Autumn’s here, or so it felt when I went out in the garden early this morning, crisp and definitely cooler. Some of you will be thinking of putting your motorhome back into storage for the winter. Don’t. Why not keep truckin’ all year long. Loads of campsites stay open all year round and it’s easier to heat your van than it is to heat your whole of my house. Wrap up warm and keep adventuring.
Here are my must have’s for surviving those chilly days and even chillier nights.
I’ve got a lovely warm duvet on my fixed bed but you can’t beat some extra layers when the temperature plummets below freezing. The extra weight also makes you feel more snug. So pack a few blankets or throws. This one looks very cosy.
A hot water bottle can be put to work before you get into bed, gently warming those cold, ever so slightly damp sheets, or it can give you that instant, ever so slightly burning sensation on the soles of your feet. ... Read more
I first visited Newgale somewhere around 1973, with my mum and dad and two siblings, all crammed into a Ford Cortina, including all the paraphernalia for camping, for the six hour drive from Buckinghamshire to the awesome Pembrokeshire coast. I can even remember the road from Haverfordwest towards the end of the journey. Just as you went over the brow of the hill you got your first glimpse of the sea glittering in front of you (if the weather was nice) and Newgale campsite just across the road. We all shouted “yay, let’s stay here”. Dad pulled the car into the site and booked us in. My memory is a little hazy but I think there was a wooden hut, a bit like a garden shed, you pulled up, paid your money and pitched where you liked.
Out came us three kids, one tent made of cotton canvas with a bag of metal poles, loungers for mum and dad to sleep on and a calor gas stove. ... Read more
We arrived at Cardigan Camping & Caravan Site just outside Cardigan without knowing that the 2014 Cardigan Agricultural Show was being held in the showground next door during our stay. We decided to make a day of it. The sun shone, there was lots to see and do, sheep dog trials to watch, goats to pet, warm beer to drink. A very typical agricultural show in other words, but Cardigan show has such a stunning view that makes it just a bit more special.
A view of Cardigan Bay from the showground
Sheep lining up to be judged
And another one patiently waiting its turn
A fluffy, very soft, Angora goat
Sheep dog trialing
A best of breed winner
There were lots of little poppets on ponies but I preferred the Jane Austen look
Cardigan Camping & Caravan site is located just off the Fishguard Road about a mile outside Cardigan. From the main road you swing onto a narrowish farm road which takes you to the campsite, easily accessible to larger caravans, motorhomes and RVs. We were planning to stay just one night on our way to Aberystwyth but it was so nice we stayed for four.
The site is at the top of the hill and has fantastic views across to Cardigan and the surrounding countryside. All the pitches are level and there’s a mixture of hardstanding and grass to choose from. There are also some fully serviced pitches if you’ve got an RV or just like having water and grey waste disposal close by.
Reception is in a large wooden hut which is also home to a very well stocked information centre with all the usual tourist brochures and local attractions information and Pam and Gareth Stephens, the owners, have also put together information on local walks and other stuff to do around and about which is really useful. ... Read more
Aberbran, about 3 miles west of Brecon, is home to a very sweet Caravan Club site. On the site of Aberbran’s old railway station, it’s a long, thin site bordered by trees, for privacy, and beautiful rolling countryside around. Before I go any further I should mention that it has no toilets or showers.
The site is approached from a turning off the A40 and a narrowish road through Aberbran, past the PYO farm and over the stone bridge and a sloping entrance into the site. We have quite a large overhang and managed to turn in easily without grinding the bottom of the van.
We visited in July and the site was awash with hanging baskets and pots which makes a very traditional and pretty setting. They’ve kept the railway signs too which is fun. Reception is at the front of the site and we were met by the smiling and friendly wardens. ... Read more
We pitched up at Blossom Park Caravan Park on a lovely sunny day in July at the start of our tour of Wales. Our first stop was Abergavenny and Blossom Park is just on the outskirts of the town.
The site is easy to turn into and there’s ample parking at reception for any size of van or trailer. The owner met us and explained that we could choose our own pitch. That’s a plus as I’m not so keen on being told where to pitch. The site is on a hillside with the pitches nearest reception having the best views of the mountains. The pitches lower down don’t have the same views but the site is pleasant anyway so that doesn’t matter so much. All the pitches higher up seemed to be taken by more permanent campers and so we settled on a large pitch at the bottom of the site. ... Read more
You don’t have to venture far into Wales to reach the charming town of Abegavenny, home of the famous food festival and overlooked by Sugar Loaf Mountain. Known as the Gateway to the Brecon Beacons this makes a great stop on a tour of the area.
It’s Tourist Information centre is housed in an ancient Tythe Barn which also houses a small exhibition on the history of the town as well as their Millenium Tapestry, created for the Millennium by some very good women of the local area over a four year period.
The town has a bustling high street with tea shops galore, restaurants and predominantly independent stores. I was slightly disappointed that it wasn’t awash with delicatessens and artisanal boutiques selling delicious locally produced foods. I had made that assumption because of the food festival but I was wrong. ... Read more
For new visitors to Campingly, I thought I’d give you a quick bit about us, our travels and our vans.
Campingly was started by Annette Sharp with the occasional article from me, Emma Dixon. We are long term partners and currently live in Bristol, UK. We have one cat called Sybil.
Our motorhome adventures began back in 2011 when we decided to take a year out and do some travelling. After immersing ourselves in everything to do with motorhoming, from shows, to magazines to blogs, we bought Dolly, a Hymer 584.
She was a great van but in hot weather the drop down bed was a bit claustrophobic but she took us to France and Spain.
Then we discovered American RVs. I’m still not sure how, but we were hooked, so Dolly had to go and we welcomed Eugene an R-Vision Trail-Lite 293TS. ... Read more
There can’t be a camper van nut in the world that doesn’t know that VW has switched off production of the VW Kombi…forever. This video is something of a whimsy from VW…a kind of eulogy as spoken by the VW Kombi herself…it’s a really sweet video, worth a few minutes of your time.
So…thirty years ago, more or less, Jane Ellis, a friend from school, brought in for packed lunch some rhubarb sausage rolls. She gave me one, and since then I’ve been periodically remembering how fantastic they were, and thinking I might get round to making some of my own. Thirty years it’s taken me, but today, I have finally baked my first batch of rhubarb sausage rolls. They could become a firm fixture in our kitchen!
I thought I’d write them up as a recipe, even though there’s really nothing to it. They do make a good idea to rustle up the day before going camping as they only take about 20 minutes, and will (hopefully) keep nicely in a Tupperware container for lunchtime snacks over the next day or two.