The unplanned road trip - Days 6 - 11
Day 6 – Tuesday 23rd April
Miles – 134
Total miles – 374
We were both awake early this morning so we got all our stuff packed back and said goodbye to Bovey’s Down Farm.
Seeing as my solar power bank has completely failed me, my other power banks are empty and we didn’t drive long enough to charge up our phones yesterday, we decided to go in search for a camping power hook up converter. After going to several different shops and some research online, we reserved one at the Halfords in Exeter.
We then headed out to Wildwood Escot which is a wildlife park on the Escot Estate. They have wolves, otters, wild cats, birds of prey, peacocks, wild boars and so much more. We got there when it opened and it took a little while for the animals to wake up and come out of their homes to say hello to us but when they did it was fantastic. I can see why it’s so popular. I had to laugh when we were walking along by the wolves enclosure as my husband was off in front of me and I noticed that the wolves were following him. It was like they were hunting and he was their prey. Good thing there was a huge fence or I think he would have been dinner lol.
After an early lunch we decided to go get the hook up converter and get on with the long drive down to Marazion where we were staying at the Wheal Rodney Holiday Park.
We got checked in and the tent set up as quickly as we could as there was rain forecast but also because the site had an indoor heated swimming pool that we wanted to check out. It was amazing, it was like swimming in a huge bath, if was lush!!
We managed to get back to the tent and have dinner before it really started to rain hard.
Day 7 – Wednesday 24th April
Miles – 45
Total miles – 419
I think I got a grand total of 3 hours sleep last night. To help keep us drier and possibly warmer, we put our big sheet of tarpaulin over our tent but it was so windy that no matter how much we pinned it down, it kept coming loose and rustling in the wind. I don’t know what time it was but Sean and I both had enough of it so we got out the tent in the pouring rain to take the tarpaulin off, folded it up and put it in our little toilet tent.
We then both woke up just before 6am and couldn’t get back to sleep so thought we would just get on with the day. I had a look online at the things we wanted to do and it said that Lands End was open from 7am, happy days! We got dressed and headed off only to find that the site for Lands End doesn’t have a gate or anything on it so you can go up any time you please but the shops don’t open until 10am. We had a good like round and had our pictures taken with the Lands End sign before heading off towards St Ives.
If you have a big car, do not drive to St Ives harbour, the streets are small and tight to get through, I don’t know how we didn’t scratch up our car.
Anyway, it was still early so we went along the harbour and found a lovely pub called The Lifeboat Inn that do a full English breakfast that was delicious.
We had a walk along the harbour but there wasn’t much open and it kept raining so we didn’t get to see much unfortunately.
We found a little ice cream place called Just Desserts and thought “what the hell” so we had some ice creams. I had mint choc chip and Oreo (much to my husband’s disgust as he doesn’t like either lol).
Now, if you have been to St Ives you know the danger that lurks on roof tops, the takers of food who swoop in from above your head when you least expect it, the noisy sods that wake you up at 5am and don’t care how much it annoys you. Yes, I am talking about the seagulls. Oh it is no laughing matter (if you are laughing), my own mum was a victim of the seagulls. She came out of a shop with an ice cream, a seagull swooped down and took her ice cream right out of her hand! She didn’t even get to have a lick of her ice cream! Haha sorry, I have to laugh at the image of that. The seagulls are a pain in the bum though, there are loads of signs along the seafront warning people so keep an eye out if you visit.
We took in the beautiful harbour views and then worked up the courage to go back to the car park and try to drive through the little streets to get out of town.
It still wasn’t even lunch time so we drove to Marazion for St Michael’s Mount.
We parked in the beach car park and then walked along the sea wall to get one of the little boats out to St Michael’s Mount as the tide was still in. we had to walk out to a big rock on the beach in order to get onto the boats which was £2 for each of us each way so I made sure that I had £8 in charge.
Once we got to St Michael’s Mount, we got off at the harbour wall and walked round to the buildings. We had every intention of going up to the castle until we were at the bottom of the hill and saw how steep it was. There is no way that I would of made it up there, we did speak to a member of staff that said that if we pay to go in and don’t get all the way to the top, we can go back and get a refund but I knew there was no way I was getting up there. I think I would of been ok if the trail went around the hill but it basically went straight up.
