These pages will track our adventures in our VW Campervan, Treebeard or Treebie as he is affectionately known as!
April 5th 2016
A major change to our holidays with the arrival of our VW Transporter T6 conversion by Bilbos
Outing No 2:
Tuesday March 28th Devizes,Wiltshire
A trip planned with our good friends Keith & Caroline, but sadly, due to family issues, we were on our own this time.
We left home on Tuesday morning at about 9:30 but met with heavy traffic on M25 and arrived at Devizes at about 2pm. It is many years since we have been at the Devizes site. It has grown and improved since then. Once set up,we took a walk along the Avon & Kennett canal towards the Caen Hill flight, enjoying the light evening now that we have moved to British Summer Time.
Wednesday March 29th.
We woke up to cloudy skies and set off to walk to Devizes. The walk took us along the Caen Hill flight of locks comprising some 28 locks. Lunch was a shared fish finger sandwich! Back to base we checked the weather and decided to extend our stay with an extra night.
Thursday March 30th
It turned out be a good call to have the extra day as the weather was fine. We drove to Bradford on Avon, a pretty little town with history of cloth making and, randomly, rubber goods, hence the expression AvonTyres! We parked up at the Canal Wharf and walked bac to the town centre where we got a map and decided to walk to Avoncliffe where there is an aquaduct carrying the canal over the River Avon, and the rail link to Bath. We walked back along the banks of the Avon.
From the Canal Wharf, we drove on to Limpney Stoke, where there is another aquaduct over the river, and linking the Avon & Kennett canal to the Somerset Coal Canal. Back at base, we had a very nice meal at the local pub, The Three Magpies.
Outing 1 Savernake Forest Marlborough
Our first outing of 2017 took us to Postern Hill Camping on the Forest site near Marlborough. The site is in the ancient Savernake Forest. We were in walking distance of Marlborough which we visited in the afternoon. A delightful traditional coaching town with very wide High Street with classy shops! WE had a coffee in a converted church with a craft shop too. A quick walk in the forest before it got dark.
After a very windy night we woke up to cloudy skies, but dry. We took a long walk in the Forest seeing many of the famous ancient Oak trees. Back exhausted but found the energy to walk to the local supermarket, then back to listen to the finale of the six nations rugby. The weather worsened with a forecast of even higher rainfall and wind the next day. We decided to make a run for it and after packing up, we had another walk in the Forest before the weather worsened.
Outing Number 6
An early start for our exciting holiday to Brittany. We left at 6:30am for Newhaven and got there in plenty of time for the 9:00 am sailing. A beautiful day and the channel was like a millpond.
We arrived in Dieppe at 2pm local and we were on the road by 2:20 unlike Calais!!
We used the Peage motorways to Caen where the Sat Nav told us to join the " Perry-Ferrick"!! On then to our destination arriving at 7:45pm a total of 311 miles from home.
La Botreff is a beautiful little site with just five pitches. perfect for us.
Total Tolls for the journey were 16 euros.
Here is to the next ten days!
First full day on site and we decided to leave Treebie to rest and explore by foot. We walked to St Mayeux where there is a shop where we got some wine and fruit.
Enough to keep us going. Back on site we got some tips for places to visit. Another walk in the afternoon on the lanes around the site. A very relaxing day had a nice Cadac BBQ with award winning sausages from Alan Martin !!
We had an early evening walk where Kendal spotted a lone deer in the field, needless to say she was off like a shot in hot pursuit! As always, the deer got away and Kendal retraced her steps to come back exhausted.
2:1 to Di at the Great Treebie Crib contest!!
Another great day and the weather stays good. We drove to Le Lac Guerledan where we found a great beach for Kendal to enjoy, and a lovely walk around part of this huge lake.
Enjoyed an ice cream on the way back to Treebie before driving to the supermarket in Mur.
Back to site to be joined by a couple of Brits in a Motor home who amused us by sitting down to their meal in matching aprons......Motorhomers eh??!!
Relaxing evening after another good BBQ. Went on a deer hunt but no luck. Kendal nearly made up for it by just missing a chicken that tried to get under the hedge, whatta mistaka to maka!!
A day spent travelling around southern Brittany. We called in at Pontivy first a really pretty town on a river and canal.
Home of the ancient Rohan family (not the outdoor company!)
From there we drove to Concarneau which is a beautiful walled harbour town where we had lunch, sharing a massive "sandwiche"
From there we went to Pont Aven, very pretty but very busy. Next call was Lorient where the memories were much better than reality. Big and busy and not very nice. Back home for a relaxing evening. We will stay closer to home tomorrow.
