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Staycation July 2023 - Cotswolds

Bit of a rename!

This was supposed to be a visit to see the Guide Dogs at the centre in Leamington. All was well until we arrived.

Firstly let's wind the clock back a day.

On Thursday I was at greyhounds for my usual volunteering spot. I got home a bit late and it was getting on for noon when we set off. All was perfect until we arrived in the vicinity of Cobham Services on the M25 when traffic started to slow and eventually stop dead.

We took a pit stop here and when we rejoined there was no difference in the heavy traffic. In the end we managed to rejoin. It was slow going beyond the M40 and luckily we were going that way!

Watching the arrival time on the satnav getting later and later is soul destroying. We eventually arrived at the Hampton House Farm CL around 5.30pm. We'd covered around 165 miles in over 5 hours. Our stops for Reggie to have a walk and a pee didn't take that long.

The site is all grass. It slopes quite a lot from the gate to the fence. There are only 5 pitches on a Certificated Location (CL). Only one pitch was available, pitch 1. It was kay but n the corner not far from the black waste and fresh water places.

Firstly I went in sideways but the can was leaning too much to the left. The idea was to give us a nice view over the fields and hills. In the end I went onto the peg front first and we needed the levellers due to the slope.

Even so, the Milenco Triples, were on the third level. Checking with the long spirit level showed we were quite level front to back, but still leaning to the left. No great problem.

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The site has water emptying, grey and black, and clean water. It doesn't have loos or showers. For £17.50 it was good value.

So onto Friday. Up, breakfasted and off the 7 miles to Guide Dogs. We had told them we had a motorhome and would be taking Reggie with us. We had checked in and we're about to have coffee when we were called out. It was hot and we were concerned that Reggie would be okay in the van. In the end they said they couldn't have pet dogs on the site. I was happy to leave and come back later so Claire could attend the talks and meet some puppies. She decided to leave as well.

If they had said no pet dogs then we wouldn't have applied to go. We have the email exchange and nowhere do they say Reggie couldn't be on their property. I fully understand. But he is fully innoculated and had had two rabies jabs in the last 13 months...

Anyway. It's done and dusted. One of the receptionists told us some places to go. We couldn't find one of them and decided to look for a National Trust place

In the end we rocked up at Charlecote Park. A Elizabethan mansion in the hands of the Lucy family for 900 years until 1946 when it was passed to the NT. The original owner came over during the Conquest from Luce sur Orne. I guess that's where the Lucy surname comes from.

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We had a coffee and a sausage roll. Then set off to walk around the park on the marked dog friendly paths. Some of the paths seemed not fit for dogs and I think this is that they pass by the deer sanctuary areas.

More photos from Charlecote Park added after downloading from the Sony Cybershot.....

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From there we set off for our next overnight at the Caravan Club site near Bourton on the Water. The site is like a CL as it has no facilities such as loos and showers. It's £20.60.

It's not really that close to the tourist magnet of Bourton on the Water itself unless you have a car or electric bicycle. In fact it's a long walk along a main road with no footpaths. Certainly a little wrongly named.

On the way we stopped for diesel. We were down to 44 miles range. The Gulf station was 1.599 a litre! I put only £30 in. Luckily, Texaco at Bourton was 1.425! Tomorrow.

The site was almost flat. Almost. We didn't need the levellers at all. We had a quiet afternoon sitting in the shade of the Fiamma awning until the sun moved and we ended up behind the can to find shade.

With rain forecast we packed everything away. Dinner tonight was a tin of cassoulet we brought from France.

We had a reasonable night. It began to rain as we had breakfast and as I did the dog walks, housekeeping - empty toilet cassette etc. Then we were off around 10.30am.

I'd like to try and visit Bourton on the Water again and maybe stay nearer the town centre. I have been looking and so that might be somewhere to go in the autumn.

The first stop was that 1.425 a litre fuel. Claire's turn to pay. This time £85 went in. I never overfill and just wait for the click from the filler. It adds some consistency when I put it into the Fuelly app on my phone.

The first part of the journey was wet, but fairly easy flowing on the A40 until the outskirts of Oxford. A city that is crying out for a proper bypass. The M40 is simply too far away. It's only a guess, but I expect that it was a political decision to run it to the north and miss out the "dreaming spires" of car-hating Oxford. The ring roads are simply unable to cope with the traffic. Once again the estimated arrival time at home began to stretch again. We eventually made it to the M40. We had a stop at Beaconsfield Services for lunch and Reggie to have another pee break.

Once on the M25 it was back to crawling along until way past the A3 junction again. By now the arrival time showed we had taken over an hour to go what is a pretty short distance! On top of the 20 minutes to get through Oxford!

Another Reggie break at Clackett Lane and another coffee from Costa for us. We eventually arrived home around 5pm.

A bit disappointed at the Guide Dogs fiasco, but we still had a good time away. Sometimes relaxing. Sometimes annoying.

Now I am looking towards having another trip away next month. The football season starts again in the Premier League on August 12th and I have two games to go to in August. So any trip needs to be outside those weekends.

Posted by InvictaMoto 22:15 Archived in England

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