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By keef and annie hellinger, Sep 13 2018 09:18AM

Motorhome trip No34 : Aug 27th- Sept 12th 2018


NOTTS->Scotland and the Isles via Lake District ->NOTTS 1313 miles


Troutbeck nr Penrith,Greystoke, Glasgow, Mull, Iona, Ulva, Kintyre including the Mull of Kintyre, Bute, Arran, much of Argyll & Keswick, Lake District


Summary Overall


A fab time away visiting our dear friends Chris and Allyson in their new home at Ardtun (pronounced Hard – Ton) on the oh so peaceful Isle of Mull plus pulling in 7 ferry trips, 5 Scottish islands, a lot of miles, 2 great days out in Glasgow (which is a truly fabulous city – much better than when we cowered under the bench overnight in Buchanan street bus garage 40 years ago – city of culture now), a great Sunday dinner with friends Lawrence & Yvonne, Strathclyde country park - the old lady who had lived there all her life and not found the Roman fort (lol), classy Charles Rennie & Margaret MacDonald Mackintosh, the Glasgow Boys,Riverside Museum, Hunterian, George Square, Murals, Kelvingrove, real pizzas, Sir John Moore and true scotch food, Hard Rock Cafe, HOHO bus, Bellshill station, scotch mist,wind and rain a plenty on some of the isles plus lots of sunshine, Connel, trying to find the amphitheatre in Oban, humming Mull of Kintyre, Chris reminding me about a lift we had on Mull all those years ago where the lifter played Planxty, the burg, Cnoc Mor, tea and cakes Bunessan, a revisit to Threlkeld, Keswick and a first visit to Tarzan’s Greystoke, Fionnphort, great walk to coast on Iona in the sun (now costs to go around the abbey - progress?),learning something about crofting and de-crofting,that multi-seen french yacht, 2 busted ferries to and from the Isle of Arran, Crab & Lobster soup in the Boathouse Ulva, Shiela's cottage,Lachlan MacQuarrie's mausoleum Mull (Benmore estate - born Ulva as were Dr Livingston's grand parents) , Uisken beach and the big chair, Ardalanish beach rain and red admirals,Bob Ryan MBE Ardalanish weavers,Tarbert, Campbeltown, Mull of Kintyre, Machrihanish, views of Islay, Loch Fyne, revisiting Tighnabruaich,Rothsay, Winter gardens and harbour, Port Bannatyne, Ardrossan, Brodick and castle and grounds, shifting from the dog lounge to the coughing suite on Arran ferry, the Big stone (both Arran and campsite Troutbeck), Corrie, Lochranza and castle, hills of Sannox (lunch twice),fake sheep and a very convincing seal, my first red squirrel in the UK, seal shores views - kildonan, Kinloch, Old byre visitors centre - Machrie, wild camp A83, learning more functionality on our camera, waterfalls galore in Loch Lomond NP and oh so much more, very relaxing, we really enjoyed ourselves.


If you would like to see the slideshows and videos please CLICK HERE


Updated Plan


DAY 1 Mon 27 Aug 3hrs 30mins 178 miles Home to Penrith (straight there 6hrs 10mins 284 miles… too much for 1 day!!!) stay at Troutbeck head site, Troutbeck, Penrith, CA11 0SS (a C&M site) Booking confirmed £33 0008542092

DAY2 Tues 28 Aug 3hrs 4 mins 155 miles Morecambe Bay to Strathclyde Country Park Caravan Club Site L&Y Bothwellhaugh Road, Bothwell, Bothwell, G71 8NY Booking 0008543275 £70.50

DAY3&4: Wed & Thurs 29 & 30 Aug 3 nights with Lawrence & Yvonne, 2 days in Glasgow… note that is 12 miles away by bus.. see Y&L tues eve , they are off Weds so we will probably do 2 days in Glasgow. Park and ride (free) at Bellshill train station, only £4.40 return to Glasgow Central station. What a fab place it is. The hop on hop off bus is only £16 for 2 days. Guess what Glasgow has a Hard Rock Cafe

