday :
Through Hastings to Bexhill onto Eastbourne then stopping at Beachy Head for a couple of hours relaxing on the clifftop, had a long conversation with a chaplain who was 1 of 16 who regularly patrol the clifftop trying to stop people from committing suicide in fact they had 2 call outs this morning both ended OK.
Travelled on to Seaforth and Newhaven where I met Simon and Mark (Lofty) who was riding with Simon for the day, they were making their way to Brighton to watch the football.
I drove to Sheepcote Valley campsite and booked in for 4 days.
Set up the tv and watched the Football (that was a bit better ).

Went for a walk to Brighton Marina, heard a Fire engine and unfortunately for a young lad his VW camper caught fire and was totally destroyed, black smoke everywhere.

Thursday :
Simon and I walked to Asda at the Marina did a shop and walked back, had lunch and Simon rode into Brighton to meet a friend.
All for now

Monday, 21 June 2010

Monday 21st June am

Good morning
Thursday :
Drove to Winterton on Sea then stopped at Great Yarmouth for a walk around then through Lowestoft and Southwold stopping the night near Leiston.
Friday :
Went to Woodbridge past Ipswich and stopped at Tiptree where I visited the Wilkin and Sons Tiptree Jam Factory.
Spent some time looking around the Jam Museum, resisted the temptation to have a Cream Tea with Tiptree Preserves but spent a few pounds on Jams etc. in the shop.
Very enjoyable couple of hours.
Then parked in a field at Saltcote near Maldon, we had the whole field to ourselves.
Took Murphy for a walk to Decoy Point on the estuary, saw a Causeway leading to an island which turned out to be Osea Island, a bird sanctuary but also a Rehab centre for the rich and famous.
The island is completely cut off at high tide.
Had a good relaxing stay even though in the next field a group of Morris Dancers camped for the night, we expected some noise but they were fine.
Watched England mess things up again then went to bed
Saturday :
Went to Chelsford to visit Sandy one of Ann's oldest friend, had a chat and a cup of coffee then we went to her Son and Daughter in laws house( Alexander and Jane ) for lunch, met their daughter Amilia ?? then realized I had to get to Whitstable by 6.00 as that is when they shut the gates to the campsite.
Got there at 5.50 but I had been misinformed as when I got to the site there were no gates just the reception was closed.
When Simon arrived I took Murphy for his walk along the seafront towards Herne Bay, lovely evening.
Sunday :
Simon had a day off so we walked to Tankerton where on the green beside the sea was a fete in aid of various charities, lovely sunny day, lots to see and do.
I have got five minutes to leave the campsite so all for now

Thursday, 17 June 2010

Thursday 17th June am

Hi everyone
Tuesday :
Drove from Sandringham through Hunstanton along the coast to the Muckleburgh Collection at the Weybourne Military Camp.
A museum of Military Vehicles, Uniforms and Weapons including a Harrier Jump Jet, a Doodlebug and Surface to Air Missiles.
Spent about 2 hours there, waited for Simon and then had late lunch while working out where we would stop for the night deciding on a site near Cromer.
Parked near the clifftop with great walks along the coast.
Wednesday :
Day off for Simon so we caught the bus and spent most of the day in Cromer looking around the book shops and Collectors shops, had lunch and finished the day by climbing up a stone spiral staircase with over 160 stairs to the roof of the tower with an amazing view over the town.
Back at the campsite we chilled out in the sun reading until bedtime.
All for now

Tuesday, 15 June 2010

Some more Pictures

Lighthouse and Horns at Marsden Bay
A touch of Holland
Dad's Army Pillbox
Sign at Spurn Head
Humber Bridge
Campsite at Sandringham

