2018 Here We Come

What to do on a wet New Year? Book next years hols of course!

We have been looking forward to going back to Norway and this time we are going all the way to the top in August.Norway Map It is 2500km from Kristiansand to Nordkapp which is 5000km round trip, or 3000 miles. Add to that the 1300km from Calais to Hirtshals (the Tunnel to the ferry from Denmark) is a total of 7600km, or 4500 miles, without any detours and there will be plenty of those. We are allowing 5 weeks so a few days to get to Kristiansand and a few days back, hopefully via Holland where we can visit friends and and take Fred to the vet for his passport worming pill.

The Tunnel and Ferry together cost about £500. There are no great deals to be had on the Tunnel as our C&CC membership only works on silly o’clock trips and you we can’t use Tesco vouchers and include Fred who by the way Eurotunnel charge another £18 each way for! However the tunnel is better than the ferry simply because of the frequency that fits in better with our timing. It would have been good to have a flexible return but they want virtually double so we will just pay the penalty if we need to change. Another gripe with Eurotunnel is that they charge another £20 each way for our van. because it is a Motorcaravan – I tried to select van but when I put the registration in it objected.  Conversely Highways England refuse to let us cross Dartford as a Motorcaravan and charge us extra as a van!

Conversely Colorline Ferries from Hirtshals to Kristiansand is easy and user friendly. They are also quite a bit cheaper than Eurotunnel. There we can book on as a Small Car under 2m high and 5m long. Unladen we actually go 2020mm over the solar panel so with us, our travel kit, clothes and 4 weeks of food that we can’t afford to buy or can’t get in Norway I am sure we will find that 20mm.

This time we will allow and extra day to get from Calais to Hirtshals where we will top over the night before the ferry. We plan to go inland from Kristiansand to Trondheim but major route planning is easy especially north of Trondheim – there is only the E6! On the way back south we will do the coast again from Trondheim.

NC500 MapSo what else? Well continuing the Go North theme we are planning to do the North Coast 500. It is a few years since we visited my relatives in Edinburgh and 25 years since we last went further north. As it will be outside school holiday time I don’t think we will book anything so we can be free to go with the flow. Time and weather permitting we would like to do some of the islands and at least Skye and perhaps Orkney. There are a couple of sites close enough to Edinburgh where we can get into town easily and, if the weather is kind, host a picnic for my cousins.

Edinburgh and Back

We left Busfest in Malvern after lunch to get to the C&CC site at Kendal in time for dinner. We managed that but not before we met with a closed M6 at Preston and couple of hours detour. The site was easy to find between the M6 and Windermere. We spent a couple of days walking and touring around the lakes.

Our biggest frustration with the Lake District was how much it costs to park. Sometimes it might be justifiable if you were to spend all morning or even day in one place but when you only want to stop for a coffee or a quick look see it is a rip off.

DSC_0058From Kendal we headed to Edinburgh a nice drive through the borders. We had booked a very expensive pitch for a few nights at the Caravan Club site at Siverknowes by the Firth of Forth in Edinburgh. The site is conveniently located for busses into town and our case visiting relatives and has great walking space alongside the river.

It seems like Falkirk is a place where interesting things happen such as the Falkirk Wheel lift that we have visited before. It raises and lowers the canal boats. This timewe were keen to go and see the Kelpies at Helix Park in Falkirk. These are 2 huge steel horses head sculptures beside the Forth & Clyde canal just along from the Wheel. Sadly the weather was as they say locally “get driech” so we may just have to go back again.

Heading south from Edinburgh we had a great drive along the A1 taking in the views of the Firth of Forth, St Albs, Lindisfarne and Banburgh and eventually arriving at the C&CC site at Scarborough. From here we walked all the way into Scarborough which I can assure you has little going for it. And we had a very wet drive to Robin Hoods Bay and Whitby. Whitby has much more going for it and of course Fish and Chips to die for.

DSC_0090A final stop on the way home at a C&CC Certified Site in Derbyshire. A great little spot that we had all to ourselves and Fred had a huge field to run in and he never saw the deer.

This was a good test of the van and all that came with it. We covered about 1200 miles in 2 weeks and were very comfortable with whatever the weather threw at us.