Monday, 20 August 2012

A great way to see the country...

Before the bongo and wild camping across Europe, came 'hermie' our caravan. We had most of our holidays either in France or in the latter stages the UK. 

Overnight stop near Reims 

Our bongo 'Snoop' France

We seemed to always home in on the west country in the caravan, a beautiful location but we always regretted not seeing more of our small island.

I think if I was asked at the time to name an area that would be bottom of my touring wish-list the outskirts of Birmingham may well have won. Not from personal experience but from information that would have been surreptitiously ingested through the years.

Having spent a few days about 15 miles east of Birmingham, I think it would have made an ideal family holiday location.

As soon as you are outside Tamworth (worth half a day in my opinion, more if you try the ski dome) the countryside looms.

Our mooring for a few days

I had presumed that this stretch into Birmingham may well have been far more industrial. The river Tame follows the canal as it passes Drayton Manor Park. Drayton manor boasts a theme park, zoo, golf course and even its own camp site. If you fancy a little more peace and quiet the sprawling Kingsbury Water park comes soon after. Not the slides and swimming pools kind of place it's a massive wetlands park. As well as about 30 ponds and pools to twitch at there are woodland walks and cycle paths, power and sail boating lakes (hopefully we will explore it in the next few days) and like Drayton it also has a campsite. All this and you're still only 15 miles from the centre of brum!

One of the many lakes

I think we would have had a great week here in 'Hermie' with the bikes on the back of the car and the kayaks on the top.

Arriving on a site near St Croix with 'hermie'.

Today we headed back towards Fazeley to get fuel and pump out as the marina was closed on the way through. Reversing in was a bit tricky but I made rare use of the bow thrusters.

Tight angle to reverse into!
And we have moored next to the old mill in Fazeley to make access for Pip and John a bit easier for their visit tomorrow. The nearest road to where we have been was about two mile walk and if the early rain is as bad as this morning I think they would have arrived in a right sorry state!

Fazeley mill, still being used as a mini industrial village. 

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