Tuesday 1 December 2015

Blowing a hooley in Lancashire

It's been about six weeks since we went away in El Nido and we were ready for a break.  It was our 32nd wedding anniversary on Thursday, so we thought a short trip away would be a good way to celebrate.....

Friday 27 November 2015
We drove up to Nido's storage home, stored and provisioned him up, topped up the fresh water tank and hit the road.  Our first stop was a Britstop (#619), a pub in rural Lancashire, about 45  minutes drive away.  We arrived at about 2.30pm and parked up at the end of the car park with plenty of room around us.  We popped in to let the landlady know we were there and had a drink to chill out and start our weekend.  After a snooze in the van we went back to the pub later to have a bite to eat.  The staff were friendly and the food was filling, wholesome pub grub.  By now the weather was turning - high winds and rain - but luckily our commute from van to pub was short!

Saturday 28 November 2015
The next morning we woke at about 0830 and had a lazy breakfast; we've perfected making toast in a dry frying pan on the gas hob.  With everything stowed, we drove out of the village and on to the M6 heading north.  Our next stop was an 'Aire' on the seafront at Lytham St Annes.  This is an experiment by Fylde Council and it seems to be working out.  When we arrived three vans were already parked up in the seven spaces reserved for motorhomes, tucked behind the Toby Carvery on the seafront.  It costs £5 per night (or £8 for a day/night ticket) and you can stay for a maximum of three nights.  I reversed us into a space at the end, overlooking the cinema car park and we had a brew while watching the sea boil in front of us; the tide was in and with the increasingly strong wind blowing onshore, the seas were quite high.  I had planned to walk to a fish and chip shop, but with the strong winds and torrential rain I'd have been soaked very quickly (people walking around the corner into the car park were almost being blown over).  So we drove to a nearby pub car park with the chippy just across the road.  With our fish, chips and mushy peas back in the van, I drove us back to the aire and we enjoyed them sat in the van, with a bottle of cava!  It was clear the weather wasn't going to improve any time soon, in fact it was worsening, so we spent the afternoon in the van reading and watching the storm rather than going out for our planned walk along the beach or prom.  With the cinema adjacent we'd already decided to go and see 'The Lady in the Van', which seemed appropriate!  The tickets were only £3.50 each.  The cinema felt a bit like a portacabin inside, with small, flea-pit seating and screens.  Thankfully it was warm inside so we soon settled down, enjoying the film while listening to the howling wind outside and the rain beating against the flat roof!  Back in the van, it was rocking in the gusts, but luckily had sprung no leaks, nor lost any attachments or skylights! So we settled down for a game of Scrabble before crashing out with a good book.

Wet and windy view towards the beach

Fish, chips, mushy peas......and Cava!

Nido parked up on the Aire
Sunday 29 November 2015
It was very stormy in the night and we woke several times to torrential rain and very strong gusts of wind straight off the sea, but Nido did us proud, keeping us safe and toasty warm. After breakfast we wrapped ourselves up, hats, scarves and gloves on, hoods up (and wellies on for C) and braved the storm.  Luckily, we'd hit a weather window with no rain, although the winds were still storm force.  The tide was out so luckily we were able to walk along the beach, crunching across deep lines of mussel and very large razor clam shells. Turning into the wind with arms outstretched, we were able to lean right into it - great fun! We were out for about 45 minutes and really enjoyed being out in the extreme weather after a long period of enforced van time.  Faces glowing and hair a mess (Cathy's not mine!) we made a brew and had some lunch before braving the weather to drive down a very wet and blustery motorway.

Back home, Cathy sorted out the inside of the van, while I added some cleaning fluid to the grey and fresh water tanks, emptied and cleaned the loo cassette and washed the sea salt from the outside of the van.  I then emptied all the water tanks and Truma holding tank in case we didn't get to use the van through the winter, although we plan to get away over New Year if the weather's not icy.  Nido is heading off to A&E in the morning to have the awning replaced, then he'll be back into storage for our New Year trip.  A short but enjoyable trip.

A brief spell of sunshine during our walk

Leaning into the storm-force winds!


  1. I blame all that wind on those mushy peas !! But, joking apart, you just prove that 'inclement' weather doesn't have to prevent you having time away in the van, good on you both ��

    1. Peas and chips - a lethal combination Eric! We think getting out in the winter provides some of the most interesting trips, so long as it's not icy or snow.


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