We went to the cafe to have lunch and have a good think about getting up the hill but we both agreed that it wasn’t going to happen haha.
We still had a good look around the museum and seeing as the tide was still in, we got the last boat back to the shore.
It was starting to rain so we headed back to the car and did the very short drive back to the camp site. I was thinking about all the wind and rain last night and it got me thinking about the bell tents that they had at the campsite so when we got back, I went into reception and had a chat with the lovely lady at the desk about us having a bell tent for the night. We worked out a deal so that we only had to pay a little bit more on top of our tent pitch and have the bell tent instead. I rushed out reception, after paying of course, to check out the bell tent which was super awesome! Not only did we have a double bed, a bedside table, fridge, plates, bowls, cutlery, glasses, mugs, kettle, a power lead and candle, we also had a little lawn with a bench, a patio area with a table and chairs, our own little garden and a gas BBQ! It was all in our own private area with a fence around it so that even though we were opposite reception, we could have been in a field.
We went for another dip in the pool, couldn’t get enough of that heated pool, and did our laundry in the laundry room before settling into our lovely bed for the night.
Day 8 – Thursday 25th April
Miles – 96
Total Miles – 515
I had nearly forgotten how good it was to sleep in a proper bed haha. Last night I slept the best I have done on this trip. It was a bit of a weird experience as I’ve never been in a tent that was kitted out like a hotel room so it was a little strange when it started raining and I could hear it on the canopy but it was quite soothing. I woke up feeling quite refreshed.
We laid in bed for a little while, taking advantage of being in a bed as long as possible, found a great campsite in Stoke in Somerset for the night on Google Maps.
We set off mid morning after breakfast as we didn’t want to rush with the driving and as we were going driving along the motorway, we saw a sign for Healey’s Cornish Cyder Farm. We turned off at the next exit and quickly found it on Google so that we could get directions.
Healey’s Cornish Cyder Farm is brilliant! We got the top package which was £17 each but this included a full tour of the farm seeing the cider making process from start to finish, a tractor ride, a look round the museum, a tasting and a free pint so totally worth the money.
We went on the tractor ride first getting to go round the orchards and then we went on the tour which is a walking tour but it was loads of fun, my husband especially liked the tasting haha.
We had a late lunch in the big restaurant and then headed off to get back to the motorway and on our way to Stoke.
We arrived at Stoke Barton Farm late afternoon and was surprised to see that other than a few motor-homes and a caravan, we were the only ones in a huge field so we had pick of the pitches. We picked a pitch quite close to the toilet block and near the entrance to the field.
We got all set up and had dinner but felt it was still early so we went off in the car to find the pub that the lady in the farm house told me about that is half way down a cliff overlooking the sea. It’s called The Wrecker’s Retreat because of all the ships that have crashed onto the huge rocks below. You have to drive down steep curvy roads to get to it and it is super windy but the view is just out of this world. We had a good look around the outside seeing the rocks and the cliffs from all the angles we could before retreating inside the pub.
We got a table near the door and took in all the amazing things in the pub. There is a map that showed all the ships that had crashed including where and when it was.
After a few drinks we drove back up the curvy steep hill to get back to the farm before it got dark as I didn’t fancy trying to drive those roads in the dark.
It was freezing cold when we got back to the tent so I got out the spare blanket, our hoodies and the picnic blanket to put over our duvet. I checked the weather and it was going to be stormy and cold for the next few days so I went to trusty old Groupon to sort us out for tomorrow night. Managed to find a hotel near Bristol that was only £35 so got that and booked it straight away.
Day 9 – Friday 26th April
Miles – 129
Total Miles – 644
Worst night of my life!! I didn’t get any sleep at all, the whole night felt like it lasted 40 hours, it was so windy that it felt like the tent had become a giant lung as all the sides kept coming right in to the point that they nearly touched us and then back out again. It was freezing all night, we had loads of layers of clothes on as well as the duvet, blankets and hoodies but nothing kept the cold out. To top it off, the airbed decided to give up on life and I felt more and more of the floor before it was all I could feel under me. Turned out that we had part of Storm Hannah go over us, believe me when I say that I was not surprised when I found out.
