Friday, 19 May 2017

Mountain & Canals

The start of another year of camping in our van April finally arrived. Sadly we are not really winter campers but as soon as the sun starts to stir, we are off. Following a day of cleaning, sterilising, hoovering, polishing, dusting and packing we were finally ready.

The next big question where? Funny really but when you have too much choice it's almost harder. Criteria for a longish weekend.

  • Not too far to travel, around an hour, maybe a bit longer, from our home
  • A proper campsite, we're wimpy about where we stay.
  • EHU if possible, although we do sometimes manage without.
  • Hard standing if rough weather forecast, although we are partial to a bit of grass.
  • Nice weather if possible, we don't mind a bit of damp, cold and wet!
  • Walking country or even better, bike tracks near by. I don't do roads!
  • A nice bit of scenery, possibly a good pub or cafe nearby.
  • Peace and tranquillity.
We finally decided our first stop would be Brean an old favourite. I did really want to stay at the Caravan and Motorhome Club site at Hurn Lane but at £52 for 2 nights off season, I thought even for us, a bit on the pricey side! Instead we settled on our old haunt Unity, £46 for 2 nights on a serviced pitch. Not up to all our criteria but usually quietish at the beginning of April.

A nice pitch backing onto the golf course. Rather a surreal landscape but the trees had obviously been pruned well. We were so lucky with the weather and even managed to use the BBQ for the first time.

We managed a beautiful walk on a glorious morning, even the sea looked inviting.

Hardy lot, some people were actually in the water and loads of people were on the beach!

We climbed to the top of Brean Down, all 200+ steps ( I did count them but forgot the total!) Then we tramped around and back down by the steep path route. 10 miles in total, not bad for a first hike.

Almost continental, and yes the sky was really that blue.

Our next trip found us back at our old haunt in Crickhowell. Now under new management but still a lovely little campsite.

A brace of IH's, an unusual sight indeed. The site was relatively quiet so we amused ourselves by walking down to the canal and then climbed Table Mountain. One of our more energetic weekends!

The walks were fabulous and the weather brilliant. Loads of wildlife around! Lamb chops for dinner perhaps!

Nothing better than the English ( sorry Welsh) countryside on a Spring day.

From Table Mountain across to Sugar Loaf and beyond. We actually climbed it in record time for us and made it right to the very top! Rather breezy but stupendous views and think of all the calories we burned getting there. In fact the walk through the woods and up through the bracken was beautiful and really got rid of the cobwebs.

We ended our weekend with a little jaunt along the river, taking in the spring flowers.

The following weekend saw us back to the canals. A Camping & Caravanning Site just outside Devizes on the Kennet & Avon Canal, cheap at £17.50 a night with wrinklies discount. Not quite so lucky with the weather this time but nearly! We managed a couple of BBQ's. Great pitch with plenty of room and a bit of grass. April was soon happily settled in.

We made for the water, a 2 minute walk from the camp site to the canal. Turn right towards Bath. Lots of life on the river and interesting boats with lots going on.

This made us smile!

Unusual wild life for Wiltshire.

After a little stroll we needed a break. A handy mooring spot with liquid refreshment called.

The next day we walked in the opposite direction towards Devizes passing through the Caen Locks. 44 locks in all, we were actually pleased we were walking, even in the rain. Rather a damp start but the weather did smile on us and the sun came out eventually. 

Spring has definitely sprung. All the wildlife is getting excited.

The weather did perk up. We spent a happy hour in a local pub in Devizes before wending our way home.The walk back was a lot quicker as it was down hill, the wine probably helped. By the time we got back to the campsite the sun had come out.

Three weekends with sun most of the time, a fabulous start to the year in April 2017!

Three sites all on our "return soon" list.