Monday, March 3, 2014

Out and About

When we attended the Birmingham Motorhome and Caravan show at the NEC a couple of weeks ago we bought a book called Brit Stops.  It basically contains hundreds of places where you can stop overnight in the UK for free!!!  They are not campsites but are places where they hope you may spend a few bob whilst parked up ... unfortunately most of these places are country pubs!!  Some just have a secure parking spot overnight, some have basic amenities as in water and grey water waste and some go the full monty with free power etc.  They only cater for motorhomes, not caravans.  These type of sites have been popular in mainland Europe for years, now they are becoming popular in the UK.

Armed with our £25.00 book off we went.

First stop was the Fancott arms which is a nice pub just outside of Luton (my home town) ...

We parked out the back and popped in for a pint, introduced ourselves and checked that we would be OK parked up for the night.  This place had water, elec, waste dump ... the lot but the field was a bog and off limits so we just parked in the carpark.  We also booked dinner for the two of us, then sent messages to my family who live in Luton and Milton Keynes to tell them where we were.  Two hours later we were joined by seven of my family who joined us for dinner, so for this pub it worked well!  Nine people for drinks and dinner all for giving us a parking spot ... I will say that you are under no obligation to buy anything from your hosts, also you can only stay for one night. 

My sister recently had a lot of old cine films transferred onto a DVD and invited us and the rest of the family around to her place on the Saturday night for a movie night.  She also said it would be no problem for us to park the motorhome in her driveway!  Luckily she has a friendly neighbour that didn't mind us blocking his driveway for the night ... we hooked up to her electric in the garage and were set for the night!

My sister lives in a part of Luton where I lived from 1960 to 1963, so we took the dogs for a walk and found the house where I used to live.  It was brand new then, and the whole area was a building site ... my dad built the garage from excess building materials he found in the area!!!

When we got back to the house, the family dispersed into the many and various takeaway outlets just around the corner and came back with a bizarre mix of foods to eat while we watched the movie!

Elaine took some shots off the film while it was running, so they are not fantastic quality but pretty funny nonetheless !

This is me dancing with my sister in law at her wedding in 1974, as you can see I was a fan of Robert Plant! 

This was me showing my feminine side in 1976 (it was for a fancy dress, honest!) ...

It was a fantastic family get together and now that we know we can easily park in her driveway we will be having a few more visits back to my hometown!

On Sunday morning we didn't fancy heading back to the boat so decided to head off to the Cotswolds.  We checked out the Brit Stops book and noted that there were four pubs that welcomed overnight motohomes ... what a bugger, I was really hoping for an antique shop or the like!  Never mind, beggars cant be choosers.

What can you say about the Cotswolds?  It is just so gorgeous even on a crap weather day ...

The water levels were up high, and there were a few strategically placed sand bags about ...

We walked around the deserted streets in the rain, stopping for the most fantastic chocolate éclair and coffee ... 'bad weather reward food', as Elaine called it!

We found our pub in the middle of nowhere and sat by the roaring log fire. The landlord was going to shut early (20.00) but as we were staying in the carpark for the night he stayed open and cooked us a yummy dinner ...

There we are on our own in the carpark at the rear ...

This morning we went for a drive around the Cotswold countryside.  We had a couple of tight encounters on the one track lanes, but all good fun ...

We stopped at Bibury and went for a walkabout where we spotted out first duckling of the season ...

The ground was wet but it had stopped raining and the sun was coming out.  These old weavers cottages were built in 1380, originally as a monastic wool store ...

How fantastic do they look?

Once again the sandbags were out ...

I can't imagine what it must look like in the summer, mind you you wouldn't get a tourist-free shot ...

The dogs loved their weekend away with plenty of walking ...

We were looking for Elizabeth Hurley's pad ...

The boys were certain that they spotted Warnie!

Is there a prettier part of England?

We said G'day to this fella, he was a long way from home ...

We headed back to the marina late afternoon but we got caught in a big jam on the M5, which was caused by this poor chap who had jack-knifed and was facing the wrong way.  If you check out the pic you can see he lost his two vintage tractors off the trailer, the poor old Massey Ferguson is laying on its side :-(

We had a great weekend away with the motorhome performing faultlessly!  We will do a few more mini trips before we head off to the continent in May.


  1. I reckon you were a dead ringer for Alex Polizzi the hotel inspector in 1976.

    1. I suppose I should be happy at that :-)

  2. The parking overnight by a pub deal .. I want a motorhome.

    You made a fetching tranny!

    1. Elaine mentioned the fancy dress party, I thought I always dressed like that.

  3. What an absolutely fantastic weekend, meeting up and spending time with family and the beautiful Cotswold country side - we're envious! George also now wants a motorhome for the pub carparks (not especially to travel in)!

    1. Yes it was fun, and very handy for the pub.

  4. Go home liggers warney and Liz are no more so your dogs ate well wrong!get some photos with people for your egotistical blog then f*** off

    1. Poor Warnie. I did think he was punching above his weight.

  5. You are sick taking photos of peoples family involved in incidents on the road hope you never need help while you are a(n un)welcome guest in our country

  6. Wozie nb OakfieldMarch 7, 2014 at 9:38 AM

    We enjoyed looking at you lovely pics of the places in the Cotswolds where we have been many, many times.
    Your blog is one of the most interesting and varied ones that we follow, keep on blogging and telling it like it is!

    1. Thanks mate, as long as I enjoy it I will carry on blogging.