A day spent closer to home, we drove to Le Lac Bon Repos where we found a local market.
We then took a footpath into to Bois D'Abbaye which was nice but a bit "samey" so we retraced our steps and walked alongside the Brest - Nantes canal, then a cheeky plate of frites at the cafe serenaded by an English guy with a guitar singing for his beer!
Called into to a preseved Forge to see buildings and artifacts on the way back.
Di did most of the driving today, lovely!!
We were invited for drinks with the campsite owners (Helen and Carl) in the evening, very nice to! We got some good ideas for days out.
The day started a bit overcast but improved as time went by. We drove to Josselin a lovely medieval town with an impressive Chateau on the banks of the Nantes canal.
Had a coffee in a bar before getting some shopping at the local Leclerc.
Tried a different route back passing through several villages and a town called Rohan where we spotted a lovely Camping Municipal at the side of the canal. We stopped at Forges for lunch by a church, but in time honoured fashion, we passed some much nicer spots within a few Kms.
Back to base by 5pm in lovely sunshine. Kendal had another deer pursuit after tea on our evening constitutional! A quite extraordinary cloud bank to the west that thankfully didn't get any nearer. We enjoyed beautiful clear skies all evening.
Today we drove to the coast north of us. First stop was Quay De Pontrieux quite a large harbour town with a nice beach, but not for dogs! After a walk along the front we moved up the coast to St Paulus and Brehus beach which was much less commercialised and Kendal could enjoy the sand. We had lunch in the sunshine before moving on to Pointe Minard which was a stunning headland with views north and south.
We then drove on to the Abbey at Beauport which is a ruin but very interesting with sea views.
A gentle drive back to meet out new neighbours, motor homers from Cumbria with a lively chocolate Labrador. Nice BBQ of homemade kebabs to end a lovely day.
We stayed fairly local today and had a lengthy walk at the Lac Bosemeleac. Beautiful setting with a barrage at one end, with an impressive waterfall as the water leaves this artificial lake.
Had lunch in the shade of the trees on what was a very hot day.
Got back to be joined by another motorhome and their pals in tent, we have been spoilt the last few days with just one other unit, or even on our own for two nights.
Di, thinking about our next adventure !
We had a longish drive to the west coast today, but worth every kilometre! First stop was Pointe De Perir a beautiful headland with great views.
Memorials to the Merchant Navies who were lost in the Atlantic convoys in WW 2
From there we came back via beautiful sandy beaches at Morgat and Crozon.
We then visited the village of Locoran beautifully preserved buildings and church.
A wooden image of Jesus inside the church.
A great drive back picking up fuel and provisions on the way.
Delightful weather all day.
A very lazy start to the day. We decided to take a short drive to Le Lac Geurledan. But we didn't account for the extraordinary number of "Route Barre" in an around Mur.
We ended up at Anse de Sourdan which where we had a lovely walk beside the lake, and Kendal had a great time in the water.
We returned to the van and found a restaurant "Pied dan l'eau" where we enjoyed Moules et Champignion for lunch.
A restful afternoon in the sun, finished by cheese and biscuits for tea!
Up early today as Kendal had an appointment with the vet. All clear and 22 Euros later we drove to Quintin to stock up on stuff to take home. We also treated ourselves to a Mille Feuilles! After that we drove to Boesmeleac to walk around the lake which we and Kendal enjoyed immensely, plenty of swims by Kendal. From there we drove to Rohan for a walk around the pretty village and canal and checked out the Campings there.
Back to base through heavy rain, the first we have seen all holiday, so no complaints!
Our last day in Brittany after a great break. We drove to Bon Repos to visit the small local market and a peaceful walk along the canal.
Back to site to start packing and then spending the evening at Helen and Carl's for dinner with four others. A lovely way to spend our last evening.
A good journey home, we left at 9:30 saying our goodbyes and driving some 450 kms to Dieppe. We arrived in good time and had a good crossing on smooth seas.
Back home at Ashurst Wood by 10:30.
Outing Number 5
Sunday 24th July
We left home at about 10am to travel 124 miles to Chalcott Park Farm, a CS near Warminster. Good journey and easy to find the site which was a level lawn with good facilities. Once set up we walked Kendal on the adjacent Chalcott House estate, once very splendid, with some lovely mature native and imported trees.
Weather was good enough to sit outside until early evening, watching the farmer gather the hay bales!
We christened the newly made crib board with a resounding 3-1 victory for Rob!
Monday 25th July
Work up to sunshine streaming through the pop up roof. We decided to explore Cley Hill, the highest point nearby with a reputation for being the UFO hot spot in the UK (didn’t see any!!) A very steep climb, but worth it for the all round views from the top.
