This page was last updated: 18 November, 2017 14:54
15 May to 25 May, 2016: Lydford.
We start the year with a journey to Lydford which is on the western edge of Dartmoor and some 140 odd miles from home. We took the south coast route to get there, stopping at the 'A35 Pit Stop' Kilmington Cross, Kilmington, for a really good roast lunch. The Caravan Club site is quiet and fairly close to the village with easy access to the moor. Lydford Gorge is somewhere not miss. It is a National Trust site and offers some good walks through the gorge with great views of the water fall and surrounding scenery.
There are a couple of places to eat nearby and we found the food at The Castle Inn excellent and reasonably priced. The Dartmoor Inn, just outside the village on the A386, offered a good menu which was a bit more expensive than other local eating places.
The dog walks on the caravan site were good and there were many easy to reach areas to take our pet dog.
Lydford is located centrally in Devon with good road access to northern locations and places of interest to the south. We visited the copper mine at Morwellham Quay, on a lovely day, and enjoyed the 'train' ride through the workings and the clever way the custodians have managed to preserve the old buildings and demonstrate the way of life in the days when the mine was working. Another day out was to 'The Eden Project'; this really was well worth the effort and car journey. we parked the car in a covered area especially provided for vehicles with animals. The site itself is a good day out with so much to see and be a part of. I didn't get a chance to have a go on the zip wire unfortunately! A ten minute drive from Lydford is The Finch Foundary at Stickleback, Okehampton. It's a rather quaint, small, place with a nice garden as well as the foundry itself where the hosts give excellent demonstrations of how the daily tasks were carried out.
13 to 20 June, 2016: Bransgore, New Forest
11 to 19 July 2016: Black Horse Farm, Folkstone
I've always wanted to visit Dover Castle and this is where we pitched up to achieve our goal. We finally joined English Heritage before visiting the castle which has since proved to be well worth the cost of membership. The site was really good and the many rabbits were cheekily tame; Ben, our dog, thought he was one of them and didn't take the slightest notice, just watched them bobbing about.
Very impressed with our visit to Dover Castle. Looking around the castle above ground was great but then we had a tasty lunch followed by a trip underground - wow! Well worth the trip. We also got to the top of the Dover cliffs and enjoyed the view over the Dover Straits (brought back memories of the many times we crossed in our boat Inadee. Ben just loved the cliff top, he sniffed and peed beyond believe.
Another day out took us to Battle where we visited the Abbey and battle site which was enlightening and informative - a good day out.
During our stay we ventured to Rye taking in the countryside as we went. Rye was a nice change and we had a nice lunch in a cafe opposite the 'Old Borough Arms'.
19 to 25 September 2016: Chew Valley, Somerset
I wanted to re-visit the location where I used to undertake potholing in and around Cheddar Gorge and Priddy. Unfortunately, the New Inn, where I spent many evenings with the Royal Navy outdoor adventurers, closed in 2013 and the Hunters Lodge wasn't open when we visited. However, we did manage lunch at the Queen Victoria pub in Priddy. Fountain Cottage where the Royal Navy based the potholing venture, it is now a private house, looking a bit more spick and span.
We spent a day at Cheddar Gorge, dodging the crowds and traffic, but it was a good experience and took me back to the days when we abseiled the rock faces.
Our campsite was just on the outskirts of Bishop Sutton, and was well placed to visit the surrounding area. The local pub, 'The Red Lion', did a nice meal, reasonably priced. We also tried the fish and chips from the Chew Valley lakeside chippy but were a little disappointed.
Wells turned out to be a good place to visit and we spent some time at the Bishops Palace - Very good!