DAY5: Fri 31 Aug 3hrs 106 miles to Oban, stay at campsite there North Ledaig Caravan Club Site Connel, Oban, Argyll & Bute, PA37 1RU, Scotland C&M club site booked ref 2450 £28.20-£10 deposit paid. Had a quick drive up to find the Victorian amphitheatre at Oban but couldn’t find it, interesting climb on single track road. Campsite wonderful, on beach front with clear views of the isle of Mull

DAY6 – 11 Sat 1 Sep – Fri 7 Sep Ferry Oban to Craignure : on Mull with Chris & Allyson. Leave Fri am 6 full days. Take tickets BOOKED leave oban checkin closes 8.10… leave craignure checkin closes 9.25

£41.20 return #wow . Drive to Cnoc Mor takes about 1 hr, allow 1hr 30 on way back because of traffic.

DAY12: Fri 7 Sep Ferry Craignure to Oban Then on way back 50 miles 1hr 30 mins Oban to Tarbert ferry via Lochgilphead (all Argyll & bute) Camp near Tarbert @ killegruer caravan park, woodend, glenbarr, tarbert, argyll pa29 6xb email sent to book/ now confirmed pay cash We called in at this campsite and it was YUCK! So carried on and stayed at a lovely site just outside Campbeltown (a great town) on the Mull of Kintyre

DAY13: Sat 8 Sep Ferry Tarbert (Argyll mainland) to Portavaidie (across loch fyne) Turn up and go, see timetable then around loch riddon, drive Portavaidie to colintraive ferry terminal 40 mins 19 miles, then Colintraive - Rhubodach Ferry £5 1 way for motorhome plus passengers. Now on the isle of Bute, Spend the rest of the day on Bute… camp there then head to Rothsay. Camp at Roseland Holiday park, Serpentine Road Canada Hill, Isle Of Bute PA20 9EH email sent to book response hardstanding pitch secured. Not the greatest site but high up on the hills overlooking Rothsay so close to ferry. Hardstanding was in basically a car park £20 all in so cheap. Washrooms adequate (just)

DAY14: Sun 9 Sep Ferry Rothsay to Wemyss Bay , then Drive Wemyss Bay to Ardrossan 45 mins 18 miles, Ferry Ardossan to Brodick - Isle of Arran stay 1+ full days (lots to see and much bigger than Bute)camp at Seal Shore Camping & Touring Site, Kildonan ,Isle of Arran ,KA27 8SE ,01770 820320 £23/night 2 nights.. go anti clockwise around the island… 25 mins 14 miles Brodick to Lochranza, see castle… email sent to book Take tickets BOOKED Arran leave ardrossan checkin closes 12 noon… leave brodick (11th) checkin closes 9.15 £46.70 return Update… due to crane crushing drive on / off ramp had to take a later ferry so had nice lunch and coffee in Asda near the terminal. Drove up to Lochranza – nice place, hills of Sannox fab

DAY15: Mon 10 Sep Day on Isle of camp at same site Seal Shore Camping & Touring Site, Kildonan ,Isle of Arran ,KA27 8SE £23/night £20 deposit paid by card, sending confirmation. Drove right around Arran 30 miles top to bottom so about 60 miles in all. Called in at CalMac Brodick after text re ferry cancellation. As the second ferry from Brodick to Ardrossan was also damaged (how careless, winds from storm , ramp cracked – dry dock) and no vehicles over 2.8 meters high could leave we travelled (for the 4th time) back to Lochranza and got the 5.05 pm small ferry back to Cloanaig (Kintyre), very choppy and getting off was fun. Then A83 Lochgilphead, Inveraray (nice) and wild camp just outside Cairndow with own private waterfall

