Posts Tagged campsites

Review of the 2010 camping year

It’s that time of year where we’re looking back over the year just gone and looking ahead to what the coming year may bring, so here are some thoughts from Happy Campervanning.

2010 was the first year that we did any serious campervanning. We’ve now spent over 20 nights in the Bongo, travelling all over the country and camping with various groups of friends. Highlights of the year include a glorious weekend in Rutland – our first trip of more than one night, ten days in Cornwall in sunny June – despite the breakdown on the way there, and a birthday celebration in East Sussex.

Our pitch

So what have we learnt?

We like a few home comforts – despite liking the idea of getting away from it all, hot showers and clean toilets are quite high up the wish list!

We feel more at home in the tent field than sandwiched between two caravans.

Cooking a curry is not a good idea in a campervan that you’re going to sleep in a few hours later – it’s also a good idea to invest in a stove that can be used outdoors to avoid mess and smell from cooking your fry up in the morning.

The electric hook-up is useful for the fridge, but not much else, and the fridge is only really useful if you’re not planning on driving anywhere (unless you’ve got a leisure battery). We have now purchased a electric kettle to make better use of the hook up – I’d forgotten how long my Grandma’s stove top kettle used to take to boil!

Awnings are good for getting some privacy and for providing somewhere to put your stuff when you go out for the day, but don’t forget that when you drive away, you will need to put in the extra guy ropes if you don’t want it to fall down.

Even if it looks like a campsite is near a pub, you may need to risk your life walking down the side of a dark country road to get there. Don’t forget a torch!

And our plans for 2011?

Well, having enjoyed our tour of Cornwall in 2010, we’d like to try something similar, maybe in Devon, Wales or Yorkshire. We’re also hoping to spend some sunny weekends with friends in campsites around the country. Keep an eye on the website to find out where we end up.

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The Best Campsites in Britain & Ireland 2010

If you’ve ever browsed the camping section of a bookshop or Amazon looking for a campsite review book, then there’s a good chance that you’ll have seen one of the many Alan Rogers guides. The Alan Rogers guides are well known and well established with the first having been published in 1968. These days there are several guides covering most major European countries as well as this one which is the Britain and Ireland guide.

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Book review: Tiny Campsites

We haven’t been campers for very long, in fact not much more than a year, but in that time we’ve very quickly come to the conclusion that we’re not big fans of sprawling corporate chain campsites. The sites we’ve enjoyed the most have all been smaller independent sites in great locations. That’s why Tiny Campsites seemed like the perfect book for us. In his new book, Guardian travel writer Dixe Wills reviews and recommends 75 campsites from across Britain that are all no bigger that one acre in size. Read the rest of this entry »

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