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  • Bob and Wendy

September Newsletter

Welcome to the September edition of the newsletter with a warm welcome to everyone who signed up at the Malvern Show last week.

Despite a rainy Saturday and a world-cup final on the Sunday, attendance at the show was great and we were very pleased to see so many old and new customers alike. We like Malvern as we get to park on an orchard overnight and meet a lovely mix of Brummies, Welsh folk and people up from the south west who address you as "my lover" (you need to say that in a Bristol accent for it to make sense).

In this month's edition, we review our Summer in Sweden Tour, which arrived back yesterday. We also have a new addition to the tour schedule as (due to popular demand) we are adding in another tour to Lake Garda in May. Details below.

We have another great one-pot recipe and this month's motorhomers are all about uprating or downrating the weight of your motorhome.


New tour for 2024 - Lake Garda & Venice (May)

Our ever popular Lake Garda Tour is running in September 2024 as usual. Also as usual, it filled up very quickly and we are now over-subscribed on it. Consequently we have decided to run the tour again in May 2024. The itinerary will be exactly the same as that published for the September Tour. You can see it on our website here:

The tour will run from 20th May to 6th June 2024.

We spend time at the bottom and top of the lake, with the chance to visit all of the towns and attractions on and around the lake itself. We are also very well connected to the rail network allowing for easy access into Verona (20 mins) and Venice (90 mins), plus a host of other Italian towns and cities. Our route is an out and back with extended stopovers in the Alps on the way down and Burgundy on the way back.

Spaces are available on a first-come first-served basis and you will be very welcome to join us by booking here:


Summer in Sweden Tour Report

Ian and Linda have just returned from our Summer in Sweden Tour, which has been out during August. We find that most parts of Europe are a bit full of kids during August, which is why we run this particular tour, as the kids go back to school at the beginning of August. Woopee (says the man who has just had the grandkids for a week)!

Sweden is not your typical tourist destination really. If you think of Sweden you probably think of Abba and saunas. Often I think of Abba in the sauna, but that's another story. Obviously there is a lot more to the country than that.

Our route took the group up through the Netherlands and Germany with a couple of overnight stops in each. One of the highlights on the way up is a campsite where we get to park right next to a large swimming lake, which you practically get to yourself for your morning swim.

Once the group hit Scandinavia the pace dropped considerably as they got their first taste of the slower way of life up there and the nice quiet roads. In Denmark they spent a couple of nights on the coast near Kolding. This area is quite flat and open with the countryside dotted with distinctive red and white wooden houses and beach shacks.

There are four larger cities on this tour. You get the top three Swedish ones: Stockholm, Gothenburg and Malmo and also the capital of Denmark, Copenhagen. This was the next stop with a three-night stopover close to the city. Copenhagen is a diverse and multi-cultural place with attractions ranging from the touristy Nyhaven to a very lively street-food scene through to ultra-modern glass architecture. It is also home to Europe's second-worst tourist attraction, the Little Mermaid. (Number 1 is the Mannekin Pis in Brussels). That aside, Copenhagen remains one of best tourist cities in Europe.

One of the many highlights of this tour is driving over the Oresund Bridge between Denmark and Sweden. This is followed by a beautiful stretch of road that spans the whole of the south coast of Sweden. At times, you are just metres from the Baltic Sea. The group had a few days in this area staying in one of the local harbour towns and enjoying the local seafoods, local beers and not so local wines.

Over the next few days the group ambled its way up the whole of the eastern archipelago with a very popular stop at the old town of Kalmar. There is a wonderfully unspoilt castle here set on a promontory just outside the main town. Kalmar also connects to the Island of Oland, home to thousands of "bloody Stockholmers" during July, but just home to hundreds of old windmills and a seal colony in August. Our campsite juts out into the seas here overlooking the island with water on two sides. A nice place to watch the sun go down.

