Jolly Jaunt to the New Forest

Thursday 27th April 2017

We decided to take Bertha away for a couple of days using Brit Stops.  This is membership we purchase for £25 which provides a book and sticker and lets us stay for free at various locations such as pubs, restaurants, vineyards and farms etc.

So off we popped and discovered a lovely town called Hyth and decided to have a walk and stretch our legs.

We discovered the Hythe Ferry  we take you to Southampton Harbour, definitely one to try out in the future.  There is a Victorian pier which has an electric train which takes the passenger to the end of the pier.

We loved our short visit and the wonderful views of boats and ocean liners.

After a cup of tea and cake in the Hythe Costa off we went again in search of New Forest ponies and beautiful views.  Along Beaulieu Road there are many places to stop and we found an area whichHorses looks a bit like a beach with a walk up a hill and panoramic views – stunning.

Overnight was spent at The Glen with live entertainment on – female singer, she was very good and her voice was similar to Adele.

 

Friday 28th April 2015

IMG_2848A must visit is the Beaulieu National Motor Museum, it had been quite a few years since our last visit – or should I say decades, so we decided to do the lot.  This included the monorail, the ride in the vintage bus and of course the beautiful gardens and Palace House.

This is certainly a full day out and a must for any visitor, the cafe was clean and also served a good lunch and all the staff were so friendly.

me in car

Part of the museum also houses the Top Gear experience, this was an opportunity to see all the mad vehicles that had been reinvented and view all the memorabilia.

There is also a mock up studio and clips from the various shows.

housePalace House is also a must with the mill pond on one side and the formal gardens with topiary – at the moment Alice in wonderland is heavily featured.

 

 

Back to our previous stop along Beulieu Road to cook up some dinner, Fray Bentos pie, new potato, veg and gravy – perfect.  As we were parked up a young stag turned up having a munch on the vegetation right up to the van – what an experience.

Overnight stop at The Crown Stirrup which is under new management.  This is a beautiful little pub with bags of atmosphere, another one on our list to visit very soon.  They have a huge pub garden with a large firepit and oversized furniture.  But the best feature is the back gate which leads directly in to the forest – perfect.

Saturday 29th April 2017

IMG_2965We experienced a very peaceful night and decided to walk off in to the forest for a constitutional.  Wonderful and well used, we met other walkers who told us where the bluebells were and about a carving of a dragon.  Only a short walk this time as I had overdone it at the museum and my ankles were playing up.

 

FullSizeRender

 

Today we had planned to go home but not before popping in to Lyndhurst which is the capital of the New Forest and also driving along some scenic routes looking out for wildlife.  We were not disappointed as we found ponies, donkeys (naughty eating plants), cattle and deer.

We stopped for a cup of tea at Peggy Mays Cafe in the main street and then had a walk around the town window shopping.  We also visited the New Forest museum which was very educational.

IMG_2971

Back at Bertha it was time to have another cup of tea and we decided to do our own brew up – but what about cake?  Off I popped and came back with a takeaway cream tea – a perfect end to our holiday.

Advertisements

Two Go To Wales

So for our April holiday we decided to take Bertha to Wales for a short week with the aim of popping over to the Brecons – this is our diary of the trip.

First of there was a stop at Cardiff, Nikki has bought me tickets for my birthday to the Dr Who Experience and I was really looking forward to the trip.

It appeared that once Cardiff got her grips on us, we never left until the end of the holiday! What an amazing city to explore, so here is what we did.

First of all a quick nod to the Trip Advisor (check me out on it as Kaz Bissell) timeline, this is a fab way of keeping track of where you have been and photographs – amazing

Our aim originally was to do all wild camping, it did not fully work out that way but a couple of nights was achieved.

