Tuesday, 18 July 2017

Morag's Last Holiday

Devon, Kings Sutton, Milton Keynes, Berkhamsted

Monday, 19th June to Saturday, 8th July

We left home at lunchtime staying overnight at a free CL at the Gloucester Old Spot pub near Cheltenham. The next day we completed our journey to Devon  and set ourselves up at the Glendale CL near Totnes. Our friends Sue and Andy have recently returned to the UK from France and have bought a house in Totnes so we went to visit them in the afternoon.
Morag at the Gloucester Old Spot CL

The following day we met Sue and Andy in Totnes and took the "Round Robin" trip via river to Dartmouth, rail to Paignton, and bus back to Totnes. In the evening we drove to Teignmouth where Andy was playing and singing in a blues evening. We found Teignmouth to be very confusing in layout and had some difficult finding parking for Morag.
Andy (right) playing at the blues evening

We had a lazy day on the Thursday once again visiting Sue and Andy and taking Button for a walk by the River Dart. She had a chance for a swim which she enjoyed as always.
On the Friday we upped sticks and travelled to Bigbury. Button had a great time on the beach and we had a pint at the Pilchard pub on Burgh Island. Our pitch for the night was at Chapelcombe Farm CL. This is the best CL we have stayed at so far with water points, hook-up and rubbish bins for each pitch, very friendly and helpful owners and a short walk to a pub. Unfortunately the weather deteriorated on the Friday night and we woke the following day to misty, drizzly weather. The pub came in very handy again!
Lyn at The Pilchard Inn

Burgh Island and Bigbury Sands
We moved on from Bigbury on the Sunday morning stopping and Aveling Giffard to take Button for a "short" walk. The walk proved not to be so short as we had not taken a map and ended up walking for several miles before we found our way back to Morag. Our destination for the night was the Steamer Quay site in Totnes itself. A good site, very convenient for the town, but with no hook-up. We met Sue and Andy for Sunday lunch at Maisie's Cafe in the town.
On Monday the 24th June we walked the mile or so along the riverside path to the South Devon Railway station and caught the steam train to Buckfastleigh. The train ride alongside the Dart was very pleasant. We made the return journey after a pub lunch.
South Devon Railway

Our next move was from Steamer Quay to the CMC site at Hillhead. This large site has excellent facilities including a swimming pool, bar and restaurant. Unfortunately the restaurant was closed because of a fire but a mobile fish and chip van was on site. We, however, had steak cooked outside Morag and chips from the van.
Lyn woke up on Wednesday with a very sore hip and, as the weather was poor, I took the bus from the camp site entrance into Kingswear to collect a sculpture that I had purchased the previous week from a shop in Dartmouth. The weather remained wet all day.
By Thursday the weather had improved a little, as had Lyn's hip, so we took the bus to Brixham. We liked Brixham, particularly the harbour are. We had our mandatory Devon Cream Tea and Lyn had her hair done while I wandered about taking photos.
Brixham Harbour reflections

We left Hillhead on the Friday and, after calling on Sue to say goodbye, we made our way to Stover CP. This country park is very pleasant with good paved walks around lakes. It would be good for dragonflies if the weather was a little better though it did stay dry while we were there. That night we returned to the Gloucester Old Spot pub CL for our overnight stop.
After a stop at the Rollright Stones for photos and to give Button her walk, we drove to Bob and Lucy's in Kings Sutton for Amber's first birthday party and BBQ. We slept that night in Morag on Bob's drive.
The Rollright Stones

Amber opening her birthday cards with Rowan and Lucy

We had Sunday lunch with the family at a pub in Adderbury and relaxed in Bob and Lucy's garden in the afternoon and evening.
On Monday the 3rd we left Kings Sutton to travel to Milton Keynes. We stopped for groceries in Buckingham, then again at the Stony Stratford Nature Reserve for a walk, before driving to Milford Leys Farm CL in Castlethorpe, very close to Hanslope where we live some 14 years ago. This CL is very peaceful with only the baa-ing of the sheep and Moo-ing of the cows to disturb us.
By the River Great Ouse at Stony Stratford Nature Reserve
Milford Leys CL

Our friend Karen came to visit us on the Tuesday and we walked across the fields to The Navigation pub. This pub has changed greatly since we lived in the area and is now an Italian style gastropub. We enjoyed our lunch sitting in the sunshine on the terrace before walking back to the CL.
Our very good friend Noel and Rosie live not far away in Newport Pagnell and we spent the Wednesday catching up with their news, eating and drinking.
I had arranged to meet with some work colleagues at The Navigation on the Thursday. Simon, Angela nd Richard joined us for a drink and a bar snack. In the evening we drove to our friends Rory and Marie in Stony Stratford and went with them to a Japanese restaurant in Wolverton. The meal, and the company, was excellent! Noel and Rosie looked after Button for us as we felt that leaving her in Morag on such a warm evening would not be good.
On Friday 7th July we drove to Summer Leys NR near Wellingborough to do some bird watching. This was one of our regular bird watching haunts when we lived in Hanslope. The best sighting of the day was very good views of several Bullfinches at the feeding station. Later that day we went to see Alison Billings, another friend, in Hanslope. The evening saw us at the vicarage BBQ. The vicar of Hanslope is another good friend and used to be a regular visitor to us when we lived in France. For some reason he doesn't see Leek as such a suitable holiday destination!
Poor camera phone shot of Bullfinch and Chaffinch at Summer Leys NR 

We left Milford Leys on the Saturday morning driving to Berkhamsted via the Ashridge Estate for a walk. The visit to Berkhamsted was for lunch with our nephew David on the occasion of his 40th birthday. We left for the journey home to Leek in the early evening.
Us at Ashridge Estate

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