DAY16: Tues 11 Sep then back to mainland via drive Kildonan to Brodick 30mins 13 miles ferry Brodick to Adrossan, then drive Adrossan to Penrith Lake District 3 hrs 6mins 158 miles Stay at Troutbeck head site, Troutbeck, Penrith, CA11 0SS (a C&M site) Booking confirmed £26.80 0008542045 Update from Cairndow (up early) drive A83/ A82 past Glasgow back to Troutbeck campsite

DAY17: Wed 12 Sep Penrith home 3hrs 30mins 178 miles longer time wise via M6 about 186 miles


If you would like to seen details of our previous trip to Scotland in the wendy house please CLICK HERE


If you would like to see details of our trip to the Shetlands in 2001 CLICK HERE


If you would like to see Slideshows of our trip to the Isle of Lewis, the Uists and Benbecula in 1988, Edinburgh in 1993 when we holidayed in Lowick, Northumberland or Tighnabruich, Cowal peninsular which we revisited on this trip and it was Craig's 1st holiday back in 1982 CLICK HERE






Panorama: The Burg from Cnoc Mor, Ardtun, Isle of Mull #BLISS
Panorama: The Burg from Cnoc Mor, Ardtun, Isle of Mull #BLISS


just gotta do it tried it once thats enough
just gotta do it tried it once thats enough


fionnphort - isle of mull, argyll and bute
fionnphort - isle of mull, argyll and bute

By keef and annie hellinger, Jul 14 2018 12:13PM

Possibly the best campsite we have stayed in the world over after many a year of camping and travelling.


Run by a couple from the UK, both from Cornwall, who have a motorhome of their own which gives them a great insight into what people want.


It is a small family site with a limited number of hard standing pitches and the wifes attention to detail on a beach theme design is sublime. Nearby is White Strand a blue flag beach.


I would have to say that the shower and washroom facilities are possibly better than ours at home.


5 STAR... If you are in the area motorhome travels suggest you give it a try.


Note: For cyclists it even has a cosy bike barn where you can bed down for the night


Its in the Ireland Green book campsites. There are 2 of these , suggest you pick them up from any tourist office and often the campsites themselves have them


Another campsite we would recommend in Ireland because of its private beach and Eco set up by owner Chris is the Clifden Eco beach site, it only gets 4 stars however as if busy (and it was when we were there) there really are not enough showers... only 2 unisex for whole site can be tricky


Want to see the rest of our EIRE trip, CLICK HERE


By keef and annie hellinger, Jul 8 2018 05:06PM

Motorhome trip No34 : Saturday June 16th- Friday July 6th 2018, 21 days


NOTTS->Ireland (Eire) ->NOTTS 1995 miles


To see associated Slideshows please CLICK HERE


Overview

We had a fab time in Ireland especially the Wild Atlantic Way (WAW) – Sli an Atlantaigh Fhiain (in Gallic) on the west coast from Kilrush, co Clare right up as far as Fanad Head Lighthouse on the Fanad peninsular co Donegal. It was especially great as the weather was amazing for the whole time. We used the ferry from South Wales – Fishguard to Rosslare co Wexford. We stayed on a Apple tree farm in the heart of co Tipperary which was 1st fab cider smells everywhere (did you know Bulmers is from Cahir?) and we experienced our 1st ever campsite eviction at Bennettsbridge. Haha the pitchfork battle with the farmer lined up with his tractor and golf buggy. In terms of cities/ towns/ sights we loved Galway (esp Shop street music & food & atmosphere) , Cahir, Bansha, Carrigaholt, Clifden, Renvyle, Athelone, Spanish Point, Mullaghmore, Ballyshannon, Lough Eske, Muckross Heads, Slieve League Cliffs, Magheraroarty, Aran Islands, Inishbofin island , Tory Isles, Lough Gill, Parkes Castle,Rosses Point, Ramelton, Carrick on Shannon & Adare… we liked less Tipperary, Limmerick, Sligo, Donegal, Bundoran (kiss me quick hats), Portlaois (prisons and speed humps) & Letterkenny. The Irish are so friendly and chatty. Achill island co Mayo & parts of Donegal are breath taking scenery. Had a fab time in the Dog & Duck Athelone on Lough Ree where I watched England Vs Columbia with some lovely friendly folk and 3 pints of fab Guinness. We actually left 3 days earlier than planned after a combo of too much kids holiday noise and missing the Wicklows. No worries we had seen lots and loved it. We will go back again in 2 years time to complete the lower section of the WAW by ferry Holyhead – Dublin (the trip back from Fishguard home thru Wales is a little too arduous at 6.5 hours) then thru Wicklow Mountains (which we missed due to SatNav malfunction… or was it user error ;) this time) then Cork to Kerry and up the WAW as far as Kilrush (Kil means rock!) then the fastest route up to Malin Head in Donegal then thru Causeway Coastal route in NI back to Dublin.


