Don't be daft Kanuck. Of course it does. All will be revealed at a later date. Plan is a bit vague and flexible `cos we don't yet know what the weather will bring in two weeks. We have "a plan" but it may or may not happen so were are staying open and flexible so as to avoid disappointment.
So I'm waiting for my partner in crime at winchester station. I've never been here before and imagine it a bit posh.
Not at the momoment. Post festival Crusty hippies EVERYWHERE.
Every few mins another 'boomtown bus' arrives and disgorges another 100 of em.
It's putting me in holiday mode for sure. Muddy, bedraggled white people and the stickly waft of weed and patchouli. Some drunk or off his face fella dressed in a wedding dress just fell over after giving lip to station security.
People watching is fun!
I feel out of place but give it 24 and I too will be muddy and bedraggled.
I found a sprawling corner next to the station flower stand. Much more fragrant.
British classic thuggery at its best when you witness a seagull actually grab an unopened bag of crisps from a child, who runs after it shouted gimme back my crisps. Then the seagull proceeds to take it round it's mates house to try to open it.
Tried to post earlier but computer said no. After picking confused up from Winchester station and getting her away from the smell of patchouli and muddy hippy. We headed west. Through the New Forest. Confused got busy Googling campsites as we went. She picked a gem. Just north of Bridport. Open only for the month of August. (planning laws.) It was very peaceful and had campfires and nice eco facilities. We stayed three nights and went to see the Cern Abass giant. A wonderful sight for us girls.... had a great pub lunch in the village and then drove down to West bay to see the sea nada eat ice cream. We also on another day visited Charmouth and Lyme Regis. Lyme being the crime scene where a young lad had his crisps nicked by the sea gull.
I'll write on the trip later but for now all I'll say is I was chilled and relaxed but now back in the land o work and faced with homo sapiens shoppus twatius and far as I'm concerned the whole human race can get lost and I'll retreat to a muddy field in South Devon.
Driver Ms. Daisy picks me up at the hippie-fest that is Winchester train station. Due to unforeseen circumstances the White van is disabled and we have hired a van, a lovely VW transporter. Its not a camper van, which would've been awesome and about 10 times the price.
We hit the road and head West. Starting later than planned we are amending the itinerary as we go. I hit the google for camping sites, while Tipsy the dog has already made herself at home draped across my lap. As we pootle through the New Forest (not a forest, but gorse-y plains!) I get excited by the ponies (PONIES!!!), and I book us in for 2 nights at Pilsdon View, near Bridport.
Along a narrow country road, then a bit more, and some more, we turn into a wide spacious field bordered by farmland.
And what a lovely place it was. Terry and April, the owners were right there to welcome us. As we had booked only about and hour previously they hadn't added our names to the welcome chalk board! V sad about that, lol.
This site is only run for 28 days a year and then 'fftt' is turns back into sheep fields. But for that month its amazing! You won't get shops and entertainment, you will get hot, gas-powered showers that looked like something from the big-brother house, you will get composting and flush toilets. You will get bell tents, gypsy caravans and a yurt to hire if you want. You will get fire braziers made out of old washing machine drums to hire, you will get a rope swings and bouncy toys to play with and you will get good conversation and mutual camper van envy with the hosts, who live on-site for the month, and you will get peace and quiet.
Many of the place names around this part of the south sound like people from donald trumps posse; Toller Porcorum, Sturminster Marshell, Lytchett Matravers.
I just need to mention LD's tent. It's an inflatable tent because that's apparently a thing. Who knew! You peg it out, then pump it up baby! No faffing with tent poles and bendy, flexy bits that don't flex.
And of course LD has all the other good stuff for camping; proper stove, camp beds, enough food for a month...this is camping done right!
We head off into nearby Charmouth, part of the World Heritage Jurassic Coast of Dorset. A land of holiday caravans, swan inflatables on the beach and amazing cliff top views. Around the headland we could see Lyme Regis in the distance. Later, we'd look back from Lyme and see Charmouth. The sky was blue, the tide retreating, the beach huts pretty. Down the beach away the cliffs had fallen in, and people fossik for fossils Had we been inclined we could've hiked to Lyme Regis. But sensibly we drove.
Lyme is famous for it 'Cobb' the curving harbour wall. Little fishing boats bobbing in the low tide and kids of all ages crabbing with lines and bucket in the harbour. Now we were in seaside land! With beachside shops selling fishing nets, inflatable beach toys and ice creams.
