We have a new Motorhome

fullsizeoutput_18fAnd finally we have our new motorhome and this will be the last entry on this blog. We have now moved to Iona’s Travels, we hope you follow us there as we use this year to get used to Iona and explore more places in the UK.



Matilda goes to Teversal

Teversal Camping and Caravan Club site – Trip 12
November 11th – 13th 2016


Here we are parked in front of our friend Peter waiting for Gary and Carol to arrive. It took just over an hour to get here from home. The sun is out and we were soon set up on a pitch infront of Peter.

Gary and Carol arrived at about 3pm and after getting them some tea and coffee we left them to set up.


Woodhall Spa Calls Again

img_1671Woodhall Spa
October 11th-14th , Trip Eleven

Arrived in sunshine which turned to a shower and back to sunshine. I expect it will be a mixed week weather wise. There are not many here , we had another van join us just before lunch.

img_1669Day 2
Woken by rain hammering on the roof. Just put the heating on and went back to bed until it stopped.

img_1672We decided that we would have to go into town despite the chance of getting caught in another shower. Once in town we did some shopping for the dreaded lottery ticket and a birthday card. Next stop the post office and then onto our favourite deli for a pasty.

The shop was busy as usual and even though it was lunchtime there were only two staff serving. As we were waiting a man came in and stood at the counter and a couple of women came in and stood just behind us.

The man in front was served and I stepped up to the counter only for the old man to order. I did make a comment about the que but I was ignored and he continued to order. Another customer paid and again I stepped forward and ordered at exactly the same time the woman behind me pushed forward and ordered from the lady serving, three times I gave my order and three times did this woman continue to order. I gave up and was eventually served after a ten minute wait. Some people in Woodhall Spa have no manners but a stuck-up attitude.

I was still chuntering by the time we got to some benches where we sat and ate lunch. We walked back through the woods and arriving back at the site we made a detour to look at the camping and caravan site which is next to Jubilee Park.

Day 3
Woken by heavy rain again, but it soon stopped and we were forced to get up after 9 o’clock. It brightened up by midday so we went off for a walk.

img_1674First stop the C&CC site to get my concession set up, but it is only a listed site not the full bifta so I failed.

Never mind, we walked into town and then onto the Petwood Hotel made famous by the Dambusters, who used it as the officers mess. We headed across the lawns towards the wood where Sue saw a Muntjac deer cross the path. We walked through the wood but we saw no more deer but plenty of squirrels.

Not much happening back at the park, three caravans arrived together. We will be settling down to steak tonight before heading home tomorrow.

This may be our last blog with Matilda as we are considering changing. There will be a new blogg here next year. http://ionamotorhome.blogspot.co.uk/ 

Matilda goes for a pint

September 13th-17th, Trip Ten- Batemans Brewery

On our way to Wainfleet All Saints it became apparent that the SatNav was not talking to us. Not a problem because we still had the map but I missed the warnings about the next turn etc. Anyway we stopped in a layby and I managed to get her talking to us again, although a few miles down the road I nearly turned her off again after frequently being told I was over the speed limit, in some cases by 2mph.

img_1623img_1628img_1622imageimageWe arrive at the campsite at Batemans Brewery just before lunch and as usual we were greeted by some very pleasant stewards who showed us all the facilities etc. This time we had electric hookup and at £11 a night was well worth having. The sun was out and it was hot, so a quick change into shorts and a wander over to the visitor centre, but it was closed for training so we continued into this little town.

At one part in it’s history it was a thriving port on the river Steeping, exporting salt and produce. But the river silted up and was eventually by-past with a larger drain. The river is still here but it does not flow quickly anymore. There are plenty of fish to be seen from the banks.


The town itself has a railway station and parts look as if they are still in the previous century. There is a petrol station in a shop on the high street, a market place, two closed pubs and one open pub. Strangely as you walk along the high you come to a side street that could be in Chelsea,London. It was built by a London architect to mirror a London street and was something to do with a hospital. The town has suffered and benefitted from the A52 by-pass, it is now quiet but without passing trade and shops are geared for the tourists that come to see the brewery.