Tuesday 15th June

Good Morning
Saturday :
Harriet and I walked Murphy along the clifftop for an hour then we had breakfast and started our journey down the coast past Hornsea and stopping at Withernsea where we looked around the market had breakfast and walked through the town.
We then drove down to the nature reserve at Spurn Head where we could look across to Grimsby and Cleethorpes, we carried on through flat fairly uninteresting countryside through Kingston upon Hull over the Humber Bridge to a quiet, clean campsite almost under the bridge at Barton upon Humber.
After pitching the tent on a flat grass pitch we set up the TV ready for Englands exciting football match against the USA.
We had plenty of Drinks and Food and settled down to a watch what turned out to be a rubbish match.
I know Green made a blunder but the rest of the team had the whole of the second half to win  the game. it turned out to be  get the ball, kick it up the field and give it to the opposition over and over again, perhaps they are not paid enough.
Otherwise we had a good evening, at about 10.00 Harriet and I walked up to a viewpoint beside  the Humber Bridge it was getting darker, the bridge was lit up with the lights shimmering on the water.
Sunday :
In the morning we went for a walk then Harriet and Dean set off for the drive home to Devon.
It was a great weekend and I was so pleased to see them.
I drove down through Immingham past a huge Industrial complex and Docks, this is where the Pilgrim Fathers set sail in 1608 for Holland on the first stage of their journey to America.
Drove through Grimsby stopped at Cleethorpes then a short stop at Mablethorpe to Sutton on Sea where I bought some food from a friendly couple running a Delicatessen finally reaching the campsite beside the beach just before Skegness, Murphy had a great run on a very long beach.
Monday :
A long flat drive past many fields of Vegetable to Boston then on to Kings Lynn and finally to a brilliant campsite on the Sandringham estate ( the Queens Norfolk Retreat), all the Tent, Caravans and Campers where spread out over a large site on grass and woodland, this really felt like camping in the wild.
Simon had a hard ride and arrived at about 6.30 quite tired but after a shower and meal he was fine again.
Tuesday :
Simon has set out this morning towards Cromer.
All for now

Saturday, 12 June 2010

Saturday 12th June

A day with a little sadness.
Today is the 1st anniversary of my wife Ann's passing after her long fight with Ovarian Cancer, I have deliberately not mentioned the illness while I have been travelling as I wanted to concentrate on the positive side of the trip and it has been positive with Simon and I having a marvelous time.
I was thinking that maybe today everyone could spare a few minutes to say a prayer not only for those that have already passed away but for all those people who are suffering with Cancer at this moment in whatever form and wish them a speedy recovery.
Also a prayer for all the carers, family and friends who spend a lot of  time caring for those who have been struck down with this terrible illness.
I personally have decided to look ahead and enjoy whatever time I have left although the wonderful time I had with Ann will always be with me.
Thursday :
A dry day so I walked Murphy around Marsden Quarry Wildlife Park then along the sea front to the Souter Lighthouse.
I then drove to Sunderland, Hartlepool and through Middlesbrough to our campsite 1 mile before Whitby.
In the evening I took Murphy down to the beach and walked to Whitby, lovely evening and it gave Simon time to do his Meditation.
Friday :
In the morning I drove to Robin Hood Bay, stopped for a while then Scarborough, stopped for lunch  drove to Bridlington where I met Harriet (my daughter ) and her husband Dean who drove all the way from Tavistock to be with me on this weekend.
Had a great time looking around and eventually ending up at Atwich near Hornsea in a campsite on a cliff top overlooking the sea.
They pitched the tent then we all walked to the local pub for an evening meal, when we arrived back it was so calm and warm with a brilliant sunset we sat outside until bedtime.
all for now

Wednesday, 9 June 2010


Edinburgh Park
Bamburgh Castle
Lift at Marsden Bay with the pub below
Birds on a rock at Marsden Bay
Entrance to the lift at Marsden Bay

