Bailey Unicorn – 2018 Photo Special

Blimey. I never imagined for a minute that when I started scribbling about our travels in a caravan, that we would be invited to the unveiling of new caravans by the UK’s longest established manufacturer of caravans – Bailey of Bristol.

So, here we are, just outside Swindon – Rosie’s ‘birth’ place in hotel owned by Honda no less to get first look at Bailey’s best selling range of caravans – the Unicorn.

DSC_0030DSC_0013

There are ten layouts in the new range – and we were able to nose around eight of them here and I’m delighted to be able to share with you some photo’s of them – and as owners of a Coachman – albeit an ageing one – we were both very impressed.

There are a number of specifications that would have once only been considered optional extras but are now fitted as standard across the range – the TyrePal Tyre pressure monitoring system for one and a plethora of those all important USB charging points along solar panels and the wiring for motor movers. TRACKER Monitor Stolen Vehicle Recovery System with intruder alarm is standard as is the more expected AL-KO ATC system and wheel locking point.

Alde central heating is standard so no more dry throats and bunged up sinuses courtesy of the once popular blown air system:

DSC_0004DSC_0010DSC_0027

Extensive testing at Milbrook Proving ground resulted in structural changes that allow more internal space and seats and beds up to 5% and 10% longer as well as extra space in the kitchen areas which was instantly noticeable when we had a nose around. The full range will be available to view at the NEC show in October.

As a couple without kids our interest was mainly in the 2 and 4 berths. Sadly there was no side dinette here – that will be ready for October, but we really liked  the two berth Seville:

DSC_0002DSC_0011DSC_0012

Loads of wardrobe space – important for the Blogger in Black - and a sizable shower too:

DSC_0006DSC_0007DSC_0009

Our favourite layout – and one that may well go for next time is that with twin rear beds – featured in the range as the Cadiz, but there is plenty to interest families too. The six birth twin axle Segovia is one well worth considering:

DSC_0040

DSC_0037DSC_0038

There are five fixed double bed options are here too and I love the window opposite on the Cartagena and Vigo models:

DSC_0033DSC_0048

There’s plenty more features worthy of a mention. Ecocamel shower heads and a clothes rail in the bathroom and a natty dustpan and brush incorporated into the door bin:

DSC_0026DSC_0015

A gas bbq connection point and mains and aerial outlet for the awning telly and heavy duty legs fitted to the rear as standard. I’ve never seen such a shiny leg!

DSC_0032DSC_0031DSC_0053

So, there you have it. The 2018 Bailey Unicorn range. Many thanks to Bailey for inviting us and what a lovely location it is too. It’s been great to meet up with fellow caravan bloggers and vloggers too to share in this special occasion. See more in our next blog as Legs Down’s Road to Somewhere Tour continues.

DSC_0044DSC_0045

DSC_0050DSC_0046

DSC_0059

Thanks as always for taking the time to read, it’s much appreciated. For more information head over to www.baileyofbristol.co.uk 00

Rich & Trev

Untitled (2)

The Road to Somewhere Part 4 – a ‘van with a view

Me again, reporting – still – from Cambridgeshire, though we have now moved sites, to the south of the city and a little bit closer to Addenbrooke’s where HRH, aka Trev’s Mum continues to reside. No real news I’m afraid – she’s looking better some days but as I type there’s still no indication of when she might get parole. Seriously though, the care she has been getting has been superb although I’m sure she has tried their patience considerably on occasions…..

Addenbrooke’s hospital is a place I’ve got to know well over the years – as visitor much more than a patient thankfully – and it is now almost unrecognisable from years ago – the original buildings are still there but swamped with continual development not just of the hospital itself but a massive bio-medical research campus. A major addition is the new Papworth Hospital – due to relocate next year. Papworth, you may know specialises in heart and lungs, from stents to transplants and it is there that they done such a great job on Trev’s ticker some 14 years ago.

