21st June 2019
When the nice people at Bailey offered us the chance to try out an Alliance 70-6 motorhome what could we say?
It was perfect timing. The Easter holidays were upon us and a trip to Portsmouth was already booked. So down to Bristol we went to pick up our temporary home from Bailey HQ before heading down to the south coast.
It’s funny how you get so used to your own motorhome, it becomes like muscle memory. In a new van, you find yourself opening the wrong cupboards and having no idea where you put the kitchen roll.
But in no time, we felt at home with our new layout. The drop-down bed was a hit with our teenager and the second lounge at the back was a real novelty. At just 7m in length, it was also a doddle to park in the centre of Portsmouth when we visited the historic Dockyard the next day.
Our base was the stunning Rookesbury Park, a beautiful Caravan and Motorhome Club site just outside Fareham. It’s less than a 20-minute drive to all the Portsmouth attractions and Southampton is only 20 miles away, making Rookesbury popular with caravanners and motor-homers heading to the Continent.
With great facilities and so many local attractions, this site is much more than a ferry stopover. We were also just half an hour from Solent Airfield where we were watching Ryan’s dad enjoy a once in a lifetime experience – taking a flight in a Spitfire.
Portsmouth itself was a very pleasant surprise. A huge regeneration programme means the once scruffy docks are now lined with smart shops and restaurants. But for us Portsmouth was all about the history.
We had pre-booked tickets online for the Mary Rose experience, saving quite a few pennies from buying on the day. To feast our eyes upon this incredible Tudor ship-wreck cost us around £30. I am a massive history buff and was like a kid in a sweetshop. It was massively enjoyable for all of us and amazing to see Henry VIII’s flagship and artefacts in such amazing condition after laying on the bottom of the sea for over 400 years.
After a spot of lunch, it was time to hop aboard HMS Victory where Admiral Nelson sadly met his end, shot by a French musket ball. The guides on-board were extremely knowledgeable and helpful, we all learnt loads about our famous nautical past.
There is a new D-Day museum at the Dockyard as well as submarines and museums to visit, but with just one day in the city we had to save these for next time.
Our second day of the trip was certainly an incredible experience for us all. As a gift for a ‘significant’ birthday, Ryan’s dad John was going up in one of only 55 Spitfires that are still flying.
We drove the Alliance to Lee-on-Solent airfield & parked up for the day to watch this awesome event. It was a moving day for us all and one we’ll never forget.
Anyone can visit the airfield. There is lovely little café and when the vintage planes are flying you might find yourself just a few metres away from some classic pieces of aviation history.
That wasn’t the end of our brief fling with the Alliance. The following week we took it on another adventure to the North Norfolk coast. Look out for our next blog all about that trip.
The Alliance 70-6 is a fantastic family motorhome and we loved it.
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