United Kingdom
United Kingdom

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1,437 travelers at this place:

  • Day920

    Canterbury Park and Ride

    January 2 in the United Kingdom ⋅ ⛅ 4 °C

    Feeling shell shocked at both the loss of our dog and a trip to A&E for Will on New Year's Eve, we said our goodbye's to Will's sister and her family on New Year's Day. We'll be forever grateful to them for looking after us through this difficult time.

    With a few tears we made our way to the motorhome aire at Canterbury. It is incorporated into the city's Park and Ride complex, is one of only a handful of dedicated motorhome facilities in the UK and probably the largest, with capacity for over 70 vans. We'd been keen to make use of it for a while and having a few days to spare before our ferry from Dover, made now the ideal time.

    We are not planning to get another dog while touring, so had decided to donate Poppy's effects to Dogs Trust Canterbury. It was only once we'd entered the aire via the barrier that Vicky found the kennels were closed the following day. She therefore packed up Poppy's things and we whipped out to drop them off. We made it back with just enough light not to have to use our headlights, which Will had switched for continental ones at Orpington- phew!

    The aire is a quiet place, which is usually something we value, but on New Year's Day it was near silent and Poppy's absence was all the more obvious. Vicky had resorted to cleaning and tidying to keep her mind occupied and the van felt far too sterile without our very furry friend.

    For £3.50 per day (charged midnight to midnight) the aire provides fresh water, bins, waste water and toilet emptying facilities as well as unlimited passage for up to 6 people into and out of Canterbury city centre on buses that run every 8 minutes.

    The following morning dawned with venus and a waning crescent prominent in what promised to be a blue sky. Vicky did half an hour of pilates (for the first time in several months) and we rode into Canterbury. Will needed to take things easy as he was still recovering from his operation and the complications that followed, but we strolled slowly around the city's streets, soon finding our way off the main stretch to the cobbled lanes, where we found a range of interesting shops. On the King's Mile we discovered Unboxed; a small grocery store whose products, from rice to tomatoes, were all free of packaging. The sun was shining on the wall of the cathedral courtyard but with a fee to enter, we admired from afar.

    After a while we came accross Lily's Bistro, an ethical café advertising seasonal, locally sourced food with zero waste and vegan options. We chose a table in the little bay window and watched the people go by. Our toast with toppings tasted great and we chose to buy two 'pay it forward' soups to be given to the homeless, some of whom we'd seen earlier huddled in a doorway. As we were moving on to tea and apple crumble cake a couple came in with a French Bulldog. It had been years since Poppy was well enough to explore cities on foot and we would usually only leave her for up to 2.5 hours. Now it is just the two of us we have a whole lot more freedom but we would swap it in a second to have our Poppy happy and healthy with us.

    We really enjoyed visiting Canterbury's characterful lanes and would definitely make use of the aire again. Prior to leaving we used our credit card to pay the machine £10.50 for 2 nights and the barrrier opened automatically when it read our number plate. An easy to use and effective system. Next stop Dover!
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  • Day907

    Our Christmas break. Goodbye Poppy

    December 20, 2018 in the United Kingdom ⋅ 🌧 5 °C

    We spent a total of 8 weeks back in the UK, docking at Dover on 31st October and travelling as far as Alnwick on the North East coast. The trip began well with a diagnosis for Vicky's poor health; premenstrual syndrome with severe secondary dysmenorrhea, probably due to adenomyosis. She has been referred for a procedure, but when this isn't likely to be until March.

    We had a roller coaster ride of quality time spent with family and friends, including 2 fireworks displays, 4 birthdays, a canal boat trip, 2 horse rides, walks, meals and drinks with loved ones. We got to watch Will's grandaughter's first ballet show and Christmas day was spent in the North East with our two brothers and sister in law. A HUGE thank you to everyone who made time to see us, took us in, fed us, gave us use of their drives, sewage drains, fresh water and washing machines and generally made us feel so welcome!

    Even with the best laid plans, not everything worked out as we would have liked. We missed seeing some people we'd planned to see and found we'd be unable to fit the roof mountable solar panel we'd bought for the van until temperatures rose above 18°C. We managed to get our passports renewed but only after a palava with the photos, similarly we managed to get Will's new prescription glasses but only after navigating cancellations and store closures. We had aimed to get the van bumper fixed on the insurance from when someone drove into us in July, but it turns out 2 months isn't long enough for SAGA's garage to get the part delivered! Thank goodness we got the MOT done and dusted! The sudden closure of our Doctor's surgery left us in a pickle and the cancellation of Will's surgery on his piles and polyp once he was in hospital and prepped, put a spanner in the works. We managed to have it rescheduled close to Christmas, but stitches coming out, tearing and infection meant two trips to A&E, one on Boxing Day and one on New Year's Eve.

