Free spirit van couple spent months locked down on Suffolk driveway

Chris and Catherine with Florry the Lorry

Chris and Catherine with Florry the Lorry - Credit: Catherine Carlton

A couple who usually spend the year touring exotic locations are planning to settle in Suffolk - after an unexpectedly long stay in the countryside captured their hearts.

Catherine Carlton and her partner Chris Brooks are currently living in Menorca, but spent the first half of 2020 parked on the drive of a family home near Stowmarket.

Florry the Lorry stayed parked on a Suffolk driveway near Stowmarket for the first half of 2020

Florry the Lorry stayed parked on a Suffolk driveway near Stowmarket for the first half of 2020 - Credit: Catherine Carlton

Originally, they owned a four-bedroom home in Finchley, London - but moved out to live in their self-built motorhome, Florry the Lorry, in March 2019.

They toured France, Spain, Menorca, Switzerland, Austria, Germany, Belgium, Netherlands and Liechtenstein for eight months.

Having come back to Suffolk to spend Christmas with the family, they found themselves stuck when lockdown was announced in March and stayed in Suffolk from January to May 2020.

Chris and Catherine spent tens of thousands of pounds making Florry into the perfect Tiny Home

Chris and Catherine spent tens of thousands of pounds making Florry into the perfect Tiny Home - Credit: Catherine Carlton

They put blood, sweat and tears into renovating Florry the Lorry into a home

They put blood, sweat and tears into renovating Florry the Lorry into a home - Credit: Catherine Carlton

Catherine, aged 53, said: "It didn’t feel difficult at all being locked down in Suffolk as we fell in love with where we were living and were lucky enough to be in the countryside. 

"Having had this time and having made new friends, we realised it is the place we will always call home and we will one day base ourselves in Suffolk full-time."

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Chris, aged 51, works as an IT technician and installed a Wi-Fi booster in Florry, so he can work even when they are on the move.

Moving their home onto wheels enabled the pair to have a new garden with stunning views every few days, as well as meet new friends.

Catherine admits life on the road isn't always glamorous, but has future plans to travel back to Spain and Menorca once allowed on the move again.

Florry the Lorry has been to France, Spain, Menorca, Switzerland, Austria, Germany, Belgium, Netherlands and...

Florry the Lorry has been to France, Spain, Menorca, Switzerland, Austria, Germany, Belgium, Netherlands and Liechtenstein, with plans to visit the Eastern Side of Europe, Greece and Turkey in the future - Credit: Catherine Carlton

Catherine and Chris with their chocolate Labrador Rolo on a walk around the Suffolk countryside during lockdown

Catherine and Chris with their chocolate Labrador Rolo on a walk around the Suffolk countryside during lockdown - Credit: Catherine Carlton

She added: "For now we want to continue living in our tiny home on wheels."

She said the pair are "not ready to go back to a conventional life living in bricks and mortar and still want to travel".

Catherine said: "Living in the lorry, building the lorry and experiencing living in different places, different countries has made us realise that there is so much to explore still while we can.

"We are keeping all doors open until we see what will happen."

Florry the Lorry has been to France, Spain, Menorca, Switzerland, Austria, Germany, Belgium, Netherlands and...

Florry the Lorry has been to France, Spain, Menorca, Switzerland, Austria, Germany, Belgium, Netherlands and Liechtenstein, with plans to visit the Eastern Side of Europe, Greece and Turkey in the future - Credit: Catherine Carlton

You can follow Catherine and Chris' travels on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube or on their website here.

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