Autumnal adventures with Camplify

Autumnal Adventures

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There’s something about autumn that makes us hungry for adventure. We spend our summers working the tourist season here in Cornwall UK, saving up our travel funds for a winter exploring in our home on wheels. The change in seasons is an ideal time for some adventuring: the promise of empty beaches and quiet roads are what we’ve been dreaming of since the busy summer began. Time seems to slow down and we breathe a sigh of relief knowing we might find some empty waves and can finally find a parking space! The ocean is still pretty temperate (for UK standards) and the waves are at their best, its time to pack the van and hit the road.

We’ve partnered up with Camplify to share some of our favourite Autumn adventures in the UK. If you’ve always wanted to head on a roadtrip or even test drive a van for an adventure before investing yourself, then Camplify is the perfect solution. It’s the UK’s largest campervan, caravan and motorhome sharing community, with hundreds of unique vans available to book now. Think Airbnb, but for freedom machines! As coastal dwellers the majority of our most travelled destinations in the UK are ocean based, we love to tour the coast in search of secret coves and solitude. 


Our favourite spots

Cornwall 

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Cornwall is our most explored corner of the UK by campervan and the one we always come back to. When were not surfing the many surf breaks we love exploring the coast paths and discovering the beaches and villages. You can get good rates at local campsites during the autumn and explore from there, we like to take our bikes and a picnic and head off for the day in search of cream teas, pasties and hidden coves. Cornwall has a vibrant arts scene and open galleries which are still open until the end of October. On the south coast you have some stunning harbour villages and cozy pubs, as well as numerous national trust sites. The south-west coast path is one of our favorite ways to find lesser known beaches and explore on foot.

Tip: While exploring between the coastlines it’s worth noting that the lanes can become very narrow if you are traveling by campervan! As our van is over 6 meters long we like to use our satnav to double check width and height restrictions before heading off road.

Worth seeing: Bedruthen Steps

Devon

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A little closer if you’re traveling from the north, Devon is a great place to explore by campervan. Rolling green hills and sheltered estuaries as well as the national parks provide plenty of places to explore. The rugged north coast with its exposed beaches gives you the opportunity to find some waves as well as some excellent photo opportunities. Dartmoor and Exmoor national parks provide many outdoor activities and stunning landscapes; there are several campsites and park-ups within the parks and beyond to choose from. Beautiful Bantham beach is well worth a visit if you are exploring the coast path as well as Croyde where you’ll find people surfing all year round. 

Worth seeing: Braunton burrows and Clovelly

Dorset

Only a couple of hours from the capital, Dorset is a perfect weekend getaway. Along the World Heritage Jurassic coast you’ve got the famous picturesque beaches of Old Harry and Durdle door to discover, as well as the south west coast path which starts nearby. Locations such as Weymouth and Poole harbour are ideal for water spots activities, kite surfing, wind surfing and sailing are the most practiced. There are also waves to be found in the area if you get lucky and know where to look. You can get the car ferry from Sandbanks to Shell Bay, which is a beautiful stretch of sandy beach leading towards Studland. We’ve got fond memories of Dorset, especially fossil hunting in Lyme Regis and biking along the sea front from Bournemouth to Swanage. The bay also has its own microclimate giving it some of the warmest sea temperatures in the UK. Camping is easy with a wide range of sites and park ups and some beautiful window views!

Worth seeing: Golden Cap Cliffs

The Lake District

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The Lake District is a heaven for outdoor enthusiasts, we have both made many trips to this part of the UK since we were little and we always remember how breath-taking the views are as well as the fresh country air. Matt’s family have a rich history of fell runners who revelled in combating the range of steep climbs and undulating landscapes that are synonymous with the area. It is home to England’s largest lake, a visit here with leave you feeling refreshed and inspired as it has done for generations. Cosy pubs are plentiful along the many walks and hikes; some of the pubs also allow overnight stays in the car parks, there are some stunning camping opportunities here too. If you enjoy hiking, you can see the ocean from the peaks, which is magical!

Worth seeing: Lake Windermere

Wales

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Tucked away in the south-western corner of Wales is Pembrokeshire. We tend to be drawn to places such as this..  seeking adventures around hidden coastal corners in search of waves and photo opportunities whilst being in touch with the wild. We love exploring the rugged coast in the National Park starting from Tenby and winding our way up towards St Davids, there are countless coves along the way to discover and some beautiful camping options. The wildlife here is some of the best we have seen in the UK, on our last trip we witnessed a pod of dolphins while making our morning tea! The coastal path is a fantastic way of discovering some beautiful spots, which aren’t accessible by road. 

