Our Everyday Adventure - Wonky Wagon
Oh my God! Can it be? Another instalment of your favourite travel series?! Yep.. You caught me. Have a cookie for your cleverness and a big old pat on the back! Yes! We're back with another everyday adventure and we've got a banger for you this time! With the build up to relaunch Cole and me have been super swamped with so much busy work we haven't had a single minute to chill out together. So we decided that we would book some time off and get the hell outta here! Unfortunately (as per) we have no money, so budget travel it was!
WHERE IN THE WORLD?!
The Wonky Wagon
Like I said money was pretty tight so after crying about the fact we couldn't find a flight for £2 we took to looking a little more local. We trawled through pages and pages of 'thats a little too expensive' places to go and finally decided to check Airbnb for cheap camping get aways. We thought we would end up staying the night in someones back yard in our tiny two man tent (two man! More like child sized.. silly asda!) However we came across a funky looking place called the Wonky Wagon. It was quirky, available for the night we needed and was only a couple hours drive away. The only thing was there was not a single review for the place. Thinking back on the time we spent travelling and the horrid places we ended up sleeping we decided we could brave anything and we would take the leap of faith. With a helping hand from a £20 discount from Airbnb (thanks lads!) we were booked in and eager to see if the wonky wagon would live up to our expectations or just be a another grimy disappointment of budget backpacking.
WAKE UP CALL!
There was no alarm or morning rush for a change. We're on holiday so we figured we deserved a lie in! After a hearty breakfast of protein shakes (yup we're still doing the 21 day challenge which was going to cause some real issues for us during this get away (if you have no idea what I'm talking about check out our post on it here > 21 day challenge)) we packed a spare change of underwear, pjs and some bedding, as it was bring your own, and we were all set to go.
Aaaaaaaand we were off, zooming down the motorway towards our cosy camp for the night. It wasn't very long before the niggle of addiction reared its ugly head and we were forced to find a service station. Hands shaking we passed multiple service stations, past Costas and Starbucks and Subways. With sweat running down our foreheads we realised we could no longer afford to be picky, the next service station had to be the one we stopped at.
As we approached the glowing neon sign of the services we saw the words we had been searching for for so long; GREGGS! Almost crying with relief we pulled up and it was a mad dash to the counter for the flat white our bodies were crying out for. Now my other addiction is pizza, Greggs pizza in particular is my main weakness in life (so if you ever need information from me you know how to make me crack) but on my 21 day challenge I'm not allowed Greggs however Cole is. Coles aim is to eat over 3500 calories every day so naturally I watched with tears in my eyes as steak bakes and doughnuts were passed across the counter knowing all I would leave with was my caffeine filled cup of sadness. We sat in the car while Cole ate his victory meal and I nibbled on my spinach salad inhaling the meaty fumes filling the car counting down the days for this challenge to be over. This was the last time during this trip I was strong and fought my desire for tasty food.
ROAD TRIP CONVERSATION
It was about and hour and half into our journey when the traffic hit us hard and our brains melted. our once excited conversation of future plans turned into us trying to annoy each other by reading out every single road sign around us. Luckily it was only ten minutes before we were back on the country roads with no signs around to continue the game. It was around this time the coffee hit our bladders.
"we're only 30 minutes away from Ludlow! We can find a toilet there for sure!"
"yeah! What's 30 minutes! I can hold pee in my sleep!"
15 minutes later we had started to contemplate how dangerous it would be to stop on the country road and quickly pee.
After a speedy drive through the stunning English hillsides, that we cursed the entire time for keep us away from a toilet, we reached civilisation. The first thing we saw was a garden centre with a huge sign outside claimed to have the best cream teas in their cafe + toilets. We weren't that excited about the cream tea but we couldn't wait to find the toilets! At a brisk pace we were in the garden centre and walking through room after room of house hold appliances and gardening equipment to find this famous cafe +toilets. We walked round the whole place, even round the back where we weren't meant to be but there was no cafe, no toilet and it was with a heavy bladder we waddled back out to the car to continue our quest.
Literally a two second drive down the road we stumbled across a Tescos and it was a photo finish run to the toilet to say farewell to the Greggs coffee we had ran for a few hours ago.
LOST IN THE COUNTRY
It was a leisurely stroll back to the car while discussing how on earth we were going to find the farm the Wonky wagon was on. Our directions had only got us to the nearest town, we still had 6 miles to go to get to our location and we had no clue how to find it. We scrawled through Airbnb to find the answer but the map was none responsive and unhelpful in giving us directions through the twisting farm roads. It was after googling and finding the farms actual website we found a post code the satnav recognised and we on the road again.
Now I don't know if the post code was wrong or the sat nav hates us but we ended our route literally in the middle of nowhere. Confused as hell I suggested maybe we were round the back of the farm so we should just keep driving and maybe we would find it. As we drove down the narrow dirt path my confidence wavered and we thought about pulling over and trying to phone the owner to see if she could help. It was pure luck we continued driving to find a place to pull over and stumbled across a hidden gate which declared we had arrived! We had made it to Longview farm
JUST A BUNCH OF HIPPIES!
