Southwest England and on to Cherbourg (France)

June-July, 2016

Landed back in Southwest England for only a short stay, until the start of the next travel Chapter…catching the ferry to Cherbourg (France) and driving to Italy; again.

It feels strange being in the UK again after 3 months of volunteering in Thailand. The frosty welcome back to the UK and my Detainment at Heathrow Airport didn’t help.

The weather, food, quietness of roads, cleanliness, and orderliness of the English lifestyle is so opposing to Thai life. And such a stark contrast to SE Asia, which you’ll notice even if just travelling through briefly.

The plan is to get my paperwork together for Italian Citizenship and return to Italy as fast as possible but also waiting to hear if we’re going to Glastonbury festival.

Meanwhile, back in the UK

A few sight-seeing drives around the gorgeous Somerset area, with another visit to the Bovington Tank Museum; a couple of trips to Taunton (check out Mr Miles tea Rooms at 3-4 High Street for excellent real tea and homemade cakes in quaint surrounds); watching cricket on Saturdays; and a couple of trips motor homing in Reg, before deciding how to approach the next travel Chapter…make it up as we go along.

Tank Museum, UK
A second round…love this museum!
Wareham, Dorset, UK, cricket
A spot of Cricket at Wareham (Dorset) – note strange cloud formation, which lasted about 20 minutes (photo doesn’t do the pattern justice)

Getting away in Reg again

Stored away for 3 months just like unwanted chattel, it feels great to be back in Reg again, even if it is just for a short break. A long-needed and welcomed respite. Any excuse for a road trip. Call it my drug…I’m sure you understand.

After Reg’s MOT clearance and new insurance at a much cheaper price than the last DUInsure, off we set in Reg, and headed to Bude (Cornwall), a favourite destination, but a different campsite this time.

This easy drive from Street (Somerset) along motorways only takes about 2.5 hours to Bude and the site is easy to find.

Loxley Woods, UK, motorhoming
Beautiful Loxley Woods

street, bude, cornwall, UKSummary

Distance: 175 kilometres

Diesel: £1.10/litre (Sainsbury)

Roads: M5, A361, A39

Campsite: £19/night+ £1.50/night for an awning

Upper Lynstone Caravan & Camping Park – Decided to stay somewhere different to our usual campsite in Wooda as this one is closer to the town for walking.

Lovely site with clean showers/toilets. Friendly lady at reception. From the campsite, there are several lovely walks. The walk across the cliffs and down to the canal in Bude is about 1.5 kilometres from the campsite and takes you across beautiful oceanfront scenery, especially on a glorious sunny day.

Coastal walks around Bude

Having taken Reg to Bude many times, you may like to read more motor homing details in my Captivating Cornwall post. There are loads of walks, treks, hikes, trails or just strolls, around this rugged stunning coastline.

Upper Lynstone, motorhoming, UK
Upper Lynstone Caravaning and Camping Park
Upper Lynstone, Bude, Cornwall, UK
Reg resting at Upper Lynstone – view of Bude in the background

The coastal walk to Widemouth Bay is a favourite, albeit a long walk but well-worth the dramatic scenery whilst stretching your legs.

Widemouth Bay, UK, motorhoming
Widemouth Bay coastal walk

Stop by the Widemouth Bay Café for a break. Overlooking the beach with the tide out as far as the eye can see…well almost. Good coffee (£2.10), teas (£1.80), yummy homemade snacks, burgers (£4.85+), light meals (£5.50+), homemade cakes (£1.80+), and ice creams.

Widemouth Bay, UK, motorhoming
Widemouth Bay Café’s view

Or from the campsite, walk to Bude and roam around the peaceful canal. A stop at the Café Limelight in the castle is a must for its Cornish Teas, coffees, homemade cakes, and famous Clotted Cream – a favourite Bude haunt.

The first 5 days in Bude were glorious – England is gorgeous when it’s sunny.

Bude castle, UK, motorhoming
Bude Castle and The Bude Light in the foreground

Returned to Street for a week before coming back for a stop-over in Bude and this campsite, and heading further into Cornwall.


After a quick overnighter at the Upper Lynstone campsite, drove to Angarrack to catch up with a good friend Ges in her new lovely abode, directly beneath the Angarrack Railway Viaduct.

Angarrack, Cornwall, Viaduct, UK, motorhoming
Amazing Viaduct!

