The road trip on the first day saw us travel from Paris to a caravan park at Huntingdon near Cambridge. We took the train from Paris to the international station at St Pancreas/Kings Cross and then onto just north of Luton where we picked the motorhome up.
Yes, a motorhome. This is a first for us.
As a family we have traveled and stayed in caravans, camping trailers, swags and tents, and very occasionally motels and rooms. We have never travelled in this kind of thing before.
Pulling out of the driveway we almost took it back.
It was driving well, the seats were (somewhat) bearable, and all the electrics worked. But the plates and glasses and an oven tray rattled and banged as we drove out onto the open road. We will fix that with some paper towel in the morning.
Speaking of the open road, we haven't quite found it yet. We've made it onto the A1 but only for a short while, and we only reached fifty-eight on that road. That is in miles though, so maybe roughly ninety km/ph.
Other than that though we've been driving through towns and busy, narrow streets. Does England have wide open stretches of road like Australia?
I know there won't be nothing on either side, but a bit of space like we had in the French countryside would be nice.
At least we got to the caravan park alright, where we were met and had tea with two retired Salvation Army officers. If I get this right, they are the parents of mum's cousin's wife. Not overly complex.
Right now we're unpacking our suitcases and the nearby church has finished their bell ringing practice so its nice and quite. It's almost ten o'clock now so it's starting to get dark.
Time to plan for tomorrow's trip.
We did actually find the countryside, or at least glimpses of it.
The second day of our journey started off with a sleep in and then the exploration of a mill, which was situated at the caravan park we had stayed at. While there has been a mill at this site for over a thousand years (AKA a long, long time), I'm pretty sure that this one had been there since at least the eighteenth century. Our tour guide through the mill was the father of mum's cousin's wife who we had tea with the night before (see day one).
After the hustle and bustle of Paris, and Boundless the week or so before, it was nice to slow down for a bit. It was also good to look at an attraction many might simply drive past, or not know about - like the church in Amiens. Here's a couple of photos of the exterior...
While the river might look quite nice here, it was quite dirty in most other places.
The mill with the remaining waterwheel on the right. Edited with VSCO Film for a bit of an old Kodak aesthetic.
After exploring the mill we hit the road, bypassing nearby Cambridge (we simply didn't have time) towards the old house of my Aunty/Uncle/Cousins. On the way we stopped for lunch at a creepy old Church. The church itself wasn't that creepy, it was more the cemetery around it that took up most/all of the grounds. It was probably the biggest cemetery that I've seen, bar those we visited earlier in France, with tombstones dating back to at least the 1800s.
A portion of the old, crumbling tombstones surrounding the church.
After the lunch break outside the church, and visiting the house, we continued onto Norwich, getting there around six-thirty. On our way we did spot something of the country, but haven't yet seen anything like a wide open Australian road. I don't think we ever will.
Still no open road.
Today we travelled maybe a third the height of England. To be honest, it isn't a lot and we were able to do it rather casually.
It started with a (very) quick look at the outside of Norwich Castle before we headed east towards the Norfolk Broads to look at an old windmill called Stracey Arms. We were able to climb the windmill which gave us views of the surrounding landscape, overcast and marshy as is the typical English fashion.
After a cup of coffee and a biscuit we headed back west towards Norwich and then towards King's Lynn, an important port that opens up to "The Wash". While we didn't really explore the town, we went across the river for lunch in our motorhome at West Lynn. The town is named as such because it lies west of King's Lynn, and that's about all we know about it. Still, it had a good view of King's Lynn.
We then headed off to the famous town of York, where we are now staying. It's quite a nice caravan park here - just near a river and they have free wifi. Fantastic. Once we had dinner and were settled into our site, I went for a walk along said river. It was nice, so here's a couple of photos.
There were plenty of private moorings along the bank.
The Yorkshire Ouse Sailing Club. Ouse is the name of the river.
I think we've truly made it to the country now.
So that's day three, about a third of the way into our motorhome journey. Still more to come.
I hope you've enjoyed these short posts about our road trip so far. I'll probably upload a separate post soon about day four where we explore the historic town of York, shoot up to the grand ruins of the Helmsley Castle and really get into the country as we camp on a (somewhat regional) farm.
Until then, if you've enjoyed this post please let me know, and any likes and shares are really appreciated.
(P.S. As I post this I am actually sitting in the airport terminal of the London-Luton airport. So the road trip is actually over and we're heading off to Belfast tonight. But I've written these posts while out on the road and have plenty of photos to share so I'll be uploading more road trip posts over the next week or so, depending on wi-fi access. Hope you enjoy them.)