After a fight with the front gate we managed to get in and it was through a mysterious gap in the hedge we emerged into the wonky wagon camp site. All tiredness and doubt washed away as we surveyed the land, this place looked amazing! Jumping out the car we bounced up the stairs to the wagons front door and rushed inside. We stood for a second in awe of the decor, the cleanliness of the place and how friggin lucky we were to be staying a night here. With a knowing look to each other we knew we had made the right call booking the place and it was Cole that voiced the excited thought circling my mind, "This is what I imagine our van looking like when we do van life," I literally couldn't be happier!
We hauled our bedding into the wagon and I made up the roof bed while Cole brought in our backpacks and camera gear. We decided to do some photography of the camp while exploring the communal areas so headed out with camera in hand. We passed the biodegradable toilets which were literally the highlight of my stay! (I know its weird but I get joy out of things like this!) As a woman who isn't the best at wild weeing I had been slightly apprehensive about camping in a place where the toilet was probably going to be a hole in the ground. I was totally speechless to find all my prayers answered with this adorable and eco-friendly toilet,
Coles wasn't as pretty as mine but it's still kinda cool.
Next we made our way over to the communal area where a huge tent covered a cosy living room of comfy sofas, chairs and tables. The ground covered with rugs for that ultimate homely experience and a fire pit just outside for making cold nights cosier. I could imagine a place like this being absolutely amazing for big groups and vowed we should get a big group of our friends together to come back and have a big camp out before the winter weather really hit.
Feeling super in touch with my hippie spirit we did a quick photoshoot out in the field, which ended up mostly me rolling about on the grass thinking I'm a yoga expert (I'm defo not).
NO FOOD FOR YOU!
Summer is certainly coming to an end as after only 20 minutes or so we were too cold to continue taking photos and headed inside to grab our things to go back out into town for some grub! This is sort of where we realised we probably hadn't made the best choices for clothing, all we had were shorts, tshirts and two very very thin hoodies. It was going to be a cold evening.
Once we were back in Ludlow we parked up quickly, more than ready to find a place to eat. We walked across town to a pub we had see on the way in and were disappointed to find a huge chalk sign letting us know that they were not serving food tonight. We were slightly annoyed but thought nothing more of it as there were tons of pubs we had seen that looked good. We cross the road and found another pub with huge signs stating they served food all day every day. A high five moment later we found a paper sign pinned in the window letting us know they were also not serving food tonight.
It was suddenly becoming a very real possibility we wouldn't be getting food tonight. As we walked back across town we passed take aways and chip shops that were closed and our hope began to die, maybe the famous garden centre cafe was still open? It was as we rounded the corner back to the car we saw another pub with the smell of homecooked food wafting from the door towards us. Mouths drooling we were through the door and sat at a table scouring the menu for something tasty. This place had a great menu, I literally wanted to eat everything on it and the 21 day challenge totally slipped my mind as I settled on a huge burger with chicken and beef filling (I was hungry okay! Besides it's all protein!). It was when we stopped focusing on the food and double checked the prices we realised Ludlow was a pretty upper class place. Almost everything on the menu was £10 to £18 pounds which I think is kinda pricey for pub food. Cole pointed out that at this point we didn't have much of an option as no where else was serving food so we bit the bullet and wapped out a credit card. I'm so glad we did though.. The food was next level good! We picked a great place to cheat on our diets at.
After getting lost again because the sat nav took us miles out the wrong way we eventually found our way back to camp. We got changed into our comfy pjs bottoms, cursing the fact we hasn't brought thicker hoodies and sat with a cold can of beer we had bought from home. We suddenly realised we hasn't brought anything to keep us entertained in a home with no wifi, we'd come to an off the grid home with no means of entertainment...
After a rummage through our bags Cole found his trusty deck of cards and we had an ultimate championship of Switch (kinda like uno) and go fish (the old man game). Once we had exhausted the fun a pack of cards can bring we headed over to the communal area where I had spied a sneaky Jenga under one of the tables. After three games we couldn't feel our fingers or our noses anymore we decided maybe we should head back to the wagon.
Snuggled up under our thick blanket we shared a beer and just talked for a few hours which was super refreshing as most nights end staring at a screen at home. After a trip to the toilet together (I was scared to go alone) and nearly getting knocked out by a bat we got into bed, excited at the thought of exploring Ludlow the next day.
WAKE UP CALL!
We had decided not to set alarms as there was no check out time and no need to be up and about early however nature had a different idea. Birds stomped their tiny little feet on the roof above our heads and cows in the next field mooed until we gave up and called good morning to all the animals shouting it at us.
Considering we had spent the night in a wagon I felt pretty refreshed and was up making a protein shake (I was still trying to be healthy at this point) and on a walk down to the communal area in search of coffee. I found a tub with just enough grounds left for two cups and took it back to the wagon, feeling like a proud cave man with a hunk of meat. I woke Cole by putting the kettle on the portable stove that was set up in the wagon. I was a tiny bit scared I would set the place on fire so Cole needed to be awake for back up haha.
