Category Archives: UK Blogs

July & August 2018 Kings Orchard Marina Coventry Canal

Our main problem with weekends, is that we never know where to go. All the seaside places will be busy, as you would expect so we decided to look for something in land and found a gem of a place near Litchfield, just an hours drive away.

An early finish on Friday saw us arrive at the Kings Orchard Marina mid afternoon and we were soon set up on our pitch (hardstanding) on the private campsite section of the marina, worth knowing is that they also have a CL site which is grass standing.

We have, for some years, fancied our own boat on the rivers/canals and this reignited that desire so we will see what the future holds there……

The pitches all have their own water tap, electricity & were very spacious, enough for an awning, chairs/table and BBQ – overall a quiet and very pleasant, little site indeed.

The marina is located on the Coventry canal and a very nice place indeed with a family of swans taking up residence close by.

Relaxing under the awning, nice walks along the towpath, the wildlife, what’s not to enjoy?

The weekend went so quickly so before we departed, we booked again, this time for a long weekend and we wouldn’t have to wait long.

The swans were still around however there was only 1 adult swan so not sure why this was but nice to see the young ones thriving.

This site was very peaceful and definitely one that we would recommend and return to in the future, especially during the summer when everywhere else is leaping with holiday makers.

There’s something calming about the water and this is evident as we did not have any “autistic meltdowns” for the duration.




Phase 1 – Summer Vacation September 2016 Leaving the UK on P&O ferries

Well it’s been nearly three months since our last outing and it seemed like three years – at last the time came for us to depart for our next outing, three days in Brugges followed by our highly predictable visit to Disneyland Paris for 5 days.

With all the hassle at Calais, we have now decided that the Ferry from Dover is not an option that we would like to use at the minute and whilst this may appear an over reaction to some, travelling with an Autistic teenager can sometimes be challenging to say the least and we need to keep our trips as straight forward as possible.

I think that we could enter into a whole new blog on travelling with Autism – now there’s an idea, watch this space……..

With Dover out of the question this time, we once again decided that Hull to Zebrugge was the only way to get to Europe with minimal driving in the UK and an upgraded cabin to Club should enhance the whole experience, although this does come at a cost but surprisingly this was only about £120 more in total than the standard cabin option.

A leisurely drive to Hull (approx 70 miles) and we were there…….

After check in we went through the security check with an added extra of a body search for the wife……there’s nothing like feeling violated on the first day of your holiday but at least the rubber gloves did not come out!

Once onboard we got our cabin key and explored our little piece of the Pride of Brugges for the next 12 hours or so.

A fridge stocked with soft drinks, box of chocolates, cookies, tea & coffee, nice bathroom with toiletries, bath robes and a tv – just a little bit better than a standard cabin.

For us the extra space and the little added extras were all worth the extra – we’ll be booking these next time (December when we visit the Christmas Market)

After a very, very filling dinner in the kitchen restaurant, which I can highly recommend, we headed outside for a breath of sea air and watch as we leave the UK behind.

As we settle in for the night, we can’t wait for the morning and our arrival in Zebrugge and Brugges and watch out for further updates of our Summer(ish) Vacation.




Canterbury June 2016

We arrived on Sunday afternoon at the Camping & Caravan Club Site in Canterbury after a detour via Dover when we disembarked from the Channel Tunnel.  Not sure why, but it doesn’t quite feel the same if you are in the area and don’t see the White Cliffs of Dover!

On arrival, we were shown to our pitch on Park Lane and after a freshen-up, we settled in for the night enjoying the Great British ‘Summer’ while it lasted and the rest of Father’s Day!

This is a very nice well-kept site with a nature trail and nature which gets up close and personal.

Next morning was wet and miserable – great for shopping in the City!

We got very wet (again) but at least we had fish and chips to look forward to when we got back, bought from the chip shop in the city.

We watched Dad’s Army (the remake) which I had for Father’s Day, before turning in for the night and already thinking about out next adventure.


