Back in 2009 we converted an old minibus into a campervan and set about exploring our local area.
In words and photos, these ten posts document our journeys, I hope you enjoy travelling with us.

A Chance Encounter

It was a blustery day and we decided to set off for a picnic on the hills at Burton Dassett Country Park.

We loaded up the bus with provisions, packed the camera and decided to stop off at the supermarket on the way to buy delicious crusty rolls topped with poppy seeds to eat with our picnic.

Rolls on board, we headed out of Banbury on the A423 Southam road and set the Satelite Navigation on the cell phone with the postcode for the Country Park.

It was a beautiful day and from the high vantage point of the cab, I could see over the hedgerows into the fields, the sun was lighting the new green leaves on the swaying trees and we were just getting relaxed into the journey, when unexpectedly the Sat Nav (who incidently talks with the voice of KITT from Knight Rider) calmly told us to take a left turn. We had programmed it to take the quickest route and it had taken us at our word.

We turned down the unsignposted single track lane and marvelled at the adventure, as we had no idea at all where it was taking us.

We were taken through picturesque villages and winding lanes until we rounded a bend and came across an absolutely beautiful place, we saw a parking spot and decided to pull over.

The National Trust - Farnborough Hall
The National Trust - Farnborough HallJumping out of the bus we walked over to the sign post to see what this place was.

It said The National Trust Farnborough Hall looking behind us there was the big House, a large impressive building.

We were more interested in the beautiful trees in the distance, so locked up and set off to explore.

The mature trees in the distance looked huge, green and inviting.

As we got closer, peering through the trees to the left, we could see glimpses of water glinting in the sunlight.

Walking closer, through the trees we could see a beautiful lake.

Wow, what a find.

Framed by trees there was a huge lake complete with swans.

We crossed the little wooden bridge and walked out of the trees and on to the path that lead around this idyllic place.

The swans hissed, then after I had reassured them in my best swan language they serenely swam along with us as we walked.

What a wonderful place and such an unexpected find. The gorgeous colours of the trees on the far bank, the glistening water, the swans...

A chance encounter of the most magical kind.

At the end of the path, the track forked, one branch following the lake around to its far side, the other heading into dappled woodland.

We decided that the path through the woods would lead us back to where the bus was parked. So we walked through the trees and puddles of sunlight, through the dancing shadows. . .

Until there, in the distance, we saw the car park and the bus waiting for us.

Well, what a serendipitous find this place had been.

We hopped into the cab and continued our journey to Burton Dassett Country Park and our delicious picnic lunch.

See you soon!

Notes: The area we were parked in and the walk we took was not included in the admission fee for the house and gardens at Farnborough Hall, so there was no charge, not even a parking fee to sit in the bus and enjoy the view.

Farnborough Hall - wikipedia
Farnborough Hall - Gardens
Farnborough Hall - National Trust


Anonymous said...

What a lovely first post, Su. I've left the cat hairs for Paco, Lily and Winston to investigate.

We look forward to the next photo excursion - soon, we hope.

Susannah said...

Glad you enjoyed the trip.

I will have to make a bigger picnic next time for visitors!

NHDUDE said...

When I was a teen, it was my dream to take a caravan like that and travel across the whole of the USuntil I got to Cali. It's a dream postponed, but one I will get to eventually. Goood to see someone else enjoying day trips in the same manner.
The van looks good.

Susannah said...

I will hold the thought that you will get to do a trip like that one day.

'Till then you can hop on board with us, (I will definitely have to make more food!)

Thanks for commenting :-)

Oriana said...

Hi an armchair traveler of the UK, I am so grateful to you for starting this blog...this would have been my dream outing! Glad you got to practice your swan talk. I'll be a devoted reader of your adventures. Even though I, too, live somewhere beautiful, there is always the allure of a new vista, a different delight.

Susannah said...

Oriana, thanks for joining us on our adventure. I love sharing your beautiful words and pictures about your home territory and am glad that now you can share ours too.

Paul Sherwood said...

Great blog - my wife Barbara passed it on to me...we'd like to 'grow old disgracefully' and travel around in a camper - we've four cats and a dog, so as they say here in Ireland 'the craic would be mighty !'
- also loved the blog on how to convert the minibus to a camper - I'm kinda feeling inspired to do similar, but time and space don't allow. Nice pictures, well captioned, and the final results well photographed - I'm a photographer so good shots are important !!
Paul Sherwood, Dublin.

Susannah said...

Hi Paul - yes, as you say, 'with 4 cats and a dog the craic WOULD be mighty!' :-) but it would be something I would definitely recommend.

The 'Bus' was converted bit by bit over the course of a year in our back garden! working when time allowed, a lot of it cleverly created using recycled materials and a lot of thought.

So glad you enjoyed both blogs and thanks very much for visiting.

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