Next stop was Stockholm itself, a city of 14 islands and over 50 bridges. Packed with restaurants, coffee shops and museums, there is something here for everyone - even an Abba museum! Our personal highlight remains the Vasa Museum, housing the 17th Century warship that lasted about half an hour in its maiden voyage and was then resurrected in the 1960s.

There are two more large cities left on this tour, both of which have proved to be really popular with our guests (even more so than Stockholm). These are Gothenburg and Malmo. Both are really easy to get to from our campsites and both are really open and laid back places to wander around.

To pick out a couple of highlights, Malmo boasts a wonderful new(ish) skyscraper called the Turning Torso. Visible from everywhere including the campsite, this large thin white building dominates the shoreline with its slightly impossible shape. In Gothenburg, the Botanical Gardens proved very popular and a great place for a gentle wander.

It was time to head back across the bridge and retrace steps back through Denmark, Germany, Netherlands and France on the way back to Calais. The weather became a bit more consistent over the last few days with the group getting together in the evenings to share experiences.

Our Summer in Sweden Tour is having a rest in 2024 having been a staple of the schedule since we started running Crossings. We will be returning to Scandinavia in 2025 as we are planning a BIG tour to the Arctic Circle. Please keep an eye on the newsletter for further details or drop us an email for a preview if you are interested.


Coq au Van (the amusingly titled recipe feature)

One-pot Southwest Chicken


  • 580g chicken breast, cut into bite-sized pieces

  • 2 tbsp olive oil

  • 2 tbsp Texan BBQ seasoning

  • 100g frozen diced onions

  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed

  • 250g frozen sliced mixed peppers

  • 3 courgettes, trimmed and finely sliced

  • 400g tin kidney beans, drained and rinsed

  • 200g tin sweetcorn, drained and rinsed

  • 1 lime, juiced, plus extra wedges to serve (optional)

  • 2 tbsp frozen coriander

  • cooked brown rice and soured cream, to serve (optional)


  1. Toss the chicken with half the olive oil and the BBQ seasoning. Put a large heavy-based pan over a medium heat and add the chicken (you may need to cook in batches). Fry for 6-8 mins until golden and cooked through. Remove with a slotted spoon and set aside.

  2. Heat the remaining oil in the pan. Add the onion and cook for 10 mins until soft. Add the garlic, peppers and courgettes and cook for 10 mins, stirring regularly, until the veg is softened.

  3. Return the chicken to the pan along with the kidney beans and sweetcorn. Increase the heat for a few mins, stirring regularly until everything is mixed through and piping hot.

  4. Stir in the lime juice and coriander. Serve with extra lime wedges, cooked brown rice and a spoonful of soured cream, if you like.


Motorhoming Tips

This month's motorhoming tips are all about uprating or downrating your vehicle weight, which is the process of changing the gross vehicle weight of your motorhome on your V5 and on the tin plate under the bonnet.

You might want to uprate in order to increase your payload, which is the amount of stuff you can carry in the van. You may wish to downrate either because you are going to hit 70 and do not want to change your licence, or to avoid congestion charges when travelling abroad.

The magic number here is 3500KG or 3.5t. Most vehicles are rated at 3500kg, which means that they can weigh up to that amount when fully laden. If you go over this you are liable to be fined if stopped and your van may be unsafe. This is why many people choose to uprate their vehices, so that they can carry more stuff. Also, you get slightly reduced road tax.

If you travel abroad a lot, particularly in Austria, Slovenia, Hungary, Czech Republic or Poland, then it pays to be under 3.5t as otherwise you get treated as a lorry and have to pay congestion charges accordingly.

If you want to uprate or downrate, it is largely a paper-based exercise with costs starting at around £150 if you have it done professionally. I had a chat with a very knowledgeable bloke from at the Malvern Show, so this would be a good place to start if you were thinking of doing it.


Keep in touch

Please feel free to contact us at any time. When we are away, calls will bounce to our mobiles at no expense to yourself.

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