Somerset, Devon and COVID
This story happened on: 26/06/2022
Late June and we set off on what was to be a three week tour of the West Country, mainly Somerset and Devon. It didn’t quite turn out like that but more of that latter. Our first stop was Wellington in Somerset where we stayed at the Club’s Cadeside site. Tiny compared with most Club sites with only 16 hardstanding pitches but an excellent stopover or perhaps like us a short stay of three nights. The town of Wellington is about a mile away albeit slightly up hill. You do have the option of the regular bus service so one day we walked and the next we got the bus. It’s quite a nice little town. I rather liked the shoe shop called Wellington Boots!!!
After our short stay at Cadeside it was time to move on to Plymouth. We searched high and low for campsites and CL’s that would give us easy access to the City but Riverside Camping was about the most convenient we could find. It was a nice enough site even if the bus stop was three quarters of a mile away! We had, had a chat to a lady waiting for the bus on a recce we did. She kindly explained what number we needed to get into the city and what number we needed on the way back which was different. We had been to Plymouth in the distant past. It reminded me a bit of Southampton, where I was born. Both cities suffered from severe bombing during WW2 and the rebuilds have similarities. We were surprised to find the Frasers Store still open so decided to have a comfort stop. All was well on the upward journey in the lift but on the way back the doors jammed closed!! Never been trapped in a lift before and not keen on doing it again. At least we weren’t between floors! We certainly needed a coffee after that excitement.
Refreshed and nerves calmed set off to discover Plymouth Hoe. A map at a bus stop showed us the geography from the shopping centre. I realised that the Hoe and the Centre were on the same axis albeit and uphill climb. On the way we passed the Plymouth Bowling Club, was it here that Francis Drake had his game of bowls before sorting out the Armada? Further on is the Royal Navy Memorial with the names of many seamen that lost their lives in various battles. Beyond that is the Smeaton’s Tower which looks suspiciously like a Lighthouse to me! We didn’t go up the Tower as there was a group of excited junior school pupils going up in small groups. The excitement on the faces was obvious. So back on the bus to the campsite.
Our next stop was Dawlish Warren at a campsite called Lady’s Mile. Now this is a large, large campsite of over 400 pitches and I could imagine it being something of an of a Marmite choice for some. Having said that it was well organised and it had good facilities including indoor and outdoor pools and lots more besides. Considering all the facilities and the more than decent sized pitches the price wasn’t too bad either. We were surprised we got there in one piece as the sat nav directed us down some exceptionally narrow road so the mirrors were hitting the bushes on both sides. I would like to say that I closed my eyes and kept my fingers crossed but I didn’t but I was counting down the distance all the way. Margaret probably had her eyes closed!
Whilst at Lady’s Mile we visited Dawlish Warren which we access via a back gate from the site. It’s a downhill walk to the sea front and quite steep in places so we caught the bus back. On another day we took the bus in the other direction to Dawlish which is a pretty little town. It achieved notoriety a few years ago when the sea wall, including the main line railway, was washed away in a storm. They are still working on it but the restoration is essentially complete.
Unfortunately, towards the end of our stay, I started to feel unwell as thought I had a cold. This worried me because these are also the symptoms of COVID so on the Saturday I did a test which showed, I was positive. So now the dilemma, do you sit it out or go home. Having no idea how it would develop we made the decision to pack up there and then and make our way home. Fortunately, the traffic was kind to us and we got home nearly six hours later. That was not the end of the story as had we were due to move onto the Wells Touring Park the next day. As a curtesy I emailed them to explain the situation hoping they might take pity on me and offer a deferment of our stay. But nothing and £175 advance payment down the drain. That episode has rather put me off using sites where I have to pay up front some weeks before arrival. But hey-ho we have to put that down to experience!
More details and photographs of the trip here