Featured 6 Day Trip

Discussion in 'Rideouts, Trackdays, Touring & Spotted' started by stinger, Jun 27, 2021.

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  1. stinger

    stinger Senior Member

    Nov 28, 2017
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    Chipping Sodbury
    Well I'm getting excited, my good buddy Sean (Ducati rider) and I normally have a multi day trip each year. Obviously last year was a blank. This year the options are limited if you want to be fairly sure it will happen, Europe looks to be too suspect still even in a couple of months time. I was pondering what a trip with this in mind would look like, I have thought of a Cornwall tour, Lake District or Peak District or the Dales. We had done Scotland 3 years ago and whilst its one to do again i thought it might be too soon this year. Then I had what I thought was a great idea!
    I based the plan on visiting all the castles on this list...
    https://www.google.com/maps/d/u/0/v...ll=52.528845672715185,-2.4684744468749686&z=8
    I thought it makes a good base as there are definite stops (which we often don't do and end up riding hard for a long day). i started to have a look at how this would pan out timewise. it can be done in 6 days (or 5 with a long schlep home from the last castle) and only riding 2 1/2 to 3 1/2 hours a day with time to do a bit in the Brecon Beacons and Snowdonia outside of the castles. A quick whatsapp chat and Sean is in. I cant wait!
     
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  2. Helmut Visor

    Helmut Visor Only dead fish go with the flow
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    Looks like a great idea mate, plenty of pics ;)
     
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  3. Bikerman

    Bikerman Crème de la Crème
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    Enjoy it. :)
     
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  4. stinger

    stinger Senior Member

    Nov 28, 2017
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    Chipping Sodbury
    #4 stinger, Sep 24, 2021
    Last edited: Sep 24, 2021
    So we had our trip. As a bit of context myself and Sean are very different and these trips always require a fair amount of compromise from us both but they work. Sean doesnt like riding long or getting up early, he is a freelance "Digital Content Creator" which means he has always worked from home to his own schedule, so very much late starts and late nights. Whereas I get up at 4.30am each day and am used to meeting tight delivery schedules. So i usually spend 3-4 hours each morning waiting and he spends every stop looking at me thinking "am i spending too long here? Stinger is giving me the look". We usually take it in turns to plan and book our trips so the other just has to turn up for the ride. I chose a castle tour as outlined above, the campsites i used i had no idea about except they met the approximately 3 hour day riding criteria.
    We set off on Saturday and went to Chepstow castle, not far for us but an impressive start
    [​IMG]
    From there we went to Raglan castle
    [​IMG]
    We then went to Abergavenny to have a look at the food festival going on that weekend and then went on to our final castle of the day, Skenfrith castle
    [​IMG]
    We finished the day camping at Open Fire Camping The Rhongyr Isaf Centre.

    This wasnt without its drama, we usually dont carry food apart from the odd granola bar as we eat out. Who knew eating out in Wales on a Saturday night would be a problem? Afeter setting up camp we walked a mile or so to the nearest pub only to be told they stopped serving food 5 minutes earlier (it was 19:35). We walked to the next nearest pub another mile away to be greeted with the enquiry as to if they were serving food with "yes but we are fully booked". We filled ourselves up with cider instead.....

    IMG_20210918_130332.jpg
    These wooden doors at Chepstow have been carbon dated to the 1190's! Its amazing to think that these doors were unbreached many times and the castle was finally taken by a hostile force in 1648 more than 500 years after the castle was built, it was done by blowing a hole in the stone walls rather than attack the gates.

    Raglan.jpg
    Raglan castle is quite a bit younger than most Welsh castles, being built in the 1400's as opposed to the big push by King Edward I programme of subduing the Welsh with the castle building of the early 1300's

    Skenfrith.jpg
    Skenfrith castle
     
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  5. Wessa

    Wessa Cruising

    Apr 27, 2016
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    Sounds like the trip has gone well, apart from the evening meals situation ;) Thanks for sharing. Some pictures from your trip would be appreciated.
     