The hospital has been on it’s current site since 1976, however the original building was in Trumpington Street in Cambridge and founded in 1766 thanks to the one Dr John Addenbrooke, a fellow of St Catherine's College, who left a gift of £4,500 in his will to fund a hospital for the poor. A considerable sum of money then and Dr A. died aged just 39 too.

So, what else? Well, I deeply regret casting aside my virtually unused Costa loyalty card a few months back as the one in the hospital concourse has received a considerable amount of the Blogger in Black & Portly Partner’s custom over the past couple of weeks. When travelling we always try and use independents but at the hospital options are limited to Costa and er, Costa. Oh well, I’ve tasted worse.

Right our new site – Lynchets Farm - as I said is south of the city, in the village of Great Chishill. It’s a CS (Certificated Site) on a farm and it was a cracking find by Trev, not least because of the tremendous views over the south Cambridgeshire countryside. Duxford, with it’s Imperial War Museum is not far away and the day we arrived they were having an air show, necessitating some nifty cut through a few villages to avoid the inevitable traffic jams on the main road. Not a route you’d normally choose with a caravan but local knowledge helped. The Site Arrival video – when I get on to it, will show the best way to the site. The Red Arrows, who opened the show made a couple of passes quite near to the site which had the lenses clicking.

DSC_0042DSC_0048

Great Chishill is the highest point in Cambridgeshire – not the greatest of achievements when you consider how generally flat it is around here but it does means that The Pheasant can boast that it is the county’s highest pub. It’s also a very short walk from the site – now you get the picture. Yes, we’ve visited a few times, mostly for a pint or two – but for food as well at the weekend which was terrific, although I’ve never had a rhubarb cheesecake served this way before – beats a wooden board or a shoe box I suppose:

20170715_19043720170715_193110

Trev has been doing pretty much all the driving since we left home. My knee has been playing up big time – a more severe reoccurrence of a problem I had a couple of years ago. I’m trying to rest it as much as possible so Trev has been behind the wheel and to relieve the monotony has used various different routes to the hospital and back passing through some of south Cambridgeshire’s lovely villages. Again, local knowledge thanks to his days as a Cambridge cabbie but also because of when we lived here we’d always try a different village pub on a Wednesday night for a meal and a pint or two.

A number have sadly gone – to be replaced by convenience stores, sometimes a curry house or more often than not, flats or houses. One that we were delighted to see still thriving though was the King William IV at Heydon – the next village along from where we are staying. The King ‘Bill’ always had a reputation for good food and for it’s landlady Elizabeth who would always be found behind the bar in full goth attire – long black Victorian dress, white make up and black eyeliner – the works. She looked great but passed away some years ago sadly. However they’ve kept the d├ęcor the same – farming implements, dark wood, lots of brass, leather and big wooden tables suspended on heavy chains. It still looks fantastic but my pictures – again with the phone, don’t do it justice. Need to play with the white balance. Or something!

20170709_18140620170709_181426

Right, again a little shorter than usual, but there really isn’t much else to report. I’ll leave you with a few more photo’s from this lovely site. Whilst circumstances mean this hasn’t been the most enthralling of trips, views like this are a welcome sight although it’s worth pointing out it hasn’t always been this quiet:

DSC_0004DSC_0006DSC_0058DSC_0056

We are moving sites again this week and have a little day out planned too. This will be the one and only blog from Lynchets Farm so I’ll do the ‘Getting Connected’ report now:

Not surprisingly for a CL or CS there was no dedicated site WiFi. Using the directional antenna attached to our Solwise WiFi Kit I was able to pick up some very weak BT WiFi which was usable even allowing me to upload a video to YouTube – although it took a while. That has proved illusive during the last couple of days though and I suspect the antenna may have shifted a little in the winds, highlighting the main problem with directional aerials – they need to be pointing in exactly the right direction!

So access to the internet has come via my ‘phone’s hotspot which is on BT Mobile (piggybacking EE) which has been fine. So fine in fact that I’ve gone through nearly a month’s data allowance in just a few days! Speeds of 8.5 Mbps download and 2.1 Mbps upload were the average. Firing up the Hauwei mobile WiFi device reported the following: Vodafone 5/5 on 3G. Three offered 1/5 and EE 2/5 on 4G. Nothing on O2.