New Year 2016 in Canterbury

We decided to book 3 nights at the Camping & Caravan Club site in Canterbury over the New Year period.

It was our 1st stay on a  club site and our 1st New Year away from home so we were unsure as to how busy it would be.

We set off on New Years Eve after getting the day off from work and set off on our 4 hour journey to Canterbury in Rio.

We arrived at the site at about 2.30pm and refuelled before we pitched up to save time on Sunday for our journey back.

Upon checking in we were surprised about the lack of people – excellent, just the way we like it!

We were showed to a nice pitch on Park Lane, hardstanding and near to the motorhome service point but just far enough away so not to be bothered by other users.

Looking all festive with our fairy lights around the cab we settled in for the night and put a couple of pizzas in the oven – mmmmmmmmm.

Oh No! the fire wasn’t working. After an hour of checking everything including changing the gas bottles we decided to check the igniter battery and guess what, lit first time – disaster averted however I will not go into the “told you we should have brought an oil filled radiator” which someone very close to me kept repeating.

My motorhome speciality breakfast on New years day went down well and then we just relaxed all day – that was the idea after all!

Everything back to normal on Saturday, a day in the city beckoned.

We didn’t bother to look what time the bus came as it’s not that far to walk but we were lucky and got on  a  bus just outside the site  and before long we were within the city walls.

We visited our favourite shops, the comic book store (american comics etc.) and level up games (Retro game Store – takes me back to my youth) but the boys didn’t buy a thing – what do they do with all that spending money?

Our last night soon arrived and we knew that it would be a while before we would get away again as GCSE time for our eldest son but couldn’t wait for June to arrive.

Total miles driven = 487 at average 30.3mpg – very pleased!

1st outing in Rio October 2015

Having picked up Rio, our new motorhome on 10th October, we were looking for a local(ish) site for our 1st outing.

We chose “The Lawns” a certified site which was only about a 2 hour drive from home – just the perfect distance for us to get to know Rio.

After driving down the A17, we found the site very easily and we were met by Nigel, the owner and he welcomed us and showed us to our pitch.

The pitch was very large and hardstanding with electric hookup. over the fence was a Rally Site which was busy but we were pleasantly surprised about the lack of noise.

Nigel informed us that “cake” would be served from 3pm in the barn – we were a little intrigued and we had to go and see for ourselves.

Needless to say, we had cake, big pieces of cake – Victoria Sponge, Carrot Cake & Chocolate Cake – mmmmmmmmm very nice and it should be for the price (about £12 for the 4 of us)

After a very comfortable night we took a walk around the site.

The site was very nice and well kept with 2 fishing ponds which was a nice addition – we will be back with our rods at some point in the future, much to the joy of my wife.

It never ceases to amaze me how quick the weekends go but the working week always takes for ever.

Total miles driven = 154 at 28mpg


Dover Castle & Disneyland Paris June 2015

A day in dover castle, making the most of our English Heritage membership was on the cards and we can strongly recommend this for anyone who is interested in history as Dover castle offers something for everyone.

It was the reenactment of the Manga Carter which was interesting and amusing too and well worth watching – I may have learnt something too.

It’s always nice to look out over the channel and watch the ferries and wonder what it was like back in the 40’s with the threat of invasion –  just to think how that stretch of water has kept us safe for so many years.

A quiet night parked on Marine Parade with all the other motorhomes, nice spot and free!

Having booked another crossing with My Ferry Link, we arrived in Dover for our crossing but were advised that due to circumstances out of their control, there were no crossings – we later found out that this was due to the ongoing issue regarding the sale of the ships to DFDS.

Our booking had been transferred to to Euro Tunnel so a quick 20 minute trip back up the M20  and a 2 hour wait for our train but this didn’t affect our excitement.

35 minutes later, we were in France, effortless!

A steady 55mph and Terry was very happy, no problems and the boys seemed to enjoy the journey too.

We saw this and had to buy one  – don’t tell anyone that it’s a trivet and being stainless steel, it should be OK fitted to the front.

