6th – 21st December 2015 Moreton in Marsh

We normally stay on the Camping and Caravan Club (CCC) site in Oxford when we visit family and friends and we will be later on in the month. We decided to book in at this site (Moreton in Marsh Caravan Club) first as the facilities are so much better as are the pitches. Also it is only a short walk into the center where there are numerous eateries, public houses with real fires and lots of other curiosity shops. It is also less than an hours drive into Oxford.

The CCC site in Oxford is a brilliant location for touring the famous “City of Dreaming Spires”. It has a great bus route on the doorstep, various ways of walking or cycling into the city center, the main one being along the River Thames and a mini supermarket is within walking distance. It is also probably the cheapest accommodation in Oxford.

The downside is that it is very dated. It is on an old landfill site and has sunk in places which has created many undulations. It has grass only pitches meaning in the winter the motorhomes have to be parked in a single file on the cul de sacs which is fine unless you are at the end and want to leave early as you cannot drive on the grass or you will probably get stuck. I know as I worked there in the winter of 2009/10. I feel sorry for the poor staff as their pitches are in a terrible state and they have to put up with the complaints from campers who are unaware of the problems relating to the lease which is why the CCC have not spent money on a refurbishment.

That said………they are always full during the summer and the winter they do very well!

While at Moreton in Marsh (MiM) we had a great time. On our first morning we walked into town and had a very nice breakfast in Victorias while deciding what we wanted to do during our stay. We had a walk up one side of the main road looking into all of the shops and back down the other side.

Tuesday was market day so we had a mooch about but were not that impressed so we went into a pub for a coffee which was nice!

Our TV has been playing up recently and it finally gave up the ghost so Angela did a bit of research online to see what was available and we decided on a Samsung from Argos. The nearest one being just up the road in Evesham so we placed an order one evening and drove there the following morning to collect it. To our surprise it had been reduced further so we saved a few more pounds. At 22 inches it is small compared to most households but for our motorhome it is perfect.

While at MiM I went for a few runs while Angela went through her strength and flex routines. We had a few chats with the Wardens Matt and Tracey who we had met in La Manga, Spain before we had actually began working for the CC. They are a great couple and we would be more than happy to work for them in the future. Their assistants were also very nice and we will be meeting them again in February next year when we go to Lingfield Park racecourse for some training.

14th December.

We had a drive out to Bourton on the Water, a place we had not been to for over eight years and it was nice to be able to walk around without the mass of tourists that you normally get in the summer time. That said as it was nearing Christmas it was still quite busy with visitors looking for that extra special gift from a quaint Cotswold Village.

A memory from our last visit here was that Angela wearing a white pair of trousers was messed on by a great big pigeon!

We went into a lovely little bakery/coffee shop for a hot drink and a naughty cake. The food looked very nice and guessing by the amount of people in there it is very popular not only with visitors but there seemed to be a few locals also.

16th December.

I have always wanted to visit the Broadway Tower ever since reading an article about it in Country Walking magazine. It is only up the road from the campsite so we donned our walking gear and set off armed with our camera.

It was less than half an hours drive and there were only a few cars parked in the car park. There was a fee for parking which if my memory serves me was £3.00 but you were reimbursed if you spent some money in the lovely shop. Fortunately for us the machine was out of order so cost us nothing.

We went into the shop to purchase our tickets for entry into the tower. You can also buy a ticket in the tower. This is a place that can get very busy during the summer and we thought we were in for a treat having the place to ourselves but not long after our arrival a coach party of Dutch tourists arrived. Fortunately they were not here for long before departing.

The tower has three levels, each one telling a story and the top of the tower has commanding 360° views if (as we were) the weather is clear. You can see all the way to the Black Mountains in Wales!

As well as the lovely shop there is a great coffee shop that serves a good variety of hot and cold meals. Downstairs there is a wood burning stove which was giving out plenty of welcoming heat after being out in the chilly wind. We went upstairs to what I would describe as a minstrel’s gallery for a pot of tea and a toasted tea cake.

 

18th December.

Today we drove into Oxford as we are staying at my mum,s for two nights. For a change we travelled light so we able to drop our things off and go straight into the city centre.

Good friends of ours (Billy & Emma) are having an open house for Christmas tomorrow and it is a great time for Angela to catch up with a few old work colleagues. It is amazing to see how grown up their family have become and all very polite and well behaved………at least while we were there. Billy & Emma may say otherwise!

20th December.

My lovely sister and brother in law drove us back to MiM. We are booked into the Oxford CCC site tomorrow so rather than Angela follow behind in our Smart car as she has been doing since leaving Brecon back in November we thought it nice to have a journey, albeit an hour, together.

For driving us back we said that we would treat them to a roast dinner in the Redesdale Arms which was very nice. We walked back to our van for a brew and a chat before they set off for home. We will be spending Christmas day and Boxing day with them and other family members.

 

About Dean

Angela and I decided that there was more to life than working hard to keep up the payments on the mortgage, to pay the gas, electric, phone bills etc. etc. SO............ In 2008 we sold our house, I initially took a year off (Unpaid) and Angela handed in her notice! We bought a motorhome and set off for a year of travelling! This was the best thing we had done in our lives (Apart from getting married) and we have no regrets. During the year I managed to secure a redundancy package which felt very strange. Almost sad as I had worked for the same company for 19 years (BT). It was always our plan to have a whole year off before thinking about the 'W' word. We began applying to the Camping and Caravanning Club (CCC) for the position of Holiday site assistants in August 2009. After the interview, work experience and induction we were finally given a contract at the CCC site in Inverewe (Scotland). Our plan is to work through the summer in the UK then head to Europe to overwinter before coming back to work the following summer season. Hopefully these few words and our blog will inspire others to get off the hamsters wheel and see that there is more to live than having a house and material things. A cliche I know but this is not a rehearsal, life is too short!!! Since our first contract in Scotland we have worked a winter contract in Oxford (never again!) not Oxford but a winter contract. Hereford for two years, living in a yurt for one! And Cornwall. In between our working we have also travelled a bit. Hopefully this website will give you an insight into our alternative lifestyle. Get out there and live the dream!
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