Until next time, thanks as always for reading. It’s not been the most enthralling of trips so far but it could be worse. We have the summer off, we’re away in the ‘van and the weather has been (largely) good. Look out for Site Arrival and tour videos doing the rounds on social media soon.

Cheers

Rich & Trev

The Road to Somewhere Part 3 – Give me a pea please…

Hello again.

By the time you get this we will have moved sites to be a bit closer to Addenbrookes where daily visits continue to see HRH aka Trev’s Mum or Hilda. They continue to look after her and are trying to treat her various ailments. She is no doubt a lot better than when she went in but a ‘release’ date has not yet been discussed. She does seem to have accepted that she wont be able to go home to her bungalow and that a nursing home is needed. The doctor in charge of her care is – according to her, gorgeous and very good looking – qualities she has mentioned more than once - which may go some way to explaining her acquiescence. I have not seem him yet so am unable to pass judgement but good on him for managing to eventually bring her around to the idea.

Away from the hospital we haven’t done any sightseeing – unless you count the inside of the pub I guess! We caught up with some more friends Thursday evening for grog and grub – and thank you Janet, the cake was delicious – and Alan, so were the beers!

I had the day off from visiting on Friday to catch up with some blog stuff – a couple more Site Arrival videos, the link for one of which is to the site in Littleport which you’ll find below.

Normal service resumed on Saturday and after visiting her ladyship we steered Rosie in the direction of the village of Witcham in general and the White Horse in particular. Yes, another pub. However our visit was not to imbibe but to catch up with a friend who was helping out. Yeah right.

The pub is a free house and serves an ever changing selection of three real ales. Two of them I had tried before but one of the two was one of my favourites – Timothy Taylor’s Landlord. It seemed only right to check if it had travelled well down the A1 from Yorkshire. I am happy to report that it did.

The pub had a patio area at the rear and a walk through to the ‘secret’ garden – a delightful little oasis that was full of colour and a cracking place to enjoy a pint. Or two. The pictures are with my new but cheap Galaxy J3 so do not really do it justice.

20170708_15162820170708_15161820170708_151552

Right, so a pub with real ale and a nice garden. Big deal you might think, but there’s one other feature worth a mention that will (hopefully) bring me seamlessly to next item on the agenda. The pub has a pea board. Not a dart board, but a pea board – with a marked out oche in a shelter out back. You can buy said peas and a pea shooter from behind the bar:

20170708_15105720170708_15123320170708_151241

Why? Well, Witcham was that very weekend holding the world, yes world, Pea Shooting Championships. I kid you not. I haven’t used a pea shooter since I was  a kid – and that didn’t change this weekend - but I love stuff like this – be it welly throwing or cheese rolling, or whatever It’s what makes us so quintessentially British – and long may it continue.

So, that’s it for our stay in Littleport but before I wind this up, just a bit about the site and some pics. It’s set in 4 acres with trees dotted around providing some shade. Static caravans surround some of the site which welcomes those who camp under canvas as well as motorhomes and caravans. Dogs are welcome but children are not as it’s adults only. The River Great Ouse is just across the road and you can buy fishing permits on site and store bait in a dedicated fridge too. There is the usual shower, toilet and wash up facilities which were all kept very clean and tidy. There were no laundry facilities however. We thought it was good value for seventeen quid a night but if you want to go off grid you can save another £2.50/night.

P1010096P1010098P1010100P1010101

We used the onsite WiFi which was provided by Caravan Connect. Various packages were available from an hour to a year – we bought a week for fifteen quid but bear in mind this was for once device. Of course we had the Solwise WiFi aerial and router kit so that wasn’t an issue and had one laptop, two pads and two phones connected. Download and Upload speeds were consistently around the 5Mbps mark.

