With nine Devon Conversions ‘vans grouped together on the campsite near Nottingham it wasn’t unreasonable for a perplexed fellow camper to ask, ‘do you all come from Devon?’
We had gathered for the spring Devon Owner’s Group rally and once again had lots of laughs, met old friends and made some new ones, learnt plenty of useful tips and came away with new ideas for places to visit.
We were camped near the village of Cotgrave near Nottingham and Mr BOTRA and I caught a taxi to the pretty village of Colston Bassett with a plan to buy some delicious and creamy Blue Stilton cheese from the dairy there and then follow the lanes and the old canal back to the campsite (approximately 13 kms).
The taxi driver was a chatty character and told us he had been 20-years a miner at the Cotgrave pit before it closed and came from a family of ten generations of mineworkers. This took me back to the 1980s when we lived in the East Midlands and were surrounded by the hardship of the mineworkers and their families as they endured the long strike.
Colston Bassett, as well as having a dairy that makes fantastic creamy and tangy Stilton, also has an atmospheric ruined church on the edge of the village that was worth exploring. All the villages around here had charming names and we found a second cheese shop in Cropwell Bishop and opted to buy their tasty Beauvale soft blue cheese.
The Grantham Canal is no longer navigable and is now mostly a greenway of shrubs and plants and proved to be a haven for wildlife and we enjoyed watching a Willow Warbler flitting among the long grasses. As the canal reaches Cotgrave we walked through the lovely country park, landscaped on some of the land that was the mine.
The weather forecast had been for showers and so we had packed the waterproofs but we never needed them and we felt lucky as the day stayed warm and pleasant day for walking.