Worth seeing: The beaches around Barafundle Bay 

Roadtrip Essentials:

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  • National trust pass: one of our most used items on our UK trips, you can enter historical and heritage sites and hundreds of car parks for free with your pass. (The cafes usually do some amazing cakes too!)

  • Rain jackets: this is the UK after all.

  • Thermos flask: there’s nothing like taking a break on a hike with some hot tea, we also like to save gas and keep our hot water for later.  

  • Torch: After a sunset expedition the night draws in quickly at this time of year and after many times of finding our way back in darkness, it’s always in our backpack!

  • Surfboards: an essential in any season!

  • Woolies: blankets and cozy clothes are a must for post surf chills.

  • Hot water bottles: after a long day of exploring putting these in the bed is such a treat!

  • An epic playlist: see below! 

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Autumnal roadtrip playlist:

Bucket list 

Scotland is one of our dream destinations and one we have yet to explore on wheels! The Isle of sky among the other numerous islands look incredible and we’d love to discover it’s intricate coastline scattered with pristine white sand beaches and crystal clear waters. There is a lot of scope for waves and epic wild camping, one spot in particular we want to visit is Thurso which is home to a campsite that overlooks a world class wave, how cool is that!

Ireland is also a Country we’re keen to tour, its wild untamed coastline and powerful quality surf are just a few reasons why we are drawn to this beautiful place. The Wild Atlantic Way is Ireland’s coastal road which winds its way along the west coast and provides some spectacular unspoilt scenery, this one is high on our bucket list! Its rich history and culture are both something we’d love to experience and learn more about.

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Thanks for reading, if you’d like to learn more about Camplify you can find out more at www.camplify.co.uk.

Happy adventures!

Portugese paradise - Magic surf

Returning to Portugal after cruising down to Morocco and the beautiful but slightly wave lacking Spanish mediterranean coast, we struck gold! For a good week the wind switched offshore and beachbreaks of south west Portugal turned on, it’s safe to say we made the most of it, multiple surfs a day plus the weather was also pretty good!

Here’s a selection of shots including Matt surfing a sweet right hand sandbank, it shifted throughout the week and that’s when the lefts slightly further down the beach started turning on and there were pumping barrels to be had! We chatted to a few locals after snapping some post surf pictures before the light faded one night, and they as well as us were comparing it to Indonesian reefbreak quality.. it was epic!!

So we hope you enjoy looking through the images.

Ooni

It’s no secret that we love to cook (we share loads of cooking tips and videos on our IG stories if you haven’t seen them) and especially while on the road in our home on wheels. New countries mean a range of exciting foods and new ingredients to taste and experiment with! Our first port of call in any new place is always the supermarket. 

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When the lovely folks at Ooni reached out to us and asked if we’d like a new cooking companion to take on board with us on our latest trip, we jumped at the chance! In our van-kitchen we only cook on a stove top which can be limiting in terms of what you can make and sometimes we really miss having an oven. So the prospect of having a wood fired oven on board was very exciting and we couldn’t wait to try it out!

They kindly sent us the Uuni 3 outdoor oven to test and review, it’s the worlds first portable wood-fired pizza oven. It can heat up to 500 degrees in 10 minutes and can cook 13” pizzas in 60 seconds! What we were also interested in was the fact that not only does it cook pizza, you can also roast vegetables, meats or fish along with many other recipes.

Ooni also supplied us with a 10kg bag of hardwood pellets which is the fuel that makes the magic happen, the main benefit of the pellets for us is that they take up a lot less room (ideal for living in a van) than storing logs or another gas bottle, instead we can just fit the bag in the boot neatly where it can stay dry. The second benefit of the beech pellets is that they very efficient to use due to beech being a hardwood it has a higher density than softwoods, hardwoods tend to burn to a higher temperature because of this. We have found this to be better for cooking pizzas! Being less dense you need sometimes up to as much as twice as many softwood logs for the same energy output. They are also cleaner to cook with than a lot of the softwood we come across in Portugal and Spain, which is often to damp, meaning smoke and residue. Finally they are inexpensive to buy and contain no additives or glues which is ideal if your wanting to cook food using them.

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 The oven arrived a few days before we were about to set off for Spain for the start of our winter adventure, we packed it on board in it’s box and set out for the open road! Once we arrived in Spain we were joined with our Australian friends Dylan and Nikki in their campervan and we immediately set off for the supermarket in search of pizza ingredients. Myself (Steph) and Nikki made our pizza dough and left it to rise while we all went for our first surf in the Atlantic. We all got together that evening for a post-surf pizza party of dreams! 