After out short tour of the town we went back to Matilda for lunch and settled down to enjoy the sunshine before having a bar-b-que and enjoying a few glasses of the red stuff. Finally going inside at nine pm to watch the TV.
Day 2
We woke to a very misty morning but the forecast was for a fine sunny day as soon as the mist was banished by the sun. By about eleven the sun was out and we made our way to the brewery to book into the 12.30 pm tour. Back at the van I phoned a friend who lived nearby and he suggested he picked us up and we went back to his place for Pimms. We agreed immediately.

The brewery tour started on time and there were about 15 other people waiting with us. The tour lasted about an hour and finished with a free drink in the bar. The bar was packed with lunchtime guests so we took our sample drinks into the beer garden. To be honest I could have stayed there all day but we needed lunch before being whisked away by our friend
Tony arrived spot on 3pm and we went back to his place where we spent a leisurely three hours sat by the pool drinking Pims and reminiscing about our days at work. We got back to the van at about 7pm and sat outside until our supper was ready.
Day 3
The plan today is to have a look at the brewery shop , buy some beer and then walk into Wainfleet to take some more pictures for the blogg.

Matilda goes to the Seaside

August 22nd – 26th, Trip Nine – Heacham in Norfolk

The trip over to Heacham was Ok, we had an issue with something banging so we stopped a Sue checked the cupboards. We set off again and a few miles down the road there was another bang, we stopped again and I checked all the cupboards and shower, nothing seemed amiss and I just looked at the skylight and it was not fastened shut properly, problem solved.

The rest of the journey went well and we arrived at the campsite. Filled up with water and checked in with the stewards. We gave the awning a miss because of my back pain but sorted all the kit out and it started to rain, just like last year.

Once the rain had stopped we went for a short walk and ended up at the beach, and walked home in a circular route, clocking up three miles before getting back to Matilda. The sun came out at about 5pm and the kids arrived for football training.

Day 2
The wind had dropped and the sun was shining so we decided to spend the morning around the van. Chilled out, read and relaxed.

The forecast for tomorrow is better and Richard and Martha are joining us for the day.
Day 3
The day started at 6.30am as the car booters started to set up. By 8.00 am the football pitch was full of stalls and the car park was full as well as all the space in front of our pitch, cars were then sent to the back of the campsite.
It was so busy that at 11.00am we went out to the front of the social club to wait for Richard and guide him in. He arrived at about midday and we had a quick lunch before walking to the beach where we spent a few hours.



On the way home we stopped for an ice cream and stopped at the park with Martha. When we got back Martha stayed with us and Richard went to check into the hotel. Tea was ribs and salad before Rich and Martha went back to the hotel.we packed everything away prior to a thunder storm.
Day 4
Richard and Martha joined us in the morning,they went to the park and then we met them later and we all went to the Norfolk Lavender centre. After looking around the animal park and the outdoor play centre we bought some lunch from the farm shop and sat outside in amongst the ducks.




We went back home and left Richard and Martha heading for the soft play area. They arrived back after a couple of hours and we played ball games until the rain came. Another great day but tomorrow we all head back home.

Matilda goes Back to School

August 9th – August 12th, Trip Eight

imageBack to Cromer Academy

August is a great time to go to the coast, so we are going back to Cromer and the Temporary Holiday Site at Cromer Academy. We set off on Tuesday morning and with traffic and roadworks it took 3 hours to get to the campsite, 96.3 miles at 36.4mpg which is one of the longest trips so far.

It was pretty windy so we just put up the windbreak this time. Lunch at about 14.00 accompanied by a beer, what a good start to the trip.How things change,by 4.00pm it was cloudy and we had light showers on and off until 6.00pm. We cancelled the barby and cooked inside. Later there was a great thunder storm that finally stopped later in the evening.

Day 2.

The sun has returned and after breakfast we walked into Cromer. First stop was a bench near the church where we knew we could get a wi-fi signal, unfortunately 3G reception at the site is very poor and although the Huawei gets a signal it is not strong enough for data transfer.

Once the iPads were updated we headed towards the beach. There is an RNLI inshore lifeboat station and next to it the Henry Blogg Museum, so we went in and saw the original lifeboat that rescued over 900 people before retiring to Cromer.

Plenty of surf

After a short walk along the sea front Sue decided to have a paddle and once thoroughly soaked, she got caught by a large wave, we made our way up the cliff towards the town, but we never made it, we came across a boating lake for children and watched as a boxer dog decide it wanted a paddle. From the cliff top we could see the pier and the lifeboat house and ramp so we set off back down the cliff to visit the pier.

