Tuesday 30 August 2011


We're sitting in the van making our lunch to bring in to the open air museum, Beamish! It's set in the 19th century and should be very good. Will blog after we've been in,


Monday 29 August 2011

Some pix

Tali and Tom posing in Fort William

Jess and Pip have a fish foot spa in Fort William

Me and Tom having a very tickly fish foot spa in Fort William!!

Ardtoe Campsite, perfect location

Us lot and Velma at the westernmost point of the mainland Britain (after some roads that were worse than Croatia last year)


Sunday 28 August 2011


When we get a good enough connection, videos will soon be going on the blog for all to see! But for now we have to stick with photos. So here's one of Tobermory, this is where they filmed Balamory:

Shells! :)

The shells marking the tide-line on our beach in Ardtoe! 

PiPs photography btw.  

Itinerary update

Well Scotlands gale force winds are driving us south a bit earlier than planned, have updated the itinerary page.  We are hoping to get to Hadrians Wall tomorrow en route down country.

Mull was beautiful, we got to the island via a small open ferry to Tobermory.  We spent a couple of hours mooching around Tobermory then drove round the whole island as when we got to Calgary Bay the campsite was full and was also not welcoming to "large camper vans".  Turned out to be a blessing in disguise as it meant we saw the whole island in evening sunshine, had a lovely Italian meal and then got to the Shielings Camp Site in Craignure at about 2230 where we have stayed for 2 nights.  The gale force winds started literally as we parked up and have been unrelenting since.  We got out and about today though, a ride on a tiny train to a castle, then a drive to a second castle, and out trying to spot stags in a minute.

Talia will no doubt blog further minutae later.....Chris

Signal at last!

Wahoo! Finally we have internet and mobile signal! The last campsite we went to was in Ardtoe it was amazing! We had our own private mini Kynance Cove! Golden sand and great climbing rocks:) Later on Pip and me will post some photos and videos!

Talia :D

Thursday 25 August 2011

Finally a supermarket! Now we're at Ben Nevis, and soon heading for Ardtoe.

Talia xx 

PS Ardtoe is "off grid", so no blogging for a bit :)


This morning Jess,Tom and me got on the canoes and started paddling towards and island that looked fairly close to where we were. It wasn't long before we realised that it was much further away than we thought. But still, we paddled on! It was when we got the 'one island' that we realised it wasn't one island there were quite a few. But because the tide was low it wasn't possible to go on to the islands :( So we turned round and went back to shore humming the 'Spongebob Squarepants' theme tune as we went! I will post later how far we actually canoed once we've checked google earth.
Postcards will be going out soon!

Talia xx

Wednesday 24 August 2011

Glen Coe!

We are now in Glen Coe on a campsite called Invercoe. Where we have pitched, you have a beautiful view of the Loch Leven. Pip,Me,Daddy and Tom have already been canoeing in the cold Scottish waters! We are, literally, in the middle of nowhere!! Pip's wondering where the nearist Hollister is! Mummy's wondering where the nearest supermarket is! And Jess' wondering where the nearest Domino's Pizza is! As beautiful as this is, I think we're all feeling a little out of reach of civilisation, which is strange as we've come from Cornwall! 

Talia xx

Now passing Glasgow (just another city!). Headed instead for Glen Coe!!:)

Talia xx

J38 M6 campsite

Penrith, at a caravan site behind Tebay Services at J38 M6. You may have stopped here, it is a family run motorway service station, wins awards, etc. It has a great farm shop and butchers/deli. I am off to grab bread, etc., for b'fast. No sign of life from the rest of them. Aiming For Glasgow by lunchtime, apparently only 2hrs 20m even at warp factor V :)


Monday 22 August 2011

Over the Barrier!

22nd August  Beautiful Days!

Sitting on a rug in the middle of a field full of spotty drunk adults, Jenna Whitehouse (my friend 10yrs) shouts over the noise " Should we go down the front?" I reply with an eager nod. So we crambled and crawled through the cramp crowd, to the barrier blocking you any closer to the stage.We jumped and clapped to the beat of Flogging Molly's songs. But as soon as the security men beyond the barrier noticed we were there they rushed over and asked us if we wanted to be lifted over, we said no thankyou! When Flogging Molly finished their session they threw out things to the audience Jenna and I got a signed plectrum each, and Jenna also got a songlist!

We waited for 1/2 an hour with the other 400 'eager beavers' on the barrier, include in those were some very nice girls who stood round us to stop us getting squished! Finally the Levellers begun their performance with a video, then they appeared and went straight into 'One Way'. They had done about 6 songs when Jenna got lifted over the barrier to safety, then 2 songs later she was back. When they came back on for the enchore we both had to go over the barrier so we didn't go splat! For the enchore songs we had 'front row, beyond the bar seats'. They ended with their signature song 'Beautiful Day', We applauded until our hands were raw, after the firework show then Jenna ran and got me the lead singers songlist!!!! Overall it was an amazing experience!

