2019 “The Big One” POSTPONED UNTIL 2020

We have decided to delay our big trip until 2020 so we can celebrate our 50th Birthday’s and our eldest son’s 21st birthday all in one fantastic journey.

We have decided on the ferry from Germany direct to Helsinki where we stop over for a few nights before embarking on the journey of a lifetime around Scandinavia – just need to get a month off of work now……….

We are getting a little out of our comfort zone and preparing well in advance for our most adventurous trip yet – The Arctic circle…..

Travelling with our autistic 17 year old son, we have begun our preparations now, showing him where we are going, using Youtube as a means of satisfying his curiosity and anxiety about what awaits us and him during this trip and he seems to be quite accepting of the idea at present but it’s early days yet.

The Ferry from Hull to Rotterdam, drive through the Netherlands, Germany, Denmark, Sweden, Norway (Nordkapp), Finland and that’s where we come to a dilemma. Do we use the Finnlines ferry from Helsinki to Germany or do we use a ferry to Sweden,then back the way we travelled outwards – decisions, decisions!

Screen Shot 2018-08-25 at 11.18.00This will be 4000+ mile journey over 3 weeks and we are really looking forward to challenges that a trip of this magnitude brings.

We will post an update nearer the time.

July & August 2018 Kings Orchard Marina Coventry Canal

Our main problem with weekends, is that we never know where to go. All the seaside places will be busy, as you would expect so we decided to look for something in land and found a gem of a place near Litchfield, just an hours drive away.

An early finish on Friday saw us arrive at the Kings Orchard Marina mid afternoon and we were soon set up on our pitch (hardstanding) on the private campsite section of the marina, worth knowing is that they also have a CL site which is grass standing.

https://www.canalmarinas.com/kings-orchard/kings-orchard-caravan-pitches/

We have, for some years, fancied our own boat on the rivers/canals and this reignited that desire so we will see what the future holds there……

The pitches all have their own water tap, electricity & were very spacious, enough for an awning, chairs/table and BBQ – overall a quiet and very pleasant, little site indeed.

The marina is located on the Coventry canal and a very nice place indeed with a family of swans taking up residence close by.

Relaxing under the awning, nice walks along the towpath, the wildlife, what’s not to enjoy?

The weekend went so quickly so before we departed, we booked again, this time for a long weekend and we wouldn’t have to wait long.

The swans were still around however there was only 1 adult swan so not sure why this was but nice to see the young ones thriving.

This site was very peaceful and definitely one that we would recommend and return to in the future, especially during the summer when everywhere else is leaping with holiday makers.

There’s something calming about the water and this is evident as we did not have any “autistic meltdowns” for the duration.

Perfect!

 

Disneyland Paris and Dover Stopover June 2018

We intend on getting our moneys worth from this years Disneyland Annual Passes as next year brings so much uncertainty and we are yet to see what impact the ridiculous “Brexit” vote has on our ability to freely roam around Europe.

Travelling to/from Dover on this trip, we set sail and a grey & blustery day but what the hell, we were on holiday and the chilly breeze woke us up nicely…….

Disneyland Paris is the main attraction for us, even with 2 teenage sons in tow, we all have a great time and what’s not to like about Disney?

Our usual parking place, far, far away from anyone was perfect and anyone with an autistic child can probably understand our reasons for doing so and we get a really good nights sleep too. The only thing to remember is that at busy times, this area can be used as an overflow car park so be prepared to move a little further down the car park to avoid getting surrounded.

Some more great & special memories being created which will last us a lifetime – priceless.

It wasn’t quite the end of our holiday yet and we took to the roads once more & headed back to the UK & Dover.

It may not everyones ideal destination but for us, Dover is a place were we feel at home, we are not sure why but it’s just got that certain charm about it and steeped with history

Wherever you look, you get an overwhelming sense of what it must have been like during WW2 and I would recommend the tours of the Dover Castle tunnels which are run by English Heritage with the aid of some very knowledgable volunteers – check out their website for yourself:

https://www.english-heritage.org.uk/visit/places/dover-castle/?gclid=EAIaIQobChMI2Lbv3b6_3QIVQ7bACh0zkwW9EAAYASAAEgIgXvD_BwE&gclsrc=aw.ds&gclid=EAIaIQobChMI2Lbv3b6_3QIVQ7bACh0zkwW9EAAYASAAEgIgXvD_BwE&gclsrc=aw.ds

Parking in Dover can sometimes, be very busy but if you don’t mind paying for an hour or so, you can get a good spot on Marine Parade before the rush for a free park after 5pm.

