Wednesday, 27 June 2018

Trying to Catch Up......

We are currently at the Polstead C&CC site in Suffolk....
We stayed here last year for a couple of weeks and really liked the site but felt that we could have done with more time here. 
This year we have come back to spend 28 days here.... The cycling in the area is first class and with nice walks and a selection of pubs close by it has a lot going for it.....

Unfortunately I am running behind in my posts to the blog and I am trying to catch up so as we are here for a month I hope to be all up to date by the time we move on.

Following our stay at the Osiers CS near Chichester we moved on to the C&CC site at Crowborough....
Now I think that it is fair to say that there is not a lot at Crowborough but our main reason for stopping off for a couple of weeks there was to enable us to visit Royal Tunbridge Wells and also have a trip to Brighton.

I did venture out on my bike when we were there but the condition of the roads was terrible... There were pot holes everywhere and that plus narrow roads and a high volume of traffic made me decide that I wouldn't go out again on the bike during our stay....
So from then on it was walking everyday rather than cycling.......

When we visited Brighton we travelled on the bus.... I find that if I drive I tend to miss out on a lot of the views of the countryside and you can see so much more from the upper deck of a double decker bus..... also when you arrive at your destination you don't have to bother with finding a parking place......

We had a good day out in Brighton visiting the Lanes...the Pier and the Royal Pavilion...
The lanes were packed with lots of small Jewellers Shops with some very high end items for sale. 
Our visit to the pier consisted of having some lunch and a beer and watching some of the braver youngsters taking rides on some of the scary rides..... 
Years ago I might have had a go on those rides but not these days.......

After lunch we then visited the Royal Pavilion.....
It is certainly a very interesting building and Anne had been wanting to visit it for some time....
Some images taken during our visit to the Pavilion are shown below.....






Tuesday, 19 June 2018

East Marden YHA....A Full Circle....

Last year I told you about my visit to a water mill near St Ives Huntingdon that had been a Youth Hostel that I had visited 55 years earlier while I was on a cycle ride with one of my childhood mates....
Well when we were staying near Chichester a few weeks ago I visited another of the Youth Hostels that I had visited as a youngster.....

This time it was the YHA at East Marden West Sussex.....
I remember the ride quite well...
Leaving home at Feltham Middx which is where we were living at the time the ride consisted of Milford YHA.... East Marden YHA.... Portsmouth YHA.... Southampton YHA.... Hindhead YHA and then back home.

This ride was really like a tester for the ride we did the following year when I visited the Water Mill near Huntingdon and although I remember all of the YHA's we visited on that earlier trip it was the one at East Marden that I remember the most....

I think the main reason for that was because we had met a couple of girls that happened to be staying at the youth hostel when we stayed there and Paul and I were a bit reluctant to have to move on.....
I remember taking a picture of my bike under the old thatched well in the village and also stopping at a bend in the road as we cycled away from the village and looking back at the Youth Hostel.... 

As Anne and I were reasonably close to the village when staying near Chichester I decided to cycle out there for a visit...this would me the first time that I had been back to the village since I was thirteen......

The House That Used To Be East Marden YHA
 The ride out to the village was really enjoyable and it seemed to have hardly changed....
Happily it doesn't seem to have grown at all... no new buildings and everything just as it was all those years ago....
Standing looking at the building that used to be the Youth Hostel that first visit all came flooding back to me.......
East Marden Village Church
 I remembered sitting outside the church eating a 'Fry's Five Boys' chocolate bar while we waited for the Youth Hostel to open on the evening of our arrival. The seat outside the church was still there......
East Marden Thatched Village Mill
 As I sat there eating that chocolate bar we could see the village mill opposite us.....
An image of the mill was used as an ink stamp that you had stamped in your YHA membership card when you visited the hostel.....
It was also used on a badge that you could buy to add to your collection of hostel badges and I remember buying one on the morning that we left the hostel......
Bike Lean Image at the Well...
As Paul and I sat there all those years ago we decided that it would be a good idea to take a photo of each of our bikes under the thatch of the village well.....
In those days the photos were of course in black and white......

On this my 2018 visit to the village I did the same thing..... my current bike is worlds away from the heavy bike that I was riding on that trip as a youngster but I stood it in the exact same spot for the colour shot taken on my phone....

I would never have thought as a thirteen year old all those years ago that I would be re-visiting the village as a seventy year old riding a bike and taking pictures in those same spots......
I really enjoyed my return visit and as I rode away I came to the bend in the road where I had stopped and looked back towards the hostel... I stopped and looked back... the only thing that had changed was that view...the trees have grown and now obscure the hostel...