The original viaduct was nearly 240m long and 30m high and built “wholly of timber on stone footings”. This was replaced with the present-day viaduct in 1885, which consists of eleven granite arches, each with a span of about 17.2 metres. Still in use today, the Viaduct is majestic, especially when you stand directly beneath this amazing structure.

Ges, our wonderful host, made sure we were kept busy during our quick stay with trips to surrounding areas and several activities to attend.


A neighbouring town of Penzance and a gorgeous seaside town, Newlyn is also an active fishing port.

Newlyn Filmhouse – This beautiful cinema is a converted old smoker and fish cellar; and hosts a small café/bar: Filmhouse, with Mains: £8.50; wine: £2.70+ per glass; delicious Vegetarian and Vegan options also available.

Took in Brown Willy at this independent cinema. If you can catch this film, by all means do, it’s excellent! Falmouth University part-funded the film’s total budget of £12,000 and made in 10 days. The cinematography is brilliant. Hope you like B&W films!

Red Wing Gallery – Stopped by for a Friends of the Earth free talk on Over Population: Population Growth and Global Sustainability, which provided interesting but alarming facts, unless global leaders don’t encourage a slowdown in population growth.

The Red Wing also has a smallish café serving light meals, homemade cakes, and cheap hot drinks, if you need something before an event.


A quick drive from Angarrack to Mousehole and we are off for a long coastal walk with Ges and Poppy (beautiful pooch) to Lamorna Cove.

I first visited Mousehole in 1985 and can honestly say that apart from more cars and a few more tourists, it’s as if time stopped here, in this fishing village.

Mousehole Harbour, UK, motorhoming
Mousehole Harbour

One of my favourite spots in Cornwall and wonderful for taking photos, I never tire of this picturesque seaside village, which dates back to the 11th Century and absorbed in history.

Some of the coastal path was blocked off due to erosion along this almost 4-kilometre walk, so couldn’t walk along all of this beautiful coastline. Nevertheless, still a gorgeous walk to Lamorna Cove along the nature reserve’s woods and around Carn Du’s headland.

Lamorna Cove

A pretty cove etched into Englands coastline, first recorded in the 1300’s and renown in the past for surrounding tin mines and granite quarries. The tiny village was originally known as Nantewas.

Sadly, much of the land here is privately owned and the seafront is in need of desperate repair. With each passing year, more of the man-made historic harbour built in the 1850’s to ship granite, slowly slumps into the sea. The owner will not spend the money and there is much controversy for such a tiny village.

Lamorna Cove, UK
Lamorna Cove Harbour

The small Cafe is owned by the same owner and it is quite expensive to have a coffee and cake here, but you can overlook the harbour so it’s a welcomed rest after the long walk.

Lamorna Cove, UK
Lamorna B&B – would you stay this close to all those rocks?

The walk back was much quicker as Ges took us over farms and crossing fields as we were running out of time. Always wonderful to have a local showing you the way…

Returning to Bude

As we were meeting The Kids (Lorraine and Bob) with their caravan in Bude for more fun and frivolity, pre-booked and paid for 5 nights back at Upper Lynstone. Only stayed 4 nights, as the last couple of days hammered with rain and a howling wind. With no evidence of a let-up in the dark ominous clouds, a cold and wet few summer days, everything was sodden underfoot! Nasty weather for coastal walks and a shame as the last stay here was such great weather to explore this beautiful area.

Still managed a few coastal walks during the early days, dinners, games, and fun; it’s always great to get away.

Bude, Motorhoming, UK
Coastal walk down to Bude

Need to stock your van up whilst in Bude? No problem as Sainsbury, Liddl, and Morrison’s are all within 5 minutes from the campsite, so it’s easy to buy everything; essentials are sold at varying prices.

sunset, UK, motorhoming
Red sky at night, Sailor’s delight…
motorhoming, UK
“English summer rain, seems to last for ages…” – Placebo

Storing Reg and buying a car for Italy

Italy is an unknown. Not sure if I can stay longer than the 90-day Schengen visa with the Citizenship process started. Not sure of the type of accommodation and whether there’s any parking for a motorhome; and more unknowns, decided to store Reg at Bramble Hill Camping, Walton once more.  Storage at £350 per year for a safe site isn’t too expensive for peace of mind.