We retired to a beachside cafe, where I introduced LD to the novel concept of 'lunch'. Although confusingly lunch was a cream tea. But you have to start as you mean to go on!
Later a stroll (and by stroll I mean epic mountaineering event) back up the hill to the car park, through the rose garden, we encountered the previously mentioned seagull/crisp caper. At the top of the hill a sign on a cafe suggested 'well done for making it up the hill, so how about an ice cream?' well, go on then.
As the day drew in we returned to the camp site, stopping off in Bridport for supplies (Waitrose, obvs, we're not savages for gods sake). I set up the bar while LD cooked butternut squash, and we watched the sun set over our washing machine camp fire.
Further thoughts; I got a bit of sunburn and had my first ever visit to a Waitrose!
We were liking it so much we decided to stay another night.
We headed inland for a bit to take a look at the ancient British perve monument of the Cerne Abbas Giant. Because who doesn't like a giant chalk figure? You view him from across the way, you can't actually walk on the figure (rightly so imho) plus it's a really steep hill. Down in the village we lunched (again!) in the New Inn, very nice place.
Then we visited West Bay. I liked West Bay. It had a certain concrete, windswept, ugly charm. Like it was really trying, but had sort of given up. It had an 'evening craft market' that was basically a jam stall, and loads of empty, new, likely very pricey, beachside flats, that overlooked a smelly harbour.
We dined on ice cream and made purchase of Dorset pasties for dinner. Tipsy sniffed everything, and then sniffed it some more and we watched more kids 'crabbing' in the mud.
Another quick visit to Bridport I discovered we had just missed the folk festival but were too early for the Hat festival. Sad face.
To the Wezcunree proper! We had booked into a campsite near to Bude, North Cornwall. Plan A (well about plan G by now, for we were On The Road and who needs plans!) had been further south but the sites we wanted were full so we pretty much picked a place at random.
The trip would take us over Dartmoor. But Dartmoor isn't a moor like I think a moor to be; windswept, gorse-y, plains n hills. Well some of it is, but this bit was like a mountainous jungle. I felt we could've attached some hacking machetes to the front of the van. Might've been useful against all the camper van, buses and generally all other vehicles we came across on these narrow, bendy roads that were about a foot wide at best. Honestly f-ing tourists!
We diverted 'off the road' (*gasp*) to a speck of a village that is home to Mr L our beloved former forum runner. LD wanted to say hi (me too, having only met him maybe once about 8 years ago). He wasn't in. lol. If on the off chance you are reading this Mr L, hi, *waves, your village is lovely, sorry we missed you.
We paused for lunch at a village pub that wasn't serving lunch but 'we can do you a sandwich platter'. OK. Brings out a ploughmans lunch at big as your head. Each. This pub was proper olde worlde. The bar was a serving hatch and the room about the size of a small living room. Through a tiny window you could see the barrels sat lying on a shelf, rather than pumped up from the cellar.
Onwards to our campsite. 'We've had a bit of rain' said Colin, fretting about his turf. Yeah, it was a bit squishy. Having decided on squishy pitch a or soggy pitch b, we inflated the tent and hunkered down against the incoming rain. Colin had really upset the rain gods, but another lovely little site, clean toilets and showers, cutesy little farmhouse surrounded by 'Cornwall flowers', stupid chickens and blackberry bushes behind our pitch.
Further thoughts; technically we were in Devon, but we were mere metres from the dividing River tamarand as we were visiting Cornwall, I decree we were in Cornwall (although I might end up in a pasty for it).
To Bodmin! Across tha moor, and land of beasts and windmills. Bodmin moor is covered, positively plagued tbh, with ancient stone circles, sites, cairns and knobbly hills called Tors. Many of these are hike-to rather than drive-to, and my back and LD's sciatica and Tipsys sniffing can't handle too much hiking.
Driving over tha moor though you can't help but see 'Brown Willy' the highest point in Cornwall, and another obvious knob joke, and 'Rough Tor' (that's row tor). This was moor how I imagine moors to be. Desolate, gorse-y, heather-y, and already turning autumnal. It was very pretty.
Having made it through this barren wasteland (yeah, not really) we stopped up in Bodmin town.
Total hats-off to Bodmin council for free parking!
Bodmin Jail was built in the 18th century for civilians and later used as a naval prison. It was probably once out in the country but is now next to a housing estate. Much of it is derelict but one can wander through the cells, the execution pit and up and down the narrow stairs, visiting the stories of those incarcerated there. All demonstrated by the funniest, crappiest mannequin displays, but the badness just added to the fun.