    By the 30th of December we were ready for our ferry crossing to France and a little rest and relaxation. However, we were woken early by a very poorly Poppy dog. She had lost control of her back end, couldn't stand and was very distressed. Given that her health had been declining and she'd had two seizures within a month, earlier in our visit, we decided that enough was enough. We postponed the ferry and she recovered a little, but with her future quality of life in mind, we had the vet put her to sleep. They came out to the van where it was parked on Will's sister's drive on New Year's eve, so she encountered as little distress as possible in her last moments. We are glad to have been able to end her suffering, but are feeling very lost and sad without her. She's been part of who we are for more than 15 years and loved travelling as much as we do. Things just won't be the same without our stubborn, demanding, wilful, intelligent, beautiful and loving dog 😢
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  • Day5

    Leicester Sqaure, Lego and Theatre

    December 14, 2018 in the United Kingdom ⋅ ⛅ 3 °C

    Ok so the jet lag is still a big issue for the boys but hopefully tonight will be better. This morning they were up at 1am and didn’t go back to sleep!

    This morning we set off for Leicester Square to go to the halftix office to see what was available for the theatre today. I discovered that there are no matinees on a Friday! So louise and Vern are heading out tonight to see Aladdin which was Lou’s choice. I knew the boys wouldn’t last when they were up at 1am so I will look after them.

    Vern purchased tickets online for Windsor Castle for tomorrow, only to discover you need to swap your online confirmation, for tickets at the office at victoria station. So much for buying online so you didn’t have to go to an office. So off we went to Victoria station to get out tickets and organise the train tickets as well. We had lunch in a stunning old English pub with an awesome atmosphere. I could have sat there all day but that wasn’t going to happen with the boys. Food was fantastic and chatted to a few people as well.

    It was cold today but ok whilst you were walking, it just seemed to seep into you if you stood still for too long. With no sun today, the Christmas lights were beautiful everywhere, cause the light was so low it felt light twilight, all day. I tried to take photos of the ones at Leicester Square, cause they were hanging from the tree and look magnificent, but it doesn’t show up in the photos too well.

    Louise saw some sparkly doc martins in a shop window and tried to convince me she needed them, but no I did not buy them.

    The boys absolutely loved the big LEGO store and the M & M store. Al I thought of you when I spotted the M & M Christmas onesie! Oh and Kyles, those horrible Christmas jumpers that the Americans love, are everywhere here. Stores full of them and lots of people wearing them. Saw a guy in the pub today in one with flashing Christmas lights!

    Tomorrow we are off to Windsor with our friend Pete and his son Theo.
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  • Day5

    More photos from London

    December 14, 2018 in the United Kingdom ⋅ ⛅ 3 °C

    Here are a few more photo from London. The winter wonderland was great fun but even with a long sleeved shirt, a wool jumper, ski jacket, beanie and gloves, once the sun set that was no where near enough and we were all cold. Had great pizza for dinner then into bed. And no we do not have the jet lag conquered. Kids were all up at 1am again but i slept 13 hours and feel pretty good.

    We are off to get theatre tickets today but it maybe a matinee cause I don’t think the kids can stay up long enough at night to go!
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  • Day3

    On the train to Huddersfield

    January 7 in the United Kingdom ⋅ ⛅ 10 °C

    Travelling through the English countryside one sees considerable green in the fields and sheep and horses and a few trailer parks, though not nice ones like you would see in Texas or Arizona. The hills roll gently and though we had a bit of blue sky yesterday, it is gloomy and grey today. The church is really the first I have seen here. Must not be looking in the right places. Arrived in Huddersfield on time and were picked up by Anna from Paxman who brought us to our hotel who had expected us yesterday. Somebody made a mistake when they booked and it wasn’t us! Went back to the office and met with Richard for over an hour. Our tech person who was supposed join us for the training emailed to say his flight had been cancelled as wouldn’t be coming. A blessing in disguise! This will save so much $$! Hope we sleep well tonight sine we need to be ready to go at 8 am tomorrow.Read more

  • Day7

    Windsor Castle

    December 16, 2018 in the United Kingdom ⋅ 🌧 7 °C

    Yesterday was a big day but just awesome. The weather was forecast to deteriorate and that it did. By lunchtime it was cold, windy and raining , so that “feels like” temperature was into negative territory. That said, I layered the kids up with thermals under their clothes, giving them four layers and they all stayed warm and dry.

    We had an early lunch at Victoria station where we met our friend Pete and his son Theo and then caught two connecting trains to Windsor. Due to track work we then had to get a connecting bus for a half hour ride. Problem was the train ran a little late and the bus didn’t wait. So there was about 50 unhappy travellers standing in the freezing cold next to another bus that would not leave for another 20 mins. At least one passenger convinced the bus driver to let us get on the bus where it was warm and dry.