At 2500 kilometres the Wild Atlantic Way is the longest single coastal route in the world, certainly surpassing the Great Ocean Road in Victoria Oz which we have also done. If you want to read more about the WAW CLICK HERE




Notes (hopefully useful to other motorhomers)

1. Last week and a half of our hols was school hols in Eire , from the weds they get 3 months off in Eire but less half terms.

2. Many towns have heights barriers on car parks and charge parking fees , not exactly motorhome friendly

3. Many campsites charge extra for electrics and showers (ranging from 50c to Euro $1.50)

4. N roads (equivalent to our A roads) & M roads – great, R roads (our B) variable and very bumpy esp in Donegal, L roads (our C) very very variable… avoid if poss ;)

5. Most signage doesn’t say “how far” but brown tourist signs great and WAW history and signs wonderful

6. Get both green books for campsites and always carry small change (i.e euros) for showers

7. Electric splitter useful for outside cooking (we used both tappenyaki and double ring as so hot indoors)

8. Diesel fuel cheaper or about the same as UK, petrol more expensive

9. Best campsites – Doonbeg Strand Camping co Clare, Clifden Eco Beach campsite co Clare

10. Get the Office of Works help sheet if you are interested in cultural history.loads of very interesting places to visit on your travels


Actual route (see maps)


Leinster Day1 … Counties Wexford

Leinster Day19-20 … Counties Offaly, Laois, Kildare, Wicklow, Wexford

Munster Day2-7… Counties Waterford, Tipperary, Limerick, Kerry, Kilkenny & Clare

Connaught Day 8-12 … Counties Galway, Mayo, Sligo

Connaught Day 18 … Counties Leitrim, Rosscommon

Ulster Day 13-16… County Donegal, Fermanagh (NI)


All mileages are approximate – as planned before travel. The reality is we did 1,995 miles from home and back with 2 3.5 hr ferry crossings


DAY1: Sat 16/6 :Visited wonderful friends Neil and Marice in Southerdown, Vale of Glamorgan for a lovely lunch and catch up. Stayed Caravan Club site St Davids south wales… SA626PR… 270 miles 4hrs 30 mins Booked Update: 2hrs 30 mins 174 miles to Neil’s CF32 0RW then to St Davids 2hrs 98 miles Total 4hrs 30 mins 272 miles,1/2hr drive to Ferry Fishguard – Rosslare


DAY2: Sun 17/6 Ferry leaves @ 13.10 (have to be there 1hr early) Stena 75464818 Booked Arrives Eire 16.25 mins Journey ferry 3hrs 15mins Then 24 mins 11 miles drive to 1st campsite Stay at Ferrybank caravan park Private site over the bridge and owned by Local swimming pool $31 52°20'41"N 6°27'10"W acsi inspected Wexford Great views


DAY3: Mon 18/6 Wexford co Wexford – Cahir co Tipperary 75 miles Looked at Wexford & Waterford 2hrs 15mins… side turning to Wellington bridge R733 which didn’t really work (a square loop back onto main road) outta Wexford into New Ross, a very interesting place on River Barrow ancestral home of JFK and old ship. Campsite is the ACSI Cahir one The Apple Farm N52 ACSI 1255. Lovely people lovely shop lovely smell lovely strawberries, apple juice and cider… try Con’s craft cider!