It was highly entertaining and interesting. We dined (lunch, again!) in the Governors Hall restaurant; 'jail chips', seemed like normal chips to me!
Btw you can get married at Bodmin Jail, and they have bands and comedy nights!!
Returning over tha moor we chased rain clouds right to the campsite. However we may have been in the soggy patch, but hurricane gert couldn't get us under out tree shelter!
Wish we'd had time for; the village of 'minions', mostly for the name.
I love this thread! The road trip sounds superb...great idea to just hit the road and go for it.
Not that I've been to Cornwall often but I do love Bodmin, but there are some strange little towns/villages/? in that area. Bleak, in a way, not at all the picturesque idea we probably all have of Cornwall but whatevs. I still love it.
Well mum Daisy and auntie Confused decided to travel a little and see what we could see and sniff as we went. I was not at all disappointed on the sniffing front. There were wonderful smells all round Dorset through Devon and into Cornwall. Nearly did not get to go at all as mums van had broken down several times on the way home From the previous weeks camping. It came home on the back of a relay flatbed on the Saturday before our trip. I was not allowed in the relay truck so had to sit in my harness in mums van and get to experience a driverless vehicle all the way home. Anyway mum hired a very nice new V.W van for our trip. I loved having aircon to keep me chilled. The seats were comfy and I soon made myself at home by covering them with fur. So yeah we went to Winchester and collected Confused and headed west. No definite plans on where but decided on stopping in Dorset for the first camp. Auntie confused did twiddle things with her phone as we drove with me across her lap. Bliss! Anyway she found a brilliant campsite near Bridport that was peaceful and very welcoming. LOTS to sniff it was great. Auntie Confused said mum and me snore a bit but not too loud so it was o.k. Don't think it was me.... must have been mum I think. Next day Confused sniffed out a super cream tea for her and Mum in Lyme Regis which was very nice to visit. We also stopped of at Charmouth to admire the views across Lyme bay from a seat on the cliffs. Lots of my people being walked like me by their humans so they could get some seaside sniffing in. It was very nice. Me and mum found out auntie Confused can't go longer that two hours without tea and food! So refreshment stops were many.
hey tipsy it was awesome holidaying with you. my lap feels empty without you sprawled on it! Yeah dogs snores are cute, but who knows maybe I was foghorning all night and you and your mum are too polite to say so.
i'm glad you enjoyed yourself. i'll see if I can get some pictures of you to post.
The sun was shining and it was a short hop into Bude. Bude has 2 beaches and lots of surfers. At Summerleaze beach the tide was retreating leaving a wide open beach, with rock pools and dogs. Tipsy was very happy here, so much sniffing and paddling to be done. The sand dunes, surrounded by pretty beach huts and epic cliffs made for a postcard backdrop as we made our way to the waters edge, quite some distance away. Bobs of people in the Atlantic sea (the frigging Atlantic, do you know how cold it is!) having surfing lessons meant the RNLI beach rescue were out for safety- just like Baywatch, no?
Back around by tidal-marooned boats and up by the massive canal locks gates- for they have a canal that runs into the sea!- we came across a leisure pond with paddle boats made to look like vw beetles and giant swans, Next to this a fabulous tea-shop, because it was lunchtime again, where we had a overwhelmingly huge proper Cornish cream tea.
Full of scone we looped around parks, tennis courts and crazy golf for a quick (!) jaunt up on the cliffs to overlook Crooklets beach and in the distance on the hill some sort of cluster of giant mysterious satellite dishes.
Bude was lovely but it was off down the coast to Boscastle. Famous for two things, the Museum of witchcraft, and nearly being flash-flooded off the map in 2004.
Almost 13 years ago to the day we were there, a months rain fell in a few hours. Boscastle, like many of the villages of the coast here, lies at the bottom of a long steep hill tucked into a crevice in the cliffs. As the rain fell the two rivers fed into a third which runs narrowly through the village into the harbour. The river rose, then became a torrent, then became a wall of water trying to push through a narrow road, taking out buildings, boats and the car park. As cars and vans plummeted downstream they caught on the low bridge creating a damn effect. Cars washed into the harbour were then snagged on the natural bend in the harbour.
In the (rebuilt) tourist information centre a short film showed footage from this disaster. Very chilling, especially the point when the coastguard commander sent out an alert to all emergency service 'we are in danger of losing Boscastle'. Wow.