Wednesday 9th June

Have had a problem getting a connection, will see how we get on today.
Saturday :
Simon & I caught the bus into Edinburgh, started by looking for an internet cafe or anywhere with WiFi, eventually we ended up at Starbucks where I left Simon to take things a little easier.
I walked through the park on a very sunny day towards the Castle.
After a long climb I reached the Castle, masses of tourists around, I spent 3 enjoyable hours exploring the Castle and Museums, I then walked down the Royal Mile, with so many people from many countries around it felt very exciting but unfortunately I didn't have time to visit all the places I would have liked to so I have decided I will return at some point and spend a few days at Ediburgh especially as the Campsite was so good.
I returned to the Campsite late afternoon, took Murphy for a walk through the Gardens and woods, sat in the sun reading and resting my feet which over the last 12 weeks have taken quite a pounding.
In the evening after Dinner Simon & I walked to the Pub, had a couple of real ales and had a good chat about the trip.
Sunday :
Left Edinburgh and drove along the coast to North Berwick, Dunbar and stopping for the evening at Coldingham near the lighthouse at St. Abb's Head. As the weather was wet and misty there was not a lot to see.
Monday :
Better day today, after driving to Eyemouth and Berwick upon Tweed I carried on along the coast until I had to make a decision whether to go to Holy Island and Lindisfarne Castle or Bamburgh Castle.
I decided on Bamburgh Castle and I wasn't disappointed as not only was the Castle Stunning but the China , Furniture, Weaponry, Silver and Paintings where a treat to see.
Simon was at the car park when I left the Castle so he stopped for a bite to eat and a cup of tea before cycling off to our next campsite at Craster near Alnwick.
Tuesday :
 Down through Amble and Newbiggin by the Sea and Blyth to Whitley Bay where I stopped for a walk on the beach then on through the Tyne Tunnel until I reached Marsden Bay just past South Shields  where we stopped for the night.
Great little Bay with a sandy beach, this is the first time I have seen a lift from the top of the cliff to the Cafe/Pub built into the rocks below. There was also a large rock just offshore which is a nesting place for hundreds of birds.
Wednesday :
Simon has gone to Newcastle, I decided I had done enough walking around Shops, Museums etc. and would stay at the Campsite today to do the washing and cleaning + it is pouring with rain.
Good chill out day with no driving.
We are stopping at this same campsite tonight and moving South tomorrow.
All for now

Saturday, 5 June 2010

Friday evening 4th June

Wednesday :

I visited Peterhead, Aberdeen and Stonehaven arriving at our campsite at Inverbervie about 4.30.

Very clean quiet site on the edge of the bay, I took Murphy for a walk along the bay and then relaxed in the sun reading my book until Simon arrived at about 6.30 after a 97 mile ride.

Thursday :

Drove to Montrose, Arbroath and skirted Dundee, across the Tay Bridge and made my way to St. Andrews.

Nice Town with some great old ruins  but one campsite was full and the other didn't want dogs (even little ones) so I went inland to Straithkiness where i found a CL 5 camper site unfortunately no showers or toilets but we managed.

Friday :

I was making my way to Crail so as to keep to the coast when I saw a sign for "Scotlands Secret Bunker" , this sounded interesting so I made a detour to the site and other than a few military vehicles there was only a large Bungalow.

This site was the main Nuclear War Bunker for Scotland used in the 50s & 60s when the threat of a Nuclear war was a real possibility, there was room for maybe 2 or 3 hundred people to live for many weeks if the threat from Russia became a reality.

I went inside, paid my entrance fee, picked up an audio device, went through a door and down a staircase to a long tunnel about 7 ft square which sloped downwards for about 100 yards, the walls were 10 ft thick with steel reinforcing.

At the end where 2 steel doors weighing 3 tons between them, on through to the main coridor with many rooms each side, I visited about 20 rooms they were exactly as they where when the site was fully manned but instead of real people each room had Mannekins ?? dressed in uniforms.

Down another staircase to all the operations rooms, full of Computers and other electronic bits and pieces (looking very dated ) and the room where the top brass would give the order to return fire etc.

