Well we’ve made it back from Land’s End safe and sound.
We set off on Friday evening and made it to the lake district for about 10pm, I’m sure we could have done it a lot quicker but we took a long and convoluted route that added about an hour or so to our journey – it was nothing to do with my map reading – honest.
Next day was a scorcher, we spent a few hours strolling around Ambleside, a lovely yet touristy town in the Lake District … and very expensive — a can of coke was £1.70. We decided it was time to hit the road when we saw a group of bag snatchers being chased down the street by shop security guards – it just shows that this sort of thing can happen anywhere.
We decided to try and avoid motorways, and this turned out to be a blessing. Apparently the M6 was at a standstill because of a lorry fire. That made the local roads quite busy so it was slow going. Map reading was still a problem, I lost count how many times we drove round and round a roundabout trying to decide which exit to take. But after many wrong turns we made it to Liverpool and then pushed on through to Wales, Bristol and eventually arrived near Exeter at around 11pm.
Our first attempt at finding a campsite lead us to Exeter race course. There appeared to be a caravan park but no tents. So after a quick dash to the third furlong we headed down the road to the next campsite, which was all locked up for the night. But that didn’t stop us. We pitched the tent under a tree and had a great night’s sleep.
Sunday took us to Lizard Point, the most southerly point in Britain, and then on to Land’s End, the most westerly point. For some reason I’d always imagined Cornwall to be quite flat … it’s not, and the rolling hills proved to be a problem for our cars ickle engine. We had to go as fast as we could downhill just to make it up the other side – it was great fun, but I’m sure the cars behind were cursing us.
By this point it was Sunday evening, we were a long way from home and had to be back by Monday night. So we had to hit the road again for a long drive over Bodmin Moor, past Dartmoor, Stonehenge and on up to Oxford. We arrived there at midnight and the only campsite was well and truly locked up.
We got our heads down in the car and were back on the road by 5:30. Sleeping in the car was actually quite comfortable. We headed over to the east coast, past Skegness and Grimsby, up past Newcastle and then home.
In all we had a great time and covered almost exactly 1,500 miles. Apart from the lack of uphill power, we needed to top up the oil each day, both of these I can live with. I hope it goes just as smoothly when we head off for real – touch wood.