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The oven is designed really well, it was super easy to assemble, durable and easy get started with. It has 3 foldable legs (ideal for packing away and transporting) which is great for keeping the oven stable on uneven surfaces when cooking in a range of locations. It heated up very quickly and we had our first pizzas cooking within 10 minutes of assembling. Once a few pizzas were finished we started to get the hang of the cooking process and heat range which is a thoroughly enjoyable part of it, topping up the pellets and keeping the stone (which is made of cordierite, one of the best materials for storing heat) hot throughout so that you end up with a perfectly cooked pizza. The whole process of cooking with fire can be challenging but is also super rewarding and you can’t beat cooking outside. The oven is great for first timers like us who hadn’t used a wood fired oven before, as with most new things practice makes perfect! The burner on the back of the oven makes it quick and easy to light, it helps to control the temperature resulting in an even bake. 

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The finished pizzas tasted fantastic and looked rustic and delicious! We were all marveling over the smokey taste and enjoying every mouthful that we actually burnt our last pizza because we were all distracted with eating them, oops! We all agreed nothing tastes quite as good as home made, wood fired pizza. It took about 20 minutes to pack down and clean up, it cooled quickly and there was very little maintenance other than a quick wipe down.

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One of the things we enjoyed most about using the oven was sharing it with friends and bringing people together with food. It’s great fun and most importantly makes amazing pizza! We have used the pizza oven in friend’s gardens, camping in the woods, at beaches watching the sunset and at plenty of campsites across Europe. So we can safely say it’s very compact and portable, which was one of the reasons we were so keen to try it out. It also makes more of the long winter nights (as long as its not raining) when we would usually be bunkered up in the van!

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Whether you’re off grid like us or just love to cook outside, this is a great addition to your outdoor kitchen and we highly recommend!

Tips: 

•  Prepare all your pizzas ready to go before starting the oven, this saved pellets and also meant the oven maintained a consistent temperature.

•  Put extra flour on the pizza peel so the pizzas slide easily into the oven. (Our handmade dough was a bit sticky and this really helped) 

•  Don’t make your pizza dough too thick! Our last pizza with the leftover dough was a bit too thick and took a while to cook. 

•  Try everything! We tried loads of different ingredients on our pizzas, from classic margarita to an avocado vegan base. 

•  Turn the pizza midway through cooking to get an even bake.

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Oven specs: 

Weight: 13.4 kg / 29.5 lbs. boxed

Size: 22x36x64 cm / 8.6 x 14.1 x 25.2″ (HxWxL) with legs extended, excluding door handle. 

Uuni 3 including chimney: 67cm / 25.2”.

Stone baking plate: 33.7 x 33.7 cm / 13.2 x 13.2″

Max pizza size: 13”

Max clearance above stone: 11 cm / 4.3”

Power: approx. 6 kWh

Fuel: wood pellets

Materials: 439 stainless steel, stainless steel rivets, FSC certified wooden handles, cordierite stone baking board.

Check them out for yourself at: 

www.ooni.com

On Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/oonihq/?hl=en

Please note: We only work with brands we love and products we would buy ourselves.

Thanks for reading,

Matt and Steph 

Slow n Steady prints available soon!

Here’s a sneak peak of some imagery from our life on the road that we will be making available for print (we couldn’t miss out Ivy!).

We will be using high grade, quality paper to print on which will make for long lasting and beautiful prints. We will be offering a range of sizes from larger prints down to postcard size.

Steph will also be introducing some illustrations soon which will also be available to purchase as prints.

We are both very excited about being able to offer this service as it has been a long time coming and we hope you are all as excited as we are, stay tuned and keep an eye on our shop as well as @slownsteadytravels for more minimal print ready imagery!

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8 essentials for a Cornish road-trip!

Included on the Boardmasters website - Follow this link!

There is nothing we love more than hitting the open road in our rolling home, loaded up with surfboards. We call Cornwall our home throughout the summer months, the miles of sandy beaches, surf and stunning scenery are just some of the reasons we come back here every year. 

Essentials

Essentials

Some kind of adventure mobile

Whether its camper van, car, motor or push bike your going to need some sort of transport to get you around to all of the nooks and crannies which make the Cornish coast such an intriguing, interesting and almost always stunning part of the country to spend time exploring. 

Good awareness of your vehicle width is always worth thinking about when it comes to Cornish roads, they can be notorious for high hedges and tight crossings! We wouldn't suggest banking on Cornish buses if you have a fixed timeframe for your trip.

