A Travellerspoint blog

By this Author: InvictaMoto

Staycation Matlock - Day 1

overcast 10 °C
View Matlock 22 on InvictaMoto's travel map.

Set off a little before 11am for the proposed 4h30m drive north to the Peak
District and our stay for the next 4 nights at the Stable at Druids Farm in

With the car packed up we set off on a route to avoid the Dartford Crossing.

This entailed the M20/M26/M25/M40/M42. We had a stop for Reggie to have a
pee and we got a coffee. Plus a Slimming World busting biscuit. Both
between us.

Once we got onto the M42 after pretty much a cruise-control run from home,
it all ground to a stop, then stop/start.

Nissan Navigation seemed to try and avoid the traffic and instead took us
up some dead end seeming road. In the end we made it to the M42 further up.
Southbound was solid for miles.

We made a second stop at Tamworth Services. A chance for all three of us to
have a widdle, and for the humans to get something to eat from M&S.

We then had a magical mystery tour via Burton upon Trent and then to Derby.

The back roads to Birchover took us along quite a few roads where we saw
what we expected to see as the Derbyshire Dales. Rolling hills.

We arrived okay just before 5pm. Met Eileen the owner and unloaded the car.

Reggie had his dinner and as I type is snoring in his bed. Yep. We brought
his bed with him.

So all in all about 6 hours on the road and that includes about 45 minutes
of stops.

After bit of a sit down to relax a bit after driving we went across the road to the Druids Inn pub for dinner. Once again Slimming World hit the deck! We had a superb meal and the pub food is superb and dog friendly.

(This was sent to the blog by email. Not very good line length control. I"ll sort it when I get home.

Posted by InvictaMoto 20:32 Archived in United Kingdom Comments (0)

Testing Email Sending

Yes it worked.

Posted by InvictaMoto 16:12 Comments (0)

Three go to Devon Again!

This time to Brixham.

Another staycation planned for this year 2022. I suppose it is a little guilt on my behalf that I have planned a few retirement trips away with my wife, Claire, and Reggie the dog. I have a trip planned to Czech for a bike rally at the end of May and as I will be going either solo or with a couple of biking buddies, Claire understandably was a little pee'd off.

So to make up for this I have been looking at trips to do all together. After nearly two years of "working from home", not furloughed like the really lucky people, I had to work every day. Online and 8 hours a day right up until my retirement day! Furlough, paid to sit at home and go on holiday!

So this trip in early May is to Brixham in Devon. The last time we "did" Devon was in 2019 and it was nice whilst we were there but a complete and utter pain in the ass to drive. Over 7 hours with only an hour of stops (all calculated by my TomTom 410!) to get there and over 8 to drive back. It was only 270 miles!

So this time the wisdom of regular travellers is to leave at the crack of dawn or even earlier and drive most of the way there and then rest when nearby. Hopefully beating the traffic and the rush hour of people getting to work. It will be a Friday to Friday let and so I expect it to be busy with people getting away for the weekend as the day progresses.

Where to go for days out whwn we are there. I have the National Trust book and there are a few places that are dog friendly. We are there a full week and so we have time. We might be able to get up and see Claire's friend Robin again and see his lovely house or even his restaurant! Dartmoor of course.

I also want to take a drive along the coast and look at the beaches at Slapton Sands and also take in the Kingswear Ferry! I've not been on a ferry for quite a few years.

Updates of course as they happen.

Posted by InvictaMoto 14:34 Archived in England Tagged devon brixham three_go_to_devon_again Comments (0)

Birthday Bash Staycation - Peak District

Druid Farm, Birchover, Derbyshire

sunny 8 °C
View Matlock 22 on InvictaMoto's travel map.

This has been booked for months and months as a getaway for a few days for my wife Claire's birthday. Since she retired we have been straight into the covid lockdowns and now that I have joined her on the retirement scrapheap we need to get away. With covid hanging about and maybe the globe having to "live with it", maybe it is time to take jabs and move on with life.

We set off tomorrow. We can't be in the cottage until after 3pm. According to Google Maps the non-toll route is about 4h 27m. That is of course without stops or Reggie to stretch his legs. On the motorways he settles down in the car and goes to sleep, or at least lies down. On more winding roads he likes to sit up.

This trip has been booked through cottages.com. They have lots of dog friendly places to rent all across the country. We used them for the Norfolk Trip last August.

As we are only up there for three full days we need to cram as much into the stop as we can. Wednesday will be the drive up. And Sunday the drive back. The route we have chosen avoid the Dartford Crossing. Every time we have tried it we have been stuck in traffic and taken ages to get across it. When going to Norfolk it is really the only option, but to Derbyshire there is what we call the long way around, on the southern M25 that actually, according to Google takes 7 minutes longer for the entire trip!

So now with a less than a day to go I need to check the oil in the car, check the tyres and fill up the washer bottle! There's not much else to do.

And then in the morning we are off. Hopping from one motorway services to the next to give Reggie with leg stretches and pee breaks.