We knew that was it for the summer, unless we got away for a weekend somewhere closer to home but if not, October was not that far away and the ferry from Hull to Zebruggee was already booked – what a nice feeling it was too.

 

 

 

Brugge April 2018

We knew it wouldn’t be long before we were back & after a short drive to Hull, we set sail, once again, for Belgium.

Our Club Cabin was perfect for our needs, giving that little extra space and a more relaxing feel, we think it’s worth the little extra price for a little more peace and quiet away from all those school trips staying on blue deck – not as though there’s anything wrong with school trips, but with 100+ kids, there is noise!

The sunrise view from our cabin was fantastic and set us up for the day – it’s a small thing but what a feeling it gave us.

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Camping Memling was, as usual, perfect and we found ourself in a nice corner of the site which had a nice mix of sun & shade on the hot days that followed.

Another slight accident, I trapped my thumb in the door again when putting the screen cover on – I’ll leave it off next time before I lose a thumb! ouch, it really hurt but at least no one saw me do it.

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This holiday was all about rest & relaxation and we had plenty of that.

Cycling into Brugge each day, along the canals and cobbled streets, just what the doctor ordered.

I even had time to fly my new drone, or attempt to that is……

I think I need a little more practice.

Even the boys were loving it and we found a new friend – personally, it scared the life out of me!

The end came pretty quickly and our last day was spent at the motorhome aire which was pretty busy this time but still excellent for a city centre visit on our last day.

As you can see, plenty of rest & relaxation before returning on the overnight ferry to Hull and back to work, until next time.

Davy Crockett Ranch Feb 2018 – Snowmageddon – “Il Neige”

This isn’t a motorhome blog but wanted to share with you our wonderful trip, in the snow, to DLP’s Davy Crockett Ranch.

There is only one way to describe it – WOW!

As there are no toilet disposal facilities from November to April, and the local “Font bleu” at the Esso petrol station always appears to be out of order, we decided to book our stay at Davy Crockett Ranch which is a short drive from the gates of DLP and our first visit for sometime.

For anyone who has not been, the accommodation is basically a mobile home with a “log cabin” feel. Comfortable, warm and well equipped, you can’t really go wrong and self catering adds to the benefit, for us anyway.

It’s always a risk to go on holiday during the winter and we knew that there was a risk of snow but it was the sheer volume of snow which surprised, not only us, both the whole of the Paris region.

What a winter wonderland!

The parks were transformed and it made this visit a little extra special and we loved it.

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We decided not to travel home whilst the snow was at it’s worst and booked in for one more night and at 100 euros, well worth the money to ensure we were safe on the roads as the snow stopped overnight and the roads began to clear.

We couldn’t believe the difference when we arrived back in Calais for the ferry home, no snow and bright blue skies, making for a nice journey home.

DLP & Brugge Christmas Market December 2017

We never thought that we would get this far but there was a break in the weather and the roads had cleared, so off we went to Hull and hopefully we would see a little more snow whilst in Brugge, just to make it feel a little more like Christmas!

And we were not disappointed…….

 

Although there wasn’t much snow, it was enough to make it feel like magical, despite how cold it was.

Talking of magical, the Christmas Market was in full swing by the time we arrived and we just couldn’t help ourselves and had to have  the usual hot chocolate and bradwurst which always goes down well despite our youngest wearing most of his across his face.

 

This year we decided to use the Ice rink, afterall how difficult could it be?

I am glad that i cannot find the photo’s of this experience as this just shows how much I underestimated my ability in front of hundreds of people – how embarrassing not to mention it makes your legs hurt!

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We will be back next year and I am determined to navigate the circuit without the aid of small childs sliding chair – who am I kidding but at least it will be fun.

The snow cleared quite quickly and we had planned to go to DLP until we needed to return to the UK on Christmas Eve so off we went……

I’m not sure what it is about the drive from Brugge to Paris but this does not seem as tedious as the route from Calais which surprises me as you actually travel on the same roads for the majority of the journey.

It is no real surprise that we took up our usual parking spot in the “unsociable” section of the parking area (right at the back & far away from anoyone else) which is just how we like it & means that in the event of an autistic meltdown, we are well away from  anyone else.

With a mist hanging over the parks, this added to the winter/festive feeling

What a magical time of year and this only gets better as it gets darker……..

Walt Disney Studio’s have seriously upped their game with a new show for the festive season and it was well worth the wait.

