We had hoped to go away this weekend, but the forecast for Sunday wasn't too good so we chose to have a day out instead. We decided to go to Chesil Beach as we hadn't been there for years. We parked at the Chesil Beach Visitor Centre and after breakfast set off for a stroll over to Portland.
The previous day we had walked about 15 miles so didn't want to walk too far, but the stroll turned into a nine mile walk. We walked up to the Portland Cenotaph - the views were stunning although the sun decided to go behind a cloud when I took the photo.
Weymouth from Cenotaph
Another great Cali day out - hopefully the weather will be good next weekend as we're planning a few days away.
We had planned to go away a couple of times in January, but on each occasion the weather forecast has been bad. The cold is fine - Cali has a great heater, summer rain is fine - we can hang things inside, open windows and get them dry but cold and winter rain is miserable! We've obviously taken Cali out, but haven't been anywhere for a day's walking until yesterday. The weather forecast was good and we were both off work, so we went back to Parke for a couple of walks we didn't do on our last visit.
Steve looking for something!
The car park was almost empty when we arrived and we walked into Bovey Tracey to have coffee and cake at The Terrace Cafe before returning along the riverbank to Parke. We then followed their Red Route through the woods and also found a footpath to Lustleigh (saved for another day). It was a cold, windy day but lovely when the sun came out. Underfoot it was very muddy and at one point the mud almost breached the top of Steve's boot, but fortunately he moved his foot in time! Whilst walking up the hill away from the Bovey there was a bench at the top of the hill with the most amazing view across Bovey Tracey.
Towards Bovey Tracey
We went back to Cali for lunch and then had another short walk along the old railway line before it started to get a lot colder. Time to put muddy boots in bags and make our way hom
When we had our caravan we never went away for Christmas, mainly because we didn't fancy towing on winter roads and also because there were very few sites open over winter. We've found that a lot more sites are now open all year round as well as those that stay open until January so decided to go away for Christmas this year. We enjoyed our visit to Cirencester Park Caravan Club Site in September so returned for Christmas.
We travelled up on Saturday afternoon and had a walk into Cirencester. Christmas Eve was a lazy day in Cirencester and a fabulous lunch at The Crown. In the afternoon the Wardens invited everyone for wine and nibbles in the Reception which was a lovely start to Christmas.
Pitch 122 Cirencester Park
After breakfast and opening our presents we spent Christmas Day walking on the Bathurst Estate. It started to rain around midday so we took shelter at Horse Guards for our lunch and then returned to the site by the quick route through the Estate.
Horse Guards towards Cirencester
The weather on Boxing Day morning was bright and sunny, a real contrast to the previous day. There was a lot of activity on the Estate as the horses were arriving for the Boxing Day Hunt and we walked to Sapperton for lunch. Unfortunately it started to rain heavy on the way back and the ground was also very muddy after all the horses had been around the Rides. Back at the site we bagged all the wet and muddy clothes and settled down for the evening.
During the night it became very windy and when we looked out of the window there was a couple of inches of snow - we hadn't expected that. The site looked so pretty the next morning and another first for us and Cali - camping in the snow!
Cali in the snow
All too soon the holiday was over and it was time to head home. It may have been our first Christmas in Cali, but it certainly won't be our last. We also know that she's very warm and comfortable for winter camping, so are planning some time away in January.
As we're currently limited to when we can go away due to my work, we went away for the October half term. We booked four nights at Brighton Caravan Club Site and four nights at Haycraft Caravan Club Site. Brighton is a new site and we've previously stayed at Haycraft for one night.
We arrived at Brighton just ahead of Storm Brian and set up on pitch 12, lovely sheltered pitch behind a bank and near some small trees. It took us a little longer than usual to set up as we sheltered inside Cali when there was torrential rain and thunder and we decided not to raise the roof on the first day because of the high winds. After setting up we walked down to the Marina to see the huge waves crashing over the sea wall - amazing!
We had a great night's sleep away from the wind but woke the next morning to find Cali and our pitch covered in bird poo from the pigeons who seemed to like the trees around our pitch. The wardens were happy for us to move so we drove across to the opposite pitch.
Pitch 13 Brighton
As it was our first time in Brighton we walked from the site to Hove Lagoon one day, from the site to Saltdean another day and then had a day pottering around Brighton and a fabulous lunch at Food for Friends. The weather was wild the whole time we were there, windy with very high seas.
Brighton Marina from East Pier
After four nights we moved to Haycraft and after a long journey of holdups on the road, the sun came out and we got setup on site.
Pitch 20 Haycraft
The first day was a little overcast, but we then had fabulous sunny weather for the rest of our holiday. There was plenty of walking from the site - the first day we did a circular walk to Langton Matravers and Worth Matravers and on the second day we walked along the top of the downs to Corfe Castle.
Towards Studland and Brownsea Island
The Swanage Steam Railway stops at Harman's Cross Station which is only a ten minute walk fro the site so on our final day we had a lovely journey on the steam train to Swanage and spent the day walking through the Country Park and along the seafront.
A fabulous holiday with better weather than we had on our summer holiday in Wales!
The forecast was good yesterday so we decided to head back to Burton Bradstock for the day. We got there quite early so were able to park in the last space on the front of the car park, over looking the sea.
Steve planning next year's holiday
We were both in need of a lazy day so didn't go too far but spent time reading and planning next year's holiday in the Yorkshire Dales.
Last Friday we checked the weather forecast and as it was good for the weekend we booked Saturday night at Willingcott Caravan and Motorhome Club site. We travelled to Woolacombe early on Saturday morning and parked at the Marine Drive car park (£4.00 all day) for breakfast with a fabulous view over Wooolacombe Bay.
Marine Drive towards Woolacombe Bay
After breakfast we walked the coast path around Baggy Point to Croyde Bay, stopping at the Sandleigh Tea Rooms for tea and cake on the way. There's also a NT car park (free for NT members) which we'll remember for the next time we're in the area. The weather was lovely and sunny - perfect for walking this stretch of coast. On returning to Putsborough we walked along the beach back to Woolacombe. The town was very busy as there was a Scooter Rally so we decided to go to the site. As we know it is a very windy site but we found a lovely pitch behind a Devon Bank which gave us a lot of shelter for the night.
Pitch 123 Willingcott
The following morning it started to drizzle as we were packing up so we headed back towards Tiverton and went to Knightshayes (free parking and entry for NT members) for a walk through the woods and gardens before returning home.
As the evenings are getting darker and cooler, we've decided that most of our Cali weekends will now be overnight stays on Saturday rather than going away after I finish work on Friday. This weekend we went to Studland Bay. We left home early on Saturday and stopped at a layby on the road between Corfe Castle and Studland for breakfast - amazing views!
Breakfast layby looking towards Poole
We had a lovely walk in the morning from Knowle Beach, past Agglestone Rock and across Ballard Down before returning to Cali for lunch. We were going to have another walk in the afternoon but due to torrential rain we decided to go to the site mid afternoon. We had booked the last pitch at Haycraft Caravan Club Site. As it was still raining we were glad they had one hardstanding pitch left as the grass pitches were very muddy.
Pitch 15, Haycraft
The facilities block was spotlessly clean, although it was looking in need of an upgrade. It's only a small site and was very friendly with several people stopping to talk to us about Cali. A lovely site, plenty of walking in the area and the steam railway passes nearby. We're going back at the October half term for another three nights.