Anglesey to Church Stretton
08 April 2019
A lovely drive through the Lake District to Kendal gave us views of a number of the lakes, particularly Windermere. Then a long slog down the M6 towards Chester, and on to the A55, which leads all the way to Holyhead. We found a services near Chester and stopped for food and fuel, before heading off along a very interesting coast, with three quite long tunnel sections right through hills. Just what we need in Argyll, I thought to myself. We could not decide whether they had been funded by the EU or Westminster, but the route is crucial to the trade between the UK and the Irish republic.
Over the new bridge along a bit from the famous Telford Menai bridge, we rolled on to Anglesey, and drove over gently rolling country towards Holyhead. Our campsite was just a few miles from the port, and was OK but not wonderful. Small poky loo in a draughty unheated hut. It was however right beside the end of the runway of RAF Valley, an incredibly busy airfield with jet fighters and small training aircraft taking off and landing for most of each day.
We went on to visit Holyhead and found a Lidl for shopping, then we drove further on to Holy Isle to look at the sea cliffs, and were rewarded by the sighting of two choughs, beside the bird observatory, overlooking South Stack lighthouse (Flw10).
On Friday we headed for Plas Menai National Sports Centre, where the Ocean Cruising Club was having its AGM, and where we had booked in for lunch. There were about 24 members at the first lunch of the meeting, and we got to know one new couple, Alan and Sue from Kingston upon Thames, and saw Simon and Sally Currin too. After lunch we drove into Caernarfon to go round the castle, and the walled town it is set in. Our Historic Scotland membership cards got us in free on their reciprocal arrangement, jolly dee, and what a castle! Amazing, huge, impressive, were the words that came to mind. Edward 1 was some force of nature, building that fortress!
Back to the campsite for the final night, then off the next morning,
Saturday morning saw us heading across Snowdonia in brilliant sunshine, down the A5. A very winding road where speed had to be kept to a prudent minimum, and fortunately all the drivers we encountered were very sensible. There was snow on the higher mountains, and they all looked lovely. Our route took us past former slate quarries, with huge mounds of spoil and broken slate beside them. But most of the valleys were rural, with plenty of sheep and some cattle in evidence.
Next stop was on the A49, a Subway, where we stopped for lunch, then carried on to Church Stretton in Shropshire, where Des gave us a great welcome, and we settled in for a few days not living in the van. Margaret arrived a little while later from her afternoon walk, and we lost no time in catching up on each other's news. This is a town surrounded by low rolling hills, and lots of walking trails, so we spent a fair bit of our time here walking the hills with the dog. Margaret had to cut her time with us short unfortunately as she is on babysitting duties with one of her son's kids in Berlin this week. So we are taking Des out to dinner tonight, before we head off in the morning once again to Abergavenny, via Hereford, to see Les and David.
Here's a picture of Jack in his favourite place in the van, on the reversed driving seat, keeping an eye on the Anglesey campsite!