Bitton Again – July 2016
Bitton Again – July 2016
|Knights Folly Camp Site, Bitton
|Not your average Motorway Services
|I wish I’d taken the camera with me and not just my phone
We had to get back to the site in good time because we were meeting Alison’s daughter, Gabrielle, for dinner in Nailsworth. We’d booked a table at the Wild Garlic restaurant and met up just before 7pm.
|Wells Trading Post purchases
Designed by John Nash each cottage is unique, this style was later widely copied. The hamlet was one of the first examples of a planned community and there is a stone sundial and water pump on the green which commemorates its construction. The cottages are lived in and therefore entry to the public is to the village green only.
We walked about 200 yards up the road to Blaise Castle, where we walked up through the woods to the castle itself.
|Inside the cave
After a bacon sandwich in the cafe we drove on to Clifton Village – a great community with lots of quirky shops and eateries – we’ll definitely be back here again.
|I suspect this is the French Resistance in Clifton…
It would be crazy to go to Clifton and not visit the famous Suspension Bridge – a truly amazing piece of engineering that can’t fail to bring your camera out.
We had a great time in the sunshine and also visited the nearby observatory which gives fantastic views across the Avon Gorge.
It also has a small cafe with a brilliant Portugese manager – she happened to have two schnauzers as well, so there was plenty of barking going on. A Pastel de Nata and a coffee? Perfect.
The benefit of having to drop the van off at 8.30 was that we could cram a lot into one day. We drove to Portishead Marina and wandered around the area in the sunshine. I really think I could live there.
I was interested to spot this piece of dock engineering, built by Vickers-Armstrongs in Newcastle in 1946. The North East built the world back then, but doesn’t seem to figure in anyone’s priorities now. Such a shame…
We got back to Yate by 4pm but they didn’t finish fixing the flip seat until after 5pm. I think it had turned out to be a bigger job than they’d imagined.
We didn’t get back to the site until around 7pm, so it seemed a good idea to have Friday fish and chips – whilst Alison walked Boz, I drove a mile to the chip shop, where there was a queue out of the door. It took a while to get served but it was worth it.
We chatted to our site neighbours – they were from Beverley in the old East Riding and had a terrier called Bobby. Oh, and they wouldn’t be caravanners unless they polished the van on site.
Saturday was the day for a lie in after early starts all week. We chilled and then walked along to the Avon Valley railway. We’d seen steam trains running during the week so thought we’d give it a go. As it turned out Saturday was a diesel day but we still decided to take a trip. Unfortunately, there isn’t much track to travel along!
We got on at Bitton station and waited to depart to Oldland – a trip of 7 minutes. At Oldland the engine drove down to the front of the train and pulled us back to Bitton then on to Avon Riverside. It takes 12 minutes to Avon Riverside!
We got off at the Riverside stop and walked with Bozzer, over the river, then down past the lovely picnic site. We decided to walk across the fields to The Swan pub for some lunch.
|The first (and only) pub of the trip
We had a couple of drinks then walked back across the fields and back to the campsite – by this time Boris was pooped and ready for a sleep.
We cooked pasta in the evening, washed down with a lovely Malbec.
Whilst we’d been staying at the site, the owners, Julie and Victor had looked after everyone brilliantly. They even dealt with a wasp nest close to the adjacent pitch to us. They’d had a visit from George Clarke (of Amazing Spaces fame) in 2015 and he’d left his mark in the toilet (oo-er!).
Our Welsh neighbour had spotted the sticker on Absinthe pointing people to this Blog and had spent the afternoon trawling through the archive – it’s nice to know that people enjoy reading about our adventures.
His caravan was a Godiva – how they come up with names for caravans is beyond me – why Godiva? Answers below in the comments section please…
All that was left was to watch a film in the van on Saturday night (Gone Girl, if you’re interested and no, I can’t recommend it – that’s 2.5 hours I’ll never get back…)
We packed up on Saturday and had a relatively easy drive back home up the M5 and M6. Another great trip and some places we’ll definitely visit again.
There is a full set of photos here: FLICKR
THINGS WE’VE LEARNED
The West country around Bath and Bristol is a beautiful part of the world
Caravanners are a friendly bunch
We should take Boris to the beach more often
Seeing Wigan Warriors lose is slightly easier when we’re chilled in the van
The new seat makes the van seem much larger
If I’m not in the passenger seat, Alison drives even faster in Absinthe