Sunday, June 4, 2017

Next stop in England

The Burnham site was quite cramped with lots of permanent caravans
Our first 5 nights in the van were spent at Burnham on Sea mainly because it was close to the dealer we bought it from. We wanted a few nights to gather all the things we’d need like cooking utensils, sleeping bags etc. etc., RV’ers know what it takes to set up a new rig!
Tony and Carol "Wardens"(camp hosts) at Burnham on Sea
It was also a Holiday Weekend; Spring Bank Holiday in the UK is the equivalent of Memorial Day in the US. The schools are out for a week too so families take the whole week and go camping for the first time in the year.

Our daughter Sally who lives near Liverpool called and said she’d like to come down with the kids for a day. As it was close to 200 miles each way for her we decided we’d drive north to meet them.

We had joined the Camping and Caravanning Club (CCC) when we first got to UK. They have a lot of their own campgrounds and have a book like Good Sam in the US with campgrounds around the country.

We picked a CCC campground on the outskirts of a town named Oswestry. It turned out to be a nice place but fairly remote. It was on a main road so handy for Sally and the family to reach. We had a very pleasant day spoiling our grandkids and helping them climb all over the van! They thought it was wonderful and had to try out all the facilities! We walked them around the park then we all piled in their family van and went to Shrewsbury about 30 miles away to explore and get dinner.

Iain, Nial, Sally and Kaitlynd

Exploring the WHOLE campground
Grandma gets spoiled by the Grand Kids
This whole area is on the border of Wales. The towns grew up as market towns in ancient times where the Welsh traded wool and woolen goods for the hardware and food they needed. The town market building was built in 1540, but a market was there long before that.
Nearby Shrewsbury Market Hall

Before that the Romans came this way and built roads that the modern roads still follow, linking London to Bath and Chester which were major Roman cities. That puts the history back to 77 AD. But there were already people and towns here before that so the history trails off into the dark.

Half timbered houses everywhere

And English Tea
We had plans for things to get done back around Portsmouth before we took the ferry to Spain so reluctantly we said goodbye to the kids until August when we’ll see them again, and drove 230 miles back south to another CCC campground in Morton in the county of Dorset. This one was nice too but fairly noisy with lots of kids running around and yelling and a railway line alongside the campground.
Moreton CCC Campground, the pub is just behind the trees on the left.

The Fareham Arms, a nice cosy pub.

The "Pilots Bar"
Fortunately there was a pub also alongside the place and we enjoyed a nice dinner there on out first night. We went back each night we were there and discovered that there was a “Pilot’s Bar” where pilots from the local airfield had gathered in WW2.

For our US readers an explanation of how English Pubs work.

A pub may have more than one bar. Generally there will be a “Public Bar” where workers may drop in still wearing their work clothes. There can be wooden stools or benches like pews in some. The dart board is probably in the public bar.

View from the "Lounge Bar: into the restaur

The Public Bar can be frowned upon by the people who use another bar called the “Lounge Bar”. This is generally more upscale with upholstered chairs and tablecloths on the tables. Some larger pubs may have a third bar called a “Snug”, generally partitioned off from the “Lounge” it is a cosy small area for private conversation or a relaxing quiet spot away from the bustle.

All pubs are different however and some may be just a single room. It may be a converted house with tables and chairs. Most of them have a warm welcoming feeling, the ones with real atmosphere and history enjoy a regular clientele from the local area, they will refer to it as “The Local” or “Our Local” and everyone will know where they mean.

During our stay there we took the time to visit the Tank Museum ( and on our way back to Aunt Sheila’s we stopped at the Sammy Miller Motorcycle Museum. (More on that later) which was my birthday gift to me!

Next stop will be Spain.

Click the link for a map of our travels

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