Monday 17th April 2017
FullSizeRenderI had done considerable research on wild camping recommendations and was keen to check out Roath Park.   This is a very popular park with a beautiful large lake, gardens, woodland and basically all the other stuff such as boating, play areas, hot house etc. We found a side road to the park called Wild Gardens Road – very apt name. On one side was the lake and the other the woods, nice and peaceful but also near a bit of civilisation.
Perfect with a little branch line station down the road which is a 10 train ride to Cardiff Central and cheap – a few quid for a single and cheaper for the senior rail card 
So a train ride to Cardiff and off we walked in search of a little drink and just a scout out of Cardiff. We soon fell in to a bar called The Hashery, a nice bar with cocktails 2-1 for £6.95 all day, great vibe, good music and a little quirky. This has gone down on our list for a place to visit again.  After a couple of cocktails we decided to try their signature dish of mussels which was scrummy and reasonably priced.
Then we went off for a stroll around Cardiff taking in the odd mural and avoiding beggars (some professional), this is the one let down of the city – such a shame, but probably a necessity.
Time was rolling on and we decided to go to the pictures at the Vue Cinema which had a deal on with £4 tickets – bargain. The film we saw was the Ghost in the Shell – great movie and one to recommend.
After a great movie and another stroll we headed back to Roath Park by taxi, on reflection we should have taken the train back but we were tired and assumed that the train would not be running – wrong.
An uneventful evening at the park with the exception of snoring geese!
Tuesday 18th April 2017
So the next morning it was time to have a walk around the park. It was full of swans, geese, ducks, coots and other water fowl and there were various young (ducklings, goslings). I was good to see that the park was protecting the Swans on their nests and have put a temporary fencing around them.
For the next stop off it was to the Cardiff Caravan and Camping Park which is a 10 minute walk along the River Taff to the city centre – perfect location.
This is a good location with clean shower blocks and a café – although we did not dine there. The pitches have self-contained water, grey water dump and electrics. Whilst we were there they were upgrading some of the hard standing. Not greatly spread out and £30 per night because of the great location.
Wednesday 19th April 2007 
IMG_2543

Bute Park this is a large park behind Cardiff Castle with well-maintained borders and a little café. From here we took the Water Bus to Cardiff Bay. What a lovely journey just taking in the local wild fowl and enjoying the sedate ride with commentary, a great way to travel.

 

This is where the Dr Who Experience is located a great venue to visit with all the monsters, Daleks and Tardis consoles as well as costumes. Check out my trip advisor  for the full SP. We walked round the bay to the Norwegian Church Arts Centre which is quite a building which stands out well, there is outside seating which provide a wonderful view of the bay.
Cardiff Bay is where the National Assembly is located, we did not get a chance to pop in but apparently it is an interesting building to visit.
We popped our head in to the Millennium Centre which at the time were hosting Sister Act and outside was being set up for the Lady Boys of Bangkok!
Lunch was at Bills Cardiff Bay Restaurant, a wonder three course affair which was quite reasonable and definitely worth another visit in the future – add this to your list.
We walked back from the Bay which was very pleasant and good exercise although there were plenty of buses available (although the water bus finished too early).
It was time to seek out food so we picked TGI Fridays which should be a safe bet – nope. Poor service and below standard food, that one is off the list for us.

Thursday 20th April 2017
We stayed overnight at the Cardiff Caravan Park again as it was so comfortable and easy for the City Centre – time to pack up, so we moved next to Bute Park for a spot of wild camping!
IMG_2698

All parked off so off to the Cardiff Castle we went, we have always looked from the outside and never visited – a mistake, what a great attraction. We went up the large keep and took panoramic photographs of Cardiff and visited the air raid shelters within the walls (very atmospheric). Also as a bonus I flew an owl!
We dined in the van tonight and then decided to pop to a local pub literally 3 minutes away called Y Mochyn Du, what a fab pub. Lovely atmosphere and frequented by the cricket teams and other sporty people. After a very good Welsh Gin made with Seaweed we ambled back to Bertha for sleeps which were undisturbed.

Thursday 20th April 2017
IMG_2747

 

Today we go back home but not without a visit to The Big Pit which involved a trip underground wearing helmets and lights, well worth a visit.

Dear Diary

Dear Diary,

Yesterday we were very naughty.

It all started good, we walked down to town to purchase food for dinner which would be nutritious, wholesome e and adhere to the Slimming World diet.

We were walking past the Liberal Club and our daughter Nikki waved, so we popped in to say hello to Nikki, Lee and the boys. What a lovely time we have, having cuddles with baby Harrison and watching Logan play with his friends. What a lovely end to a working week.

What I did not realise was that we were drinking doubles (naughty Sue), this was early evening before dinner ooops.

Well, we had a lovely time, fab company, joined the club and reluctantly went shopping.

So let’s cut to the chase, dinner consisted off a large plate of southern fried chicken, scrummy. Oh yes, I did also have coleslaw and tomato 🙃. Followed but trifle – get in 😜. Then it went further downhill and we washed it down with a huge bar of chocolate eat, mine was fruit and nut.

What a glorious blow out, but you know what? I don’t feel guilty, I needed to cut loose, but I know not to get on the scales and now must strengthen my resolve.