Non-motoring > A bit of a Holiday report. Miscellaneous
Thread Author: Zero Replies: 19

 A bit of a Holiday report. - Zero
Because they, holidays away that is, are pretty rare these days.

We hauled the Crossover camping Vehicle down to a site called Damage Barton nr Mortehoe in North Devon. The views across the bright coloured gorse coast & Bristol Channel to Wales were superb.

A cold wind but bright and sunny for most of the week, we did the three glorious miles of Woolacombe beach several times, Strolled through the tiny back streets of Appledore stuffing the finest ice cream ever - Hockings, Had Fish and Chips with a cold takeaway GnT sitting on Woolacombe beach watching the sun set, walked several miles of the SW coast path, eaten superb Cornish Pasties, Fantastic Cream tea in a hotel garden surrounded by peacocks and the one bad day was a Fresh Crab sandwich with lemon and lime mayo eaten in a cave nr Lynmouth.

Not done this part of devon since I were a nipper, not sure why anyone would clamour to get away to Spain, in the current climate when you can do this.

And a history bonus. Found this:,-4.22116847,51.75385166a,105.75344082d,35y,-0h,0t,0r

Know what it is? I looked it up.
 A bit of a Holiday report. - No FM2R
>>Know what it is? I looked it up.

I do, and i don't need to look it up.

I know Devon well, my parents lived in Ottery and my Uncle in Totnes, as well as my own time down there.

Great place.

>>not sure why anyone would clamour to get away to Spain

Lovely parts of Devon compared to tourist areas of Spain, I entirely agree. But the lesser or no tourism areas of Spain, especially inland, are absolutely wonderful. For much the same reason that Devon is.

Glad you had a great time, must have been a welcome release I should think. I can't wait until I can do something similar.
 A bit of a Holiday report. - Bromptonaut
Meant to report something similar from last week either in a new thread or the old caravanning one.

We took our Explore 304 down to Longleat last weekend - arrived Thursday with departure planned for Monday. Weather was excellent throughout and while my 'Mr 'Ow Much?' friend from Yorkshire declared the approx £25/night outrageous I thought it OK. Well set out C&MC site with good level pitches for 'van and awning, 16amp leccy and all facilities useable except the showers.

Friday was Longleat. I'd last been there in the second year of 'The Lion's of Longleat' c1967. Lots more animals now. The Big Cats were frankly disappointing just lying out sleeping in the sun but the rest was excellent, particularly the monkeys who were all over every car. No damage though and they cleaned all the leaves out of the scuttle. Not cheap @ £35/head but good value we thought.

Saturday was a ride from the site on the Bromptons and a decision to extend our stay until Tuesday. Sunday took in Kilver Court Gardens in Shepton Mallet which were impressive though like a lot of gardens - including those at Longleat itself - a bit betwixt and between with bulbs etc done and summer stuff like roses barely flexing their growth buds.

Finally, on Monday, we rode part of the North Dorset Trailway which mostly follows the line of the Somerset and Dorset Railway. We started in Blandford and (after a bit of a navigational hiatus) cycled to the route's end at Spetisbury. Returned through the lanes on the other side of the Stour. Blandford was a trip down memory lane as my paternal grandmother lived nearby in Charlton Marshall until about 1970 and her brother and his wife kept a sweetshop and tobacconist at the bottom of Salisbury Road up to about 68/9. Found both the shop (now a hair salon) and gran's bungalow little changed.

A damn good break.
Last edited by: Bromptonaut on Sun 2 May 21 at 18:02
 A bit of a Holiday report. - No FM2R
>>and a decision to extend our stay until Tuesday.

I think any time you're on a holiday and you decide to extend it, then you know that you're having a damned good time.

I also haven't been to Longleat since the 70s. I have mixed feelings about captive animals in zoos etc. but ultimately lean towards not liking it.

I thought your family was all a bit more Northern than Shepton Mallet? Am I confused?
 A bit of a Holiday report. - Bromptonaut
>> I thought your family was all a bit more Northern than Shepton Mallet? Am I
>> confused?

Both sides of the family were northern; Mum Leeds, Dad Rochdale.

The Blandford (not Shepton) connection occurred as my Grandmother and her siblings attained pension age. Her brother, my Great Uncle, retired from his work and moved to Blandford where he bought and ran a shop. Grandmother went down there too and bought a bungalow - I suspect against the advice and inclinations of her son!!