Sue gets Wet

The pier was very busy with parents and children crabbing, we made our way to the end and found that we could go inside the lifeboat station and see the latest Tamar class boat up close. All around were records of the rescues that the Cromer lifeboat had made in it’s entire history. A guide told us how the boat is recovered back into the boat house after a rescue.


Half way along the pier is a theatre which has a bar, so we got some drinks and sat outside and watched the tourists before walking into town to get some odds and ends and then walked home.

Once back at Matilda we had lunch and checked on the mileage and our little walk had been five miles. I had a beer to celebrate.

Day 3
Walked into town to get some dressed crabs to take home. We walked along the beach towards Hunstanton. A section of cliff is fenced off and there are eight goats grazing the almost shear cliff face.

Cromer Pier

At about 5 o’clock we walked back into town for a fish and chip supper at Mary Janes, we were lucky again this year and got seats in the restaurant. After a large Cod and Chips and a pint for me and a glass of wine for Sue we walked to the front and tried to get a wi-fi signal but to no avail. On to the church where there are benches and we know we can get a signal there, and sure enough a signal but the wi-fi was so slow we got some downloads but then gave up and headed home.

It seems that the youth of Cromer expects the older generation to walk on the road while they walk four abreast on the payment. Well they failed with me, and then runners expected us to move over, they failed. That is what old age does to you, it makes you intolerant , well it has with me so I am told!

Day 4

Woke at 8am , went to put the kettle on but nothing, then noticed the fridge lights flashing. We ran out of gas during the night. Soon switched bottles and the kettle was on ready for the start of the day and packing for the journey home.

The total trip was 195 miles, 6.07 hrs, 34.7 mpg , AV 31mph.


Matilda goes to Rutland Water

OJuly 26th – July 29th,

Back to Lyndon Top

All alone
We had a week free so on the spur of the moment decided to take a couple of days back at Lyndon Top. Despite days of sunshine before we now have thick cloud. There is a chance of rain so only the wind-out awning and the windbreak will be used.

Morning viewThe site was not busy so we could go anywhere, so we chose a site with a view over Rutland Water. Firstly we filled up with fresh water using the new hose, however the pressure was low so it still seemed to take an age before the tank was overflowing.

Some sporadic sun in the afternoon, so the kindle got some use. Windy with a bit of a chill when the sun is not out. It is very quiet will only 10 other outfits at present on this side of the site.
Tonight tea will consist of moussaka and chips with a raspberry desert and a bottle of wine. It is just not warm enough for another salad.

Day 2

A late start for me today, but then WTF, Waste water, Toilet, Fresh water, my daily jobs. By then our daughter and the grandchildren arrived. After the olympics and then lunch we all went for a walk to the RSPB visitor centre where they have a cctv of an Osprey nest and two nearly full grown chicks. We declined the £5 per person fee to go into the nature reserve and hides and decided a walk along the reservoir edge to the path that lead us back to the campsite. The last hill was too much for the grandchildren and we took it in turns to carry the youngest one.
By the time we got home, after the two mile walk, it was beer o’clock as far as I was concerned and then there was another games hour, plus retrieving a plastic stump from on top of Matilda. Four year olds and accuracy have some way to develop. We waved them all goodbye and retreated to reading our kindles before a steak tea. A great end to an exhausting day.

Day 3

After a bright sunny start the weather changed and from lunchtime it started to rain. Not much to do but sit it out and read. In the afternoon we were joined by Peter, a friend we had made at an Auto-Trail rally earlier in the year.
The sun did come out again at about seven, so we had tea outside and made the most of it.

imageTotal trip 70 miles, 33.9 mpg.

Matilda goes to Shropshire

Bridgnorth Temporary Holiday Site


We left home in sunshine and apart from a couple of showers the drive was ok. It took us 3hrs 10mins which we were going to stop half way but by then we were on a motorway and then every laybye we came to was full.

The River Severn

The camp site is a rally field next to a static caravan site. With plenty of space so we pitched down by the river Severn, with the Severn valley railway the other side just visible through the trees. For the second time we parked, checked the level and we were spot on, so no ramps again, but the wind got up and putting up the awning was an adventure.