I remounted my bike and headed back in the direction of Chichester.....

As I rode away the phrase 'Full Circle' entered my thoughts.... I thought of all the rides that I have done since that trip as a youngster and here I was again cycling that same route...In cycling terms it really was a 'Full Circle'

Tuesday, 12 June 2018

Around Bosham.....

During our stay at the Osiers CScs site we chose to have a little wander around Bosham...
It was quite a few years since I had last been there and Anne had never visited the area ....

Bosham Quay
We walked down to Bosham quay where everyone is told not to leave their car due to how quickly the tide can come in....
The tide was actually out when we were there and as we had walked we had no problems with leaving a car parked on the quay.....
Bosham Mill
 We looked a Boham Mill House... This is a grade 2 listed building which was listed back in 1973.
The Mill is quite an attractive L-shaped building. Timber framed in the north end and largly re-faced with red bricks...
I really love old Mill houses and this one is in very nice condition....
Holy Trinity Church Bosham
We then carried on to view Holy Trinity Church..... The church has a long history dating back to the seventh century it is Saxon in origin.. it is even mentioned in the Bayeux Tapestry...
Anne and I took some time to sit in the churchyard and take in the peace and quiet..... A very tranquil place......

Drive Slowly...Ducks Crossing....
On another walk we headed across the fields to Funtingdon....
On the way we passed a sign warning drivers to go slowly due to Ducks crossing the road..... Not something that you see everyday.... 
`
Funtingdon Church
The route took us through yet another churchyard...this time it was Funtingdon Church....
It was a blazing hot day and we were headed for a pub/restaurant for lunch.....
We had a very nice meal plus a couple of pints of beer for me (Anne just has soft drinks) and then we headed back the way that we had come.....

It's funny how it is always a bit harder walking back after a couple of pints and a meal but we did eventually arrive back at the site where I spent the rest of the afternoon taking in the sun....

Tuesday, 5 June 2018

A Real Gem......

For the past two weeks we have been staying at The Osiers CS near Chichester.....
We decided to try this little site because the C&CC site at Chichester has building work nearby and this has been causing both noise and dust so that meant we crossed the site off this years list......

The little Osiers Site has won the C&CC best CS as well as the best Hideaway site for a number of years so with the C&CC Chichester site crossed off our list it seemed the obvious choice for us in this area.
I also wanted to try a small CS as although I have stayed on them whilst cycle touring and backpacking I have never taken Eva the Eriba to one......
The middle weekend and following week of our two week stay was a Bank Holiday and half term holiday so we were hoping that the little site would be a haven of peace and quiet and not crammed full as a lot of the larger sites are over the bank and school holidays....

Hideaway can mean tucked away and this site is although it was not difficult to find....

Looking down the Drive to the Entrance from the Road.
 There is a small entrance off the road with an automatic five bar gate and a long narrow drive from the road to the site itself.......
The owners John and Jackie are a really lovely and friendly couple and Jackie was waiting at the end of the drive to see us on to our pitch.......

The little Facilities Block....
 The facilities were situated in a small and attractive building at one end of the site......
There are a couple of toilets and a shower and as this is a five van site these facilities seemed perfectly adequate..... 
There is a small washing up area set into the building as well....

At no time during our stay were the facilities overwhelmed and we never had to wait to use them......
The rear view of an old stable block...Eva and Awning is just to the left.
 The little site is well looked after and John and Jackie have done lots of things to encourage wild life and during our stay we saw many types of birds.....We spent hours watching the birds going in and out of the numerous bird boxes scattered around the site and the swallows swooping around the site gave us hours of pleasure.... 
In the evening the birds were replaced with bats swooping around.....

At the far end of the site there is a small meadow where Jackie keeps the grasses long in order to encourage insects and small creatures like field mice etc......

As well as the pitches for caravans/motorhomes and tents there are also a couple of Yurts setup in a small area of their own.....

This site was a Real Gem of a find and we really enjoyed our stay there.....
As for our desire for a quiet and tranquil site over the bank holiday and school half term break.... well it could not have been better....

It was quiet......
It was tranquil....
It was perfect......
Just see the image below of how uncluttered and quiet the site was.......
Perfect...!!

A step closer to what is normal........

Over this past week our campsite has taken a step closer to what we think of as normality...  The sign that was put out at the entrance to ...