March Mini-Bimble



I am trying a new format this month which is hopefully more useful as a reference and information tool! Do let me know your thoughts..
Places visited : Lyme Regis, Dorset;           Beer, Devon.
Car Parking: Lyme Regis- excellent. Both the Charmouth Road and Holmbush carparks have dedicated spaces for motorhomes. £2 per day at this time of year. Both are up hills though.
Beer – motorhomes can use clifftop carpark £1 in winter. Railway shop at Pecorama has its own carpark.
Overnight: A Britstop Farm shop – excellent.
Eating Places: The Penny Black cafe in Lyme Regis – excellent.
Activities: Walking the Undercliff path at Lyme Regis 8/10; visiting the model railway shop at Beer 7/10

Our main purpose for this trip was to visit the Peco model railway shop at Beer. We set off on a glorious March morning and decided to visit Lyme Regis and do the Undercliff walk.

Lyme Regis is a lovely place to explore, and it was sheltered from the Northeasterly wind, so we had a lovely picnic sat in the sun of the promenade! Our lunch was some excellent sandwiches from the Penny Black café which is tucked behind the Post Office in the main Street.

Then we walked west, heading into a lost world known as the Undercliff nature reserve, which is one of the most important wilderness areas in Britain. The overgrown landslips form a jungle-like habitat which is fun to explore: a path leads from behind the harbour up a steep flight of steps into the woodlands of the Undercliff, riven with streams and valleys, and sudden open grassy areas affording dramatic sea views. There are rare plants here, lots of birdlife, and the temperature is usually 3 degrees higher than the countryside around.

We walked a total of 6 miles out and back – you cannot continue to Axmouth at the moment due to a landslip, but they are hopeful the full path will reopen by mid 2016.

Lyme Regis is also an excellent place for Fossil hunting, and there are several museums who organise workshops and walks.

After the walk we sat in the sun – inside Boris – enjoying the sun and reading. Then off to a local Farm Shop which is part of the Britstops scheme. We have used this for several years to find free places to spend the night. membership is just £27 per year – we make or money back in 2 nights.

The shop was excellent , containing a vast array of fresh produce, much of it local or home grown. Also much in evidence was genuine French produce, the product of regular trips to France.

After a very peaceful night, we awoke to discover the temperature had dropped to -3.5 degrees. Thank goodness for a thick duvet and a hot water bottle. We were lovely and snug.

The next morning we headed off to the objective of our visit – a visit to the Peco model Railway shop at Beer. Chris is building a layout and he wanted ideas about design, tunnels etc. I however bought 5 teeny boy scouts with a hand cart, some 1950’s schoolboys and some gates – all 00 guauge.

Playtime over, we headed back home on what was now a very grey and cold day indeed.

2. Ready for the Off….

20150820_14240020150820_152336 20150820_151911 20150820_154153 20150820_154309Wednesday was spent  dashing to Boris with armfuls of bedding and clothes trying to avoid the torrential rain which fell all day.  There was the potential for a comedy sketch at one point, where I was holding a large basket of clothes. I didn’t want to put it on the ground, so I wedged it between me and the van to free up a hand to open the door. As I re-gripped the basket, the van door swung closed! This happened several times…with the basket slipping further and further down the van at the same time! We could have sold the clip to You’ve been Framed!

This trip will be our longest single trip in Boris, and so a few extra provisions are required.  I am gluten intolerant so taking gluten free food with us is important, as we never know how easy it will be to obtain.

We are also trying to cater for potentially quite a wide range of temperatures, so a wide variety of bedding options are required! We finally decided on 2 x 4.5 tog double duvets, and a top sheet as this gives us a range of top covers from just a sheet to 9 togs, without us needing to try to fit a thick duvet in a locker. This time I also remembered to pack a spare spare bed linen  –  very important as last time we were away for several weeks, I washed the bedlinen at a campsite part way through the trip,  only to find that the tumble drier was broken, and I couldn’t get the bedding dry!

Izzie has gone to stay with Alan and Sue, and by all accounts is making herself at home already; the children are living at home and will look after the hpuse, so now we are ready for the Off!  Our plan is to go to France and Northern Spain, and it will include visiting some friends en route.

My ritual before we leave is walking around the house , opening all the cupboards and drawers and looking to see if there is anything in them that I think I should have packed! There is still usually something that gets forgotten! I wonder what it will be this time!

Many of you know that we live in the beautiful county of Dorset, on the coast of the South of England. So…. as we drive away from home, and off on our travels,  which way do you think we are heading?

‘South’ we hear some of you cry! Ah…. but some may do some lateral thinking and say ‘East’ – thinking logically that we might be heading to Portsmouth to catch the ferry; or ‘West’  because we might go to Poole for the same reason.

Well how wrong you would all be!  Naturally we are heading due North.  Yes – we have got the road atlas the right way up!  Due to a small reshuffle of arrangements we have a pre-arranged commitment this weekend…. in Yorkshire! So we have to go up there first before returning south to catch the ferry from Poole next week!

So, today’s adventures start with a first leg to Warwick where we will be staying on one of our favourite campsites! Grey skies and drizzle accompanied us for the first 30 miles but it was dry when we reached Blenheim Palace near Oxford. The wonderful golden stone set the scene for the sumptuous interior, and an excellent exhibition about Winston Churchill who was born, and is buried here.

The gardens are quite formal but beautifully laid out and the setting by the lake, and the parkland offer delightful walks.

Blenheim is part of the Historic Houses Association. Membership is £75 for a couple for 1 year (Discounted to £48 for English Heritage members.) Given that admission to Blenheim is £23pp , HHA membership is excellent value. It also gives you the chance to visit smaller and less well known stately homes, as well as places like Beaulieu and Highclere castle (home of Downton Abbey!)

Finally we drove on to Warwick for a night on one of the best campsites in England…Our friends Paul and Pam’s drive!

A super evening and a great first day of the holiday!