Blimey! It doesn't seem five minutes since we were trundling up the M1 on the way to the start of our spring getaway and now we’re back here in Sunny (thankfully) Saltdean.
The first school bus run of the term couldn’t have gone more smoothly – I suspect not all schools are back yet – and no overtime has allowed me to get stuck into the washing and ironing. And more importantly bring you the last blog of our trip away and our final stop, in Nottinghamshire.
The tow from Kilnsea was easier than expected. Fears that the A63 might have been at a standstill as it was when we went into Hull were unfounded. So, as usual we arrived at our final site early. Reception was closed for lunch but we didn’t have long to wait before we were pitching up.
Thornton’s Holt sits about five miles east of Nottingham and we chose it mainly because of the proximity of a bus stop which would make for easy access to the city. A new shower block was under construction and given our experience it can’t come quick enough, given the frequent lack of hot water in the showers. Once set up we pointed Rosie in the direction of the nearest supermarket thinking that it was about time we started having some meals in the ‘van again. The fact that the nearby pub was closed for redevelopment had no bearing on this whatsoever….
The city centre was the destination for a rather casual wander on Tuesday via the excellent bus service from the site. Sports fans will be interested to know that the journey takes you past Trent Bridge cricket ground and close to both Nottingham’s Football clubs – Forest and County – too.
There was no itinerary or plan, just a walk around to get a feel for the place - we have been before, a couple of years ago – and I didn’t even bother with the proper camera this time. To be honest I was not feeling inspired – which was weird after really loving it last time we visited. Nothing much had changed so it must have been me. The day wasn’t improved by deciding on lunch in Wetherspoons. Don’t get me wrong – I’m a fan of cheep beer and love that they champion real ale. I just wish they’d train their staff to serve people in order, but when the Duty Manager can’t do it properly. Oh well.
We were back in the car Wednesday to an attraction listed in the site leaflet. Wollaton Hall and Park is a short drive from the site although on the other side of the city and is really worth a look, not least because, bar a couple of quid for parking, it’s free.
Whilst the grounds are impressive, inside the hall itself is interesting too. Since 1926, when the hall opened to the public, the city’s Natural History collection has been housed here.
There’s a café to replenish reserves although on a nice day, bring some chairs and a picnic and make the most of the lovely surroundings. You might get to see some of the deer that roam the park too.
Nottingham’s Industrial Museum is also here – housed in the stables but opening hours are more limited and sadly we didn’t get to have a look but it was still a great place to visit.
On a week’s holiday I never get out of the habit of waking at silly o’clock, but on longer ones such as this, the body does start to adjust and longer lie in’s become the norm. So it was nearly lunchtime when we arrived In Melton Mowbray – about a 40 minute drive from the site.
We had the usual wander around town. The impressive St Mary’s church was undergoing extensive restoration both inside and out but at least some of the exterior was scaffolding free. Elsewhere in the town there were signs that times were not so good – closed up hotels and shop units up for let.
The gardens and river Wye provided some more lens clicking opportunities though.
If there is one thing Melton is famous for is pork pies, and one shop that was certainly doing ok was the butchers. We came away with a pie and some of their sausages and I can tell you now – the sausages were divine and I’ve not tasted a better pork pie. Delicious.
Good Friday saw us back in Nottingham and catching up at last with friends Chris & Pat who we hadn’t seen for far too long. ‘Lunch’ lasted most of the afternoon, so needless to say there was some extensive er, ‘research’ carried out too. We had a great chinwag and catch up, trying – and clearly failing by the looks of it – to put the world to rights. Oh well, another time!
Friends and food were on the menu again (sorry!) on Saturday as we had been invited to lunch with Peter & Pam up near Sheffield. An hours drive but if you’ve ever get to taste Pam’s cooking you’ll know it was worth it. Beautiful melt in the mouth roast lamb followed by home made cheesecake. I even got to take home what was left of the cheesecake. It didn’t last long!
And that was it for another trip. A nice early start on Easter Sunday and a trouble free trundle home. The Easter getaway is always my favourite and this one didn’t disappoint. Longer days, better weather – usually, but the pollen levels haven't risen sufficiently enough to try and make the lives of us hay fever sufferers a misery.
Right, what’s next? Cambridgeshire and Suffolk for the next half-term, then the continent beckons in the summer. Exciting times ahead!
Thanks, as always, for reading. I hope you enjoyed it.
Until next time, cheers!
Rich & Trev.