Pre Motorways it was a pretty lengthy drive. We'd leave home around midnight with my sis and I on makeshift mattresses in the back (rear seats folded) of Dad's Victor Estate. We'd stop between Salisbury and Blandford for a breakfast of sandwiches and cold sausages (I remember those well!) at which time the rear seats were restored and we changed out of our pyjamas.
Last edited by: Bromptonaut on Sun 2 May 21 at 18:20
 A bit of a Holiday report. - No FM2R
Omigod, a sign of the times. Except in our case it was a Cortina Estate and we had to wear dressing gowns and slippers as well.

On rare occasions we could afford whatever was the Little Chef equivalent for breakfast. Mostly it was yesterday's Marmite sandwiches though.

Last edited by: No FM2R on Sun 2 May 21 at 18:29
 A bit of a Holiday report. - legacylad
Hillman Avenger for me. Went down to a rented cottage in Mousehole with my best pal and his family. Probably mid 1960s. 4 kids on the back seat, left Bradford around midnight.
Breakfast somewhere around Bristol. My pals Dad, the sole driver, must have been cream crackered on arrival.
 A bit of a Holiday report. - Zero
Cornwall for us, Leave Essex about 4 in the morning, bedded down in the back of old Ford Consul 375. Drive through London, heading out for the A30, the A303 yet to be trunked. Breakfast was cold toast and tea from a thermos. Little Chefs yet to be founded.

Ended up in a poxy 1950s style static blue caravan, with hissy gas lights, up a hill from Portreath. No tele, bog outside in cold brick hut full of spiders, with only jigsaws and a bush portable radio that mostly only got the home programe on long wave.

Hated cornwall ever since.
 A bit of a Holiday report. - No FM2R
We went to Pontins once, in Prestatyn. I loved it beyond belief. Total freedom, stuff to do etc. etc. I guess I was 10 ish.

I well remember it all. Heaven, to me at least.
 A bit of a Holiday report. - smokie
I was a regular in Rhyl (grandmother lived there) and I remember that leisure centre in Prestatyn being built, but my parents didn't have the inclination (and maybe not the money) to take me there. I do remember the pre-motorway journey taking for ever.

As a very young youngster I remember watching Punch and Judy under the clock tower, and visiting the lifeboat house. Also being amazed by the size of the output from the back end of an elephant which was on the prom from the visiting circus.

Maybe when I was 10 or so I remember running battles in the streets between mods and rockers, very nearly being caught up in one once, and watching the police at the station making the mods take their Doc Martens off as they got off the train - with a small recollection that they were confiscating laces but I may be wrong. Also massive amounts of scooters and motorbikes going up and down the prom.

Also I remember becoming very good at pinball in the arcades up there, a skill I still have to some degree.

I also remember comments here about recent Rhyl and last week took the Google walk around to look at it - remarkable how much one remembers after 50+ years absence... The largest and most diverse amusement arcade is now closed but others are still there, but renamed.
 A bit of a Holiday report. - No FM2R
I used to go to Rhyl with my Grandfather, for the flower show. My Grandad was quite well known for his chrystanths and dahlias back in the day.

I know it's trendy for people to sneer at Butlins/Pontins but I loved it. My parents got to relax as adults and my sister and I got to run free in a pretty big place full of stuff to do. We certainly went twice, maybe three times. I don't know what the prices were like in the scheme of things in those days, but they must have been pretty good or we wouldn't have gone.
 A bit of a Holiday report. - bathtub tom
Always went to Margate by train, parents never owned a car or had licences.

SWMBOs family always went to Wells in Norfolk until they bought a holiday bungalow in Hunstanton. We never had much money, so always went there, the children have very rose tinted memories of it and often return. Used to pitch a tent and then a caravan in the back garden on bank holidays when all SWMBOs family would cram themselves into the bungalow, we had more space.
One such bank holiday SWMBO was roasting a leg of lamb in the caravan oven, BILs turned up, plates in hand, begging for some as it smelled so much better than what MIL was doing.
 A bit of a Holiday report. - Zero
>> Always went to Margate by train,

My father was a train driver. He had things called "privies", a privilege ticket system for the family, wasn't free but it was cheap. The only time trains were used was to go and visit family left in the East End, Trains were never used for holidays.

Except for one notable exception. A holiday in Guernsey. 1964 I think.