The hunt for a cheap car was on and after scouring a few websites, settled on Lola (2006 Peugeot) from a Dealer near Bridgewater.

Tip: Although it may be obvious to some, a word of advice, don’t buy a car, drive it for a couple of weeks before heading out on a 2,500+ kilometre road trip…as we did.

Poole Ferry Port

After the drive from Street to the Port of Poole on the A37, A35, which took about 1.45 hours in the early hours of the morning, arrived at Brittany Ferries. As usual, an efficient and professional company.

Brittany Ferries, Poole
Cherbourg’s lane – easy to find

On entering the port, you go through the boarding gates and pickup your vehicle pass, which you must leave on your rear vision mirror until you exit the port in Cherbourg. Also provided is a safety brochure, vehicle card, boarding cards, Duty Free magazine, before going for a vehicle inspection by Border Force. I had a quick frisk back and front by a female Border Force officer, then it was off towards the ferry…painless enough.

Cars started loading early so we sailed on time on the smaller 5-deck ferry than our last ferry from Portsmouth. This fare cost £165 for Lola, another £10 for 2 reserved seats, and £3 credit card charges for an online booking. I was surprised that cars were not strapped down this time – perhaps as this is a short crossing.

Brittany Ferries, UK, Cherbourg
Lola: sleek black car (left) – Not much head room!

Brittany Ferries

Food and beverage prices are quite expensive on the ferry. If you’re on Australian dollars, it works out much better to pay in Euros; learnt this on the first trip with Brittany Ferries.

Bringing our own food and drink this time, only bought a coffee (€3.30) at the café – many yummy pastries also available. You can pick up hot meals at the restaurant onboard, including a full breakfast.

The reserved seats are very comfortable but there are so many other seating areas around the boat that if you didn’t want to buy a seat, I doubt you would have any problems finding somewhere to camp. Hardly any people occupied the reserved seating area and strangely quiet for a summer crossing.

Leaving the UK

The Channel was calm and the sea kind to us today so no need for a spew bag or sea sick tablets! Great to be on the water again, even if it’s only for several hours.

Leaving, UK, travel
Saying goodbye to the UK

Arriving at Cherbourg

Love seeing another country come into view from the water; always looks so special and exciting.

After landing in the Port of Cherbourg (Normandy) and passports stamped, we were off to Caen, some 125 kilometres away. Back to driving on the wrong side of the road and wild roundabout rules! The fun begins…

Visit my Nilla’s Photography Galleries for more images. More posts on the United Kingdom and France at Image Earth Travel.

France, ferry, UK
Lola – welcome to France!

16 responses to “Southwest England and on to Cherbourg (France)”

    1. Image Earth Travel Avatar

      Thank you for your feedback! Glad you enjoyed the post.

  1. inesephoto Avatar

    Beautiful. The coastline is very similar to Ireland, and we have the same summer too 😉

    1. Image Earth Travel Avatar

      The UK is very beautiful, especially the Southwest.
      I’d love to visit Ireland one day…in the summer. Think I’d be allowed in? 😉

      1. inesephoto Avatar

        Ah sure, we are easy going and friendly. We would never arrest an Australian 🙂

      2. Image Earth Travel Avatar

        That’s a good enough reason for me to visit there then… 🙂
        I was going to ask you, what is the origin of your name?

      3. inesephoto Avatar

        I think it is Latin, Agnes.

      4. Image Earth Travel Avatar

        Ahh, for some reason I thought your name is Inese, which is from Latvian origin. 🙂

      5. inesephoto Avatar

        It is Inese, but it originates from Agnes, so they say 🙂

      6. Image Earth Travel Avatar

        Right OK, that makes perfect sense. Thanks for clearing that up for me. 😉

      7. inesephoto Avatar

        I didn’t know myself until i googled it 🙂

      8. Image Earth Travel Avatar

        Thank goodness for Google!

  2. seasiangirl Avatar

    Fabulous trip. ..there are so many places in the UK that I still haven’t seen and I used to live there .😉

    1. Image Earth Travel Avatar

      The UK is beautiful and still many places I’d love to see also. Do you miss the UK? 🙂

      1. seasiangirl Avatar

        I do miss it but I like here more 🙂

      2. Image Earth Travel Avatar

        At least you can always fly back for a fix and not have to live there full time if you wish. 🙂

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