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Published: October 25th 2018
Leaving Warwick we had a day to spare before we were due to meet up with an old friend near Daventry. Rugby seemed to be a nice place to head for and thanks again to ‘Brit Stops’, we found yet another lovely little Canal Side stop over, The Barley Mow, Newbold. It turned out the Land Lord and Lady are keen motor homers and have a large Euro Box in the car park themselves. We also found a classic Hymer MH parked up to so we were in good company. It turned out that our friend worked a ten minute drive from the pub so we dropped the Jacks and wound out the slide, we’d be here a couple of days. What a couple of lovely days we had too, great company, beautiful walks either way along the canal and an all wander into Rugby to see the home of the great game and if you’re familiar with Tom Browns School Days, some other less well known public school pass times. Coming from Eton it was interesting to see how a similar establishment carry’s on, no different really. The highlight was being able to catch up with our friend who we’ve
not seen for years, this really was a good trip. Funny thing is we were staying on the Oxford Canal, we could have got here easily from the Rock of Gibraltar which you may remember from a previous blog, it may have taken a few days but hey who cares. We’ll try it one day I’m sure.
So where to next we asked ourselves, well we had mentioned Norfolk, had we? Ok let’s go… This was the longest non-stop drive we’ve had in the RV and it was effortless, I love driving this thing. After passing Sandringham, nod to HM, we ended up on the Wash, a cracking and quirky little village call Heacham, Norfolk. Heacham is one of England lost villages although how you could lose a village here is beyond me, it’s so flat. A couple of nights in the Bushel and Bat would do us nicely. It was only a short walk to the beach which gave us some great long walks in either direction. We did have a slight issue with the wild life en-route though. Because it was so quiet, hundreds of Ducks and even a few chickens were to be found
just wandering in the road and around the village green. What’s the problem with that you ask? When you’ve got ‘bird killer’ Purdie and ‘I’m going to scream and make an idiot of myself’ Sonny in tow, believe me it’s a problem. Ah well… The beach front was a sea (pardon the pun) of mobile homes in the biggest holiday park I’ve ever seen. There’s a noisy beach front Fun Fair and Fish and Chip Shops feeding the holiday makers. I would imagine the village is pleased when summer ends.
Leisurely start and we’re heading around and down the coast on a very pleasant if not challenging at times, drive to Sutton Laithe and the car park of the aptly named Sutton Laithe Hotel, nestled right on the Norfolk Broads and Laithe Marina. The Norfolk Broads is a fabulous network of water ways and lakes with villages and hamlets lost in time. Windmills break the flat horizon and the sight of classic sail barges majestically navigating the canals is so tranquil and utterly beautiful, we loved it.
We took a short drive just down the road to Lathams of Potter Heigham, a massive marina and discount
store. It was packed with folk filling trolleys full of discounted stuff, amazing place in the middle of nowhere. We had a cuppa and took the Dawgs for a trot along the water way. Riverside Chalet’s lined the route, all very nicely renovated and some for rent too. An old converted Windmill stood majestically among the reeds, next to which was a post box. I bet the Posties fight over that collection, it was at least a half hour walk from the main road. Boat Posties maybe?
Now here’s a thing, rain, and lot’s of it again so off we set, next stop West Street Vinyard, Near Ipswich. Now this is a nice place, another working Vineyard, we could get used to these. The turn in was a bit tight but we did it and settled in for the night amongst the Vines. Next to us was a lovely Classic VW Camper, for sale too. That’ll be a great buy for someone.
Next morning it was up early to gather some provisions and an irresistible cooked breakfast overlooking the VineYard. The rain has stopped and I think today will be another good day. Canterbury seemed to
be a good target destination, so armed with our £2.50 Dartford Bridge fee, we set off towards The Smoke. So much time spent in Spain had us thinking toll booths, however the crossing fee is actually an online thing that gives you 24 hrs or so to pay once you’ve used it, clever... hmm note to self too.
So we arrive in Canterbury, nice, and head for the New Dover Road Park and Ride, wow. If you could ever get excited about a car park, well let me tell you. Surrounded by dog fields (dog walks), Waste Dump suitable for our beastie, fresh water tap, ample space to spread out, CCTV and overnight security although it felt pretty safe to me and.... all for £3.50 for 24hrs, oh yes and a free bus into the city every 15mins, beat that backward thinking councils!! Needless to say there were plenty of car park buddies, all very friendly with different tales to tell and all heading in different directions which was fun.
Next morning we all took a bus ride into the city, top deck for a better view. Purdie crashed out totally uninterested while Sonny, bless him, was not
too sure. He’s getting better at bus travel but it’s fair to say it’s not his favourite mode of transport.
Canterbury City is a fabulous place to visit, Lyd loved the Hippy shops and you’re spoiled for choice with the cafes and coffee shops. The dog’s wowed the crowd and the staff outside the Cathedral gates, so much so I put a hat down to earn some cash from the photo opportunities tourists were taking. It was a lot like walking through Windsor if I’m honest. One big disappointment was the £12 fee for going in to the Cathedral. All I wanted to do was take a few photos so my answer was top forget it, however I feel aggrieved for folk that may want to genuinely do a bit of worshipping. I do get the place is old and needs some up keep, however if the Church of England has enough slosh cash to even think about bailing out a failed Pay Day Loan firm, then surely it should open its doors for free. Didn’t the man himself once get the hump with folk making money in a church? hmmm.
While we were in Canterbury, we had
some major down pours, a good time to check for leaks, luckily none found, and to contemplate how to catch rain water on longer trips so we didn’t have to stop for water every fourth day. While I’m on that subject and the whole purpose of this trip, the Solars, brilliant happy batteries, happy me, we’ve well and truly ticked that box.
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