Mobile networks varied when popping a SIM card in the Huawei MiFi – 3 showed 1/5 on 4G. Vodafone gave 5/5 on 3G, EE 3/5, again on 3G. O2 showed zilch. Entirely unscientific but it gives you an idea of what to expect.

Right, that’s it for now. Until the next time, thanks as always for reading.

Cheers

Rich & Trev

Site Arrival Video

Untitled

The Road to Somewhere Part 2 – Fish Finger anyone?

Yes, another nice cryptic title for you, although those who have kept abreast of our exploits on Facebook and Twitter recently will know what I’m on about. If you haven’t – stay tuned.

So, what have we been up to? Well, more 65 mile round trips to Addenbrookes Hospital to see HRH a.k.a Trev’s Mum, who seems to be improving although the list of things they are finding wrong with her is growing and growing. At 91 (nearly 92 you know) it’s hardly surprising, although If she were a car going through and MOT I’d be worried. No idea yet though when she’ll be out so we’ve booked a CL site south of the city and much closer to the hospital which we’ll be moving on to Sunday. It says on the website that the nearest pub is 300 yards away, although of course that is of absolutely no interest to us. At all. In any way. Whatsoever….

We’ve been visiting in the mornings – anyone local will tell you what a nightmare getting out of Cambridge is at rush hour. So we’ve been around when lunch arrives on the ward. Yesterday Hilda had ordered fish fingers, chips and mushy peas. Imagine her face then when it turns up with one, yes just one, fish finger. The expression on her face was priceless – although one I’ve seen many times before. Incredulousness mixed with severe disapproval. The poor assistant didn’t know where to look and hurriedly returned to the mobile servery to see to see if another could be located. It couldn’t, there were none left. The withering look eased only slightly when an extra portion of pudding was promised. It made my day – mean I know – but at the same time the situation gave two clear signs that she was feeling better – appetite and moaning….

Away from the hospital, there isn’t much else to report although we have been into Littleport again and found something of interest thanks to Steve Buckley who gave us the heads up on Facebook:

DSC_0006

It’s a statue (nothing get’s past me does it!) of a motorbike erected in 2003 to commemorate 100 years of the Harley Davidson company. All very nice but what’s that got to do with Littleport? Well, William Sylvester Harley was the co-founder of the company in the USA in 1903 and his parents – William Harley Senior and Mary Smith  - came from Littleport and emigrated around 1859.

Littleport may seem a quiet sleep place now – occasional traffic aside - but it wasn’t always the case. In May 1816 riots broke out, triggered not least by high unemployment and spiralling grain costs. A number of  - and woman were brought before the court following the riots. Some were acquitted and for those convicted, imprisonment, execution or transport to Australia followed. For a more in depth look you may want to visit the relevant Wikipedia page HERE.

That’s really been it, sightseeing wise and to be honest I’m not that bothered. It’s been nice just to relax and enjoy what summer caravanning has to offer. Chilling with a book and cooking, eating – and yes drinking – outside. Whilst Trev almost invariably cooks when we’re at home – thanks not least to our working hours, I’m happy to pick up the reins – or should that be tongs – when there is some cremating to be done. And yes, that is me not wearing a long leather coat…


19657394_10212713754295376_649243571927753992_n19657492_10212715710984292_8284261215629249623_n

After two nights of cooking ‘at home’ though it’s back to the pub tonight as we have some friends joining us that we haven’t seen for far too long. The Swan on the River is as it’s name suggests and just 400 yards or so away and across a bridge. The beers – the regular Doom Bar and the guesting Workie Ticket, all the way from Tyne & Wear – have been in excellent nick. I was really pleased to find ‘Workie’ on draught after having tried the bottled version up in Northumberland over three years ago. The other two pubs in Littleport have offered nothing new in the way of ‘research’ – more well known ales from Cornwall and from the Suffolk coast.

Right that’s it for now. Just a little one I know (Not the first time I’ve had to utter that phrase sadly….) Hopefully next time I’ll have some pictures of this lovely site for you.

Until then, cheers!