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Family Tour 2018 Day 13-14

Category: Caravanning
14 Mar 2019
Written by Andy Hits: 3702

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This covers the last two nights away from home, and our big push south.  From Dallachulish we pushed south to Lochmaben, near Lockerbie.  Then from there down to near Coventry, visiting some family on the way through.

Day 13:  04/10/2018, Dallachulish to Lochmaben (175 miles)

So the journey home really began, and we were sad to leave the campsite behind and be on our way.  Our route down took us over a very interesting cantilever bridge at Connel. I was able to snap a quick picture having driven over it, and underneath it on the A85:

We continued on to Luss, beside Loch Lomond.  Some scouting ahead on google maps had told us there was a good sized car park, along with a filling station, both of which were going to be useful for continuing our journey.  There was plenty of space in the car park, and we copied a motorhome and parked across parking spaces, rather than length ways.  We weren't sure how happy bus and coach drivers would be if we used one of the bays marked for them.  However, we are sure that this would be a different matter had we been there at the height of summer on a nice day.

With the caravan parked, we tended to the dogs needs, and stretched our legs too beside the loch, before heading into the village to find lunch

We found The Village Rest, a very nice bistro / restaurant and ordered macaroni cheese for the little one, and Burritos for ourselves We were very impressed with the food, and were glad to have found such a nice place to stop for a rest break

Suitably refreshed, we stopped by the village shop and got some essentials, haggis, Edinburgh Rock and such like.  We circled back to fill the car up at the filling station.  This was a completely unmanned station, which wasn't quite what I was expecting, but as planning on paying by card, it made no difference!  Later, after we got back, BBC featured it in an article about more unusual filling stations in UK: BBC Fueling Communities

We continued south down toward Lochmaben, where we were booked in to the Highfield CL site.  Following the sat nav took us off the M74 a junction or 2 earlier than perhaps ideal, as we ended up on quite a bouncy B road coming into Lochmaben.  We were taking it quite gently when a bullock joined the road in front of us. Given the damage a deer can do to a car, the last thing wanted was a spooked cow impaling the car, so we took it very gently, until he decided to head towards his friends that were on the edge of the field he likely had escaped from.

We arrived at site, and found that the owners had a sense of humour:

We got ourselves pitched up, taking advantage of the hardstanding being big enough to fairly easily position the caravan using the car, rather than cheating with the mover.

Once set up, we took the dogs for a walk round the fields before it got too late

Once back at the site, we spent a long time talking with the other people on the site about many things.  I popped round the corner to a local shop to try and get some salad to go with food that evening, only to find its shelves were very lightly stocked.  It turned out its delivery day was the next day, so they were low on many things!  I don't think I could see a single bit of fresh veg!  I ended up having to search for the nearest superstore and driving there.

Day 14:  05/10/2018, Lochmaben to Coventry (253 miles)

Our big push south.  After this day, we would be mostly headed east.  We left fairly promptly, as the plan was to stop by my brothers house to catch up with him there for dinner in the evening in Coventry, having stopped by Preston at for a while at my sisters place for morning coffee and/or lunch.  We soon passed Grenta Green, and carried on south.  Progress was really good. and we made it down to Preston by 11 am.  There was a nice big bit of on street parking outside the house, with enough room to get tucked in close to the kerb without blocking anyone's way.  After a nice long break from driving there, we negotiated our way out of the estate and continued south on the M6.  It was my first experience of the M6 Toll, and our Caravan Club membership gave us discount, so that we paid the price for a car, rather than car and trailer, saving about £4.  Not much, but still worth taking.  Our destination was Maxstoke Hall Farm.  When we got there we were very impressed.  The field is large, with plenty of space to pitch up, without feeling like your caravan will be touching the neighbours awning.  There was a dedicated dog walk area under some trees, and being there in early October, some of the autumnal colours were beginning to come through.  I didn't get round to taking pictures, but it is a site I could easily see myself going back to for much more than a single night stop over.  Sadly I didn't get round to taking any photos of the site

Dinner at my brothers was good too, with one of the funniest moments being from one of my nephews, who, aged 2.5 sneezed, and then said "Bless me".

Equally, my brother, having lived in Coventry for about 20 years, as we described the lovely camp site said "you don't have to go far from Coventry to find somewhere nice".  A city is a city as far as I'm concerned.  They all have their downsides, but it is good being out in the countryside.

Back at the caravan, we enjoyed our last sleep of the holiday, before the final drive home in the morning.

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