Spoiler alert: I didn't burn the house down and the coffee was actually not too bad for being instant stuff.
With a heavy heart we started packing our things away and getting ready to leave our cosy hut and brave the cold English weather with our super helpful tshirt and shorts. The owners came down to say good morning and get some feedback on the place as apparently we were the first people to spend the night in the Wonky Wagon (which explains the lack of reviews). They were so super lovely and welcomed us to come and visit again with our friends which we'll defo be doing very soon!
With all our bags packed into the car we took a final look back at that cute cabin then it was off to Ludlow for some exploring and food!
SORRY.. HOW MUCH?!
15 minutes and we were back in the town centre and driving around looking for somewhere to park. We'd already had accepted that we would have to pay for parking so as we drove past the train station and saw free spaces we drove straight in. £4 down and a parked car later we set off to explore what Ludlow had to offer. The first thing we discovered was that literally a second down the road was parking for £2 all day.. How annoying.
After wondering the cobbled streets looking in all the different chairty shops while keeping an eye open for a cheeky greggs we found ourselves at the castle.
Spolier alert(also top tip): Ludlow has not a single Greggs!
We suddenly realised we were only a short walk from a cafe we had seen when booking the wonky wagon, one which we were dying to try called 'The Green Cafe.' We made our way down a huge hill which lead to the river and were excited to see a huge building with lots of people buzzing around. Picking up the pace we rushed down to grab a table before the lunch rush hit.
The smells coming from the kitchen were mouth watering as the staff welcomed us and popped menus into our willing hands and a jug of ice cold water on the table. Excitement carried us away again as we looked over all the meals but the next realisation threw a spanner in the works. This place was even more expensive than the pub last night! I mean it made sense, everything was cooked fresh, you could literally see the chef cooking up your lunch. Not only that but all their ingredients were locally sourced and the menu was one so fancy we had to google half the things on it to find out what they were!
After a brief discussion about how we couldn't afford these prices Cole suggested we just order a few small plates and share seen as this was brunch. I agreed and we settled on;
- Bread, dukkah, oil
- Roast potatoes, aioli
- spiced lamb
- two lattes obvs
Honestly my mouth is watering just typing this out remembering this meal because it was so fucking good! The lattes came first and everything about them was perfect! Nailed milk texturing, shot to milk ratio and the extraction.. YAS! (sorry getting carried away over heres). Next our small plates came and two of the portions were actually pretty big! There was only a small amount of lamb but it was honestly all we needed!
Each mouthful burst with flavours I've only ever dreamed about while watching Gordon Ramsey cook. If you're ever around Ludlow you need to try this place! Its expensive but my God is it good! I was going to take a picture of our food but I got so carried away eating it was all gone by the time I remembered!
After a super quick photoshoot at the castle where I flashed my butt to the entire town of Ludlow we heading back through town in search of our next caffeine fix. On our way through the maze of streets a bit of paper on the floor caught Coles attention and as he bent to pick it up we realised he'd just found a fiver! "That's the coffee's paid for!"
Almost skipping we stumbled across a tiny little passage way which lead to a cute looking cafe. The clouds above us decided it was time for the hourly downpour and it was decided we would set up camp here for a while and try their coffee. As we walked into the cafe I knew straight away today was a cheat day as the cakes in the see through counter called to me. Surely sticky toffee caramel cake is good for you right? Oops!
Cole went for rocky road which looked pretty damn tasty even to a chocolate hater like myself but as we ordered a red flag was suddenly raised.
"that cake! Oh and that one! Maybe some of that.. oh and two flat whites."
"What size flat white do you want?"
A quick glance at each other and Cole and me both had the knowing look that our coffee was going to be terrible, hopefully the cake would make up for it.
While we went off to find a seat I stubbled across a sign..
Unfortunately they didn't heed their own advice on this occasion.. Our flat white was a shot with warmed milk poured in, how Cole managed to drink it I have no idea but a couple sips was enough for me.. Oh God. I've become a worse coffee snob than him!
On a side note the cake was to die for.. I think I would probably cheat on my diet multiple times with a cake like that!
Our little trip had come to an end and we back on the road again, sad to be going home but also kinda excited to be warm and cosy in something other than shorts. Although it was a super quick trip the relaxation was real and it only continued once we were home. Pizza, pillow forts and the ambition to do nothing but complete the whole of Halo before we went to sleep. The perfect end to our little getaway.
The places mentioned in this blog post if you're about in Ludlow (because who isn't!)
Thanks for reading guys and I hope you enjoyed it! Once Cole and me have a little more money we'll finally be able to travel a little further than England so these every day adventures are a little more exciting haha
Don't forget to check our insta where you can find some of the photography from the wonky wagon!
And if you missed the first one you can go back and read that every day adventure where a disaster of a day turns out to be a pretty fun day trip! Our Everyday Adventure One
See you in the next one ya'll!
April and Cole x
p.s Any interesting places around you that you think we should visit?