In the theatre a b&w film from the 50s was playing giving people instructions on what to do, how to build a shelter etc.

The BBC had a broadcast room being the only place they would broadcast from.

The audio device I carried with me gave a detailed account of each room and the history of the place.

On leaving the site and only seeing a bungalow it was hard to believe that underneath was a mass of rooms including Dining room, Dormitories and a massive power plant.

It got me thinking how many other places are there underground, there could even be a whole town.

Well worth a visit.

I drove along the coast to Crail, Leven, Kirkcaldy and across the Forth road bridge to Mortonhall on the edge of Edinburgh. Lovely site, short grass, lots of trees and good facilities, we are staying here Sat. evening as well.

Simon & I are going into Edinburgh now so I will let you know how we get on in the next blog.

All for now


Wednesday, 2 June 2010

Wednesday 2nd June am

                                                 Another sunset this time over Spey Bay

Saturday : Had a new Windscreen fitted by Autoglass, while we were driving around Skye a stone cracked the Windscreen and what started as a small crack started to work it's way across the screen.
Inverness was the only place I new we would be stopping for 3 days so I stuck the screen inside and out with Gaffa Tape until we reached Inverness.
Sunday :
Picked up Simon & Elsie in the Camper and headed down the side of Loch Ness to Fort Augustus where several locks are opened and closed regularly to allow boats to navigate the Caledonian Canal and on into Loch Ness. Spent a couple of hours exploring and then had a pleasant drive up the other side of the Loch.
We didn't see the Monster although someone said there was more chance of seeing the Monster than Britain winning the Eurovision Song Contest.
Simon & Elsie came back to the Campsite to collect Simon's Cycling gear then we took Murphy for a walk along the river bank, They then walked back to their B&B and I went back to the Campsite where I watched "Lewis" and then read my book. Just finished "the girl with the Dragon Tattoo " and I am now reading the second in the Trilogy " The girl who played with Fire" by Stieg Larsson.
Monday :
After the usual chores in the morning I made my way to Fort George at Ardersier, the Fort is on a 42 acre site with more than 1 mile of Ramparts to walk on.
Fort George is still an active military base with soldiers marching and blowing their Bugles.
A superb Military Museum charting the Scottish Regiments through the ages, so many Uniforms Medals, Weapons etc. that it was almost too much to take in.
I then drove to Findhorn Bay where Hamish & Maggie Grigor had offered us a nights stay on their driveway, unfortunately it was only halfway to where we wanted to be so I called in for a very welcome Lunch and a chat then drove to our evening stop at Spey Bay.
Thank you to Hamish & Maggie for making me most welcome, the Lunch, the Donation and the offer of the nights stay.
Got to Spey Bay about 5.30, Simon arrived from a different direction almost at the same time.
We parked on the driveway of Peter & Pat Adamson ( the couple I met at the campsite in Inverness).
Simon had a shower then we all sat down for Dinner, Haddock, Jersey Royals, Fresh Asparagus and various other Vegetables.
At about 7.45 we all got in their New Jaguar and drove to the bay to watch the Osprey diving into the water catching their evening meal, on returning to the Bungalow we had Coffee then Peter brought out the Single Malt and Wine and we spent the evening chatting.
Thank you to Peter & Pat for their hospitality.
Tuesday :
Early start for Simon as he had a 56 mile ride to Fraserburgh for a photo shoot and interview at the Lighthouse Museum and he needed to get their by 2.00 + he had lighthouses to visit on the way.
I visited Portknockie, Portsoy and Rosehearty on my way to Fraserburgh where I spent a couple of hours in the Museum going to the top of the Lighthouse and understanding how Lighthouses were built and worked.
We finished up in a Camping site on the Esplanade at Fraserburgh with views of the Harbour , long curved sandy beach and the Town.
I am off now to see how far Simon can cycle, he is hoping to get below Aberdeen.
All for now