DAY4: Tues 19/6 Cahir co Tipperary – Rathkeale co Limmerick 50 miles 1hrs 30 mins… visited Swiss Cottage at Cahir, fab visit and Cahir is a great heritage town, really liked it. Tipperary & Limmerick town en route. Adare is rated as the best visit in Ireland and have to say it was fab if a little busy! Stayed at Adare Camping And Caravan Park, Drehedtarsna Adare Limerick LK (Rathkeale area)


DAY5: Wed 20/6 Adare campsite, Rathkeale co Tipperary -Tarbert Island co Kerry - Kilkee Co Clare 32 miles 50 mins… goes along Shannon river edge, caught Shannon Ferry to Killimer, Killrush… i.e Kerry to Clare approx $25 takes 20 mins then stayed at Strand Camping Killard Road, Doonbeg Doonbeg CE one of our fave campsites ever, very small owned by English couple, great showers pitches, facilities. Saw Ballycrinan shingle beach, Moyne , Carrigaholt (lunch by the waves), Kilkee (Victorian seaside town), Spanish Point (and the man who could gab for Ireland ;) ), went go to Loophead lighthouse R487, then returned up west coast of clare etc etc Gained extra day from original plan by missing out Green Acres campsite (yuck!) White strands beach nearby is deserted and possible one of the best blue flag beaches in Eire!


BASICALLY FROM NOW ON WE FOLLOWED THE WILD ATLANTIC WAY – Killrush to Fanad peninsular

DAY6: Thurs 21/6 Doonbeg Co Clare -Lahinch Beach-Doolin Total: 30 miles 50 mins… 1st bit of journey to Lahinch beach is 20miles 38 mins then coastal route R478 thru Luogh-Roadford-Doolin / Doolin Pier Met Mr & Mrs Welwyn Garden City and Pete & Jane from Cambridge whom we also remet at Clifden beach Eco site later , basically cos annies leg was playing up we abandoned walk into famous Paddy O’Connors bar in Doolin from Doolin Pier Stayed at Nagles Doolin Camping, NAGLES DOOLIN CAMPING GPS 53.0176827, -9.3945482. Visited Cliffs of Moher site on route, wonderful but hugely touristy


DAY7: Fri 22/6 2nd day at Doolin Pier campsite (very noisy in eve as weekend and we pitched next to kids playpark, note to self DON’T DO IT AGAIN ;) )but Boat cruise Bill O’Briens boats to Aran Island, Inis Mor (biggest but called in at Meain & Oirr isles as well) $30 pp Fab day out in the sun and did tourist bus around island… glad we got out of mr wee’s first bus ;) Great jumpers tops bought Stay at Nagles …


DAY8: Sat 23/6 Doolin - Galway Total: 48 miles 1hr 50 mins… 1st bit of journey to Burren was via Murrogh and Ballyvaughan… Stayed at Galway City Caravan & Camping Park, Ballyloughane Rd, Renmore, Ireland…visit lough (lake) atilia and river corrib Not the best campsite in fact the worst E$34 and most expensive, lunch at site by Galway bay in sun, fab then caught the 402 bus into Eyre square from opposite campsite and had a great time in Galway city, esp music pubs food etc in Shop street Our fave Eire City…. Had dinner with my Galway girl in a flash restaurant Swiss campers we met at Doolin also here and went in and back on our same bus, although verbal comms tricky we did a lot of hand shaking and back slapping ;)


DAY9: Sun 24/6 Galway-Cleggan beach Galway - Clifden Total: 59 miles 2hr 7 mins… via various lakes and the 12 pins mountains, Stayed at Clifden Eco Camping & Caravan park, Claddaghduff Road, Wild Atlantic Way, Clifden,Co. Galway,H71W024… Loved all of Connemara, River Owenglin. Chris at Eco site had it for 8 years, knew couple at Doonbeg Strand Camping. He kindly gave us slot 1 overlooking the beach, Keef swam in the Atlantic, v cold. Outside cooking on tappenyaki (fun) plus caught up with Pete & Jane from Doolin again