Updates to follow.

Posted by InvictaMoto 12:58 Archived in England Tagged derbyshire peak_district druid_farm birchover Comments (0)

Three Go To Norfolk - Days 6 to 8

Days 6 to 8

Day 6

Drizzling earlier on and we had to decide where to go. We decided on a tour of the Broads.

Satnav set firstly for Wroxham. There are supposed to be walks from around the bridge over the River Bure.

Problem one was finding somewhere to park. Hardly any parking signposted. The town was rammed with tourists. In the end we found a free parking space at the end of Church Road. A relatively short walk to the centre.

As we had no idea where to go, we ended up wandering around the boatyard where the rental boats go from, before finding our way to the bridge.

A coffee and scone later at the Wherryman's Café before we gave up on the hunt for the elusive walks.

We decided to try Horning. Again nowhere to park and so we opted for Potter Heigham. Somewhere to park and have a walk, and Reggie to get out.

Potter Heigham has a massive car park essentially belonging to Latham's shop for their customers. Or so the signs inform everyone.

We were customers as we wanted to get some gifts to take back to neighbours who are watering our garden and collecting our mail.

I had failed with that at Roy's in Wroxham. But instead Latham's came up trumps. And labelled to show where the shortbread was bought. Job done.


Whilst Claire was affecting the purchase, Reggie and I went to check on the low bridge over the river.

I'd not been here since the late 60's when as a family we did the Broads in a cabin cruiser.

No larger boats made the trip through the bridge, but a couple of small boats and several swans did.

Once rejoined we had a walk along the River Thurne path.

1629311152009409-0.png[p]1629311146855980-1.png[p]1629390113366744-0.png caption-1st ice cream of the holiday

Then one more stop. St Benet's Abbey. Another place where we moored up to visit some 50 plus years ago. "Up Around the Bend" by Creedence Clearwater Revival was #1 in the charts back then. Very apt for being on the Broads!


The Tower in the centre is an 18th Century windmill built inside the 13th Century Abbey ruins.

The last couple of miles were along a extremely bumpy and rough single track.

From the Abbey we retraced our steps to the main road and we were away towards Norwich and Clinton Cottage.

Tomorrow is our last full day up here. Where to go? Fellbrigg Hall NT?

Day 7

Today's target was Felbrigg Estate. It's a little way off the A140 towards Cromer.

We set off late as contrary to the forecast it had rained and was drizzling. Car loaded and we were off. Despite Nissan Connect showing a looping route via Dereham we actually went almost the same way as yesterday.

The newish A1237 was again coned down to one lane and a ludicrous 10mph limit showing. Not much evidence of any work though. Quelle surprise!

Once we arrived it was a case of waterproofs on and a walk to check out the walks. We decided on the blue waymarked "Church & Lake" walk. At 1.7 miles far enough in drizzle.

We had a coffee and Claire took a walk to the Walled Garden. Reggie not allowed so we hung about outside. The rain stopped. Waterproof off. Rain started. Waterproof on.

We got part way into the blue walk when we found the field we were crossing was full of sheep. Reggie isn't the sort of dog that bothers with sheep, but there were far too many for comfort.

The rain got more serious and the combination meant we aborted the mission early.

We set the controls not for the heart of the sun, but for Clinton Cottage.

One stop at Starbuck's for a couple of fraps. One complaint. The eco friendly cardboard straws are shite. They mush up way before you have drunk half the drink!!!!

And guess what? The sun came out and was dry and sunny once we arrived back in Yaxham.

Today is our last day here and so we can have a quiet afternoon before we start panicking with packing up for the 9am departure tomorrow.

Day 8

Homeward bound
I wish I was
Homeward bound
Home where my thought's escapin'
Home where my music's playin'
Home where my love lies waitin'
Silently for me

(Thanks to Simon & Garfunkel)

We had to be out of the cottage at 9am, and after a restless night we were up and the car packed with 5 minutes to spare. The plan was to go to Monks Eleigh to visit Claire's cousins before heading to the A12.

Whilst in Monks Eleigh I took Reggie for a turn around the churchyard. I saw a sign to say that there were some Commonwealth War Graves in there, St Peters Church. There were two well tended graves with the traditional white Portland Stone headstones.

Reggie had a snuffle around the long grass and hedges. We had tea and biscuits and then all too soon we had to leave. Expecting traffic to be awful we left before 1pm.

An aborted stop at the overflowing car park opposite Colchester United's football ground later, we eventually stopped at the "services" at Chelmsford. Not as I remember them. A huge McDonald's and a poor excuse for a shop at the fuel station.

A couple of chicken sandwiches later and we were off. traffic alternating slow and then fast, then slow.... We arrived home at 4.01pm. Even the queue to the Queen Elizabeth Bridge wasn't too bad.

Posted by InvictaMoto 15:45 Archived in England Tagged norfolk wroxham roy's potter_heigham Comments (0)

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