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  6. stinger

    stinger Senior Member

    Nov 28, 2017
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    #6 stinger, Sep 24, 2021
    Last edited: Sep 24, 2021
    Day 2 we headed to Caerphilly castle.
    This wasnt without incident either, Seans Ducati Monster 696 hasnt much of a tank range (120 miles approx) and no fuel gauge. We set off but before we left camp he said he needed fuel as his fuel light was on and he had a bout 20 miles ish left. Was there a fuel station on the way, was there hell. After 25 miles i diverted to Merthyr Tydfil to get fuel. The first fuel station had no fuel! When we got to the second one we filled up, Sean's bike wouldnt start! After a few minutes of head scratching i diagnosed his fuel had got so low the tank was completely empty and he now had an airlock. I suggested, more in hope than expectation a vigourous shaking of the bike after which a prolonged cranking. Wouldnt you know it, it worked! We had no further bike troubles for the trip.
    We arrived at Caerphilly, it was shut for lunch! We could still walk around it.

    (Sean posing)
    Caerphilly.JPG

    Next stop was Castell Coch. We didnt go in as for our purposes it isnt a "real" castle.

    We then went on to Dinefwr Castle. This was a delight, a 20 minute uphill walk through woodland and it was an utter gem.
    Dinefwr.jpg

    We then went to our campsite, the Trapp Fishery Caravan and Camping, Trapp, Llandeilo. This was the most basic campsite of the trip with 1 toilet and no showers. Though it did provide a view of a castle and in the morning the sun rising behind the castle which was shrouded in cloud it was a magical look. I spent 45 minutes trying to get a photo to do it justice but i didnt manage it. Here are my best efforts.

    Trap1.JPG

    Trap2.JPG

    Trap3.JPG
     
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  7. GrumpyGranpa

    GrumpyGranpa Member
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    Now that a worthwhile ride history and amazing roads
     
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  8. stinger

    stinger Senior Member

    Nov 28, 2017
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    Day 3
    We went to Carew castle, i didnt realise when i planned the trip that i had been there a couple of years before but having said that it wasnt a wasted visit.

    Carew 2.JPG

    We originally planned to go to Pembroke castle but on the day we decided to give it a miss. We headed to our next stop Penrhyn castle. My camera malfunctioned and the photos i took are lost but you arent missing anything. This really is just the site of a small castle, there are no signs to suggest its presence. We eventually found it by walking across fields but all there is reflect on the past is some earthworks and faint outlines of some walls in places.;
    We then went to our campsite Ffynnonwen Farm Wild Camping, Ffynnonwen, Bontnewydd, Aberystwyth. As the "wild camping" suggests no real facilities as such though use of the hosts shower and toilet in their house was encouraged.


    Wild camping.jpg

    Again Welsh catering let us down. On these trips we generally take it in turns to choose meals, this was my turn and it was Fish and Chips. The nearest chippy was 6 miles away through single track grass filled lanes. When we got there it was shut, enquiries pointed us a further 5 miles down the road and it has to be said the end result was most palatable!
     
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  9. stinger

    stinger Senior Member

    Nov 28, 2017
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    #9 stinger, Sep 24, 2021
    Last edited: Sep 24, 2021
    Day 4, this is where mine and Sean's lifestyles clashed and tolerance on both sides was required to its utmost. I had thought that 2 days previous we had set a record in that we were in Merthyr Tydfil, stuck at 12.30 pm with barely 20 miles riding complete. Today we beat it, the plan was only 130 miles but by 14:30 we had completed 25!
    The plan for the day was Harlech castle, Dolwyddelan Castle, Caernarfon castle and Beaumaris castle. We decided early that Beaumaris wasnt necessary as we had visited that on our return journey from our trip to Ireland in 2018. As it turned out we made such bad progress we decided to visit Caernarfon the next day instead.
    We therefore went to Harlech castle (photos are non existant due to shoddy camera)

    Dolwyddelan Castle was shut due to covid!

