By the third week in July we had the van back, complete with new floor, and we were ready to get our lives back. After a visit to Wantage, we treated ourselves to a break in Cheltenham. The most convenient place to stay was Cheltenham Racecourse, where the Caravan and Motorhome Club run a campsite. We had a pitch on the rails with sweeping views across the countryside. It was very exposed when the temperature reached 37.5 degrees!
We had one excursion into Cheltenham itself and simply enjoyed walking through the parks and the main streets. Of especial note is The Promenade and Montpelier. These are tree lined and historic areas great for shopping and eating. It has a very refined atmosphere! We also explored the Suffolks and Tivoli which are also full of independent shops and eateries.
Whilst we awaited the arrival of Marcus and Chantelle’s baby, we visited relatives and pottered about between Bedford and Havant with odd excursions to Gosport. Suzanne and the children came to spend a day on Hayling Island and baby Chilestone arrived the next day. All very exciting.
Other than some time spent on a dodgy campsite on Hayling Island, a nicer time on a CL at Nutbourne, and a short stay at Pevensey, we enjoyed a few days at Canterbury. I went to university at Canterbury in the 1970s and it was a treat to go back for a visit. It was full of tourists and no students as it was still the holidays. We did not fork out a fortune to visit the cathedral but enjoyed exploring the city and in particular, the Westgate Gardens. It was a surprise to me to see punts on the river. I definitely didn’t see anything like that when I was a student. We also visited my old college which has changed a bit but still has the same church in the centre.
After the blast of nostalgia for me, we returned to Havant for a last few cuddles with Elijah and prepared ourselves for our trip to France and Germany.