A Caravanning Christmas – Part 5

Right here we go again, from our final site of the trip – Run Cottage in Hollesley near the Suffolk Coast. What a lovely site it is too, but not our original choice. More of that later.15541649_1271047352955706_4962112932967257074_n

Our week in Cambridge was quite hectic. As well as spending time with HRH aka Trev’s Mum – one luminary that has, so far, avoided the Grim Reaper of 2016 – probably because he’s too busy –  we managed to catch up with quite a few friends too, from different facets of our time here. There was lot’s of talking, lots of eating and yes, there were a few ales along the way too. Greedy – sorry, Greene King’s shareholders certainly aren’t complaining.

Boxing day saw us winding Patsy’s legs up quite early. My cousin Andy had invited us to his to share in the boxing day celebrations – and only a fool would pass up the chance to sample some Janet’s cooking. The nice folk at Run Cottage had agreed to let us on early – it suited them too – so, just before 8am we set sail.

The majority of the journey was on the delightfully empty A14 – we did pull off a couple of times – in a futile search for a certain fast food chain for breakfast. I’d forced down some cardboard that was pretending to be a breakfast cereal but Trev’s belly was to remain empty until we got sited.

A couple of minor issues presented themselves on arrival, one shortly after the other. We’d checked the lights before leaving Cherry Hinton of course but as I was trundling towards our pitch, Trev noticed that the left hand indicator on the ‘van was permanently on. Not a major drama and probably easily put right – but on another day. In addition, on unpacking we discovered that our little illuminated globe was now composed of more parts than before – the arm that supports it from top to base had snapped. A quick repair with duck tape lasted about five minutes. Oh well.

15740995_10154228737083231_5861684561813889028_nThere was just time to avail ourselves of the immaculate facilities before heading back down the A12 to Colchester for the gathering of what is my closest – and almost only family – my Cousin Andy, wife Janet, their daughters and husband and partner, two grand children and Janet’s parents too. I’ve said before that it was caravanning that has brought us closer together and I particularly wanted to see Andy as his Dad had passed away just a month or so before. It was a thoroughly enjoyable afternoon and evening and Janet’s cooking was, as always, divine. Thanks to for the lovely presents. Clearly a great deal of thought had gone into them as they included quite a lot of erm, ‘research’. I need to practice my selfie skills though, clearly…

We woke to a lovely bright morning – eventually – and enjoyed the luxury of a lie in that had for so long been denied us – well, 48 hours anyway. With a cooked breakfast devoured I got some pictures of the site before hooking Patsy up to the car – just the cable, not the whole van – to sort out her misbehaving indicator. It will surprise no-one to hear that everything was fine and all lights were working as they should. I decided to leave well alone rather than investigate. Something I’ll probably regret when we hook up to go home…..

The late morning saw us venture out to Bawdsey – about a 15 minute drive from the site and from where, at other times of the year, you can take a foot ferry across the River Deben to Felixstowe Ferry and through to Felixstowe itself.

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Nearby Bawdsey Manor was requisitioned for the second world war, used as an RAF base and was home to the worlds first operational radar station. There are a limited number of open days throughout the year – have a look on their website for more details.

The manor house itself is now a boarding and day school – and what a location. I wonder if they need any drivers?

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With the village shop up from the site closed up for the day, we headed next into Woodbridge to procure essentials which, quite by accident included beer from a local brewery, pausing at the bridge on the way in to Melton to grab a couple of photos.

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In the evening the Sorrel Horse in nearby Shottisham was the destination for the evenings fill of grog and grub. Bought by the community in 2011 to ensured it stayed as a pub, it is well worth a visit. Beer straight from the cask and great tasting good honest pub grub made for a very enjoyable experience.

Right, that’s nearly it for now, but I should probably tell you why we changed from our original site. Well, we were booked in at Church Farm in Aldeburgh, a  bit further up the coast. You may recall that we stayed nearby in the summer which is when we went to check out the site. Liking what we say we booked – and paid, there and then. Just on the edge of Aldeburgh within walking distance of the beach – and yes, pubs too it would have been ideal.

A couple of weeks ago – when we were down at Theobald’s Park, I had a call from the site. Should I require access to the shower/toilet block I was to send to them a stamped, self-addressed envelope. On receipt of envelope they would call me, take a £20 deposit, then send me a keycard which would give access to said facilities block. There was going to be no-one in the office you see. At the end of the stay I was to post the card back to them and my deposit would be refunded. I suggested to them that that was a little long winded and that I could pay the deposit there and then with a small consideration for the cost of sending me the card, but that apparently ‘wasn’t possible’. I could have a full refund if I didn’t like it. So, after talking it over, that’s what we done. It just seemed an odd way to carry on – the deposit I had no problem with at all, it was just the faffing about. An email enquiry to them as to whether the facilities would be cleaned during our stay there went unanswered. Bear in mind too, that this was not a cheap site. I didn’t expect to have to jump through hoops to get the use of something that I’d already paid for. Still, there it is, and having been here at Run Cottage for a few days now, we’re glad we changed. What a lovely site this is:

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As always, some slideshows:

Right, that really IS it! For now. Check back soon for more from Suffolk from the Blogger in Black.

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