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Keef & Anne's Travel Blog

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By keef and annie hellinger, Nov 19 2018 09:53AM

Motorhome trip No35 : Nov 16th- 18th 2018


NOTTS->Waterloo Farm Leisure, Great Oxendon, Northamptonshire ->NOTTS 127 miles


258 years and counting and 30+ camping years under our belts collectively ;)


We visited Waterloo Farm with our dear pals Pete and Joy. One of the few adult only sites open at this time of year. Although late on in the year we had 2 very sunny (yet crisp) days and one overcast day on arrival.

We were on grass pitches 53 & 54 next to one of the 3 fishing lakes on the site. An anglers paradise only none of us fish, only eat it! Lakeside hard standing pitches were only £17.50 per night at this time of year, a bargain esp. when the early morning sun rose over the lake a fantastic breakfast outlook. The facilities were not bad but one would guess in high season inadequate in number. The very large shower /loo/washrooms could be converted into a greater number of separate loos in my humble opinion however we were not complaining. I didn’t even get time to read the National Geographic on offer.


Such fun to catch up once we all set up over a few bevies. We had a lovely goulash meal on Friday eve that Pete had prepared earlier and Joy rustled up in the van, fantastic and oh those cheesecakes to die for.


Saturday after bacon butties we walked along the old railway track into Market Harborough past all the sloes and rosehip bushes. The farm seemed to grow masses of winter feed type greens. We crossed the border into Leicestershire (smile) At the outskirts of Market Harborough the Millennium Mile starts and we took that past allotments, Bowden recreation park into the town centre. A lovely place with great architecture, the old grammar school / butter cross, indoor market where Keef bought some black bomber cheese. P&J had bought some from their local butcher, a huge slab, I love it! The church , Crimbo Deccies, River Welland, Old town hall and Everest & West shop were most interesting. We then rested and refreshed in the Old Swan pub and finally caught a cab back to the site for more chat over cheese and bikkies.


In the eve we had a meal up in the site restaurant and very nice it was too in their conservatory.


Sunday after brekkie A&I went back along the old railway line to collect sloes, which were in abundance, for homemade sloe gin. A task to be undertaken with relish! We then all packed up and said our fond farewells. Another fab relaxing weekend with our pals.


If you would like to see slideshows and a video of our fun please CLICK HERE, thanks


the old grammar school, market harborough
the old grammar school, market harborough



By keef and annie hellinger, Mar 29 2018 06:47PM

Motorhome trip No32 : March 22nd – 27th 2018


NOTTS->Threlkeld, Lake District NP, Cumbria ->NOTTS 396 miles


Used the truck nav which took us up the east side of the country i.e M1, M18 , A1(M) until about Scotch corner where we travelled across the fabulous A66 and old roman road route through the Pennines to Penrith and then onto Threlkeld to the Threlkeld Hall site on a farm. We were meeting up with our group of long time friends who had initially camped over the fell at White Horse Bent by Scales in the Lake District National Park in August 1973 some 45 years ago. This is our 2nd reunion having met up in London in August 2016. Sadly not everyone could make this one but we welcomed back into our fold Peter Linnett who I personally have not seen in the last 45 years, such a joy to reconnect! The whole weekend was a delight and we both still have a heavy glow of happiness and inner well being. The expression may well be “Far out & Solid”!


The campsite was a short walk across fields into Threlkeld where most of our pals were staying in the cottage opposite the Horse & Farrier Inn called Heather View. At night if the A66 was closed for road works we could walk up it back to the campsite with torches in the dark. If not it was generally a muddy trek in the dark avoiding the dog dirt (a personal pet hate…. If you will forgive the pun)


The site was hard standing with all 3 services, water, electrics and grey water disposal which was good. However on the negative side at £25 / night the facilities were very very limited for 20 pitches having only one shower and loo and sink for men and women. Apart from its convenience to us in terms of closeness to Threlkeld I could not recommend it.


We were on pitch 9 and our pals Chris & Allyson were on pitch 12. Some of the things we did were catching up, Keswick, Threlkeld views, eating/ drinking and making merry, Mandy’s local fete near Ullveston, Blues festival at Bowness. We were really lucky with the weather in the Lake District for March with 3 days of sunshine, lets not talk about the other days…. There were elements of monkeys and brass involved and the proverbial liquid sunshine.