    Our issue was we were going to be very close to the cut off time for last entry into Windsor castle. We made it by the skin of our teeth after getting a cab to drive us up to the castle entrance. We were very wet by the time we got there, but we made it!

    The castle was so beautiful. So much more impressive than I had imagined and worth every bit of effort to get there. We did a tour through the staterooms and the went to St George’s Chapel where Prince Harry and Megan were married earlier this year. It was so much more ornate and beautiful than Westminster Abbey. Vern and I loved it!

    It was totally dark, and wet by 4pm so off to the pub for drinks and dinner. The old English pubs have so much character and are even better when beautifully decorated for Christmas. We had great food, a few drinks and wonderful company with Pete and Theo.

    An awesome day!
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  • Day4

    Paxman training to learn how to train

    January 8 in the United Kingdom ⋅ ⛅ 5 °C

    Have been in the training session from 8:30 am til 6 pm when we will all go for dinner with Richard Paxman and the training staff. Maintenance training will continue tomorrow then technical training Thursday and Friday. It turns out I’m pretty good at providing clear instructions. Let’s hope when they test us on Wednesday when we do a complete presentation , it will be just as good.Read more

  • Day4

    First day with everybody in london

    December 13, 2018 in the United Kingdom ⋅ ⛅ 4 °C

    Lou and I made it to London after a very long journey. Sydney to Singapore was a great flight in premium economy. Great food and extra space. The next sector was a bit more of a challenge in economy but we survived. Kirrily emailed the captain to advise him we were onboard, so he came down and introduced himself and offered us a visit to the flight deck upon landing, as well as some first class amenities kits and headphones. Very generous.

    After a short ride on the Heathrow express followed by a cab ride, we were at the apartment and all back together. Lou and I decided not to nap but to push on all day.

    We met up with some friends from New Zealand, Sea and Ailsa and had a great lunch just near St Paul’s Cathedral and then we caught the train to the Hyde Park Winter Wonderland. It is a lot like the Easter Show but with a Christmas theme. It was just beautiful, especially after the sun went down.

    Finished the day with pizza in the apartment and then early to bed. A great first day for me.
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  • Day1

    London by night and Wicked

    January 5 in the United Kingdom ⋅ ☁️ 4 °C

    After a couple of hours of nap, we went to the local pub called The Swan. A huge gin menu but didn’t indulge since I knew I would sleep during the play. Of course we had to have fish and chips with mushy peas and shared a Black Forest dome which is really just a layer of chocolate mousse, a layer of cherry mousse and a layer of cream mousse formed like half a ball. The dessert size is small and logical not like the huge portions at home. Then off to the Apollo Victoria Theatre to see Wicked. I usually read up on these things but had not this time. Surprise ending. Loved it. The subway ride back was so quick, 22 minutes. We should have one in Winnipeg. Now for a big sleep in preparation for more sightseeing tomorrow.Read more

  • Day2

    Sunday in London

    January 6 in the United Kingdom ⋅ ⛅ 9 °C

    We slept til 10 after turning off the lights at 11:30 last night. Felt good to have a good sleep. The Fitbit says I slept 7 hours without waking.

    Shared a cream cheese and lox bagel at Laurent’s again since that was lunch and made our way to the London Eye. Walked through the last day of the Christmas market and went on the Eye. The ride is 30 minutes long and is located on the bank of the Thames across from ‘Big Ben’, which, sadly, is shrouded with scaffolding. After each load of passengers leave the Eye, employees sweep the car with mirrors, looking for bombs and such. Enjoyed a soft ice cream with a Flake bar which, apparently, is a thing here. Had added a river cruise to the Eye ticket for only 5£ more. Cool and windy on the water as it was already 3:30 when we boarded the boat. Lovely to see things you read about, and did you know that the real ‘London Bridge’ was bought by an American who shipped it to Arizona, thinking it was the Tower Bridge that is obviously still in London. Should have gone to look at it first😆.

    Walked to Trafalgar Square behind the Charring Cross train station. The National Museum was open for another 50 minutes so we were able to visit the free galleries. Amazing art from the 1500s. Canada House is locates on the Square so had to take a photo of a piece of home.

    Stopped at Cafe Concerto to buy dessert for later and filled our yen for fish and chips at Sherlock Holmes’ pub. Good thing we shared the order; would have been too much otherwise. Enjoyed our dessert once we returned to the hotel and settled in for the night.

    Steps: 25,204 on Saturday. Sunday 14,039.
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You might also know this place by the following names:

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