After North Devon and the lovely Warcombe Farm our next stop was the Caravan Club site in Cirencester, chosen as a rough half-way point on or way to Bedfordshire for the upcoming TwitterCamp.
It was a straightforward – and largely boring trundle along two of Britain's finest – the M5 then M4. But when you’ve got a tonne and a half of caravan on your rear boring is good. Very good. 151 miles and a little over three hours later we were pulling in to the site, with Rosie returning over 29 mpg, due no doubt to the route being unencumbered by many roundabouts.
Cirencester is a large site with both grass and hardstanding and given the unpredictability of the weather we opted for the latter, choosing one just opposite the facilities block. It was only a short stop so convenience was more important than location. In the afternoon we welcomed fellow caravanner and blogger Dan and his wife Angela for a cuppa and chin wag. We’d conversed on line for sometime but it was good to finally meet ‘in the flesh’ as it were.
The one and only excursion of the day was that evening for some er, research which was very productive.
Thursday morning saw us in Cirencester. It’s walkable from the caravan site but also driveable so we did just that. The first car park was full but we happened upon a free space in a side street.
There was a considerable amount of work going on, not least in the central thoroughfare and some of the roads were closed to traffic nut nevertheless it was a pleasant place to stroll around and commit a few sights to memory, both cerebral and digital. It had a more functional look and feel than some Cotswold towns we have visited in the past but no less pretty.
Lunchtime Dan returned, this time with son Tom, their gorgeous Labrador Chops and complete with camera gear. Let me explain - we were going to make a film. No not that sort, but a film of me doing some work on Patsy. Dan is a keen videographer and has produced some excellent videos on caravanning and related subjects. As well as being sleek and well produced they are full of useful information. Check out his You Tube channel here and blog here.
Filming commenced later than planned, thanks mainly to the Caravan Club buying what must be the noisiest ride on mowers on the market. Eventually the din ceased and we were able to get started.
The improvement in question was an inside switch for the outside socket on the ‘van. I’d already completed the wiring prior but the hole needed cutting for the switch inside. I have to confess to being a bit nervous in front of the camera but Dan was clearly used to it. The job itself took far longer than it should have done, thanks to me being over cautious on the size of the hole needed and generally cack handed. The finished video is a masterpiece in editing making me look vaguely competent – Dan did well to edit out all the swearing and innuendos and come up with a piece more than thirty seconds long! You can see the finished video here. It was good fun, but having seen – and heard – myself on screen it’s not something I am going to make a habit of. I much prefer to be behind the camera than in front!
The day finished with a BBQ and a few beers – or wines in our case. It was a thoroughly enjoyable day and thanks to Dan and Tom for all their help.
Friday morning was wet so I got caught up on the blog whilst Trev done a bit of house – well, ‘van work. Late afternoon as the skies cleared we tried out a new toy – a dash cam. We want to do more site arrival and journey video’s generally so decided it was time to buy some proper kit rather than faffing about with a phone.
A final mooch around the town brought us – perhaps not surprisingly – in a pub. The Twelve Bells brewed their own beer in a shed in the bottom of the garden so was truly local. The grub was good too.
And that was our last day in Cirencester. It provided a good stop off point from North Devon and is worth exploring in it’s own right. Time was against us but I hope we will be back one day to explore further.
Right, next up is Henlow and our third county – Bedfordshire - for the 7th Twittercamp. Look our for a blog and photos soon – ish.