We then visited Frome, a quite old fashioned town with a hint of Forest Row about it, plenty of alternative shops. Kendal was delighted that we replaced her old “Dog-a-Saur” Frisby with a new one.
We then went on to Bratton where the famous White Horse is cut into the hillside, again great views and a wide area for picnics and ice creams. A popular spot for hang gliders to take off from, but the one there today didn’t have much luck.
The White Horse was not so impressive close up, as it is now painted concrete for ease of maintenance.
2-1 to Rob at Crib!
Tuesday 26th July
Again woke up to bright sunshine and set off to Old Sarum and then walked into Salisbury alongside open park land and a C&CC site (too busy!) We again enjoyed Salisbury with some reminiscing of Pande trips (remember those BG <Before Grandchildren>?) The town was quite busy but very pleasant, with a lot of SMP (Slow Moving Pensioners) and quite a few Job Dodgers enjoying their cans of cider and deciding on their next tattoo!
After walking back to Treebie we drove to Stourhead House & Gardens. Much to Kendal’s relief we let her rest while we walked around the beautiful gardens, made a mental note to come back in the Autumn. Some quirky Follies and lovely trees, with the Yew and the American Tulip Tree being my favourites.
Back to base for another good BBQ, one last game of Dog-A-Saur before Kendal crashed!
Wednesday 27th July
A misty start to the day so we decided to visit the Caen Locks near Devizes, a long time since out last visit. Parked near the top of the staircase and had coffee and tea cakes waiting for the mizzle to pass, and it did to leave a lovely sunny day.
We walked to the bottom of the locks, then back up again to Devizes where we had a real treat… Fish Finger Sandwiches (God we know how to live!!) in the sunshine at the Wharf watching the barges go by.
Prawns on the Barbie and a campfire to enjoy the last evening, a great break!
Thursday 28th July
A leisurely drive home via Marlborough (a lovely town) and stopping at Avebury Rings.
20th June Monday
A journey of 260 miles to a CL at Cold Inn called Woodstock. We left home at 9am after a sticky start on M25 a good journey on M4. We stopped at the 2nd services after the bridge which was very tight parking and very busy. We saw a driver towing a caravan try to get around the car park and manage to collide with a parked car. We arrived at the delightful site, beautifully kept with excellent facilities.
Walked Kendal around a local Jubilee Park then enjoyed the evening sunshine. All five pitches were in use, unsurprisingly.
21st June Tuesday
Woke up to lots of cards for the Birthday Boy! Treated to a cooked breakfast before a sunny walk along paths and bridleways to Saundersfoot. A lovely harbour town with beautiful sandy beaches, much enjoyed by Kendal!
Ice Cream for lunch before walking eastwards along the beach walking through tunnels connecting to Wisemans Beaches and Amroth. A peaceful walk back to base to sit in the sunshine and a drop of whiskey to celebrate!
22nd June Wednesday
Today we drove to NT area at Stackpole through very narrow lanes arriving at Stackpole Quay and then a lovely walk via Barrafundle Bay with fabulous sandy beaches which would not be out of place in the Maldives!
We continued in the sun along the Coastal Path to Broadhaven South, another beautiful beach.
We walked alongside a river to Eight Arch Bridge, we could have been in the Loire!
From there we walked inland across the fields back to Stackpole Quay and another Ice Cream! Back to base via Tenby which was busy and a bit touristy after Stackpole.
23rd June Thursday
We awoke to another fabulous sunny morning and set off to Pendine Sands, sadly we couldn’t park on the beach as I had remembered as a lad. Indeed that was the first time I drove a car! A nine mile beach with not a pebble to be seen, again loved by Kendal! We enjoyed a coffee at a beach café watching people in the sea. Could have stayed all day! Di could have sold Treebie to a couple in the car park!
We drove to Amroth and then on to Colby Woodland Garden (NT) another hidden gem with walled gardens and woodland walks. Finished the day with a glass in the sunshine!
24th June Friday
Up and sorted and ready to meet Jan & Colin at Bay View close to Haverford West. We arrived at Bay View CL with wonderful views of St Bride’s Bay, but the field was badly in need of some mowing. We met up with our buddies and walked to the coast,
Druidstone Cove passing a couple of CLs. Back to base to watch the sun set.
After trekking through the long grass to the facilities which were to put it bluntly were disgusting, with dog’s muck in the yard. We decided not to stay longer than one night after contacting one of the CLs seen earlier, Shortland’s Farm.
