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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, Dec 1 2017 04:29PM

Not the Motorhome trip No5 : November 23rd – 28th 2017


NOTTS->Kent (Chestfield, Whitstable, Folkestone, Canterbury & Faversham) via Ewell West ->NOTTS 510 miles


A very nice 10 day break firstly 4 days at Mums then Kent with our lovely rellies Brian & Gina who made us feel fabulously welcome. More larfing than you could shake a stick at!


We had nice walk along Whitstable front followed by a nice tea in a beach front hotel then it was Folkestone and the arm, which is all undergoing an expensive make over and will be fab when it is finished.


Then a trip into the centre of Canterbury for the Xmas market after a walk along the Roman walls alongside the fab Dane John Gardens (is there a Viking influence here I wonder as well as Roman?) then followed by a look around the museum / art gallery and a high tea, it was lovely!


Then it was off to medieval Faversham and a lovely Xmas market followed by an Italian meal at the end of Courts lane.


A lovely time all in all, see the gallery and slideshow HERE.


High Tea at High Noon - The Hole in the Wall Gang!
High Tea at High Noon - The Hole in the Wall Gang!


Love this old van
Love this old van

By keef and annie hellinger, Nov 5 2017 04:08PM

Motorhome trip No31 : November 1st-3rd 2017


NOTTS->Greetham , Rutland ->NOTTS 107 miles


Used the truck nav which took us via a slightly longer route via A52 and A1 to come into Rutland from the Stamford end to avoid the Belvoir valley hill, we came back however through Rutland water which is about 10 miles shorter in distance.


A very nice Camping and Caravan site at Greetham with reductions for Caravan Club members but no reduction for ACSI members as only ACSI approved not registered. Your Caravan club card is kept during your stay as the deposit for the site security card which you need for all barriers and gates during your stay.


The site has a mixture of both hard standing and grass pitches and there are 2 areas one for adults only and one for families. There are two toilet blocks, the one on the adults only area is much more modern with great under floor heating and wet room showers.


There are dog walks at both ends of the site, an indoor swimming pool , hot tub and limited games room plus a kids play park in the middle of the family area. It is a very large site with about 130 pitches and tenting areas in the middle of the family area. Fees apply for the pool and hot tub; see their website for more details HERE.


We were on pitch 21 in the adult only area. All pitches have all 3 services i.e electrics, drinking water and drain for your grey waste assuming you have the right length of pipe work.


Right next to our pitch was the walkway thru the woods to the perimeter gate which led 2 ways into the village either via church lane or the community centre. Its only about 15 mins leisurely stroll into the village and the autumn colours were beautiful. St Mary’s church is a delight and it is such a lovely village with supposedly 3 pubs, we only found one, the Plough, which has great real ales, friendly staff and a gut busting dinner for a reasonable price which we had a lunch time on our second day. The chef even gave me a few tips on veggie cooking


We had a bit of a mosey around after lunch before returning for an afternoon of luxury reading, such a treat!

On leaving we went via the south side of Rutland water and visited the village of Manton with its wonderful priory and St Mary’s church. We had not been there before and down a public bridleway there were great view of Rutland water.


We liked Greetham a lot and will hopefully return again, it’s a great starting point for discovering Rutland. If you would like to see the slideshows click HERE thanks.



classy selfie greetham village, rutland
classy selfie greetham village, rutland

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, 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