As you would expect, the weather was great, in fact we found it a little too hot at times, but that’s enough about the weather.

Theres nothing quite like spending quality time with my family, doing all the things that we enjoy and pleasing ourself when, what and where we go – oh, the life of a motor homer!

It’s always a relief to get on the moving walkways back to the car park especially after a few days of walking miles around the parks.

The ferry was operating for our return journey and we embarked on what was going to be our last journey with My Ferry Link which was a shame but we had an idea for our next journey which would include something new for us.

Total miles driven 890 miles at an average of 32.4mpg – excellent!

Hunstanton Weekend November 2014

Where has the year gone, its November already and our final outing before the winter.

It seems only fitting that we finish the year off where we started, a weekend at Searles in Hunstanton.

Despite the wind and rain, it was a perfect weekend.

Despite the weather, we were nice, comfortable and warm inside, maybe too comfortable for some.

Only 299 miles on this journey and it must have been the wind but we only got 16.83mpg but no worries, we had the most fantastic year and couldn’t wait to get started in 2015.

Our life on wheels was truly underway!

Canterbury Weekend July 2014

After spending time in Dover parked on the sea front we thought that we would try the Park and Ride site, New Dover Road in Canterbury as this seemed a little more civilised.

£3.00 gets you 24hrs parking (overnight) and unlimited access to the buses operating between the park and ride site and the City centre – in my opinion, this is fantastic value for money and Well Done Canterbury, other cities could learn from your success.

The bays are a little close together but not really an issue for us and although it was busy, about 15 motorhomes parked up, it was nice and quiet.

This gave me the opportunity to try out my new piece of kit, 2 Fiamma turbo vent kits which hopefully would keep us cool in the event that we experienced soaring temperatures.

I must say that these fans (priced at approx £50 each) worked great and just hung in the skylight using little metal hangers (supplied). We opted to run these using the D cell battery option and just required a good alkaline battery and we found these would last for 3-4 days on high use.

Just outside the park and ride site you can catch a bus into Dover and takes approx 30 minutes should this appeal to you.


We think that dover really has much more to offer than just the port. yes it may be a little run down in places but that can be overlooked especially with all the regeneration that is planned.

The Castle is great and we recommend the Secret Wartime Tunnel tours, and the gift shop isn’t bad either.

Take a look over the channel from the Admirals Platform – if you dare!!




Our Life on Wheels began here!


Our new life as Motorhomers

Hello, well, after reading so many other blogs and adventures we thought it was about time to catalogue our past and future travels in our motorhomes, Terry (Talbot Express Autoquest 270 – 1994) and Rio (CI Carioca 705 – 2009)

Two motorhomes, I hear you say!!  Well, it all started one Saturday morning in November 2013 when I was sent out to fetch coal, whilst everyone else slept.

On my way, still muttering under my breath how unfair it was, out of the corner of my eye I noticed a nice looking little motorhome and thought to myself, I’m going to have a look at that on my way back.

I did.  And guess what?  Later that day, with the good lady in tow (purse included), off we went.  Having listened to the usual sales patter such as good, solid, reliable, won’t give you any problems, I bought it.  And guess what?  Nearly three years on, the salesman was right.

Having secured a spot at a local storage facility, Terry was checked over, solar panel connected to the batteries and put to bed for the winter……sleep tight!


The winter seemed to last forever and at last, our first trip in Terry finally arrived.

A two night stay at Searles at Hunstanton, Norfolk with a 100 mile journey there, this was just enough ensure that all was well with the now, 20 year old engine.

All went rather well and at 32mpg we were overjoyed and starting to believe the salesman (I know I shouldn’t but it seems that we got one who actually told the truth)

Hunstanton was just how we remembered it, quiet and sleepy with not that much going on, especially out of season – just how we like it.

Fish n chips, donuts, slot machines on the pier, nice walk on the beach and a great sunset all made the perfect weekend for us all.

At this stage we were planning our next trip but this one would be a little further than a 200 mile round trip and we could not wait!