After tea we decided to go for a short walk along the river but the short walk led us into Bridgnorth and over the old town bridge. We looked at the old quay and marvelled at how the houses were built into the hillside. We now know where the cliff railway is so tomorrow we will explore low town and high town. Then there is the Severn valley railway. I think we will be busy.

Day 2.

Today we awoke to rain and the forecast has changed to a wet day. When there was a brief stop to the rain we headed into Bridgnorth following the river and over the old town bridge.




Following Cartway, which was the only way to get carts from low town to high town in the 1800s , we slowly made our way up the steep incline where we saw one of the oldest pubs, The Black Boy Inn.


We also found this old house, Bishop Percy’s house which is one of a very few to survive the English civil war, the Rev Thomas Percy, Royal Chaplain to King George 3 was born here.




Towards the top of Cartway are a couple of caves where people once lived and identified with plaques.

Deserted Cave Dwelling
The Market Hall

Once we reached High Town we found the original market hall in the main square.From here we headed towards the castle gardens where part of the original castle still stands although at an angle greater than the leaning tower of Pisa . The gardens were beautifully maintained and apart from the bandstand there is a Tank, a Ship and an aeroplane made from Box Hedges. There is also a statue of a soldier representing the fallen in both great wars.


castle 3
The Leaning Castle
The Leaning Castle
War Memorial at the Castle

From the Castle we made our way to the Severn Valley Railway where we saw several steam engines and a couple of trains arrive and depart. Then onto the Railwayman bar for refreshments before making our way back to see the caves in the cliff.

2016-07-12 13.45.06

Severn Valley Railway

train 2.jpg

2016-07-12 14.34.49.jpg

We found more steps that Sue wanted to climb and soon we were back in high town although totally out of breath and with sore legs. The only option now it was raining quite hard again was to head for home via the Cliff railway and back along the river to the campsite.

Lavington’s Hole an old cave dwelling
2016-07-12 15.08.02
The Cliff Railway

Day 3

The weather was very mixed today so we stayed around the van moving from outside to inside depending on the rain. In the afternoon we started a walk along the river but when a cow got in our way, or were we in hers as she made to the river for a drink, anyway Sue decided that the cow had right of way so we about turned and walked into Bridgnorth to feed the ducks and then back home.

There are a lot of people with dogs and there are dog bins everywhere so why do people clear up after their dog and then leave the ‘poo bag’ on a bench in the caravan park. Some dog owners do not deserve the right to own a dog.

Day 4

2016-07-12 15.04.37
The Bridge from High Town

This was our last day but we needed some milk so a walk into town was arranged. This time the rain stayed away. I had forgotten the return tickets for the cliff railway so we walked up The Cartway again. It seemed easier the second time but on the way home we stopped at the Black Boy Inn on the Cartway for a drink. Very friendly landlady and I was soon of my second half of a recommended ale.

The Black Boy Inn

We got back to the van and the sun was still out so we had lunch and then took the awning down incase it rained, and replaced it with wing windshield. Sue made a prawn dish for tea and it was good to be able to eat outside.

Hanging Baskets over a Pub

The following morning I awoke at 6am but went back to sleep until 8.30, by 9.30 nearly everything was packed with just the interior to sort out. We left at 10.40 for our 3 hour drive home. We will be back next year for a ride on the severn valley railway which we missed this time.


The Habitation Check

We have had Matilda for a year and so it was time to have a habitation check that looks at all the basics, lights,switches, electrics and gas.

We had a local firm, Newark Caravans to come to the house and complete the check. Newark Caravans are an approved workshop and all their work is guarenteed. Damp is always a worry with caravans and motorhomes, but the first stop was the Gas Check.

gasleak.jpgThe first job was to check for leaks and Nick found one, which turned out to be behind the cooker, it was a very small leak and was easy to fix once it was found. Then the gas failure test was completed which included the fridge.

On checking the fridge flue Nick found that at sometime the main fridge cable had been routed near the flue and it had been touching one of the hottest pipes which had melted the outer cable sheath and was begining on the earth cable. This was repaired and the cable rerouted away from the heat source.

A full damp check was conducted and the highest score was 10 so we passed that test. A full inspection around and underneath the van was conducted and no problems were found. Nick recommended a waxoil treatment to the underneath to preserve the very good condition of the chassis.

After initial thoughts of should we or shouldn’t we get the hab check done , it is now obvious for two reason why these checks are so important, and we will be having one next year and every year in future.