Ireland and the United Kingdom

We spent the summer and autumn of 2022 traversing Ireland and United Kingdom.  This wasn’t our usual “let’s explore this country” motorhome trip. Instead, we wanted to meet up with family and friends, some of whom we had not seen in 40 years!

Originally, we had planned a neat anti-clockwise tour around Ireland but this quickly changed to a convoluted figure of eight to make sure we got to see as many people as possible.  Likewise, grape harvests and school holidays meant our track around the United Kingdom looked like a drunk attempt at a “La Linea” cartoon cartoon!

We did spend a week as tourists in London (we left the motorhome in storage) to attend the a Worldschool Popup Hub.  We got to see and experience the sites of London while meeting new friends.  If there is ever a Popup Hub near you, we recommend you attend!

November 2022 saw us say goodbye to Blue Fern, our motorhome.  And yes, Gary shed a tear or two when he parked the motorhome for the last time.  In just over two years we had travelled 48,000km (close to 30,000 miles) and visited 22 countries.  Originally, we had planned to ship our “home on wheels” around the world but plans change. We decided it was best to sell her before continuing our travels.  The convenience of having our home right behind the driver’s seat is missed!

We don’t have many tips and tricks but here are a few that stand out:

  • Cellphone reception in rural Ireland is poor. We often parked in a Tesco’s parking lot for Amelia’s online classes before driving to a more picturesque overnight stop.
  • Petrol stations in parts of Scotland are few and far between. We did not see one petrol station on our 200km drive to Balmoral!
  • Wild camping in England is generally not allowed.  We paid for a CAMC membership and stayed in both campsites and their Certified Locations.
  • Homeschoolers can get discounts to attractions in England. We received discounted entry in the Eden Project and Legoland Windsor (Legoland required that we book ahead).

Picking grapes

All in all, we drove over 5,000km (3,000 miles), stopped at many museums and historical sites, and visited Janice’s distant family in Tipperary, her childhood friend in Belfast, and her graduate school friends in Cornwall, Gary’s aunt in Loch Ness and school friends in East Sussex and Devon, our motorhome friends (that we met in Croatia) in Somerset, and our Cayman friends in Northern Ireland, Isle of Man, Dorset, North Berick (Scotland), and Tamar Valley (Devon). We helped pick apples and grapes and make cider and wine at Tamar Valley Vineyard.  The weather wasn’t always cooperative (ranging from a lucky two-week streak of clear blue skies and warm seas in Ireland to fierce winds and freezing rain in the Isle of Skye) but this did not stop us from having a wonderful time in Ireland and the United Kingdom.

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