DAY10: Mon 25/6 went to see Omey island (didn’t drive across as tidal sand bar but you can park up at the start and walk) and then saw Cleggan ferry to Inishbofin Island (30 mins) £17.50 return pp 11.30 return 1… missed out as didn’t have time – it is the island of the white cow. Connamara National Park, v busy, not much space for motorhomes. Lonch by lough in Connamara mountains (such fab views). Letterfrack, Louisburgh, Renvyle (busy but lovely harbour) plus Cleggan to Westport Co. Mayo Total: 43 miles 1hr 27 mins Where we filled up on fuel. Then Westport –Keel West R319 over Achill isand (via bridges) Saw Killary fjord and one of the circular coastal routes on Achill , aasleagh falls, Mallaranny, Keel bay Croaghaun Total: 38 miles 1hr 13 mins then stayed at Keel Sandybank caravan and camping park, Achill island, co Mayo


DAY11: Tues 26/6 Keel West – Ballina, co Mayo . Went to see the fabulous Keem Bay, wild scenery, amazingly steep road but so so worth it. Also did the 2nd coastal loop road on Achill which was wonderful. Don Allum the 1st man to row the Atlantic both ways landed in Achill island. Johnny Kilbane boxer. Doohoma, Ciede Total: 65 miles 1hr 56 mins then stay at Belleek Caravan and camping park, Faranoo, Ballina Co Mayo. Great map of the Wild Atlantic Way here


DAY12: Weds 27/6 Official start of 3 months school hols…. Much more busy at sites from now on Ballina – Sligo, Co Sligo. Total: 37 miles 57 mins Continued on on the Wild Atlantic Way, saw Ballina Quay. Pronounced Bal-ina not like the ozzie Baleena ;) Many Kiwi and Oz names came from Eire, the Famine exodus presumably. Visted amongst others Innishcrone, Split rock, Aughris head, (great pub and bunnies) ,Killglass, Easkey R297… Lovely Mr Wippy in Strandhill town shop plus fresh fish from stall from man from Devon… nice on griddle with salad …. Yummy All near Sligo City, Stayed at Strandhill camping and caravan site.Strandhill rd Sligo, beautiful views of the sea but a very dangerous cliff edge and rips so sign said no swimming or paddling… did anyone take any notice ? rules seem to be made to break in Eire possibly along with driving road rules…. Debate???


DAY13: Thurs 28/6 Strandhill - Sligo, Co Sligo- Ballyshannon, co Donegal …. Bally means on a river in Gallic , taught in schools compulsory from juniors (xclent) Ulster Nr NI (UK) Ulster then back to Ballyshannon campsite, co Donegal Then to Ross Point (home of W B Yeats – William Butler, Bro John Butler (rich Irish family name) a painter (see his pic under Keel Bay pix) ) , Deadmans point, Drumcliffe Friary, Yeats graveside & St Columba, Spanish Armada view , Classiebawn castle at Mullaghmore (where lord louis mountbatten was killed) Total: 40 miles 1 hr 4 mins Road goes along the coast. Stayed at Lakeside caravan and camping, Beleek rd, ballyshannon, Co Donegal. Manged by Mungo who had a huge US pop outs van and offered to buy ours off us – No way Jose! Note very busy at weekends OK otherwise, nice Liverpool/Welsh couple next to us and our pal from Austria with doggie. It is an ACSI site No 1253 and as we had gained 2 days from original plan got 2 days at E$19 Acsi price.


