Category Archives: My beautiful home country

Our Camper Van Road Trip

A few years ago, my parents turned our family home into a self catering holiday let. It’s such a pleasure to spend time there and probably my favourite place on earth but that means I hardly get to go visit, not just because I live the other side of the world, but because it is always fully booked whenever I go home! It can be found in the Forest of Dean, Gloucestershire on the edge of Ellis Reddings Wood, a place where as kids, my brother and I would climb trees and build dens. A world away from our lives in Singapore and Ecuador.

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The beautiful river wye

Given its location, there’s no surprise that when I asked my parents if it was available for us to stay at recently, they delivered the news  that it had back to back bookings all summer. We weren’t going to let that stop us from visiting this beautiful corner of England. Earlier this year, Mum and Dad purchased a VW camper van so we packed it up and off we went!

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We stopped off via the Rebellion Brewery in Marlow to get some supplies for our trip and some early morning beer sampling (just a sip for Dad, our designated driver!). Our next stop and one of my favourite farm markets at Gloucester’s Over Farm where we fed some of their animals and bought a few more supplies for our BBQ later on that day.

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Our final destination was Symonds Yat West, we used to walk along to here from our home when I was a kid and I have so many memories of this place it was great to come back and make some new ones. Just across the river and along slightly are the seven sisters I spoke of a couple of posts ago. We only had time to stay one night so lunchtime the next day, off we went, first stopping at Much Marcle’s famous Westons Cider Mill, we then had a short stop and wander around Burford, a very pretty although slightly overrun with tourists, town in the Cotswolds.

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The main high street in Burford

It was a lot of fun going away in my parents van and we hope to do it again some day in the not so distant future! I hope you enjoy the photos.

Mrs D xoxo

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Burford
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One of over farms pigs
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Cooking some chicken from the butcher at Over Farm on Dad’s Cobb BBQ
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Eeyore!!!!
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Ostriches eating grain at Over Farm

Walking the Seven Sisters – The In Laws Revenge!

Having taken my in laws on a trek around the extremely hot and humid Singaporean Rainforest a couple of weeks ago, we could only assume it was revenge they were after when on a relaxing day at theirs, we were taken for a walk along the coast at the Seven Sisters National Park. As a child, our family regularly walked around the Seven Sisters but those Sisters were part of a different family in the Shire of Hereford. The ones we were to discover a couple of weeks ago, located in Sussex, are an equally beautiful natural site but a contrast to the valley gorge I am familiar with.

Since we had the use of two cars, we drove from their home to Eastbourne where we parked one car before proceeding west along the A259 to the Cuckmere Riverside Car Park, Exceat. You could, for an easier yet still tough walk, park one car at the Burling Gap visitor centre to cut the walk almost in half. However, the full walk which we did is approximately 10 miles.
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We commenced near the entrance to the car park by Cuckmere River, not, as we first tried, out the back of the car park along the river. We spotted a couple trying this and having to turn back just as we did so it is evidently a common mistake!

Once we made our way along the trail, I really appreciated seeing some farm animals in the form of sheep and cows, we don’t get to see animals like this in Singapore!
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The path is very much up and down as we took each Sister with gratifying defeat. We were lucky to have a clear day with fantastic views out across the English Channel.

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Stopping off for a coffee and a cake to refuel at the Birling Gap visitor centre, we appreciated the rest before trudging on.  Just next door to the cafe are a small row of coast guard cottages, we learnt that there used to be a few more houses before the cliff edge but these have been eroded over time by crumbling chalk underneath. Upon reaching Burling Gap, we had passed the Seven Sisters but we still had a few more hills to pass before the finish line.

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There is a second rest spot at the Belle Tout Lighthouse, now a B and B slash tea room, the light house was decommissioned over a hundred years ago for many reasons including that ships could not see it in the cliff top position during mist deeming it pretty useless. There is a new lighthouse located at the bottom of the cliffs now which makes for some fantastic photos.

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As we began our final descent, I for one felt a sense of achievement for the walk we had accomplished.

Mrs D xoxo

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