For anyone who has never seen film of this, youtube it. Amazing there was no loss of human life. People spent hours sat on rooftops before being winched off by helicopter, divers had to go down into the harbour to check cars for bodies, but no-one died. Its also worth mentioning nearby villages also had flash flooding but this received no media attention. Perhaps because there was no exciting film and again, thankfully no-one died.
However all was calm when we were there, but even on a lovely day the wind whipped down at the harbour. Round a natural bend in the harbour you look out on what the phrase 'wild and rugged' was invented for. It was stunning! The village itself cute and Cornwall-y, with lovely little fudge shops and cafes and long since rebuilt.
The Museum of Witchcraft was everything I thought it would be. Interesting and creepy! From the history of witches, to Cornish myths to modern paganism they had a little bit of everything. I suspect things were lost in the flood and to make up for it they seemed to have numerous, colourful, paintings depicting various witch-crafty things. I thoroughly enjoyed it.
And so onwards round the bendy, steep roads of the Atlantic highway to Tintagel. Myth has it Tintagel Castle is the birthplace of King Arthur. Of course there's no evidence King Arthur ever existed and the earliest known parts of the castle are medieval and therefore about 500 years too late, but lets not get in the way of a great myth and a great cash-in. Tintagel village was very touristy and with abundant car parks (because, bless you Cornish councils). There were epic views across the cliffs and down into the castle ruins. However, the day was getting on, the way down was a very, very, near vertical steep hill (you could pay to be taken down and back by land rover, because, yeah fuck that!) and it was quite pricey to see what was mostly ruins of a castle and rugged cliffs, and we could see the rugged cliffs from the tops. So we didn't visit the castle, but personally I don't feel we missed out. Got to say cool of English Heritage and others to be making signage bilingual- English and Cornish. At least I presume Cornish, it could've been elvish for all I know!
It was a lovely day, I'd totally recommend this part of Cornwall. On the way back we passed wild open fields with trees bent sideways from the wind, and in the distance we could see our campsite; it was the place with a black rain cloud sat over it.
Wish we'd had time for ; Port Issac.
10/10 village name; Crackington Haven
Carnival!; Everywhere we went on this trip we were a day late or a day early for carnival/fete/festival. Today we hit it right for Bude Carnival. We didn't go! But we could've. Yay!!
Time to deflate the tent. So it started raining of course. So our earlyish start slowed a bit. Everything was damp, and muddy, and more muddy. Not Winchester station hippies muddy, but enough to be a bit annoying.
And behold we are loaded up and ready to go...and....van won't start.
Daisy phoned green flag while, hoping it was just the battery and went on the prowl for a jump start. Knocking on the farmhouse door, Jeanette couldn't have looked more the jolly Devonshire farmer if she tried. Waft of bread from the kitchen, wiping her floury hands on her apron, she dispatched Colin with his car and jump-leads.
Thankfully this worked. After phoning rescue back to cancel, we vowed never to turn the engine off again, and plotted a scenic route home. Very very kindly daisy had offered to drive me home which is vastly out of her way.
Annoyingly the rain followed us. All the way.
Our scenic route lead to Glastonbury, a place i'd never been. We hoped to call in on Pinkglass but traffic woes had delayed us. Had it been nicer weather we might have camped up somewhere and visited the area (and thus returned home a day later). But it was pissing down. Somewhere through the drizzle the views looked good and I could see the Tor. I never realised how close to the town the Glastonbury sights are. The abbey is right there in the centre of town!
Onwards and MapNav (that was me) somehow sent us right through Bath (instead of around) and into rush hour. Grr. Eventually we escaped, it felt like we were on the final stretch but it was still far. We rolled into my street as it was getting dark, and poor Daisy, after a break and refreshments still had to turn around and go home.
And thus endeth the Roadtrip. Many scenic views were seen and sites visited and relaxing in a field with a mug of gin and a plate of pasty, with a doggy at yer feet and good company!
Forgot to mention: dachshund puppy! Puppy! At the camp ground. He was so happy and adorbs, and shockingly not the smallest dog on site. That award goes to some rat- chihuahua thing!
Thanks for the update Confused (and Tipsy) I know Daisy is still hampered by her lousy (sometimes non existent) connection so your descriptions of your ramblings I found most enlightening! Although I toured GB in my youth (many many years ago now) Dorset was about as far west as I got (excerpt for some time as a child around our grandmas part of the word in wales). It was good to hear that GB still has some wild and natural places left, one often get the impression that its all 'built up' what with the population on that little island! Wish I could have joined you and rectified my lack of Devon / Cornwall experiences but will have to make do with living vicariously!!