As threatened, one more part of the blog for you to endure and then you can rest easy. We’ve put together some favourites and facts and figures as much for our benefit as anything else. So, without further ado…….
1) Best caravan site. Tricky this one, so we’re going to subdivide it in to three:
- Best facilities. Easy. Our current site, here at Cherry Hinton. Recently refurbished and immaculately kept by the site wardens since. Superb.
- Prettiest. Coniston in the Lake district. A large site but cleverly divided up and with beautiful walks.
- Location. Edinburgh, easy to find and close to a bus stop.
2) Favourite Attraction.
- For Trev - Edinburgh castle. Stunning views over the city.
- For me - The Royal Yacht Britannia. I Like anything to do with boats and the tour was Informative and fascinating.
3) Favourite bus tour.
- No contest. Belfast. Informative, witty and enlightening. The arctic weather wasn’t their fault!
4) Favourite town or city.
- For me - Edinburgh. Just loved it Could have stayed longer and seen more
- For Trev - Chester. Compact and beautiful.
5) Favourite area.
- Tricky this one. We loved the valleys in south Wales, Snowdonia in North Wales, the Antrim coast in Northern Ireland and the Lochs in Scotland. but overall it was the Lake District. Stunning scenery, great beer, tasty sausages and free car parking!
6) Favourite drive.
- For Trev - driving along side Ullswater in the lake District and stopping for a cuppa at a little cafe by the waters edge. Just great.
- For me - the road to Llanberis at the base of Snowdon from Betys-y-coed. And the sun was out too!
7) Favourite view.
- Sitting with a pint at the bar in Luss looking out over Loch Lomond as the sun began to set. Breathtaking.
8) Best weather.
- Edinburgh. My shorts came out for the first time.
9) Favourite cafe.
- Overlooking the little harbour in Tarbet on the way back from the Mull of Kintyre. Great tea from a proper teapot and a lovely cheese and ham toastie to accompany the view.
10) Favourite pub.
- The Craignure Inn on the Isle of Mull. Fizzy ale but it was a proper old fashioned boozer with a roaring fire.
11) Favourite draught beer.
- Easy. Jennings bitter from Cockermouth. Divine and just as enjoyable bottled too.
So, that’s a few favourites. Now the facts and figures. We left in the early hours of 10th April and will have been away for 96 nights and 90 of those were in Patsy.
We had 3 nights in the Republic of Ireland, 6 in Northern Ireland, 18 in Wales, 31 in Scotland and 38 in England and stayed at 17 different caravan sites in total. The longest stay is at our current site which will be 14 nights. The shortest was Moffat in southern Scotland which was just for one night.
We took (and kept) 1,913 photo’s.
By the time we get home we will have driven 5,112 miles, however Patsy was only towed for 1,742 of them. The longest journey with Patsy was at the start; 203 miles from home to Cardiff. The shortest was from Scone to Edinburgh at just 43 miles.
Right, just some of the costs (gulp). The car was filled up 21 times and we will have burnt our way through £903 in diesel at a cost of 17.64 pence per mile. The car returned an average of 30 miles per gallon whilst towing Patsy and 48 mpg when not.
Site fees totalled £1,731.81, which works out at an average of £19.24 per night. That’s for two people and includes all water, shower and toilet facilities, and electric.
So there it is. The tour in a nutshell. We’ve learnt an awful lot about caravanning, most of it mind numbingly boring to non caravanners. However the experience in the early hours, before we even left Saltdean taught us a very valuable lesson; don't try and hitch up a van on a slope when it’s cold, dark, wet and windy and you’re both tired and inexperienced. Something will break (and it did - as you may remember!)
We’ve had a great time this week, catching up with friends and in turn looking after Greene KIng’s share price, if not our livers.
We’ve learnt a bit too about the small cross section of the British Isles that we have seen. Habits, customs and taste vary not only between the component countries but within them too. We’ve seen nowhere near enough of this beautiful country and have so much more to do at some point.
So Europe - the whole point of this caravanning lark. Is it still on? Most definitely, although we don’t know when yet. There’s lots to sort out first . If you want to get rid of us earlier, all donations will be gratefully received though! Patsy will not be at ease for long though. In a fortnights time, she will be pressed in to service again for a visit to Oxford - or ‘the other place’ as Cambridge University types call it. In September Patsy rides again - to the Norfolk coast for a wedding. And then? Who Knows!