25th June Saturday
Up early and moved to Shortlands in the camping field for two nights on well cared for fields and excellent facilities. After brekkie we set off to St Davids a beautiful wee city with a fantastic cathedral and old Bishops Palace ruins.
Nice pub lunch before enjoying the sights. Another tasty ice cream!
We were treated to a firework display from Druidstone in the evening.
26th June Sunday
A misty start to the day, as it is Sunday, a F.E.B. for all. The weekend campers were packing up as we left for a walk to Broadhaven, a drizzly day but still a great walk along the coastal path. Back at base we had a game of cards in the awning and a couple of “Winter Warmers”!
27th June Monday
A sunny morning as Jan and Colin set off, but not before helping us move to the CL part of the site, walking the awning!! After setting up we walked north on the Coastal Path towards Newgale Beach.
Great beaches and coves on the way. Kendal slowed up, and we found that she had ripped off a dew claw. The sea water seemed to help her recover.
We made it to Newgale where we had lunch before returning via Nolton Cove where we had a paddle in the sea. About a 6.5 mile walk.
28th June Tuesday
Heavy rain this morning, but we decided to drive to the Marloes (NT) near Skomer Island. A journey through narrow lanes again. The rain continued as we arrived, but we put on our coats and walked around the headland to see Skomer.
We saw nesting Choughs and Seals. Kendal decided that she had had enough a made a beeline for the van! The rain and wind got worse during the afternoon and the forecast was to get even worse overnight. We decided it would be for the best to leave before the high winds and packed up to leave site by 6pm. A good ride home and parked up by midnight.
Outing Number 3
8th June Wednesday
A short break in Deal, Kent to attend a Woodturners course at Stiles & Bates. We stayed at Solleys Farm CL on a lovely lawn and clean WC & Shower. The CL was on the junction of two quiet roads, but these turned out to be a rat run between Deal & Dover and was pretty busy from early morning.
9th June Thursday
Up early to get to Stiles & Bates for a full day of learning with 4 other students. We finished at about 4:30pm and drove to Walmer Beach. There is plenty of free parking and green spaces along the coast. A pebbly beach which is one of the nearest to France, and we saw a gunboat patrolling the coastline. We treated ourselves to a bag of chips and sat in the evening sunshine!
10th June Friday
Second and last day of the course which was very worthwhile. As we knew the course would finish at about 4pm, we decided to go straight home from the course as Jenni is due home the next day to meet up with Kelly and kids!
Outing number 2:
9th May 2016
We left home at about 9:30, Rob drove to Solstice services (not a good stop, unless you want KFC or McDonalds). Di drove the rest of the way to CC CL at Glendale Farm, just outside Dartington. True to form we arrived in pouring rain, but took just 10 minutes to get the awning up.
A lovely site on a working farm clean toilets & showers and a bus route right outside.
Owner, Brian, very friendly and helpful.
10th May 2016.
A 3 to 4 mile walk through country lanes took us to Dartington. Not the picturesque village we had in mind, but a good walk. After lunch we drove to Totnes looking for a 907 Gas cylinder, no luck so on to Kingsbridge, then via the pretty (and very narrow) way!
11th May 2016
We decided to visit Becky Falls on Dartmoor, on the way we stopped at Parke, a NT property. Good job we did as we were told that Becky Falls is now privately owned and costs £8 to get in! As it turned out Parke was a real find with beautiful walks along the riverbank and caught a glimpse of a Kingfisher. The sun came out, so a picnic lunch before driving to “Widecombe in the Moor” a quite beautiful village in the heart of Dartmoor.
Back at base, during a sunny evening, we saw one of Brian’s Devon Ruby cows give birth to a calf in the field next to the CL. 24 minutes between birth and being on his feet and feeding, amazing!
12th May 2016
We had arranged to meet up with Auntie Margaret today. We had a cuppa at her bungalow, she was not sure if she wanted to go out, but the promise of Fish & Chips at Brixham did the trick. We took the scenic route and parked near the harbour, and found a Fish and Chip restaurant which Margie really enjoyed. Sadly no crab sandwiches available for Rob! One talking about Parke, Margie told us that she had placed a memorial bench for Brian there (which we missed!)
We spotted the hotel in the Harbour where we spent our first few days of our honeymoon, very nostalgic!
Drove back to Liverton via Brian’s to show Margie. A lovely day.
After dropping Margie off, we visited Shipley Bridge and walked along the riverbank with its falls, a lovely walk punctuated with a rainstorm!
