A Brief Trip to Edinburgh

Discussion in 'UK Touring' started by milliethehymer, Sep 16, 2015.

  1. milliethehymer

    milliethehymer Funster

    Jul 18, 2015
    West Yorkshire
    Greetings to all.

    As mentioned in my introductory note a few months ago, our new MH is on order and scheduled for delivery in early 2016.

    We had the opportunity to visit some friends in Edinburgh at the weekend, so SWMBO and I decided it would be a good thing to hire a MH to stay in, as opposed to being house guests (which we hate) or staying in an hotel.

    Our most recent experiences have been under canvas, although over 20 years ago we did spend some time with my parents who had a VW camper van.

    So, although not novices to the outdoor life, it was the first time either of us had driven a MH and/or been "in charge" of the venture.

    We hired our motorhome from Motorholme Hire, which was fairly painless but a touch draining on the wallet!

    Our home for the weekend was a Chausson Flash 03, Transit based on a 13 plate with 37,000 miles on the clock. Although a 6 berth, we wanted to try whether we preferred to use the fixed beds, over cab beds or make up the bed each night. As it turned out, we just used the single bunks which were fine - although the mattress for me was a bit thin and would have benefited from a mattress topper.

    Setting off from home, we picked up the MH from the depot in Durham after a quick and informative hand over. We were told of a slight issue with the external flap cover for the toilet - more of which later!

    We had booked in for the few days at the Linwater caravan Park, just outside East Calder and with sat nav duly programmed we set off.

    My first impressions of driving the MH was that it seemed a big lumbering beast of a thing, and very wallowy. However after a couple of miles, the heart rate settled back to normal and much of the impression was probably because we'd driven up in SWMBO's Mini, which is small and not wallowy. Despite its size and shape, wind noise and road noise was minimal, especially compared to my normal drive of a Land Rover Defender.

    As lunchtime was looming, we decided to stop at the Washington services to eat our sarnies we'd brought. We pulled in and parked, taking up 2 bays due to the length of the thing. We took the opportunity to check round the outside (although we'd only just done this when we picked it up) - and found that the external flap door to the cassette loo was missing - presumably it had fallen off between the depot and the stop. I thought it best to report this in, as being a hire vehicle (a) I didn't want to be blamed for it - given we were told on pick up that the hinge was a bit dodgy) and (b) to give the hire company the the chance to order one so that it could be fitted on our return and the MH no be "off hire" for repairs.

    The hire co were really understanding and even offered to swap the MH if we brought it back. However we thought it unlikely that anyone would want to take the cassette so didn't bother.

    Incident free run to the site followed, and we got to site just after 5pm.

    We were shown to a choice of flat(ish) hardstanding pitches and although we'd not any real experience, were hooked up and level(ish) drinking tea within 20 minutes.


    Looking around the MH, it had probably had a fairly hard life out on hire, with a small number of niggly things not being right - such as the habitation door not shutting properly from the inside, and the odd fitting broken.

    HOWEVER compared to canvas based experience and even VW Type 2 camper van experiences we felt in the lap of luxury as we sat watching TV with the blown air heating on keeping us toasty as night fell.

    To make things easy for ourselves we had brought sleeping bags and again it was absolute luxury to have a quick wash in hot water, and last wee without having to trek across a dark campsite.

    The campsite is extremely well positioned for us, seeing our friends in East Calder and about a 15 minute drive to the Park and Ride facility at the Airport.

    Although the Edinburgh tram has come in for a lot of criticism from locals and the press, for a tourist it really is a first class facility. Parking at the park and ride (shuts at 2am so no overnighting - signs say you will be towed...), we got day passes for £4 each which gave unlimited hop on/hop off for the tram, and also some busses (but we stuck with the tram so I don't know which busses it works on). Great value IMHO.

    Apart from the tram rides into Edinburgh, we also went to the very MH friendly Falkirk Wheel.

    Incredible bit of engineering, plenty of walks around the parkland to Roman forts/walls etc we had a great time.

    SWMBO (Ann) demonstrated the principal of the wheel before we headed off for a closer look:

    (Sorry, can't get picture to upload but will try to edit and add later)

    We took the boat trip:


    After the boat trip we asked at the information point about a restaurant called The Wheelhouse. The lady in the tourist office asked if we were staying the night in the MH as the security barriers come into place at 8pm, so if we wanted to stay, fine, but don't wander off and get back after 8 as you'll be stuck..

    As The Wheelhouse is another MH friendly place, we decided to drive there and not risk getting trapped. We'd have been fine if we'd had to stay there the night, and certainly have the facility marked as a wild camp stop over for future trips North.

    After a lovely meal - can recommend the scallops and black pudding starter - we headed off to The Kelpies, having been told to see them after dark as they are lit in different colours.

    Amazing sight!

    IMG_0577 2.JPG


    And so back to campsite for our last night.

    Overall impressions of MHing couldn't be better. being able to sit in my PJ's at with the heating on makes it not like camping but more like a home from home. The ability to shower and S..t without having to use communal facilities is fantastic.

    The ease with which you can arrive on pitch and be up and running literally in 5 mins (to get onto levelling chocks, plug the mains in and turn the gas on) is amazing.

    Being able to wash up using hot water is a revelation!

    The whole trip was an outstanding success, and came to an end all too soon.

    The trip back to Durham was uneventful, filling up at the A1 services cost £85.50 (£1.18 per litre) for the 379 miles we had done, which I think is about 25 MPG .

    So here we are now, champing at the bit even more for Millie the Motorhome to be born in Germany and delivered to the UK.

    We will have to keep ourselves going with a trip to the NEC in October (tickets booked!) and the great memories our first trip has created.

    Guess I'm not telling you anything you don't already know about the merits of MHing!

    Oh - and nobody stole the cassette for the toilet despite it not being locked away. And we weren't gassed:LOL:
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  2. Jim

    Jim Ringleader

    Jul 19, 2007
    Sutton on Sea
    Excellent write up. Wait till your in one you own; the excitement will double. Welcome to motorhomes :) (y)
  3. milliethehymer

    milliethehymer Funster

    Jul 18, 2015
    West Yorkshire
    Thanks Jim ! We are ridiculously excited !!!

    Picture of SWMBO demonstrating the Falkirk Wheel now attached :
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  4. Gellyneck

    Gellyneck Funster Life Member

    Jun 5, 2014
    They wouldn't know what to do with a toilet over that side of the country! And as for gassing, to they're too tight to use it!
    Glad you enjoyed your wee trial adventure.(y)
    Keep your eyes open as @irnbru (Sandra) organised a wee rally at The Wheel a few months back and MAY (no pressure there Sandra!) repeat it.
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