Posted in England

18th – 25th July – A Busy Week

With a lot of planning, telephone calls and emails, we finally pulled together a week travelling around in Bessie. We had three days at the Norfolk Motorhome Show, met up with family and friends en-route, and stayed in five different counties.
Oxfordshire was the first county staying at a small site in Tetsworth with mown pitches, roses and shrubs among mature trees. We met up with Wendy, my junior school friend, and soon made our way to Waterperry Gardens which were beautiful with colourful long borders. There were several sculptures including one of a boy on top of a beautiful ornate gate. After our evening meal together in their garden and lots of catching up, her husband John kindly returned us to Bessie.

 

 

 


Cambridgeshire followed on where we stayed at another small site, this time a grass field with electric hook ups on posts along one edge. Although the weather was dull and grey we walked back through the village, passing a fully working windmill on our way to visit the National Trust Wicken Fen Reserve. It was a nice walk alongside a canal and narrow boat, the fens had lots of wild flowers and rare Konic ponies, we saw marsh harriers, reed bunting, great spotted woodpecker and kingfisher among others. There was a rain streaked view across fields from the campsite to the village where we met up with Chris’ niece Lisa and husband Steve for our evening meal in the local pub, returning later to Bessie we finished the evening with brandy and coffee.

 


Norfolk was where we headed after breakfast, stopping off at RSPB Lakenheath with its fens to the side of the path, and huge poplars to shelter us from the wind and later on rain too. The only good birds we saw were a family of four marsh harriers including one parent making a food pass to a youngster. Continuing on to the Norfolk Show Ground near Norwich, we arrived around 4pm at the Motorhome Show for three days of fun. Apart from all the motorhomes to look at, there were many accessories, merchandise and sales goodies to investigate. Each night there was a music show which included Motown and Soul music, tribute acts too with Diana Ross, Four Tops, Michael Jackson, and lastly the original Jimmy James & The Vagabonds.

 

 

It was such good value for money as the three days including entertainment only cost £50, we took all our food and most of our drinks and made a couple of friends who we spent each evening with.

We also had an afternoon trip into nearby Norwich City and joined a walking tour with an enthusiastic guide showing and telling us about many historic highlights. It is a beautiful city with cobbled streets, stone and flint churches, city hall and the largest 6-days a week permanent market in the country, sadly there was no time to visit the cathedral so we will be going back!

 


Suffolk was our fourth county to visit my college friend Sue and husband Ron. Arriving in the small village of Woolpit our campsite was called Swan Lake and had a small paddock sheltered by tall trees, the good sized lake was to one side with several mallards but no swans! Having eaten lunch at the village pub together, we went back to their home for a cup of tea and chatted for a couple of hours, reminiscing about our agricultural secretarial course among other things.

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Surrey was the final county on our week of rambling. Arriving at Hoe Farm in Worplesdon to a mown camping field surrounded by pony paddocks, stables and trees, it was hard to imagine we were on the outskirts of Woking close to London. Taking the train after lunch we arrived at Guildford after 5 minutes meeting up with Chris’ cousin Ann and husband John. Following the River Wey and a canal called The Wey Navigation we headed into a park with a bronze sculpture and a family of swans, stopping at a couple of pubs as we went by. Later having caught up with each other’s news and holidays, we enjoyed an evening meal together before returning to Bessie for our last night.

 


It was a busy few days and very enjoyable too. The journey home was quick and the weather improved too, the sun finally coming out which had been lacking for most of our days away. We just have to book up Sidmouth in early August now ……

Posted in England

Bessie – Bessacarr, June 2017 …..

An unplanned series of events has lead us to change our motorhome sooner than planned. The idea was to investigate a shorter vehicle to change to in a few years time.  On our way home from Devon in May we stopped off at Chelston Motorhomes in Wellington, Somerset to look for a model we had researched.  Having looked around and weighed up various pros and cons, we eventually moved away from our previous ideas and instead of moving on ourselves, we continued looking, it was like kids in a sweet shop!

A Bessacarr took our attention and although the plan was only to look, we ended up ‘doing a deal’ and we were suddenly grinning like Cheshire cats 😆

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We unimaginatively nicknamed her ‘Bessie’, and took delivery in mid June, stopping for one free night at the dealership to test everything out and then moved on to Glastonbury for a a further night.  She is crucially shorter in length and at only 7.04m long she is easier to manoeuvre and position on a pitch. Her lighter weight at just 3.5 tons and a Low Profile model will also make fuel economy more efficient.

She has a pale coloured, modern interior with plenty of light coming through big windows. A well equipped kitchen with full cooker, grill, 3 gas rings and one electric, microwave, large fridge and good sized freezer section, this means we can continue to enjoy cooking while travelling. There is a dedicated shower room with great facilities that is  light and has plenty of floor space to move around comfortably. With access to two separate wardrobes and a small set of drawers there is also plenty storage for shoes and boots too.

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The front seats swivel to face the two long comfortable side seats giving plenty of space for daytime relaxing and a wall mounted TV for evening entertainment.  Having moved away from a dedicated bedroom to get a shorter vehicle, we have been very pleased with the seating that quickly and easily converts into a large double bed, or two separate single beds if required, both with ample storage beneath. Add to that, the dedicated bedding called Duvalays, that have a memory foam mattress contained within purpose made cotton covers zipped to the quilts which throw over you as in a regular bed, we are ‘snug as bugs in a rug’. The bed is made in 3 minutes, while storing under the seating during the day means no clutter either.

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As you can tell, we know we made a good decision to change our motorhome sooner rather than later. We gained valuable and lengthy experience with 7 weeks travelling around Spain in Della,  but it was time to let someone else enjoy her.  The things we learned will enable us to keep our dreams of adventure going for many more years with Bessie as our means of transport and mobile home.