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A 500-mile round trip of the UK is just the ticket

“Get out there and seize the day!” is the motto of 74-year-old McCarthy & Stone homeowner Sylvie Morgan.

At the beginning of this year, Sylvie and her partner Bradley, 81, set out to plan a road trip of a lifetime.

The aim was to travel all over the UK so they could relive old memories and meet up with friends and family they hadn’t seen for years.

However, rather than stay in expensive hotels or B&Bs, Sylvie had a rather better idea that would mean she and Bradley could travel to all the places they wanted to go – 15  in total over 19 days, for as little as £25 per night.

The idea came to Sylvie after chatting to Jackie, the House Manager at Paxton Court in Tenby where she lives.

Last summer Jackie and her husband took a week’s holiday visiting a number of places as far afield as Newcastle and Anglesey, staying in McCarthy & Stone guest suites.

“You mean we can book into other McCarthy & Stone developments like a holiday?” exclaimed Sylvie.

Jackie went on to explain that McCarthy & Stone homeowners could enjoy the exclusive perk of booking into a guest suite at any of their developments (providing they were available) anywhere in the country, simply by calling and speaking to the House Manager.

Sylvie comments: “The guest suites are a fantastic facility for when you have visiting family and friends, as it means they can stay over and you don’t need to worry about it being too much of a squeeze.

“The thought that you could also stay there and enjoy such a value-for-money holiday as well never crossed my mind.

“Once I heard about it I was straight onto Bradley as we’d been talking about planning a trip, but now all of sudden, it was more do-able.

“At £25 per night it also made it very cost effective – we thought what do we have to lose?”

“There was no time factor involved”, says Sylvie. “We knew we wanted to go in the spring but we are both free agents now so the length and breadth of the trip was really up to us.

“It was amazing to have the freedom to choose and to make the trip our own.”

From Tenby in Pembrokeshire up the west coast of Wales and England, north to John O’ Groats in Scotland then back down the east coast to Sussex and along the south coast, Sylvie and Bradley covered an enormous 2,532 miles by car in total.

Their journey started in Tenby and took them to Cwrt Gloddaeth, Llandudno where they spent their first night, then on to Queen Elizabeth Court in Kirby Lonsdale in the Lake District.

It was here that Bradley quite by chance was able to meet up with an old pal, Trevor Thomas. Trevor and Bradley had always kept in touch but because Trevor had since moved away they hadn’t seen each other for several years.

The couple also stopped off in Gretna Green then made their way to Glasgow and Inverness via Fort William.

They booked in for two nights travelling up through the Highlands to Bettyhill, the most northerly part of Scotland.

This was the only part of the trip they needed to stay in a hotel as being so rural, there wasn’t a McCarthy & Stone development nearby.

It was here that Bradley was able to re-trace some of his naval roots.

The couple travelled back to Inverness, on to Aberdeen and Edinburgh where they stayed two nights to take in the city and sights before making it to Newcastle.

York followed with a stop in Darlington to see Bradley’s cousin, Pam. Then on to Norwich then Ipswich where Bradley had done his basic navy training.

The last leg of the journey saw them stop in Drayton in Hampshire, Shepton Mallett in Somerset before Cardiff completed their stops as they were welcomed home to Tenby.

Overall, with food, accommodation and petrol taken into account the trip cost Sylvie and Bradley just £40 per day each. 

“We didn’t scrimp, we ate out every night,” says Sylvie. “The money we saved on hotels and B&Bs meant we could afford to have treats. We did the tourist thing and visited Edinburgh castle, and a real highlight was going to the Saturday evening service at York Minster – that was a tick off the bucket list!

“The House Managers at all of the McCarthy & Stone developments were so very welcoming and helpful”, she adds.

“In fact it felt like a home from home. The rooms were without question very comfortable and spotlessly clean. They had everything you could need and yet were all very unique in their own way.

“That was part of the beauty of it. Meeting new friends and new faces everywhere we went, and getting to know the different ways of doing things.”

Fresh from their trip, Sylvie and Bradley are already planning another.

For more information about available properties, locations and prices please visit: www.mccarthyandstone.co.uk or call: 08002014811.

The majority of McCarthy & Stone developments come with a convenient guest suite where family and friends are able to come and stay.

Guest suites can also be booked by McCarthy & Stone homeowners choosing to venture further afield for a fraction of the price of a hotel stay, from as little as £25 per night.

Each guest suite comes with en-suite shower room, television, tea and coffee making facilities and access to the homeowner’s lounge and other development facilities.