Sunday 4th October 2020
Last minute loading of food in the refrigerator and we were off. Two hours to Birmingham and a stop at Wedges Bakery just off the M42 at Hockley Heath. Very popular with a dozen motorcyclists having a breakfast stop. Buying breakfast rolls and some for lunch we were tempted by the cakes.
Back on the road, three hours later we arrived at Troutbeck Head Caravan Park. Checking in we also got a refill for our Gas. Picking a pitch by the beck we settled in, even though it was raining we were soon comfortable.
Afternoon and evening relaxing before bed.
Monday 24th August 2020
After a lazy start and breakfast, as it was a sunny but cool day we took our bikes for a ride down to Aria Force waterfall. The roads are very hilly and the battery assist got a massive workout.
Arriving at the carpark we locked our bikes and walked to the falls. After taking a few photographs we walked back towards the carpark. Spotting a nice rock outcrop we decided to have a picnic. After 5 minutes there was a scuffle noise behind us. Looking over our shoulders to see a grey horse stood within a couple of feet of us. He was under the impression that people picnicking should share.
Back at our bikes we rode back to the campsite. We spent the afternoon recharging the bikes and watching the sheep that had been herded into the field next to us. They were being shawn and wormed.
Tuesday 25th August 2020
Moving on today so up early at 07:00. Packed up and on the road by eight. Storm Francis caused a change in plans, we are leaving later as viewing opportunities will be limited by the rain and wind. Driving back to the M6 we stopped for fuel before joining the motorway north bound for Scotland.
Slogging through the torrential rain we reached Glasgow and pulled in for a vehicle check. We found a wet patch on the bed quilt caused by the very heavy rain being forced up under the roof light. Stripping the bedding and hanging it around inside the van didn't take long. Placing a plastic sheet on the bed in case more water gets in and we were on the road again.
The road up past Loch Lomond to Glenco was more sheltered so no more water got in. We had plenty of time to look at the scenery as the other traffic decided that 45mph in a sixty limit was fast enough. With long queues of vehicles, overtaking was pointless. Arriving in Bunree we checked in and found a pitch right beside Loch Linnhe. The view is beautiful if a bit rainy at the moment.
We managed to spill a cup of tea so had to do a load of washing in the laundrette. We ran out of change for the tumble dryer before the clothes were completely dry so the inside of Kelda looked like Widow Twankies Laundry. With the hot air heating on it shouldn't take long to finish drying them.
Wednesday 26th August 2020
After a leisurely breakfast the rain eased off at about ten o'clock so we packed a lunch and put our raincoats on and went for a walk. Across the main road and into the little village of Inchree. Walking up to the carpark we found the trail markers for the waterfall walk. Beside the path we found some Smurfs had made a home.
Slowly climbing up hill we came to a side track and descended tothe falls. Making our way back to the carpark we found a picnic bench and sat to eat. Within ten seconds the Midgies appeared so we decided to eat whilst walking. Funnily enough you can out walk a midgie even at a slow stroll.
Back at Kelda and the sun came out so we got our recliners out and sat with tea and cake, enjoying the sunshine and scenery.
With the sun going down and the Midgies appearing it was time to retire to Kelda for dinner and bed.
Thursday 27th August 2020
Trip into Fort William today. Putting out our place keeper we drove the 20 miles into town. Parking in the West carpark. We walked through town. Picking up a couple of items. As we couldn't find a place to get coffee we walked back to Kelda
Driving through town and out towards Spean Bridge we pulled into Ben Nevis Range Centre. Parking we got a coffee in the Pinemarten Cafe. We then decided to try the Cablecar up Ben Nevis. Paying the £20.50 each we rode to the top station. After looking around for a while we descended again and drove to Spean Bridge. Out the other side we arrived at the "Commando Memorial" and stopped in the carpark.
After looking at the statue and the memorials we ate our lunch before returning to our camp site. House keeping chores toilet cassette needs emptying. Then showers before it gets too busy.
Friday 28th August 2020
Waking early we ate breakfast and struck camp, going to Edinburgh today. Driving out of the site and back through Glenco the weather today was better than the trip in so we got to enjoy the scenery. Two hours drive got us to Falkirk where we stopped at the Falkirk Wheel. Waiting for a while we saw a canal boat ascend the wheel.
Back in Kelda it was only 20 minutes to Helix Park and the Kelpies. After wandering around and taking photos we left for the half hour drive to Edinburgh. Stopping for provisions at an out of town shopping centre we restocked for the next few days.
Driving into town we arrived at the caravan park and setup camp. The sun came out so we sat out enjoying the late afternoon sun.
