First UK Motorhome Tour
I thought I would outline the places we stayed on our journey and the places we visited:
- Chester Fairoaks Campsite – we arrived late and left early but we found it to be a very clean site and well laid out. The amenities were amazing and looked new. There were planes flying overhead but the noise levels were low and not a nuisance.
VISIT: Betws y coed. We stopped over in this very quaint and very touristy village. It had all the amenities you would expect, although my husband, who has stayed here on several occasions, advised that the local pub was extremely busy all year round so it’s difficult to get a table. However, we weren’t staying and our visit was enjoyable with a ride on their miniature railway and a wander around their collection of shops (mainly outdoor shops). Then a run around the large park area. It was definitely an area I would return to.
- Coed y Llywn campsite – a large hilly site with good amenities. Situated close to a very small housing village. The campsite was an ideal stopover for access to Coed y Brenin.
VISIT: Coed y Brenin Forest park. Great day out with the kids on the bikes. We completed all 3 blue runs in quick time and went on to attempt a red run. Unfortunately, the terrain was a little trickier than we expected but the boys (currently aged 6 & 7) managed the area well. However, they were VERY tired!
- Longleat Safari Campsite – I knew this was very close to longleat but I didn’t realise it was on the doorstep. You can hear some of the animals too! It was very handy for a longleat visit, especially as we got caught out in a thunderstorm and needed to run back for coats! The site was well presented and had a small shop on site and a Chippy Van which turned up on Friday evening. It wasn’t close to many amenities but if you are prepared to pay the prices, longleat has a number of food outlets, including costa coffee.
- Carlyon Bay Camping Park – We were pleasantly surprised by this venue with good access to a beach (short walk off site and through a golf course) and a heated swimming pool on site. The shower facilities weren’t as impressive as the Camping and Caravan club but was still fine. However, their on-site shop was amazing. It was filled with everything you could need and the price was better than some supermarkets! We had arranged to meet with some close friends who had just moved back to the UK and it met all our needs. We all agreed due to it’s location and amenities we would come back again!
VISIT: Carlyon Beach – Once through the golf course, there is a steep hill/steps down to the beach. However, nothing too strenuous – kids coped fine. The beach was both sandy & shingly but easy to walk/lie on. We were mindful to watch the kids as the beach did attract large waves as there is an incline leading into the waters edge. The best part was the pop up eateries and bar on the beach. Very reasonably priced and provided a chilled out atmosphere, especially in the evening.
VISIT: Newquay – We stopped off at Newquay for the day; surfers paradise. We visited Western beach, close to the town which was managed by lifeguards. A chance for the kids to run around the beach area and hire boogie boards at the beachfront for £7 for the day (wetsuits were available to hire too). There were lots of surfing schools taking place, but I presume these may need to be pre-booked. Note: If the tide is out be warned it does retreat quickly and will cut off the longer stretch of beach quite quickly. Lovely quaint shops and we indulged in the local ‘Cornish Pasty’ – delicious.
VISIT: Eden Project – as we were based in St Austell we cycled to Eden Project. It was a slow uphill climb the whole way – which the kids managed well and took about 25 minutes. What goes up, must come down though and we all enjoyed the downhill on the way back! The bonus of cycling was that as we went ‘green’ we received £13 off a family ticket – well worth it! Just remember to bring bike locks (lockers are available for storage). The site itself was huge and does involve quite a lot of walking. The biomes were very hot in summer and it was recommended going early as they get busy and may close early due to the heat! We ventured around and even scaled the wobbly walkway to the top! Now, I’m not scared of heights… or so I thought! I’m glad I did it, and stopped long enough for a quick photo before retreating! The rest of the day we spent chasing dinosaurs as there was a very effective exhibition on! The kids loved this, but looking at plants and bugs got a bit mundane after a while. The fastest zip-wire (hangloose) was also just outside the site, which the dad’s tested out and enjoyed as the boys were too young (minimum age 11). For more information click on the attached link http://www.edenproject.com/visit/whats-here/zip-wire-adventure-activities
- Greenacres Farm Campsite – We only stayed here very briefly (as in arrived late and left early) so it was a pitstop and so I can’t really comment on the site. However, from what I did see, it was a basic site on a farm with large grass area and seemed informal and relaxed. There were a number of pubs located down the road but even on a Thursday they were fully booked, so I would advise if eating out that you checked availability first.
- Amersden Campsite – Our final stop to allow us to clean up and pack up. The owners were very diligent and were always around the site. The location was situated right next to the motorway. If you site is near the entrance the noise was minimal but towards the farther end of the site it was more noticeable. There was a small park for the kids to play in and a short walk away was the river & Bray Lock.
VISIT: Bray Lock – not a ‘top destination’ and only a short walk from our campsite, but this was definitely a highlight for the boys. The lock keeper was so lovely and allowed the boys to press the buttons to open and close the sluice and explained to them how the boats moved from the higher water to the lower water. It was their first world schooling lesson – loved it!! Hands on memories 🙂
And so a little tired but pleased, and surprised, at how well the first motorhome holiday went we ventured back up to chester to meet my mum and dad (who arrived very early – I wonder why!! ha ha) for the handover of vehicles and continued our boat journey home to the Isle of Man. Some good lessons learnt:
Lessons to take forward:
- If we plan a 6-8 weeks motorhome trip we will need a mid trip break in a cheap B&B for sanity reasons and motion sickness! Although keith didn’t feel ill he had the feeling of constantly moving.
- We need to ensure we have sufficient breaks. Some of the stops we ended up arriving late and then leaving early in the morning and then had a full day pack full of events. The kids (and we) need downtime.
- I need to re-look at social media & wi-fi access. Whist I was able to type up some of my blogs as I brought my laptop, I couldn’t upload photos. I’m also still having difficulty in finding a suitable storage solution for the photos. I think it may be time to drag keith in on this one #littlemissindependent