Much "privies" were saved up for a trip to Weymouth on the boat train, which then proceeded through the streets of Weymouth on the dock tramway and stopped alongside Sealink Ferry SS Sarnia. Two weeks then spent in a holiday chalet where the union - ASLEF - had a cheap deal going. The weather was great, the beaches were superb, and the remains of the German defences had not been sanitised or removed, a 10 year old boys exploring heaven.
 A bit of a Holiday report. - henry k
>>My father was a train driver. He had things called "privies", a privilege ticket system for the family, wasn't free but it was cheap
FIL had a manual role on the railways but had privies etc. and with MIL used them an awful lot.
Off to Europe lots of times when others had not travelled " abroad".
IIRC they were in the South of France when war broke out and travelled back in a hurry in the train loo as there was no other space on the train.

They travelled a lot just after the war so my wife had lots of great trips.
Switzerland and Italy had to suffer MIL :-(
 A bit of a Holiday report. - tyrednemotional
My father also worked for the railway. Apart from lorries during the war, he never drove, so all my family holidays were by train, courtesy of privs and free passes.

Privs were, in general, unrestricted issue for employees and family, at 1/4 fare. (I travelled much on these as a youth). Free passes were a restricted number per year, for each family member, based on grade, service, etc. (and an extra one if you became a qualified first-aider).

From memory, my father got 5 per year, and, due to employment history, for much of the time I remember, they were 1st class. Certainly in the early days, even post-nationalisation (which pre-dates me!) all bar one of the entitlement was limited to the geographical area of the employees post-grouping company (LNER in our case). That meant that one of our two annual week's holiday was always on the East Coast (and trips to London, for example, took the old LNER route, not the Midland). The second holiday was anywhere else in the UK, so we explored Scotland, Wales, Cornwall, Devon, Somerset or whatever on that one.

The long-distance trips involved a number of overnight journeys with changes of train at odd hours of the morning, but were always exciting and remembered with affection. Despite the lack of a car, I was much more travelled than the majority of my contemporaries.

Over time, the full free-pass entitlement was made UK-wide (and yes, I've done the Channel Islands thing, since tickets were valid on all the railway and ex-railway ferries).

I spent something around a quarter of my father's duration working for the railway, but held a 1st class, all stations and ships "leather" pass (a piece of plastic with a paper endorsement) for a good few years before I left. That made for some good outings, and, combined with the very flexible overseas travel arrangements in place by the time I left (pretty much unlimited European travel, 1st class - Pyrenees, Bergen, Vienna, etc all for the price of any cabins and/or couchettes) I wish I had the facility now (well, not exactly "now", but you know what I mean).
 A bit of a Holiday report. - MD
That sounds absolutely wonderful T & E.
 A bit of a Holiday report. - MD
We moved to north Devon 33 years ago for all of the reasons you stated. Daughter has a friend who has a 'campsite' not far from Damage Barton. Lovely place with stunning views too.

We love Lynmouth and could sit on the banks of the river there all day long. Her in charge likes to go abroad and to cruise. Me, I've done enough of it and it wouldn't concern me one iota if I never left the county again with one strong exception. I had a wonderful weeks holiday as a nipper at possibly 10 years of age in a small touring caravan in Wales. didn't tour much and stayed near Towyn I think. I NEED to go back even if it's on my own. The urge is quite strong.
 A bit of a Holiday report. - No FM2R
Well after we've had that beer near you, then we can go over there for a few!
 A bit of a Holiday report. - MD
Sounds like a plan.
 A bit of a Holiday report - Fullchat
Just returned from a week up in Whitby. Considering the forecast the weather has not been too bad. Bit cool when the sun went in.
Somewhat railway themed. Stayed in a cottage directly under the Larpool railway viaduct (Old Scarborough to Whitby line). Saw a 'Steamer' a few times on the Esk Valley line.
Walks out along the cliff tops along the Cleveland Way coastal paths and returning on the disused railway lines. Sandsend, Ravenscar, Robin Hoods Bay and Hayburn Wyke.
Even had a quick turn around trip on a standard diesel on the Esk Valley line from Whitby to Middlesborough, of all places. Stunning scenery and only £11 odd for a double return :). How the line survives financially is a bit of a mystery. Not many passengers at all apart from a bunch of mouthy teenage school kids returning home.
Only issue was the inability to take refuge inside a warm cafe or restaurant. Alfresco dining is not much fun in low temperatures.
Last edited by: Fullchat on Fri 7 May 21 at 13:28
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