2 months overdue, but here it is! Our first camper holiday:
We set off in our make shift camper one Monday morning with 8 available days in August, not really knowing where we were going. Usually we do loads of research about where we’re going. We had thought Scotland until the last minute, but then thought Cornwall for the weather. I was so excited I was just grinning the whole day. Taz made a bench to go in the middle of the van so that when you removed the middle row of seats and laid the back ones flat you could easily slide in a full size double memory foam mattress! We also had organised to have the windows tinted just in time for this trip, bought thermal window covers, put in a rainbow rug (asda picnic blanket), a big fluffy feather duvet and a few strings of fairy lights. We loaded in our stove, cutlery, clothes and hot water bottles into the van.
We drove through Wales, taking in the Vyrnwy dam. The scenic route takes much longer but we weren’t in a rush.
We continued on along the coastal road into South Wales in the dark.
Not really sure what to expect with wild camping, we drove all the way down to Barafundle Bay and parked up in the pitch black in the National Trust car park at Stackpole Quay. We’d driven through sandhills and could hear the sea so we knew we were near the coast, but didn’t get to see it until the morning. There was one other vw camper on field when we got there that night and another motorhome had parked up near to us in the middle of the night which we discovered when we woke up. There was a lovely toilet block attached to the shop so we didn’t have to rough it too much! We had a brew and a look around on the bikes in the morning before moving off to a place Taz heard was nice, further along the coast.
We arrived at Tenby, parked up and joined a load of other summer holiday tourists sampling cafes, the beach, gift shops, camping shops and sweet shops! The cafe we went to had an wobbly looking extensions perched far out over the sea. It was cloudy but warm, a lovely day.
We moved on in the afternoon to the Cheddar Gorge (via a supermarket for supplies) a place I’d never seen but Taz has driven through. There were huge layby’s all the way up the gorge and we’d already spotted a few campers along the way so kind of knew we’d be ok stopping in one too. We found a level-ish spot, parked up and rode down the hill a little to try the local brew. I’ve tasted better but it can’t have been too bad because we had a few. We had fish and asparagus for tea on the stove… and the same again for brekkie!
The next day we had cream tea. I didn’t know how good cream tea was. This is now one of my favourite things. How have I never had clotted cream before?
We decided to detour on the trip South and stopped off for a night in Dartmoor, another place we’d both never been. It’s a beautiful place. We stopped to take pictures of the wild horses and squeezed in a bit of mountain biking on the hills. Later in the afternoon we found a spot to sleep, parked by a lake. We got lost and drove through the tightest roads ever with 10ft hedges scraping both sides of the van for miles and had to un-beach a van that got stuck as we tried to pass him in order to get to this lake.
The next day we headed down to Cornwall. We found a brilliant American diner along the way so thought it would be silly to miss out on streaky crispy bacon and coffee, so stopped in. It was rammed with people and service was slow. But proper streaky bacon and unlimited coffee is always worth the wait.
We parked up and headed around to the Eden Project the following day.
Ready for a campsite rather than a layby or carpark we decided that we should find a campsite and have a shower and chill out for the night, and socialise with other campers. Then we realised there are no campsites available in Cornwall over August the bank holiday unless you booked one 2 years ago… But this was a blessing in disguise, because then we found something better in an area recommended to me by my cousin Emily – a farmers field in near to the stunning and remote Pednvounder beach. We got a sea view, village shops, a village pub and peace all for £3 for the night. Who needs a shower when you’ve got the sea?
Pednvounder Beach is remote because it’s a bit scary to climb down to. Keeps the numbers low! There are plenty of drive-by beaches in Cornwall apparently, but this isn’t one of them.
We decided to do the whole journey home in one hit on the way back up North, we drove to Sheffield though to fit in a days climbing, overnighted near the Snake Pass and then drove home the following morning. Loving our “camper”!
And we booked a venue for our wedding a couple of weeks back for this December. I’m thinking 14 or 15 weeks is plenty of time to get everything arranged. It’s small and beautiful and took more than 3 years to find, but kind of goes to prove that you usually find things you love when you’re not frantically looking for them! It’s not Thailand… but it will have clotted cream, and a campermoon afterwards… compromise!
This is a rushed post, but if I left it any longer it wouldn’t have been posted at all because we’re off to Florida this week!