DAY14: Fri 29/6 2nd day at Lakeside campsite Ballyshannon – supposedly Irelands oldest town (but we saw a few of those) but definitely the birth place of Rory Gallagher. Nice cooked brekkie on griddle outdoors in the sun, plus Irish white pudding – yummy. Supposedly live Irish music on site & restaurant – just Sat for music but I did watch a rather boring Belgium vs England 2nd 11 world cup match with no atmosphere but 1 pint of Orchard thieves. We are Sunday dinner when we came back there later for a second stay and very good it was too


DAY15: Sat 30/6 Ballyshannon, co Donegal along the WAW in co Donegal to Dungloe co Donegal, Rossnowlagh and beach, Donegal town itself, Castle and music festival in town square, not a great city / town, the fab Lough Eske at Arnold point, Fish town Killibeg allegedly Irelands major fishing port and like Grimsby you could smell it coming, but harbour very nice. Shopped here in Supa Value. Muckross Head, lunch at Creenveen, Slieve league cliffs, Glencomcille (folk museum not great tho’ too new)Stayed at family park in the green book at Dungloe after yet another Mr Whippy 99 Nice family who ran it, very friendly and chatty


DAY16: Sun 1/7 Dungloe - Ballyshannon, co Donegal our only bad day weather wise… low cloud sea mist and very very windy. We went via Kingcasslach, Cnoc Fola (the red sea), Gweedore, Magheraroarty & beach, Queen of aran fishing ferry (passengers only) to the Tory isles, Doe Castle view for lunch, an Irish Romeo & Juliet, Island Roy view (just) and the bridge across , Fanad head and lighthouse. Realising the weather was bad and we still had a 100 mile round trip on very minor roads to Malin Head (star wars fame) and end of WAW we turned back thru Ramelton (Lifford) on the river Lennon, Letterkenny (big town) N13 , N15 , Ramelton had lovely flowers, old castle, and fishing (pity it was drizzling), back thru Donegal & castle, Ballyshannon town and Rory Gallagher (its famous son) then to campsite again for nice Sunday dinner. I had Irish beef, Annie had turkey and gammon… Yummy


DAY17: Mon 2/7 Ballyshannon co Donegal, Ulster via Cartronbog & Drumshanbo to Battlebridge, co Leitrim on the edge of Lough Allen (this road slipped over the border briefly into NI unbeknown to us at Beleek co Fermanagh and we stopped to see Lough Melvin on the road to Garrison before going back into Eire. Back in Eire we saw the lovely Parkes castle on Lough Gill co Sligo (again - want to read about the spanish armada captain cuellar) and W B Yeats trail and had lunch on Gill Total: 42 miles 1 hr 16 mins Road goes along the edge of the lake. Tried staying at the Allen centre , Curraghill, Drumshanbo, co Leitrim but it is now a Luxury leisure park on the lake with chalets to buy, the campsite has long since gone so we found a new one in the green book at Battlebridge called Beirnes (not bad facilities, not great position tho)


DAY18: Tues 3/7 Battlebridge co Leitrim - Athlone, co Roscommon via Strokestown House(owned by the Mahons), Gardens and Irish National Famine Museum & Roscommon on the edge of Lough Ree . Had lunch of quiche and salad in the café plus the best lemon meringue pie we have ever had (apart from Annies he says quickly )Total: 53 miles 1 hr 46 mins Stayed at Athelone, Ballykeeran ACSI site No 1252 $19 in season. Visited Dog & Duck pub to watch football ENG vs Columbia with lovely Irish people. They shook my hand as I left and wished the team well ;) wonderful


DAY19: Wed 4/7 Athlone, co Roscommon-thru co Offaly - Portlaoise , co Laois (known as Queen’s county) to Bennettsbridge co Kilkenny via quick look at lough Ree, Athelone town, Tullamore, Killbeggan Distillery, Lilliput (don’t bother – its not Jonathan Swifts ancestral home, that’s Dublin)Total: 50 miles 1 hr 18 mins Tried Staying at Laois (pronounced Leash) camping and caravan, r445 portlaoise, clondouglas,mountrath rd 53°0'29"N 7°22'19"W Portlaosie co Laois, even tho we called in at a tourist office in Heritage town Abbeyleix (lady very helpful) where thye thought it was open then decided it wasn’t, we spent a long time trying to find driving almost as far as Montreath – Our satnav (or me) cocked up and took us towards Kilkenny city rather than the Wicklow mountains which is disappointing but as it would be a 200 mile round trip we decided to can it and do it on our next visit to Eire. So we stayed at Nore Valley Park, Bennettsbridge, a kid friendly site in the Green book, bad choice! This was the scene of our first ever campsite eviction… the battle of the Pitchforks… appalling campers


