Home » Transport » Canals » UK Bank Holidays?…….not for me thank you!

UK Bank Holidays?…….not for me thank you!

Yes, today is August Bank Holiday Monday, here in the UK, and as usual it is living up to its reputation of…….RAIN.

Not that a bank holiday has ever meant much to me in the last decade or so anyway, working in retail, a bank holiday monday was just another day, when us working minions helped fill the fat cat shop owners pockets even more, by serving the arrogant (we’ve got a day off, lets go and see who we can annoy today) public with goods they had to purchase THAT day.

The type of retail shops I’ve worked in (photographic and outdoor attire), the purchases certainly weren’t impulse buys, there may have been the odd ‘my camera has just packed up and we’re off on holiday tomorrow’ purchase, or ‘it’s raining (yes, remember it is a bank holiday ;-)) and my walking boots are leaking’ but in general, most folk could quite easily wait a day to buy their wares. Sunday trading gets up my nose just as much, for exactly the same reasons.

When we bought our motorhome earlier this year, we both agreed a bank holiday weekend away was always going to be a definite NO! there would be no benefit at all, in joining the horrendous traffic queues, to spend a few days away at a campsite during their most expensive tariff…………in the rain.

So with all this in mind,  we planned our latest trip away.

Looking through various campsite books, I found Tudor Caravan site,  only about fifty miles down the M5, it looked wonderful, and T liked the sound of the real ale pub at the site entrance.

A very last minutes decision, I phoned up on the morning of Sunday 19th August, and booked us onsite for 20th August for three nights.

We’ve mastered packing the van to a fine art now, and I’ve at last managed to convince my clothes that they don’t all need a holiday. Opening my wardrobe door, I selected the odd few items I needed, much to the disgust of all the others, that were screaming out ‘take me, take me’

The entrance to the Tudor Caravan Park is just past the Tudor Arms pub, the building on the left. Patch Bridge over the Gloucester Sharpness canal can be seen at the end of the road.

The well maintained Tudor caravan park.

An hour and a half after leaving home, the van was parked on a wonderfully well maintained site, and we were sat in our chairs, cuppa in hand, listening to……….silence.

As the canal was only a couple of minutes away from the site, we decided to take Little Sal and Jasper for a stroll along the tow path.

Standing on Patch Bridge looking south down the canal towards Sharpness. This is a swing bridge, that at 0.6 meters high, closes the road off for even the smallest craft passing.

And North towards Gloucester. To the right on this photo, are private moorings, the towpath is to the left, so we had a stroll along it, watching the many ducks and swans that live there.

Walking back towards the site, we called into the Tudor Arms for a drink, and after reading the menu, we both agreed a meal there was on the cards for the night.

Leaving to go away at such short notice, had it’s drawbacks, we’d raided our cupboards and just brought the basics of milk, bread, beans etc with us. On other trips, we’d been fairly local to shops to stock up with anything else we might fancy. There was a small canal side shop, selling the basics, but the nearest store of any size was three and a half miles away, and there was only one bus a week……….. on a Sunday?????

As nice as the meal was in the pub, we wanted to cater for ourselves, and we didn’t even have any wine to go with the beans on toast this time 😉

Not wanting to walk a seven mile round trip, T unhooked the motorhome from the electric, and set off with our shopping list, leaving me sat in my chair, and the dogs on their beds, basically homeless for about an hour.

It’s a good job we didn’t all go, about thirty minutes later, I sensed we (I did think he was admiring LS & J) were being stared at, looking up, a chap asks “just going?”  No, I replied, hubby’s just gone to get some provisions.

“Well we booked this pitch three weeks ago” he announces, as he wanders off to the reception desk.

I’m sat there thinking WTF was that all about, as seconds later he returns, “My apologies”, he says “She told us we were on pitch number 15 next to the motorhome (there were five other motorhomes on site), but I see you’re number 13″

It turns out he’d got his 13 and 15 mixed up.

T returned not long after, but  just imagine his surprise if it had been double booked, I’d have been standing at the entrance, totally homeless, with dogs, their beds and chairs in my hands 😆

We later went for a walk on the towpath, this time towards Sharpness.

A mileage marker on the towpath.

Poor Jasp, there’s no way he’d manage even four miles to Sharpness these days. We walked about half a mile, then wandered back, plonking ourselves down on the bench by the bridge, to watch the world go by.


A carving by the bench, and a nearby plaque.

We ate well that night, cooking home made burgers on the Cadac, washed down with some nice red. 🙂

With Jasps’ inability to walk too far, and no bus service, most of the holiday was spent totally chilling on the site, in the glorious weather we’d managed to ‘book’ again.

Slimbridge Wildfowl & Wetlands Trust, is about fifteen minutes walk from the site, just at the end of the road (photo taken from the bridge), we did have a wander down, though I didn’t expect to be allowed in with the dogs.

But we saw plenty of life on the canal anyway. One of a pair of swans, who had seven cygnets in tow.

The short break went far too quick, and Thursday morning saw us heading back up the M5 for home.

A most enjoyable unwind, and somewhere so close to home, will probably be on the agenda again. Next time with bikes and kayak and a chariot for Jasper.

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8 thoughts on “UK Bank Holidays?…….not for me thank you!

  1. A lovely mini-break (for me as well) and beautiful weather. The van park looked clean and in a gorgeous spot for walking, and lots to look at – great photos. Good that you can eat at the pub, but would have been better if the shopping was more convenient. I enjoyed catching a virtual glimpse into your holiday by the canal 🙂

    • Thank you EllaDee.
      Yes, it was an excellent break.
      It certainly was a beautiful place to walk and I would have loved to have walked further.
      We are quite restricted by J’s capabilities these days, so I am seriously contemplating buying a stroller for him for when he starts to struggle.

  2. it looks a very twee place, bet that house on the right for sale isn’t cheap. The site entrance looks most inviting, so green (obviously :D) and tidy and nicely laid out.

    Those diamonds on the canal are very clever.

    I think your would-be pitch occupier could have started with excuse me, are you pitch 15?

    Aren’t those old milestones wonderful? Especially the ones with pointy fingers.

    I’ve not been to slimbridge, would be good. i do have a book on it from when my parents went. Perhaps they stayed at Tudor caravan park?

    That duck at the end of the slideshow is beautiful.

    • It really was a lovely location.
      T was overjoyed when he found it was a real ale pub too.
      The canal diamonds pic is straight out of the camera, no doctoring or filters at all…….I was quite pleased when I saw the result. 🙂

  3. Very good again mother! Love the photo’s esp the one of the motor home and dad in the chair. Think I need a little break like this!! 🙂

    • Gotta admit, our luck this year has been amazing, considering the crap weather the country has had.

      We’re planning a few days away in the next week or so, once I’ve had a reply from the weather gods 😉 how much notice do you want?

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