As you may know, if you read our Blog, we are finding harder and harder to stay at home at the weekend. Even as I type this, on Tuesday, I’m thinking, “Where can we go on Friday?”.
So with UK holiday season still in full swing many campsites I’d like to have visited, in the New Forest, were either full or charging silly prices (£34 a night..in a Forest..with no facilities? Really?). With that in mind I looked on the Motorhome Parkings website and saw that a pub, very close to us in Cholderton, was fine with Motorhomes staying over. Without further ado we were heading down the A303 to Cholderton (about 12 miles). The pub has a big car park and, more importantly, Beer and food!!!
After some fine Beers and wine..and evening meal, we headed back to Humberto for the night. Success. I love it when an otherwise expensive campsite fee can be diverted to my Beer fund instead.
(Click for larger images)
On Saturday we headed off, pre-breakfast, to try and get to Stourhead as early as possible. Stupidly, for someone who lives so close to Stonehenge, I got caught up in the ever-present traffic jam there. I realise that you can’t complain about traffic when you ARE traffic but the issue of Stonehenge traffic has been an issue for most of my life. Having a Motorway (M3) funnel into a dual-Carriageway (A303) all the way from London that suddenly becomes a single carriageway to the West Country is a recipe for disaster. I’m sure everyone reading this will have had many hours subtracted from their holidays because of it. On the plus side you do get plenty of time to stare at Stonehenge from a distance.
Anyway, we got to Stourhead car park about 11am and did the breakfast and make-up (Angeline, not me) thing there. Hats off to National Trust for superb coffees in their cafe. It topped off my bacon sandwich perfectly. We’re National Trust members so Stourhead is a superb free morning out. It’s different every time you visit and we got some breathtaking views.
I really want to go back in “full Autumn” when the colours are at their peak. Timing is everything so we’ll see.
Once we were done at Stourhead we poured over a map for a while and decided to head to the Kennet & Avon canal near Devizes in Wiltshire. It’s somewhere we visit a lot but have only stayed at camp sites. This time we thought we’d try the Caen Hill car park. I’d learnt about it a few months ago and it appears on my Motorhome Parkings app. After a trouble-free drive we arrived about 5pm on Saturday. The carpark was pretty busy but we managed to cram into a space until the dog-walkers and Narrowboat-watchers had driven home. Once there was space we moved to a spot with a nice view. It turned out we were a British Motorhome between 4 Dutch Motorhomes. Clearly the phone App (which is Dutch) is successful.
The 24hr parking fee is paid at the nearby Cafe (200 yards behind me in the above photo). That’s how I know we arrived at 16:50…because the Cafe closes at 17:00 so I ran with my £8. It says you can pay by phone but I have a poor success rate with those systems. The cafe simply takes your £8 and writes your Reg. number in a log. Done. Get the dinner cooking.
I set the alarm for 6am on Sunday because I wanted to fly my Drone at sunrise. Just like most photography the best times are first light and last light. Also It means I’m not disturbing anyone. If anyone is around then I always ask if it bothers them (The folks on the Canal boat were fine about it and wanted to know where they could watch the video…they now have Humberto’s card).
I headed back at 7am and waited for Angeline to wake. We headed to the Cafe for cofffees at 10am and returned for a cooked breakfast. Once we’d finished it was back home. The nice thing is that it only takes about an hour so we had most of the day left. That concluded another weekend adventure. It’s simply amazing just how much you can pack into a weekend when you have a Motorhome and are willing to use car parks.
It would be nice if the UK villages adopted the French Aire system though. Anyway..until they do..it’s car parks.
Finally here is a short video from my Drone of the Caen Hill Locks.
Lee at Go Humberto !