On the way back we used the M6 and cut across at Stoke. It took 5 hours returning and 3 and half hours getting there.


Want to see the SLIDESHOWS


Re the fab band we saw at the Bowness Bay Blues at the Hole Int Wall pub they were Changing State and they were fab.

Changing State are a young South Lakes-based band. This group of talented teenagers play solid blues infused rock music, but they draw their influences from diverse sources including modern jazz and punk as well as classic Led Zeppelin-style rock. Changing State are: Michael (vocals); two Jacks (both guitar); Fergus (bass); and Maddie (drums).


Pitch 9 Threlkeld Hall Touring Park
Pitch 9 Threlkeld Hall Touring Park




By keef and annie hellinger, Oct 9 2017 03:21PM

Motorhome trip No30 : October 6th- 8th 2017


NOTTS->Houghton Mill National Trust Site, Cambridgeshire ->NOTTS 187 miles


252 years and 30+ camping years under our belts collectively ;)


A very nice site in a gorgeous location next to a old working mill on the banks of the river great ouse in Cambridgeshire with our dear pals Pete & Joy, who arrived in their lovely new Baileys autograph motorhome. A lovely grassed site with very modern heated facilities. We would highly recommend this site but remember to take your ramps, many of the pitches require them. You can get food in the local NT café at the front of the site if you don’t want to venture further into either the village of Houghton or Hemingford Abbot (about a mile away over the river) We of course did both!


We travelled via M1, A14, A151 to Houghton. Took about 1 hour 30.


Lovely sunny Friday afternoon with sun so we checked in , filled up with water and set up on pitch 10 and put up our sign and water hose on pitch 53 next to us to reserve it for P&J. Weird pitch numbering system that we didn’t try and explore. After waving furiously at the wrong people (blush) who arrived in a Bessacar we net up with P&J. Its been a while. We had tea and some of Annie’s lovely homemade cake.

We them walked to the 3 Horseshoes (own barrel room) for some pre dinner drinks then a simple evening meal of lasagne, salad and garlic bread. Lovely evening chatting and catching up.


Saturday after a nice scrambled egg and smoked salmon brekkie we walked into Hemingford Abbot cross country and through the lovely village with many thatched cottages and 3 (yes 3) rectories. Had a lovely lunch and drinks in the Axe and Compass – a very nice old style pub.We then walked back past the cows and visited the Mill shop where we bought some Potto Brown flour. He is the local Quaker hero and miller born in Houghton. To find out more click here.


Luckily back before the rain so we played who wants to be a millionaire, guess the wine and chatted followed by some nice cheese and bikkies .


We said our goodbyes on Sunday morning and hope to meet up again soon. Lovely weekend, nice site and area, we will be back. As we were both not so well we cancelled our additional 2 days in Rutland and returned home early.


Lunch at the Axe & Compass, Hemingford Abbot
Lunch at the Axe & Compass, Hemingford Abbot

see SLIDESHOWS for more details




By keef and annie hellinger, Aug 1 2017 06:08PM

A brief summary of the key highlights of our trip travelling with friends on the Big Trip Holiday 2017