By Talia

Beautiful Days - a sunny one at last!!

This was our 4th Beautiful Days, and our second in Velma.  In fact arrival day at BDs was exactly 2 years to the day that we bought Velma.  For the first time in our 4 visits we had good weather throughout, with just a couple of hours of rain on Saturday morning.  When the rain started we all thought "here we go again", but the site swallowed the rain, didn't get at all muddy and it was sunshine all the way from there.

Music....well we really were spoiled this time.  Sometimes BDs can seem a bit "old school", but we had some real treats this weekend, including some surprises from the "old school" end of the spectrum.

Friday evening we listened to the Levellers Acoustic whilst lazing on the grass outside the Big Top, and then had a run of great bands, all of whom we were able to watch from the rail or thereabouts, I Am Kloot were amazing on the main stage, good banter from the lead singer including "this is so nice, but we are going to pay for it as we are at V with all the chavs for the rest of the weekend!!".  After I am Kloot we moved to the Big Top for a great John Grant set and then waited for The Low Anthem, who were one of the highlights of the weekend, finishing with a totally acapella (sp?) Bird on a Wire (which improved once I stopped singing along).  They had been nearly half an hour late coming on, so the set didn't include 737 or Ticket Taker, but it wasn't until we were talking about it later that we realised they were missing, the rest was so great.

Saturday started slowly, not exactly a first night runaway but a fireside chat back at camp meant a 230 bedtime for some of us.  Anyway, the rain meant a slow start was in order, so once everyone had showered and had a good brunch it was off for a wander and a couple of hours listening to bands outside the Bimble Inn.  Then across to the Big Top for Ade Edmundsen and the Bad Shepherds.  The old songs were great, but the 5 or so new ones just aren't as much fun in my opinion.  He has managed to choose my least favourite Specials & Stranglers songs to cover.  Anyway, it was fun but losing its novelty for me. We lazed in the sun and listened to a bit of Eddi Reader then to the main stage for Afro Celt Sound System who got everyone jigging about.  Tired people then retired and a few of us stayed out for Carter USM who were a real surprise.  I had intended to see Roddy Woomble and the Oysterband, but Carter were really great.  Incredible lights and energy, catchy half familiar tunes and an amazing atmosphere.

Sunday we camped in front of the main stage and made foray's off in different directions.  After Wolf People and the start of the Beat I went to the Bimble Inn to see Ahab, then crossed to the Big Top to meet up with Gin, Pip and Jess for Tim Minchin "only a ginger can call another ginger ginger!", who was very very funny.  Tent was completely packed and roasting, so we were grateful for some air when we came out and caught Stereo MCs, Flogging Molly and the Levellers, with a dash back for evening clothes while the MCs finished and Floggin Molly started.  Talia has a tale to tell about Sunday evening, which I will leave for her!!  The Levellers played easily my favourite Levellers set, which given that we must have seen them a dozen times in the last 7 years, is saying something.  It was Levelling the Land end to end, plus Devil Went Down to Georgia, Cholera Well, Carry Me and Beautiful Days, plus a couple of tracks I didn't know as well, and the fireworks at the end were superb, even choreographing with the last 2 minutes of Beautiful Day, then at least 5 minutes more after it finished.

And now heading up the M5 to Shropshire, Talia will post her story up a bit later and we will add some photo's.


Thursday 18 August 2011

Velma loaded and ready for the off

Managed to get the kayak and surfski and paddles secured to the roof and six bikes on the back, with no (out loud) swearing.  Fill up with water and fridge stuff in the morning then off to Beautiful Days for the beginning of our summer holiday.  We will stop in Helston to check our various external loads remain secure, don't want that kayak exiting on the A30 or we will be on the traffic news!

Usually it is me that wants to leave at midnight and park half way, but today it was Pip, Talia and Tom that wanted to head off.  In the end there is just too much to finish off here, and the site doesn't open until 2pm, so we will leave late morning tomorrow and get to Escot House mid afternoon ready for a BBQ in the campervan field :)

It was dark when I finished loading, will add a picture of the laden Velma later.

Sunday 7 August 2011

Happy Birthday Pip!!

An exhausting few days "up country" culminated in 24 hours in Bartonshire. When you are about to be 14 sleep is for wimps, sorry Shirley, but after swimming, trampolining, riding and quad biking, plus 3am UNO & Cluedo eventually it catches up with you.

Thanks to Bob & Sherry for putting us up Thursday and Friday and to Nicki & Clive for Saturday and today, just passing Swindon, should be home by 11 :)

Friday 5 August 2011