    DSC00062.JPG

    We then headed to our campsite, Tyn Yr Onnen Farm, Waunfawr, Caernarfon. The most expensive but best equipped campsite of our trip. The host had a duckling following him around (i guess hand reared though i didnt ask). Some very tame chickens who were quite prepared to come right into your tent looking for food...

    Chickens.jpg

    Chickens2.jpg
     
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  10. stinger

    stinger Senior Member

    Nov 28, 2017
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    Day 5 was planned as

    Conwy castle, Rhuddlan castle, Chirk castle and Powis castle.
     
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  11. Wessa

    Wessa Cruising

    Apr 27, 2016
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    Great write up and brilliant pictures. I have fond memories of Caerphilly castle, as my son got married there. The main hall is an amazing space and the grounds so well kept :):)
     
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  12. Wessa

    Wessa Cruising

    Apr 27, 2016
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    Great write up and brilliant pictures. I have fond memories of Caerphilly castle, as my son got married there. The main hall is an amazing space and the grounds so well kept :):)
     
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  13. stinger

    stinger Senior Member

    Nov 28, 2017
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    So day 5 didnt go as planned as we had a late start on day 4(Sean! ;)) so we decided to do Caernarfon castle first on day 5 as opposed to last on day 4.
    So Caernarfon Castle
    Caernarfon.jpg

    Then on to Conwy castle
    Conwy2.jpg

    We then went to Rhuddlan castle which was closed without a specified reason
    Rhuddlan2.jpg


    It was then Chirk castle
    Chirk.jpg

    As it was rather late we got to Powis castle but it was also closed and too far away from the road to take a decent photo.
    We then went to our campsite for the night just outside Bishops Castle.
    We went into the town had a couple of beers and a meal and then i invented a new tradition of "Last night of tour is whisky night". This proved not to be a good idea, for Sean at least. I went to bed when i had had enough, he didnt. Not being a big drinker and definitely not a whisky drinker, carrying on his own had consequences that night and the next day that are better not revealed. Suffice to say it was lucky we had no plans for the last day's journey back home.
     
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  14. Bikerman

    Bikerman Crème de la Crème
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    Brilliant write up and pictures :):)
     
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  15. stinger

    stinger Senior Member

    Nov 28, 2017
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    #15 stinger, Sep 25, 2021
    Last edited: Sep 25, 2021
    As a summary of the trip and a place to put some other random photos.
    We were very lucky with the weather, it rained on Saturday evening (very hard) and we got soaked walking back to the campsite, the only other rain was overnight on Tuesday. As all our campsites were to some degree in the mountains, Brecon, Snowdonia etcetera, we woke up to being in cloud/fog every day but by about 10am each day this had cleared and by the afternoon each day was sunny and warm. This is extremely lucky it being Wales at any time of year let alone September.
    Obviously the roads in Brecon and Snowdonia are wonderful. The roads across the top of Wales not so much. The big surprise was Shropshire on the way home, I had no idea it was quite as hilly and picturesque as it was.

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  16. Wessa

    Wessa Cruising

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    Agreed and a brilliant theme for a trip :)
     
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  17. andypandy

    andypandy Elite Member

    Jan 10, 2016
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    Well ffs i'm not sure what to say. Chaos, wild camping, no food, not for me. Nice hotels and good food and better beer. But, It sounds like you enjoyed it, I hope you did and I think your "castle" theme was a good idea.
     
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  18. andyc1

    andyc1 Lunarville 7, Airlock 3
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    Nice trip indeed, thanks for sharing! I'm not sure I could put up with Sean on a trip though :joy: up and away early is by far the best way to do things :cool:
     
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  19. stinger

    stinger Senior Member

    Nov 28, 2017
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    It isn't easy :p. We have had many conversations over the years about how setting off early allows for more and more relaxed stops during the day. He always agrees but he just cant manage it. He does try, he even set an alarm for an early start this trip, 8.45 (! )... we still didn't go anywhere til 10.30 lol
     
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  20. andypandy

    andypandy Elite Member

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    I suggest you wet his bed. I'll leave the choice of fluid to you. :eek::D
     
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