Arrived (1st time) in Auckland from Sydney, Overnight then Cook Isles, Walk, Wait, Agapanthus, Arrived (2nd time) from Rarotonga, Cook Isles. 3 days central area, harbour, wharves, ferries,coast to coast walk (for C&A) , Maritime museum, murals, tepid baths,Britomart, Queens wharf, Quay st, Federal St, Churches, slopes,Hobson west marina, Masters games, Wynyard quarter, amazing architecture,Fish market, Heritage landing, North Wharf, Sarah, Pier 4, Rangitoto, Volcanic explorer tour,Summit views, Motutapu, Lava, Sunshine, Day out in Devonport, The Arcade, Esplanade Hotel,Victoria Road, King & Queens parade, various reserves, Mount Victoria, Clarys, Haircut, Hauraki gulf, Auckland art gallery, Maoiri paintings,The body laid bare exhibition, Joseph at the Civic, Collecting vans at Richard Pearce drive, Mangere, Auckland, Extra hidden costs, Orewa, Beach, Man with tourettes, Orewa beach,Countdown/Pac-N-Save/New World,shells, historic Puhoi, Twin coast highway, Mangawhai heads, Ruakaka beach, Whangerai, Hatea river, Town basin, glassblowing, canopy bridge, Tutikaka, Matapouri, Kawakawa, Ohua, Okiato, Russell, Hundertwasser, Hangi,Clapham clocks, Waterfall , Manawoara, Rawhiti, wetlands, marae, Waimarama bay, Bay of Islands, Historic Russell, pier, boat ramps, ferries, sunshine, exotic sub tropical plants, Tapeka point, Rocky bay reserve, Weka, Paihai, Water taxis, Waitangi, Whangaroa, marlin, wharfs & jetties, Volcanic plus, 90 mile beach, Twilight beach, Tapotupotu bay, DOC, Tyres R Us, Kevin the AAman, Cape Reinga, Lighthouse, Te Paki reserve, Old Kahina tree, Views to die for, Te Paki sand dunes, Broadwood, Kohukohu, Hokianga ferry, Twin coast highway, Rawene, Opononi, Aria-te-aru reserve, South heads, historic Dargaville, meeting up with C&A again in countdown car park, Donelly crossing, loggers, fab kiwi trees, Kaiwaka, farm stay, outside loo with a view, C&A visited lake Kai Iwi on the way to Dargaville, we did east coast, they did west coast, remet Whakapapa village then Wellington, Kaipara coast sculpture park, Helensville, Ginger crunch railway cafe, flat whites, Railways, Thames, Coromandel peninsular & Forest park, Wharf, Ferry, Shelly beach, Colville, Horse, Wahine, Music festival, Buddist retreat, Port Jackson, gravel road,Top of coro, Mercury bay, Tairua, freedom camping, waves, rain (lots),fishing off rocks, Waihi beach, Katikati, murals, Mount Manganui, Pilot bay, Marine parade, Motuotou & Moturiki islands, boysenberry icecream, Papamoa beach, beach street, strelitzia,Maori sculpture, bluebiyou restuarant, chalets, sunshine, relaxing, fun, chatting to guy from england , Pikowai, Pacific coast highway, Te Puke, Thornton, Whakatane, 2 islands, Smokin' volcano, Edgecumbe floods, Mt Edgecombe, Galatea road, sickly horse, Lunch at lake Aniwhenua, autumn colours, Hydro electric dam, Kopuriki, Road only just opened due to floods, Murupara, Maori funeral, Forests, Lake Taupo, Reids Carving, Breweries, Fooderies, Outrigger boats, Tourist info, icecream, Lake lookout, DOC site, Free, Tongariro views, sunsets, fishing boats, great sleep, cold at night - getting so, 5 mile bay site, Motuoapa bay, licorice (spelling haha!) cafe, flat whites, black swans, novelty VW cabins, Desert road, Turangi,National Park, Restuarant (not this time), Tranz Alpine station, Whakapapa village, rain, meeting up with C&A again at the dump station, Visitors centre, Cafe coffee, snow, Chateau Tongariro, Taihape, Gumboots, Spooner hill road, sheep, cows, Gentle annie pass, Moawhango, views to die for, Rangitikei river, Silverdale historic bridge, Valleys, Mountains, Hastings , 1930s architecture,Queens & Railway St, Westermans, Clock tower, Te Mata peak, Ocean beach, Waimarama, Blue cod, Fish & chips St Aubyn st, Surfers, Havelock north, Duart house and gardens, Murals, Wineries, Tukituki river, Kairakau beach, reflections, Paua shells, ice creams at waipawa, Waipukurau, Lake Hatuma, Wanstead, Wallingford bridge, sheep (again), Porangahau, Never finding the beach down the gravel road (cooks tooth), Longest name of place in the world (no don't ask me to spell it ;) ) ,Pacific Ocean, Cape Turnagain, Our hero Capt Cook, Herbertville, Wimbeldon, Route 52, Pongaroa, Eketahuna, Pagans, Hippies, Sacrificing virgins (ok maybe not!), Electricity, Late at night, Kiwi country, Herberts store, Steak & Cheese Pies, Museum, Masterton, Wool shed, Joseph Masters, Queen Elizabeth park, Aratoi, Maori ripoff, Tinui, Anzac church & cross, Castlepoint, Deliverance cove, Riversdale beach, Wairarapa wine region, late night into Martinborough, Memorial square, Pain & Kershaw, lake Ferry, Lake Okone and spit, old motorhomes, Cape Palliser, Paua shells, Palliser bay, Ngawi, Tractors, Rock lobster, Road slips,Putangirua pinnacles , Wellington Top10 campsite (so changed), Harbour from Pencarrow head to Lyall bay, shells, ferries, Ward island, Wellesley college, Eastbourne, Day bay,Wahine disaster,Moa point, Middle earth, Trolley buses, Waterfront at night, Te Papa, Macs Brewery, Curry, up early for Interislander ferry, Traffic jams


