As we prepare for the school holidays it's also a time to reflect on previous family holidays. We've had some super motorhome trips over the years. I don't usually get to holiday in high season but in July 2018 we did a wonderful 2-week road trip. There's going to be some baby faces in these photos but what great memories we all have of this holiday. At the time of this trip Chloe was 7-years and Emily was only 4-years old (I'm not going to disclose my and Sammy's ages but we also look a lot younger in these photos).
We loved planning this trip and for me it was about be revisiting some of my childhood holiday memories as well as having new adventures. We decided our destinations would be - St Ives, Brixham, Poole, the New Forest, Longleat and Southport.
Trevalgan Touring Park
- 3 nights
The journey time from our home to St Ives was approximately 13-hours, to make this easier for the girls we decided to set off late at night, the hope being that the girls would sleep for most of the journey, and we wouldn't hear “are we there yet?” too often. Sammy and I both drive so we changed driver every couple of hours and took a rest break whenever it was required. The great thing about travelling in a Motorhome for me is you can stop for a cuppa whenever you want. Even better for this lengthy journey was stopping for a sleep in a bed which we did for a few hours once we had reached Exeter.
We arrived in St Ives at around midday and after picking up some fresh supplies headed to Trevalgan Touring Park - our home for the next few nights. This campsite was very well maintained and managed with a super kids play area. Once hooked up we caught the bus from the campsite into St Ives. We headed for the harbour where we stopped for late lunch/ early dinner and found numerous Cornish Pasty bakeries so that was our evening snack sorted for back at the Motorhome.
You can walk to St Ives from the campsite so after a slow start on the Sunday we did exactly that with a picnic and some beach toys. The countryside walk offered some wonderful views but for the girls ending up on the beach was the highlight. I hadn't packed properly for the beach, I had forgotten that it's not possible for my girls to paddle without getting soaked through!
Of course, you can't go to Cornwall without sampling a cream tea. I'm now aware that there is a huge debate as to whether you spread the jam or the Cornish Clotted cream first - I'm cream then jam.
Upton Manor Farm Camping site
- 2 nights (unfortunately this campsite is no longer open)
Our next stop was Brixham, this town was recommended by a friend who had holidayed there for years with his family. Brixham remains one of the busiest fishing ports in the UK. After parking on the campsite we walked to the harbour and after watching a few people crabbing Sammy and Chloe decided to give it a go and bought the necessary bucket and crab line they were successful - did you know that raw bacon scraps make great crab bait? I'm not sure who had more fun whether it was Sammy or Chloe.
We had a super beach day at St Mary's Bay. The beach was quiet, we almost had it to ourselves, the girls spent the day in the water, playing in the sand and rock climbing. In the evening we walked back into the town and port for some more crabbing.
The town is very traditional and still has amusement arcades so the girls tried their luck on the penny machines before dinner and an ice cream. We decided against the uphill walk home and got a taxi instead.
It's worth mentioning that we had two lovely meals out in Brixham - fish of course. Rockfish
where we sat outside watching seals playing in the water hoping for some fish from the fishing boats. And the Breakwater Coffee Shop & Bistro
South Lytchett Manor Caravan and Camping park
- 2 nights
Nana and Grandda had decided to take their holiday in Bournemouth at the same time as our road trip so we arranged a catch up in Poole. We got the bus from our campsite and met up with them for a wander through Poole, some lunch (thanks Dad) before they waved us off on a boat tour
where we passed Brownsea Island, the Sandbanks Peninsula with the luxurious homes and saw the chain link ferry in action.
The following day we took the bus to Swanage, we found my Mum's favourite shop - The Curiosity Shop
where the girls spent some of their holiday pennies. We didn't forget to take our crab bucket so Chloe and Sammy spent some time crabbing while Emily and I wandered around the seaside front.
Brockenhurst, New Forest
Black Knowl Club Campsite
- 1 night
I was excited to drive through the New Forest and for the girls to see the wild ponies our first encounter was with free roaming cows but exciting all the same.
The campsite was in the forest, so we stopped for a traditional pub meal before heading to the campsite. Still desperate to see the ponies I got Chloe out of her bed in the morning for a pyjama walk in search of them (she was the only person daft enough to join me) - we came across some cows but only spotted the ponies in the distance.
After breakfast we headed to Brockenhurst train station to start a hop on, hop off open bus tour
through the moors and villages. We saw lots of ponies. My real excitement came at the end of the day as we were leaving Brockenhurst, and some ponies crossed in front of us and then we saw a drove of donkeys being petted - Sammy had no choice but to pull in and let us out. The garages in the Motorhomes are a great size but sadly just not big enough for a pet donkey.
Longleat Caravan and Motorhome Club Campsite
As we headed back north our next stop was Longleat where we planned to visit the Longleat Wildlife and Safari Park.
The campsite was an excellent location for the park we literally walked round the corner from the campsite to the rear entrance of the park.
We had a two-day ticket so made the most of two full days here, there was lots to do.
The girls petted (if you can call it that) snakes and spiders, fed the Lorikeets, fed the giraffes, took a boat safari to see the gorillas, listened to animal talks and watched animal shows.
There is a huge maze in Longleat where we managed to get lost and Sammy got into trouble for climbing up at a high point to give directions. 🤦♀️Chloe still hates getting reminded of this - she's a stickler for rules (when it suits her).
The team at Go Explore will be pleased to read that we didn't take the Motorhome on the Drive Through Safari we opted for the bus and the girls loved watching the monkeys stripping parts off people's cars.
Southport Club Campsite
- 2 nights
We travelled further north and had a 2-night stopover in Southport. The weather our first day was a bit wet but it offered the perfect excuse for stopping in the amusements and treating ourselves to ice-cream sundaes. The rain didn't put us off a walk around the Model Railway Village
. The weather improved the next day when we visited Britain's smallest pub - the Lakeside Inn
We joined the Caravan and Motorhome Club
for this motorhome adventure because some of the campsites that we chose to stay at were affiliated to it and the cost of membership was more than covered by the discounts and the ease of booking.
It's been lovely writing this and even after 5-years this motorhome holiday still brings a real smile to my face. My memory can be rubbish, but I love looking back at the photographs and recalling the fun times that we have had. I wonder if like me Chloe and Emily will want to take their children on a similar trip, better still, I wonder if they will let me and Sammy meet up with them.