 

One final thing before setting off home was a meal at our favourite restaurant, the Silver Spur Steakhouse and disney would not be the same without it (or maybe thats my stomach speaking) with a big thank you to our waiter who took this photo for us.

Once again, things must come to an end, and that was the end of this trip but we look forward, as always, to coming back soon – my attempt at an unhappy face!

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Disneyland Paris & Brugge October 2017

Predictable? Us? Never!!!!

You guessed it, were on our way back to DLP followed by a few days in Brugge to unwind & recharge the batteries……

We have decided to mix it up a little this time and travel from Dover to Calais on the outbound journey and return via Zebruggee & Hull which gave us time to revisit one of favourite places in the UK, Canterbury.

We booked into the Camping & Caravan Club site for 2 nights and we are never disappointed at this quiet and well maintained, friendly site. Being so close to the city is an advantage and there is a bus stop right outside.

It is perfect for our needs and although the New Dover Road, Park & ride site is probably better located for a couple of nights, I hate the fact that you can watch next doors TV and see what they are having for breakfast however that doesn’t mean that we would use this for the odd night in the future, just beware that it is a little cosy with a larger motorhome – just my thoughts anyway.

As usual, a very nice crossing with P&O and next stop DLP.

Perfect weather, perfect location.

Having been to DLP many times before, we always opt “NOT” to fill up with water here as we have experienced all sorts of goings on at the fresh water points and I’m not that bothered in washing in water from a tap used to rinse out toilets etc (I would never drink it anyway) so a good supply of bottled water is essential and not as much of an inconvenience as some would think so a little tip for anyone travelling in a campervan or motorhome to DLP – we take 5lt bottles from Sainsbury’s or Tesco and you can purchase 8lt bottles from Carrefour or Auchan if you need more, both are nearby with plentiful parking.

Not only were we in DLP, it was also my Birthday with cake & everything…………

My present from the boys brought a whole new meaning to ” a box of chocolates” as you can see and it took ages to get through all of these chocolate bars  – honestly it did!

To celebrate we booked a table at the Silver Spur Steakhouse and although a little expensive for what you actually get ( which is what you expect on holiday anyway) it is alway’s great service and an excellent meal so I have no complaints at all especially with our complimentary alcohol free cocktails as part of our annual pass perks.

 

The rides and overall experience at DLP is just as it was when we first went in 2007 and we never tire of this – I guess this just goes to show that we never really grow up at all or maybe that’s just me.

After a day’s play in the parks, a nice relaxing night in our home on wheels, waiting for the fireworks at the end of the day.

We’ve come along way since our first visit to DLP with 2 small boy’s and hope that there’s many more visits to come as they enter young adulthood – I know that one day this will end but I’ll make the most of whilst it last’s.

All good things must come to end but at least were heading to Belgium and Camping Memling in Brugge for the next few days before taking the ferry back to Hull & home.

The campsite was undergoing a little work with most areas benefitting from new grass seed which caused us to park the opposite way on on our pitch but this is OK and didn’t cause us a problem and it’s only understandable that this has to happen so that everyone can enjoy it again next year.

We found that we were parked under a chestnut tree and they were in season so we threw a few to roast on the BBQ and they were delicious, a worth remembering for next year.

Brugge, in our opinion, is best seen and travelled, by bike, and we always take ours when visiting. It’s a 5 minute cycle ride to the local Supermarkets and only a 15 minute ride into the centre (direct) or a leisurly 20-25 minutes if you go via the canal side towards the rail station, either way, we were glad of the comfy seats we purchased from Auchan, these were much better than the ones initially fitted.

Another great stay and on the day of departure we like to park in the aire  – for info check out the link below:

https://www.brugge.be/parkeren-kampeerwagens

This has electricity, water, waste disposal and litter bins and a stones throw away from the centre. Entry is via a barrier and you simply take a ticket, park up and pay at the nearby paystation when you leave (located just across the road in the coach park)

This will obviously get busy at certain times of the year but as we pick our times carefully, we never have a problem with finding a space.

If you head out of the aire on foot, you pass the coach tour drop off/pick up point and there is a nice little ice cream van “waffles on wheels” where you can buy tea/coffe/ice creams/waffles etc and all at a reasonable price.

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As far as parking for the day goes, it is expensive but it is convenient as you don’t want to arrive at the Port too early and you may aswell enjoy a day in the city before setting sail…….

Oh well, that’s it for now but we’ll be on our travels soon enough, this time a visit to Brugge for the Christmas Market and maybe, just maybe, we may see a little snow.