If you would like to see more please CLICK HERE




Eketahuna camping ground, quite  lovely so peaceful cheap but good
Eketahuna camping ground, quite lovely so peaceful cheap but good



By keef and annie hellinger, Jul 22 2017 10:41AM

We carried on in our hired Britz van which we'd picked up in Adelaide and used thru Victoria. We covered all of the following and a lot more.


Entering New South Wales (NSW) from Mallacoota (Victoria), Eden, harbour & whale museum, Old Tom, Ben Boyd , Whale lookout, Twofold bay, Pambula beach, fishing, roos, birds, Rosellas, Brewery (closed), Farm stores, Horse food, Merimbula, Tura beach, Tathra wharf and beach, Catching flatheads, plaice and salmon (well almost), Bermagui, Dalmeny, Borrell, Meeting up with Steve & Laura, Forsters Bay, Wagonga inlet, Narooma, Wagonga princess, Sexist jokes (not good!),Eurobodalla NP, Mill Bay boardwalk, Rays, Rain (lots), Overpriced fish & chips by campsite, Mogo, Batemans Bay, Kings Highway (B52), Great Dividing Range - no pics too scary driving,Braidswood, Bungedore,Bywong,Goulburn, Marulan, Mittagong, Rural NSW, Balmoral, Buxton, Thirlmere, NSW Railway museum, Cockatoos, Horses, Silverdale, Warragamba dam, visitors centre, Haviland Park, Narabeen Lakes, Class driving campaigns, Handing van back at Britz in a new area of Mascot by airport , Public transport (bus/train/bus) back to Beacon hill apartment, Chilling, Views, Pool, BBQ, Movies, Food, Wine, Beer, Friends, Family, Bus to Manly, Manly Ferry, Harbour & Manly views, Voyager of the Seas cruise liner (D&P&C were on it 2 months later), Botanic gardens, Picnic, Mrs Macquaries chair, Sunsets, Opera, Carmen, Voyager of the Seas, last ferry back, Possum in the park in the dark, Sunny pool days around the Bali hut, No 169 bus route & timetable, Opal cards, Seeing LION at Warringah Mall on a rainy day , C&As time in Sydney with Laura & Steve visiting Blue Mountains & Parkes observatory , Jervis bay, Snakes, Walking, Rain, Hannah and Connor visited and we had a play in the pool, Balgowlah, Lamb dinner (yummy), Lovely seeing David & Hannah again, heavy rain for a day, bright sunshine, day out in sydney centre, manly ferry, circular quay, barangaroo wharf, cockle bay wharf, darling harbour, harbourside, Hard Rock Cafe, Circular ferry trip, Pyrmont bridge, History, Milsoms point, MacMahons point, Balmain East, Luna Park, Emerald Princess, Maritime museum, Endeavour, Sunsets, Rained all day so watched goldstone (poor), noctural animals (good) and oz gogglebox, Train trip to Broadmeadow, Newcastle to visit Annies cousin Susan, Gosford, Wygong, Hawkesbury river, back from Tassie, Ibis budget airport, Doughnuts (never again), fire alarm, Flight to NZ


If you want to see more please CLICK HERE, thanks



Our site in Mattagong, in rural NewSouth Wales
Our site in Mattagong, in rural NewSouth Wales