One of the things we love about being members of the Camping and Caravanning Club is that you know at whichever site you stop at there is a standard level of facilities you can expect: easy access to the site when towing, access to the site only by barrier code, flat pitches with plenty of space for your unit and your car, clean toilet block and showers, there is often a play area and dog walk, and a small shop for food and camping essentials. On site there will also be wardens who live there for the entire season. They know their site really well and can give you useful information about local attractions. We have always found the staff and over the phone to be really polite and helpful.
You can read our round up post with Camping and Caravanning Club Sites here.
Last week in May half term, my family embarked on a small tour stopping at sites in Sussex, Hertfordshire and Lincolnshire. Our schedule was jam-packed – a long weekend in Sussex to attend Elderflower Fields a family friendly festival, a full day exploring the city of London and then 3 days by the seaside. All completely different activities but with one thing in common – we would stay on a Camping and Caravanning Site at each one.
Camping and Caravanning Club for a Family Festival
Crowborough, Sussex, was our first stop to place ourselves around 7 miles from the Elderflower Fields Festival. If you’ve ever been to a festival you will know that the camping area can often be on hilly, slightly over-grown fields. Pitches are not usually designated and the fields often get quite over-crowded (particularly if there is a flat bit). If you are hoping for a peaceful night’s sleep you may find in the joyous atmosphere of a festival some people inevitably stay up late chatting to new friends and it can be noisy until the early hours. And finally there is the issue of portaloos…not an issue for some…but let’s face it they do the job but they aren’t glamourous!
We enjoyed the festival immensely and have got to say most people were perfectly happy with the camping at Elderflower Fields. However, we did love that we could come back to the peace and quiet of the Crowborough Camping and Caravanning Club Site when the children had had enough for the day. My husband and I could team up to shower the kids in the huge, clean family bathroom and get them off to an uninterrupted sleep reasonably early so they could be on top form each day for the festival. We in turn could spend an hour or two relaxing with a glass of wine before turning in for a restful night’s sleep ourselves.
At the Crowborough Site the showering facilities in the main part of the toilet block are a little dated but overall the site was clean and well kept with really friendly staff on hand to help with all manner of things we needed such as help reversing the caravan and lending us rock pegs which we’d forgotten. There is a well stocked shop for buying the margarine and gas (amongst other things) of which we had unfortunately run out!
Camping and Caravanning Club for a City Break
The next stop on our mini-tour saw us staying at Theobald’s Park for two nights which is located very close to the M25 in Herefordshire. We have stayed and reviewed Theobald’s Park before when we went to visit Warner Bros Studio Tour The Making of Harry Potter a couple of months ago. The purpose of our visit this time was to use it as a base for a full day out exploring the centre of London.
The nearest train station to Theobald’s Park Camping and Caranning Club Site is Waltham Cross which is about 3 miles away, or 10 minutes in a car. You can park at the station all day for £4.50 and from here we bought our tickets that would cover the cost of all train and tube journeys in London for £13.20 for adult and £2.00 for children. Under 5’s are free so that was an advantage for us too.
We caught the train to Liverpool Street station and from there headed to the Underground and fitted in a visit to the Natural History Museum, the Imperial War Museum, Buckingham Palace and finally the Lego Flagship Store and dinner in Leicester Square. We walked around 8 miles that day but the children were brilliant and we were grateful to come back to the caravan and relax in our own space at the end of the day.
Camping and Caravanning Club for a Beach Holiday
The last part of our holiday was to spend some time at a slower pace of life by the seaside in Mablethorpe, Lincolnshire. Here we met up with family and friends so we could enjoy a few days enjoying their company too. The Mablethorpe Camping and Caravanning Club Site is very spacious and modern. In the centre of the first field there is a children’s play area and to the left a separate ball field which was perfect for the children to play football in together.
Mablethorpe site is around a mile walk to the beach which mum and I did early each morning to walk the dogs. The beach is quiet, wide and sandy and we were blessed with some lovely weather, it was heavenly. I took the time to collect a load of shells to use for my crafting back home! On the second day we took the children to the beach, just a bit further down the coast, and close to the town centre where we spent a lovely few hours making sandcastles and playing. A sand train operates here and there are plenty of arcades and souvenir shops to peruse in town making it feel like a proper British seaside holiday resort. Also within easy reach of the club site is Queen’s park where you can hire pedalos for a fee. There is a children’s play area (£3 per child) and a paddling pool which is free but freezing!
Each evening we barbequed and sat together in front of one of the caravans. Looking around the site others did much the same, making the most of the evening sun and spending quality time together.
Camping and Caravanning Club Sites come in all shapes and sizes and many different types of setting. Whether you are interested in history, nature, woodlands, beaches, cities, or all of them, there is a site for you.
This summer we have planned to travel down to the South East to explore more of the Camping and Caravanning Club sites. First on our itinerary is to visit Stonehenge and Marwell Zoo (Winchester) whilst staying at Salisbury Club Site. Then we head to Cornwall to visit beaches and try our hand at water sports whilst staying at Tregurrian Club Site. While staying there we will also visit Newquay’s Pirate’s Quest to embark on a swashbuckling voyage through Cornwall’s pirating past. Next we go further North up the coast to learn about the Legend of King Arthur and explore fishing villages from our base at the Bude Club Site. We will finish off our tour with Cheddar Mendip Heights Club Site. Set in an area of outstanding natural beauty, it is perfectly located to explore Cheddar Gorge and the Mendip Hills.