A morning cuppa and a surf

A morning cuppa and a surf

Our home on wheels Ivy

Our home on wheels Ivy

National Trust Pass

One of our favourite things to do in Cornwall is exploring the many beautiful coastal paths it has to offer, our national trust pass was honestly one of the best investments we have ever made! Hundreds of places to explore while protecting our favourite beaches, wildlife and heritage sites. 

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Walks along the coastal paths

Walks along the coastal paths

Surfboards and other wave catching craft! (of course)

Longboard, shortboard, swelly, twinny, beater, single fin... Cornish waves will always be in our hearts no matter how far we roam.

Part of the quiver

Part of the quiver

Empty Bellies

Ice cream, beer, fish and chips, cream teas, (jam first remember!) pastys, saffron buns, hevva cake. After hours of surfing and camping you'll be ready to tuck in. Other places we love to eat are: Schooners -  St.Agnes, The National Trust Cafe - Godrevy (one of the best for cream teas and lunch!), Crantock farmers market - especially the cakes from 'Renaissance cakery', and lastly the lovely ladies at Kao Hom - Newquay, for some the best Thai food in Cornwall!

Post surf cream teas

Post surf cream teas

An open mind with the weather!

Lets face it, this is the UK were talking about! We don't venture too far without our waterproofs, but when the weather takes a turn for the worse that usually means theres surf to be found!

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Waves

There are plenty of wave options to choose from along the coastline, mostly exposed beach breaks on the north coast and some reef break action on the south coast with north wind protection! When the storms hit theres usually always a wave to be found in the sheltered spots (you'll have to find those for yourselves).

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A Cornish pint

Is there anything better after a surf than a ice cold beer? We don't think so! There are plenty of beautifully crafted Cornish beers to choose from your spoilt for choice, 'Doombar' or 'offshore' - Sharps brewery, 'Tribute' or 'Proper Job' - St. Austell brewery, 'Porthleven' or 'Hops and Honey' - Skinners.. and of course Rattler (but don't expect to be able to get up for a dawny after too many!)

Sunset beers

Sunset beers

A plan if its flat.. or huge!

Theres plenty to see when the waves aren't great, one of our favourite places to take our friends who are visiting is the lost gardens of Heligan (a great alternative to the eden project). We love to wander our local surf shops too, Nine Plus in Newquay is a firm favourite of ours.

The Lost Gardens of Heligan

The Lost Gardens of Heligan

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Thanks for taking the time to read our Blog post. You can find us at www.slownsteadylivin.com or on Instagram - @slownsteadylivin

Slow 'n steady livin' Moroccan wonderland

Living on wheels enables us to move with the seasons and sleep and rise with the rhythm of the sun. We follow the push of the swell along the coastline and venture into the mountains when it's hiding away. We feel a part of the landscape like the roads are mapped on our hands all the way to our fingertips.

This is a glimpse of our life on wheels travelling through Morocco in North west Africa. We hope you enjoy it, more videos are in the pipeline!

Lower Atlas mountains

We decided to take a break from the coast of Morocco and head inland to the Lower Atlas mountains. As we approached we knew we heading somewhere special.. 

Ivy winding down a mountain road

Ivy winding down a mountain road

The air became fresher, more crisp and cool.. we drove through remote rural communities and pretty much every individual we passed would greet us with a wave, big smile or both! However we weren't prepared for the sheer beauty and atmosphere that this part of Morocco possessed.. it really blew us away as we slowly and steadily made our way up the winding roads passing herds of sheep and goats, their shepherds weathered and seasoned from the rocky undulating terrain. Almond trees in blossom were a real treat to witness and gave a delicate touch to the views on offer from our windows, adding to the pastel palette of pinks, purples, oranges and blues with hints of green from Argan trees. 

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There were too many photo opportunities to count, at every turn we were greeted by a whole new vista, Matt would say to Steph "hop out and I'll drive down here, it would make an epic photo" or Steph would travel with our friends behind for a while to capture the van in the landscape.

A definite highlight of our trip down to Africa we would love to spend more time there in the mountain air, satisfying our souls.

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The golden hour - Central Portugal

On the evening before the first of the winter storms hit, with rain clouds looming overhead, the conditions turned on to produce some beautiful waves for the lucky few, everyone in the water was scoring and the stoke was high.

The irish crew I shared the waves with said they were the best waves they had witnessed on their winter road trip to portugal shores.

It has to go down as the session on the winter 

Matt

 

Northern Spain Secrets

Every time we step off the ferry in Santander after a 24 hour crossing from Portsmouth we have one thing on our minds: Cantabria beach breaks! They're always our first and last stop before starting a new adventure or heading home.