Wrexham: 01978 290077  Mold: 01352 758673  

To Bude and back.. a travel blog


“We should do something for the weekend”

“Ok, what?”

“Well, we should go away, how about Cornwall?”

“Cornwall? On a Bank Holiday weekend, when we can’t leave early? Are you mad?”

“Oh have a little faith, it’ll be all right.”


And so TJ's Astra Sri Nav 1.6CDTi Bi-Turbo (CX66YFL) left Wrexham at 6:00pm on a Friday night, heading for Bude in Cornwall, a small matter of 275 miles away. With directions sent to the car’s satnav by a very nice OnStarlady (just press a button and ask a real person), the fuel tank was full, the boot was very full (we don’t travel light) and along with ‘She Who Must Be Obeyed' & son #1, it was with a sense of foreboding that we hit the A483, heading south towards certain gridlock and traffic chaos… or not, as it turned out. There was no traffic. No hold-ups on the A5 or M54, the M6 was clear and even through the roadworks on the M5, there were no queues. Very welcome, but very strange.

Day One, Leg One: Wrexham (Rhostyllen) > Gloucester Services, M5

As is traditional, roughly halfway, we stop at the splendid Gloucester Services … 125 miles down at an average speed of 63mph & 64.1mpg - not too shabby. Son#1 declares the fish n chips ‘swag’, which is a good thing, apparently. TJ declares £2.50 for a bottle of water definitely unswag. And unswigged.

Day One, Leg Two: Glos Services > M5 Jct 27

Quick run down to Jct27 which marks the end of the motorway cruise and the start of the cross-country blast over to Bude. With 211 miles down, the average speed is now 67.2mph and the consumption a very respectable 62.3mpg. YFL makes very short work of long distances, and the smooth & quiet progress lulls both front & back seat passengers to sleep. Driver stays awake with the help of the supremely comfortable seat and the DAB radio which holds the signal uninterrupted as ‘Absolute 80’s’ pumps out a bit of Dire Straits. All is right with the world as the miles glide by and YFL powers on.


 Stunning speed & economy

Day One, Leg Three: M5 Jct 27 > Bude

The fun part of the journey along the rollercoaster A361 towards Barnstaple, before picking up the sinuous A39 along Cornwall’s north coast. This is where YFL’s mighty Bi-Turbo engine comes into its own, the prodigious torque making light work of the endless uphill dual-carriageway sections, punching out of roundabouts and making the most of overtaking opportunities. The ‘Sport’ button enlivens the later single-carriageway wild & twisty bits. Arriving in Bude, at the beautiful and highly-recommended Wooda Farm Holiday Park the scores on the doors are remarkable – 277.6 miles covered at an average speed of 62.4mph and a positively abstemious 63.5mpg! Door-to-door, with an hour’s stop, was 5 1/2hrs. All passengers reported a quiet night’s sleep to this point, driver reported no aches and pains. We decamp to the delightful 'Beachcomber' holiday home as YFL cools down, ticking quietly outside…

Days Two & Three: Bude

Saturday dawns bright & breezy, so a quick game of tennis, then YFL switches from high-speed express to urban warrior, mingling with the grockles and VW camper vans in downtown Bude and along the coast road to Widemouth Bay. The (optional) sunroof brings added light & (very) fresh sea air while the powerful aircon keeps things cool. Saturday night – lovely grub at the on-site restaurant/pub, YFL given the night off, driver takes a pint of Rattler and The Wooda Big Boy Burger. Man V Food... man wins. Son #1 declares 'Sausage & Chips' to be swag. '‘She Who Must Be Obeyed' declares 'Hot 'n' Sticky Garlicky Chicken' to be worth the drive on its own.

Sunday – bucketed down all day, so 10-pin bowling/Scrabble/Uno/cards/sleeping sort of a day. Sunset pics, then pizza from the on-site takeaway. Nice.


 The overall result

Day Four: Bude > home

After a couple of days in & around the beautiful Bude, we head home, assuming that we couldn’t drop lucky again and would thus hit more traffic than on the way down. Leaving at 9:30 on Bank Holiday Monday, Same route, stopped for an hour in Gloucester Services, and pulled onto the drive in Buckley at 3:21pm. No traffic, again a clear run. Notably, we had managed the trip from Wrexham to Bude and back on a single tank of fuel.


Overall, 582.8 miles were despatched at an average of 61.7mpg. Including the two days in & around Bude, the average speed for the entire run was 56.4mph.

YFL didn’t miss a beat, and was magnificent on both motorway and A-roads. It was surefooted in the rain & fog on the way home, relaxed on cruise control up & down the motorways, and lusty on the twisties. It did the whole heavily-laden trip on less than a tank of juice despite the driver 'making progress'... methinks a bit of YFL-TLC is in order...

Latest News

Shielding - we can help

18-01-2021 Updated January 2021 IMPORTANT: If you, or anyone in your household display any…
Read more >

Coronavirus Challenges

01-08-2020 WELCOME BACK! It seems like we’ve been in Covid Lockdown forever, but we…
Read more >

7000 up

01-01-2019 As our Astra Sports Tourer Elite Nav Auto 1.6CDTi (136) ticks past 7000 miles,…
Read more >

Dickens of Wrexham Limited is an Appointed Representative of Automotive Compliance Ltd, who is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA No 497010). Automotive Compliance Ltd’s permissions as a Principal Firm allows Dickens of Wrexham Limited to act as a credit broker, not as a lender, for the introduction to a limited number of lenders. We are a credit broker and not a lender. We can introduce you to a limited number of lenders and their finance products. We are not an independent financial advisor and we act as their agent for this introduction. We may advise you on the products, subject to your personal circumstances, though you are not obliged to take our advice or recommendation. We do not charge you a fee for our services. Whichever lender we introduce you to, we will typically receive commission from them (either a fixed fee or a fixed percentage of the amount you borrow). For your reassurance, all of the lenders we work with could pay commission at different rates, but the commission we receive does not influence the interest rate you will pay. Our aim is to secure finance for you at the lowest interest rate you are eligible for from our panel of lenders. If you ask us what the amount of commission is, we will tell you in good time before the Finance agreement is executed. All finance applications are subject to status, terms and conditions apply, UK residents only, 18’s or over. Guarantees may be required.