We had planned to head to Bristol for the day as we couldn’t check into this hotel until 5pm so we packed up and headed off early.
We were looking at the prices for parking in Bristol, which were crazy, and the fact that it was raining a lot put us off the closer we got there so we decided to head off to the hotel early instead seeing as they have a pub attached to it.
Then we found a book shop called Book Barn International, the sign said that they had over a million books in stock so obviously, I had to see it and I am pretty sure there was a lot more than a million books haha. We had a good look round and found a few books before chilling out for a little while in the Full Stop Cafe which has lovely big sofas where you can curl up with a book and enjoy a lovely cup of tea.
We found a Tesco so stopped off for snacks and something to put together for dinner.
I was having a look for somewhere to stay in South Wales and after checking on Google Maps, Trivago, Late Rooms, Groupon, Wowcher, Expedia and Trip Advisor, I finally got to Booking.com and found the most fantastic deal. 3 nights in student accommodation in Newport for £83!! We wasn’t going to say no to that so we booked it straight away. I really wasn’t looking forward to getting in a tent again.
We still managed to get to the hotel an hour early so we went into the pub which is one of the most quirky pubs I have ever been into. They have all sorts of signs hanging from the ceiling, every beer mat known to exist, pillows of every shape and size, salt and pepper pots of every theme possible, beer posters, odd things hanging from the ceiling, half a car in the fire place and a full on train car coming out the back of it that has been converted into a restaurant. Loved it so much!
By the time we got to check into our room, we were both shattered so we had some of our snacks and went to bed.
Day 10 – Saturday 27th April
Miles – 102
Total Miles – 746
So glad that we was in a hotel last night!I woke up a few times to go to the loo and didn’t realise how windy it was until I heard it through the skylight in the bathroom. I looked out the bedroom window and it was horrible outside, so I quickly got back into bed.
We left at about 9:30am and headed towards Wales. It was so exciting going over the bridge into Wales and then seeing the sign saying “Welcome to Wales”.
We are both fans of the TV show Gavin and Stacey so seeing as it was early, we headed to Barry Island. Now, compared to the wind in Barry Island, Storm Hannah was a cool summer breeze! I opened my car door and it flew open, Sean had trouble getting out his side of the car and the wind was blowing it shut. I didn’t have a hairband so I had to hold my hair down because the alternative was to look like a troll caught in a hurricane haha. Even the shops couldn’t put their stands outside because their merchandise was getting blown away.
We had a walk along the seafront and found the cafe that Stacey works in and Tessa’s Slots from the show. The beach looked lovely, it was so clean and looked like it went on for miles. We both said that we wished it wasn’t so windy so that we could have a nice walk along it.
We headed back along the motorway to Newport and found our hotel/student accommodation which was the Neszport Student Village. We couldn’t check in for an hour and saw there was an Asda opposite so went over to get some supplies.
Went back to the hotel and got checked in, all very nice and quick. How it works here is that you have a room in a flat so you have your own room and en-suite bathroom but you share the open plan kitchen and living room. The room is big with a good sized bed, a huge corner desk, a sofa and the en-suite was a small wet room with the shower, toilet and sink all in a little room in the corner. The kitchen had everything we needed along with 2 fridge/freezers. The living room had 2 nice sofas and a TV so we plugged our Amazon Fire Stick into the back of it and signed up to the WiFi so that we could watch Netflix. We absolutely loved it, we couldn’t believe how lucky we were and how cheap it was. It was so nice having an oven to cook with so that I could make a dinner that didn’t consist of pasta or noodles.
Day 11 – Sunday 28th April
Miles – 0
Total Miles – 746
We thought we would have a day of neither of us driving so we walked along the river to the shopping centre in Newport. The shops seem like a little rabbit warren of little streets all coming off each other. We had a good look around , did a little bit of shopping and managed to find a Wetherspoons pub called The Queen’s Hotel to have a chill out with a few drinks.
We’d seen an all-you-can-eat Indian restaurant called Tawa Indian Buffet on our way round so we went back there for a late lunch and the food was amazing! There was so many dishes to choose from, we tried to try a bit of everything and what we did have tasted delicious, I can see why it got so busy.
We slowly made our way back to the hotel and had another chilled out evening watching Netflix.