Living With Our Rapido 963f Le Randonneur Motor Home.

Sunday, 18 September 2016

September Travels.

For September we had planned a 10 day visit to Rock, Cornwall, my ancestral home county. All my traceable ancestors prior to my grandmother came from a small village near Hayle and were copper and tin miners. When the mining industry collapsed in the mid-1800's much of the Cornish population emigrated to find hard rock mining elsewhere. They went all over the world to find work - Australia, USA, South America, Mexico and South Africa. There are communities today where you can still find Cornish pasties on the menu in the most unlikely places.

However, my ancestors answered a call from the coal mine owners of the Lancashire coalfield who were at the time trying to beat a general strike, and my great grandfather was brought up to Manchester as a child where his family mined coal. In fact, looking on censuses of the time there were whole communities of coal miners who were born in Cornwall living next door to each other all the way along streets of Northern terraced houses.

Nowadays my younger brother owns the most beautiful holiday rental property in the now very upmarket village of Rock and this is where we spent our holiday. We have been many times previously, but it was completely refurbished for 2015 and is now extra special. It's location is excellent, being only 1 mile from the beach and ferry to Padstow, next door to a delicatessen, Spar grocers and classy fish and chip shop, and next but one to a fabulous bakery store and family butcher.

Best of all it is located within a short walk to the very lovely Pityme Inn [click name to view their website], which we visited every day before evening dinner for a pint or two of St. Austell Tribute hand pulled draught pale ale.

We drove down a week last Thursday and arrived home today after having the most beautiful warm sunny weather more or less every day of our visit. We met friends there who own a brown Labrador, and this whole area is so dog friendly it is almost unbelievable.

We took the passenger ferry Black Tor from Rock Beach to Padstow, and without a lie, nearly every visitor there had a dog in tow. All cafes and coffee shops welcomed them, and fresh drinking water for them was provided everywhere.

The Rock to Padstow ferry on Rock beach collection point £4 return, dogs free.

Rock Beach - dog friendly of course
Towards Quarry Car Park, Rock and the ferry.

Our beautiful bungalow at Rock.
There is a lovely beach front cafe in Rock called the The Blue Tomato [click on the name to view their website]. We called there for morning coffee and cakes last Sunday morning, and as well as our own, the waiter presented us with a menu just for the dog! This contained various flavoured dog chews, at just 30p. Unbelievably, when our lattes and cakes arrived, the dog chew was also served with a serviette on a plate. All very impressive.

The fabulous Blue Tomato Cafe at Rock
This customer also thought it was brilliant
The view from our table at The Blue Tomato
During the week we visited Padstow, Falmouth and Port Isaac, which is the village just 5 miles up the road that hosts the locations for the popular TV series Doc Martin. Also on the menu were lots of lovely coastal walks.

Padstow Harbour

The streets of Padstow
The River Camel Estuary from Padstow
Padstow low tide ferry point
Falmouth Main Street.

Port Isaac (Port Wenn in Doc Martin)
Doc Martin's house is in this view.
Port Isaac
Port Isaac
The sea entrance to Port Isaac
Another lovely visit was to Polzeath beach, a beautiful surfing beach which is also popular with a certain former UK Prime Minister, as can be seen below when he again visited in August this year. This image was published in national newspapers all over the world. My image - sat in exactly the same spot is only published here.

David Cameron sat on Polzeath Beach
Me sat on Polzeath Beach 3 weeks later
A fabulous holiday was had by all, and it is no wonder that Cornwall is such a popular holiday destination. The "visit Cornwall" website might be useful if you fancy a visit yourself.

Tuesday, 16 August 2016

This Was August.

August saw more travels in Le Randonneur. We had planned a trip down to the Caravan Club site, Wyatt's Covert at Denham, Buckinghamshire to meet up, as we seem to do annually these days, with a primary school friend of Margarets' from her early days living in Walsall in the Midlands.

Margaret's father was a local authority officer moving up in the world, and Margaret was born in the Bury area, before her father got a better job in Halifax, and then an even better job in Walsall, which coincided with Margaret's time at primary school. Unfortunately during her time there her father contracted a terminal kidney disease and he passed away while Margaret and her sister were far too young, causing their mother to have to leave Walsall and return to Bury, closer to family to bring them up alone.

Margaret however maintained contact with her school friend for all this time afterwards, and recently found another friend from the same school class, and she and her husband also made the trip to meet us here and the six of us had a fabulous lunch at The Green Man Pub in Denham Village. By complete coincidence the other friend's husband went to school with me in Bolton from juniors to leaving, and that is how we found her again.

Denham Village.
Our Denham pitch
I even got to cook outdoors just like Spain.
Denham is right at the end of the M40, so to extend our time away we arranged to stay 6 nights at the Caravan Club Warwick Racecourse site, also close to the M40, on our way down.

The Warwick site is within the racecourse.
Warwick Racecourse Caravan Club site.
Warwick Castle from the town centre.
Bikes used for Grand Union Canal towpath rides.
The Cape Of Good Hope Pub, canal side in Warwick.
While there we were able to catch a bus right outside the site entrance to Royal Leamington Spa one way........

Jephson Park, Royal Leamington Spa.
And to Stratford-Upon-Avon the other way. Both were fabulous days out........

The Alveston Manor hotel in Stratford - the location of our honeymoon in 1980!
The River Avon to canal lock in Stratford
Shakespeare's school in Stratford
The Racecourse site was brilliant, peaceful with good access to Warwick town centre and a Sainsbury's.

The Denham site, although lovely and with great rail access to central London, was placed right next door to Denham Aerodrome where training in helicopter flying is given, making the daytime noise very loud, although I must say this didn't concern us too much, as I hold a strong interest in what was going on.

Denham Wyatt's Covert Caravan Club site.
In all we covered just over 400 miles, and being all motorway consumed diesel at 28 mpg, which for a 2.8JTD 3,500kg Fiat Ducato isn't at all bad.

Our next planned trip is Cornwall, the root of my heritage, and I am very much looking forward to that.