Tag Archives: rain

Valentines camping at Seaford

What shall we do for Valentines I asked Lolly, lets go somewhere in our urban caravan she said, we’ll book Friday off and go for a long weekend, sounds like a plan I replied.

We set a rule that for short weekends away we wouldn’t travel more than an hour or so’s drive, Lolly had also mentioned visiting Beachy Head so I figured somewhere near there would be a good place to stay and so it was I came across Seaford.

I chose Seaford because i’d never heard of it, it isn’t too far from Beachy Head and there was a campsite that was taking bookings in February, most places don’t begin their season till the beginning of March, it’s also just over an hours drive from where we live, perfect.

The campsite stayed at is called Buckle Caravan Park and the description amounted to ” No frills campsite with few rules, like camping in the good old days” – that sounded alright to me.

The first thing that hits you when you arrive is the place looks a bit run down although I am sure it looks completely different if the sun is shining, it’s also a little strange that the campsite warden has built a moat around his twin static caravan and decorated the garden with scallop shells, odd garden ornaments and a concrete pig. The reception building is also a little odd looking completely out of place with everything around it, despite it all looking a bit rubbish we were warmly greeted, shown our pitch on a map, educated about the electric gate and told the shower and toilet blocks nearest to us were being repaired / renovated so we’d have to use the ones near the office, there is also a club house open on Saturday with a bar which we were more than welcome to use.

I also didn’t have enough cash on me to pay for our stay and the deposit for the key fob, no worries, pay tomorrow said the guy at reception which was nice.

We made out way to our pitch, parked up and made a brew.

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As you can see, there are a lot of caravans, most of which seem to be there all year round and as such most appeared empty, the campsite was really quiet, looking ahead is a grassy knoll and beyond that a pebble beach and the sea, it’s not that pretty so I didn’t take a picture.

I’d downloaded a walk which was the first one on this page and on the basis it was dry with no rain forecast we drove to East Dean, parked up at the Tiger Inn and set off on our walk. The guide is a quite old and a little out of date but most of the landmarks still exist and we didn’t get lost, bonus.

We stopped at a national trust spot called Birling gap, we grabbed a beer and a cider, used their wifi and then made our way to the beach which you access via metal stairs from the top of the cliff.

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There are lots of signs saying that the cliffs are a little unstable and there are also the biggest lumps of chalk that are very handy for writing on metal stairs should you feel the need to do so…

We hung about for a while, grabbed a selfie and then headed on our way..

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From here we headed uphill toward the Bell Tout lighthouse, built by a chap called Mad Jack Fuller who had an addiction for building follys he believed he finally made something useful, however he built his lighthouse on the fog line so the light didn’t shine very far when it was foggy and was useless to ships avoiding the cliffs, it’s now a B&B..

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We picked up the pace as the sun was beginning to set, from the Bell Tout chipped down a hill, along a roman road and back into East Dean where we started, our plan was for dinner at the Tiger Inn which has what appears to be a real Tigers head on the wall, i’m not a fan of stuffed animals but i’ve never seen a stuffed tigers head before and felt compelled to take a picture of it.

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The pub is on the green at East Dean, it’s a hotel as well, there are a host of locally brewed ales, a warm fire and a great menu, we had baked camembert to start and then the Tiger Inn burger, I got all excited about the local ales and drunk one of each, I was too drunk to drive home and we were going to stay in the car park, Lolly however elected to drive us home and only had 2 halfs and 2 pints of water. I’m glad we went back to the campsite as it meant I could hook us up to 240V and get the heater going, would have been a bloody cold night otherwise.

We also got to catch up with one of my old raving buddies and best mates Rob, he lives just down the road in Peacehaven and met us for a Guiness.

During the night the rain came and it didn’t stop, we woke in the morning and discovered the van has a leak coming from the roof, most likely where the AA lights were mounted. We decided we’d head home instead of staying another night as the weather wasn’t set to improve and everything are wanted to do meant we would be out in the rain. Before we left we had a shower, whilst the facilities weren’t the best looking they were clean and the water hot.

We drove into Seaford in search of breakfast and came across a place called Sub Station, what a lovely surprise, proper nice breakfast in a sub and the owner is great fun too, left him looking up on Google “was Mary Berry fit” after confirming old Mary has had a bit of botox…

Other than the nice cafe Seaford is a bit rundown, I doubt it’s on any must visit list which is why i’ve never heard of it, it’s not that far from Brighton, Hastings and Eastbourne which are more well known.

What I will say is the countryside around Seaford is really quite beautiful so it was worth staying there for that.

It was still raining when we left Sub Station, we stopped off at a place called paradise park, had a wander round there and then headed for home looking forward to sleeping in a warm bed with no leaks!

I probably wouldn’t go back to Buckle but I wouldn’t say avoid it either, 20 quid a night for a hard standing pitch right by the beach is great value and i’m sure when the sun is shining it’s a completely different place, if you fancy a cheap night away “near” Brighton and Hastings give it a go !

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Le Coups

Lollys parents have a second home near Argentat and this would be our home for the next four nights. Ian and Lindi bought essentially a shell of a property and have worked really hard to turn it into somewhere they can come and stay, enjoy rural French life and be part of a small French community, it was lovely to see different residents of the commune including the mayor in his tractor stop by and say hello despite speaking very limited English and doing their very best to understands Lindi and Ian’s French which is way better than most, certainly better than mine! 

The day we arrived it belted down with rain all day so we did all out washing and I gave the van a bit of a clear up and charged up the leisure battery, we pretty much stayed at home all day bar a brief trip to the shops (chicken and veg for an awesome roast) and a small walk with the dog, the house sits adjacent to a beautiful wood covered in fern, when the light filters through the view is quite magical. 

  
The weather the following day looked equally as damp so we decided to go see some caves, en route there was a bit of a commotion ahead and then there were sheep, lots of sheep!! 

  
When we reached the caves it seemed most of France had the same idea, a 2 hour queue from where we were standing in the rain, sod that, we chipped off and headed for the historic town of Rocamadour. 

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Le rain

We set off on the bikes in howling wind and rain to visit Le Mont St Michel, we were pretty wet on arrival but that didn’t dampen our spirits and we headed through the gates for an explore. 

Lauren decided the best thing to keep the rain off was a bin bag as she brought no water proof stuff, lots of people stared and laughed at Lauren’s bin bag chic, we did however see someone else with a carrier bag on their head which made Lauren feel better. 

Despite the rain and wind it was still mobbed, making your way up to the abbey at the top involves first walking through a narrow street lined with shops selling everything from samurai swords to old world pistols, all types of food and a hotel. The narrow street is also full of people shuffling along as slowly as humanly possible. Once you clear the tourist shops it’s stairs all the way up with lots of little interesting diversions which on this day gave excellent views of rain in all directions. 

We got to the top and there was a huge queue to get in the abbey, also the heavens opened so we sought shelter under a tree. 

  
I didn’t take any pictures of the mount as it was belting down with rain and shortly after the one above we decided to head back to the van, the ride back was worse than the ride there, soaked to the skin proper. 

A quick change of clothes and we left the Aire and headed for Ile De Re, the drive took forever, a combination of traffic, burnt chips and stopping for supplies. 

  
It rained for pretty much most of the journey but for the last 20k the sun came out and then promptly set. 

It was dark when we arrived and after a massive drive I demanded a BBQ so that’s what we did, unfortunately all the things we bought were rank including kebabs that had added slices of fat between peppers and the meat. 

  
Shortly after the let down BBQ we crashed out.  

This morning we set up camp properly and will be heading to the beach, we’re also drying the stuff that got soaked yesterday!

  

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