DAY20: Thurs 5/7 Bennettbridge, woke up decided as we would probably do 3 days of kids screaming at Enniscworthy site we would reorg our Ferry and come back today, giving us a little more time to prepare for grand daughter minding – Visted Nicholas Mosse pottery in Bennettsbridge which was fab, Annie got a nice blue jug (handpainted) We watched them working and there was some great history around the grain mill and waterwheel. We then stopped for lunch at Johnstown Castle Gardens outside Rosslare for lunch and a lovely stroll around the gardens and lake, very tranquil, peacocks and our last 99 Flake of the hols (at E$2 I can highly recommend) Alas the castle was under redevelopment so sadly closed. Then it was ferry from Rosslare 6.20pm, arrived Fishguard Sth Wales 9.40 pm… then 6.5 hours of fairly gruelling driving back thru South and North wales coming out at Welshpool – Shrewsbury borders before any “fast” roads


DAY21: Fri 6/7 Arrived back home as the sun was rising about 4.30 am after comfort break, coffee and pasty M54, 3 hours sleep but caught up the next day….. all in all a fab hol in the Wendy house and the best summer since 1976, can’t be bad




The West Coast of Ireland
The West Coast of Ireland

If you want to see a slideshow of our previous visit to Eire in 2000 see below





By keef and annie hellinger, May 10 2018 12:40PM

Motorhome trip No33 : May 7th- 9th 2018


NOTTS->Waterclose Meadows Campsite,Houghton Mill, Cambridgeshire ->NOTTS 198 miles


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


This was our second visit to Houghton Mill with our dear pals Pete and Joy. See BLOG 119 for our 1st excursion. This time all around the mill was visible, the scaffolding having been removed and Britain’s best early May day bank holiday weather for 80 years (allegedly)- Sun, Sun, Sun!


It is a very nice site in a gorgeous location next to an old working mill (owned by the National Trust) with its own pond on the banks of the river Great Ouse in Cambridgeshire. Pete & Joy arrived at the site first in their still lovely new Baileys autograph motor home. We had attempted to arrive at 12 noon but Mill Road leading to the site was crammed with both folks leaving the site late and day trippers approaching the attached public car park. So we decided to head back out towards Huntingdon, parking in a car park besides the Boat house on the banks of the Great River Ouse. We then had a good ½ hour stroll along the tow path enjoying the river activities in the sun, sheer bliss!

We were on grass pitches 28 & 29. The site is only grass but has pods at £50 per night and a new one with en-suite at £75 per night, minimum stay 2 nights. We had a look inside and very nice this one was too, but not as nice as motorhoming! The grass pitches are £23 per night.


We had a lovely BBQ on the Monday eve and cooked brekkie on Tuesday before strolling into town for a mooch around and the odd bevy at the 3 horseshoes. We strolled back past the sleeping swan, artist and hordes of bathers to get ready for our evening meal partaken at the 3 horseshoes and very good it was too.


We said our fond goodbyes on Wednesday morning and hope to meet up again soon. Lovely few sunny days in Cambridgeshire. On the way back we visited Grafham water and the lovely village of Ellingham. Have looked up the Grafham water site since returning and will definitely stay there on a future trip, it is only 400m from the waters edge.


The only drawback to the site was the lawn mower man who basically destroyed the peace and tranquillity on 2 days endlessly driving his mover around. We did ask him to desist on May day but to no avail. Annie and I left early on Wednesday morning to escape his noise! Shame it is such a nice site.

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



Friends 'up Mill
Friends 'up Mill



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