13th May 2016
Market day in Totnes, we decided to park at Dartington and take the footpath to Totnes. Totnes is very much like Forest Row, with Michael Steiner schools and associated aging hippies. I felt very much at home! The market was like a French one with local produce and Bric-a-Brack (junk!). After the market we walked to the Steamer Key to check on sailing times to Dartmouth. Back to base for a BBQ in the evening sun.
14th May 2016
Caught the boat from Totnes for and hour and a half cruise to Dartmouth along a very picturesque river passing quaint villages and Agatha Christie’s house.
Dartmouth was very busy with a music festival, lots of bands playing. On checking the bus timetable, no mention of a Saturday service, and the boat had left! On checking at Tourist Information we were told the bus would probably be running to the weekday timetable. Luckily this turned out to be right. A pretty bus ride home made amusing by a guy speaking loudly on his phone to “Debs” who he loved, but from the one sided conversation, it was clearly unrequited! We will never know! Back home for another BBQ with Di sporting her new Weird Fish sweat shirt!
15th May 2016
A beautiful sunny morning so off to Haytor, a gorgeous place on the moor enjoyed by many families having fun. Parked a distance away from the rock, so a good walk before climbing to the top to enjoy some lovely views.
Had a picnic in the sun then we re-visited Parke to find Brian’s bench in a perfect spot. Took some pictures for Margie. We stopped off at Bovey Tracey for the Guild of Craftsmen centre, some interesting pieces, and very good cream teas!
16th May 2016
Today we hailed the “Gold Bus” as it passed the farm and off we went to Plymouth. Well, Plymouth was horrible, like Crawley on sea. I understand it was hit hard during the war, and what was rebuilt as a modern city now looks very dated and tired. So we got the bus back to Totnes and enjoyed a walk around the old town and a late lunch in a hippy café! We then caught the bus back to base, driven by the grumpiest driver ever met, who was not at all happy about dropping us off at the farm, but he was persuaded (a bit cheeky really as we certainly had made the most of our return tickets to Plymouth!) A very pleasant, sunny evening.
17th May 2016
A trip down memory lane for Robbie as we drove to Berry Head near Brixham, where holidays were enjoyed as a teenager. A walk from the head was curtailed by a rainstorm just before St Mary’s Bay. Headed back to the Café at Berry Head which was full!
On the way back we took a chance and visited Staverton because it looked good on the map, and it was!! On the banks of the Dart and a restored steam railway. A train pulled in as we arrived….perfect! Worth the single track lane and very narrow road bridge to get there. On the way back we popped into the Mare and Foal sanctuary, only ones there so we got a VIP tour! On listening to local radio on the way back, we were promised a wet and wild night and following day. We decided to cut and run as we were due to leave the next morning. We left at 6pm all dry and back home by 10:45pm. Good call as we heard reports of heavy storms in Devon the next day.
A lovely break in Devon.
Outing number 1: Corfe
10th April 2016
Our first trip out in Treebeard. We decided to stay at a club site to familiarise ourselves with the full back up of site facilities!
We set off to Corfe in Dorset via the Sandbanks Ferry near Poole, only to bump into Andy and Helen waiting for the ferry!
We travelled on to Corfe C&CC site arrived in rain. We had our new Kampa inflatable drive away awning to blow up, using the supplied hand pump, which to be honest was pants!! (we resolved to get an electric pump!)
The pitch was also quite small, but nevertheless we coped.
A very wet and windy night, but the US Masters on the radio kept our mind off of the weather.
Our first night in Treebeard was good, only about 6 head bumps between us!
11th April 2016
We woke up to heavy rain, had an easy morning so drove to Swanage for provisions. We drove to Middle Beach car park at Sandbanks by which time it had stopped raining. A beautiful beach enjoyed by Kendal! After a couple of hours walking along the beach and back, we enjoyed an ice cream!
12th April 2016
A sunny day! We drove to Swanage to meet up with Andy & Helen and Kath & Graham. We walked up to Durlston Head and on to Peverill Point, then back to Overdale.
We spent the afternoon back at the site, and walked into Corfe in the evening, then back to base for sausage and chips from the mobile Chippy.
We played Rummikub to the background sounds of Mortars and Machine guns from the nearby range.
13th April 2016
Met up again with the Swanage crew, this time in Corfe. We walked from Corfe to Swanage along the Nine Barrow Down in warm sunshine. Another ice cream in Swanage before catching the bus back to Corfe. Enjoyed the afternoon sunshine, made even better when we had a call from Jenni to tell us she had been offered a job at Farm Africa, a great opportunity for her, made us very proud!
Dinner cooked on the Cadac!
A great first experience and a bit of a learning curve!