Saturday, 24 September 2011

Road Trip Part One: The Unbloggage

I'd been feeling a bit 'blogged' up so to speak during the last few weeks, and have not had the energy or inclination to write much on my blog. I didn't really know why, but it turned out all I needed was a little time away from home and change of scene to loosen the old blog shaft.

The Wig and I had taken two weeks off work for a holiday, although neither of us had managed to find anywhere we particularly wanted to go, so last Monday with 14 free days on our hands we opted for a  few nights away in the bottom of England. We booked 3 nights away, which eventually turned into 9 and had a really smashing time. The essential factors in making the trip possible were:

1 x Suzuki 'Auntie' Ignis Car including The Wig for driving.
1 x Tom Tom Sat Nav.
1 x iPad for planning the next days destination.
2 x Bag Haribo Fangtastic's.
1 x National Trust Membership.

The entire trip ended up costing £90 in fuel (good old / cheap Auntie) and approx £1400 in hotels, breakfasts, drinks and dinners. Between two people I really don't think this is too bad for a 9 day holiday and I'm really happy we decided to spend our hard earn pennies in Blighty this time round.  I think it's very important in these tough times to try and help out our poor flaccid economy once and a while.

Since The Wig was Driving Boss, I was Music Boss, and my top 4 driving CD's were:

Glen Campbell - 'Ghost on a Canvas'. His latest and apparently last album (due to Alzheimer's).
Duran Duran - 'Greatest Hits'. An oldie but a goodie.
Turin Brakes - 'Outbursts'. Marvellous.
Jane Eyre - 'Original Motion Soundtrack'. Ideal for driving through the New Forest.

Our first stopover of the trip was at a place called The Kings Head in Hursley at £90 per night. We reached it at around 6pm after taking what seemed like centuries getting out of London. We live totally in the wrong postcode for a trip down to England's Bottom. Before we got to the Kings Head however, we made a quick stop off into Winchester, apparently one of England's most beautiful cities. To say we were underwhelmed would be a fair comment to make I think. It looked like any other Cathedral City to me and believe me, I've seen a few. Winchester's only saving grace is that it is the home to Arthur's Round Table and is claimed by some to actually be Camelot. I know, amazing.

After the slight disappointment of Winchester things did not immediately improve on our arrival at The Kings Head. On being shown our Twin bedded room (?) we soon discovered there were no towels, not the kind of service The Wig and I would expect from a 4 star AA establishment, but since we later discovered it was the Landlords first night as the new owner we let him off.

We didn't eat at the Kings Head that night, instead opting for several drinks in the beer garden then rather a lot of Haribo's and a pack of Pickled Onion Monster Munch in our room that night, but the English Breakfast the next morning was delicious. 

Before we set off after breakfast we did a quick tour of Hursley on foot which took approximately 4 minutes. Hursley is essentially one road. There is a church, a butchers, a fancy chimney and a nice bus stop that was donated to the village / road by someone to mark the Queens 50th Jubilee. God Save the Queen.

After strapping in to Auntie and popping on a CD we soon realised we didn't really have a plan for the day. All we knew was that we had to be in Wimborne, Dorset at 6pm as we had a date with an Airsteam!

The Kings Head staff had not been too forthcoming with suggestions for our day, Monkey World being the hot spot of choice for Hersley residents. I love monkey's as much as the next person, maybe even a little bit more than the next person, however it's not what I go to the Hampshire / Dorset border for. So we set off on the road and decided just to see where we ended up. And I'm so glad we did. (Soz Monkey World...).

Our journey took us through the beautiful village of Beaulieu, which is the most perfect example of a chocolate box village I've ever seen. In fact it was so perfect that I'm not sure it wasn't a film set.

But apart from the beautiful village Beaulieu is home to the Beaulieu National Motor Museum, House and Gardens. I can't believe Monkey World knocked this place off the top of the list!

If you like cars, old houses, gardens, spy's and knocked down Abbey's then you really should take a trip to Beaulieu. It is astonishing, and I don't bandy that word around often. At first I thought the £17 entrance fee was a bit steep but it really is great value for money and there is such a lot to see. Considering this is  still owned and run by the Beaulieu family and hasn't had to be sold off or the collection split up it really is something worth supporting by visiting. The family are clearly very forward thinking as not only do they have a monorail to take you around the House and grounds, they also have James Bond and Top Gear exhibition's on at the moment which were definitely worth seeing. It really isn't some stuffy old house and museum, its amazing and everyone should go for a jolly good day out. Rah!

James Bond Underwater Car

Top Gear Robin Reliant Space Shuttle


Fast (huge) cars.

Beautiful Beaulieu House which you can go into.

The site of Britain's largest Abbey until horrid old Henry VIII smashed it down and stole all the booty. What a rotter!

Once we were totally full up on old cars and history we jumped back in the car and carried on the journey to Dorset via a Honeycomb Ice cream in Lymington. 

I don't mean to be rude to the people of Lymington, but I'm afraid, this is another place which I don't see what the fuss is about. Much like I had heard how great Winchester was, I have heard a lot about Lymington and I was a bit disappointed. Thank God for the Honeycomb Ice cream.

After driving though some stunning scenery, we finally arrived at Wimborne at around 7pm. 

The New Forest

Somewhere in Dorset.

The Wig and I had booked 2 nights in 'Dee Dee' an old American Airstream at the Happy Days Camp Site run by the very friendly Big Kev, Jenny and Small Kev. Big Kev met us on arrival and showed us to our temporary home.

To be continued . . 

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