Saturday 29th August 2020
Breakfast and out this morning. Breaking out the bikes for our outing today. Leaving the park at nine o'clock we followed the route on our cycling app "CycleStreets" set to "Quietest Route" for the 5 mile ride to the Ocean Terminal. This is where the Royal Yacht Britannia is mored as a floating Museum.
The ride was fun. Most of the route was along a disused railway converted to a cycle/ foot path. Arriving at the Ocean Terminal we found the first of six "Six Times" Anthony Gormley statues. Then securing our bikes with five locks we went in for coffee.
After coffee we found the entrance to Britannia, it's on the third floor. Showing our ticket we entered the gangway and dropped down one level to start the tour on the bridge. Weaving our way down through the ship we stopped at the cafe. For a RY Britannia cream tea, with fruit scone, jam and clotted cream. Very nice in a silver teapot and best china.
Leaving Britannia it took ten minutes to remove and stow the five locks. We headed out to see the other 5 of the six Gormleys. They follow and are in the Waters of Leith, the local river. So we followed the river footpath as much as possible. Crossing and re-crossing the river we found the next three. Then a steep up hill to the fifth set deep in the pavement with just his head and chest visible.
That left just one to get. This entailed descending about 80 rough steps back to the river and there he was by a weir. Then it was time to head back to kelda. Yes you guessed it up another 80 steps pushing our bikes to get up to the disused railway that takes us back to the camp site. Then it was just a matter of cycling the last 5 miles home. After 15 miles we arrived back at Kelda for tea and cake. Tired aching but pleased with our day out.
Sunday 30th August 2020
Easy start this morning. After a leisurely breakfast we decided to cycle along the coast to Cramond Causeway. The path along the seafront is wide and well surfaced so it was an easy ride. At the causeway the tide had turned and was rising. As there wasn't enough time for us to cross and return before the causeway flooded we made do with sitting and watching the people hurrying back to the mainland.
After a while we cycled up river to Cramond Falls where we stopped for a coffee and cake. Taking pictures of the falls and ruins we retraced our route to the seafront for a picnic. Then a short ride back to Kelda.
Monday 31st August 2020
Moving day again.
After shopping, fueling Kelda and getting two coffees for the road we left Edinburgh through town and down the A1. Arriving in Whitley Bay at twelve we parked in a carpark until 12:45. Driving to the caravan park we were the fourth in the queue to check in. We found a pitch near the sea and settled Kelda in, just in time for tea and cake.
With our home set up we decided to go for a walk to the lighthouse. With the sun shining it was nice and warm out of the wind. It was only a mile and we sat on one of the benches for a while before returning to Kelda for the evening.
Watching the moon rise over the North Sea was beautiful.
Tuesday 1st September 2020
Up with the sunrise, a beautiful day with calm sea and little wind. Striking camp and dropping our key in the disinfectant we were back on the road. Picking up the A19 into Newcastle we drove through the Tyne Tunnel and south to Darlington. Stopping at the Brick Train for a photo opportunity then next door to Morrisons for shopping.
Back on the road we made short work of the two hour drive and found a lay-by overlooking Sheffield for lunch. With only sheep for company we enjoyed a relaxed lunch. We arrived at Chatsworth Caravan Club ten minutes before one and only waited five minutes for the chain to be opened.
At the gate we were met by a member of staff who checked that we had a reservation and told us to find a pitch and then go to the office to pay. Normally you check in and pay then find a pitch. We found a spot right at the back of the park and settled in.
After a while we went for a walk, letting ourselves out through the secret gate into Chatsworth House grounds.
Strolling through the grounds to the house, bridge and bower we snapped a few photographs. Returning to Kelda for the evening.
Wednesday 2nd September 2020
With tickets booked for Chatsworth House at 10:45 we could afford a lazy start, so a cup of tea in bed before getting up. Got to love campervans.
After breakfast we let ourselves out of the secret gate and walked to the house. As we were a little early we sat in the sunshine and people watched. Just before our ticket time we went to the entrance. We spent the next hour touring the house before exiting through the gift shop.
After a coffee we wandered around the gardens. Checking out the cascade, the fountain and the rockery. Now that's a rockery, half a mountain of stones piled up in groups. Returning to Kelda we got back just before the rain started.
We chilled out watching the commings and goings and people struggling to park and put up their awnings. At five we walked the mile into town where we had a reservation at the Prince of Wales, slightly pricey but well worth the money. With full stomachs we walked back to Kelda and got settled for the night.
Thursday 3rd September 2020
Leaving Chatsworth we drove up to Derwent Dam, where the Dambusters practiced. Then on into Sheffield and the Meadowhall shopping centre for lunch. In the afternoon onto friends in Rotherham for a meal and a catch up. Then a night on their drive before the last drive home tomorrow.