Crocs For Camping Shoes

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Crocs - perfect for campingI don’t know about other campers but I seem to need a surprising array of footwear for camping. I’m not even a shoes kind of person. But there’s shoes for driving, shoes for inside the van, shoes for outside on the campsite, flip-flops for the showers….don’t even get me started on day shoes, walking boots etc.

An obvious choice for campers is the only slightly naff crocs.  I’m possibly the only person in the world who doesn’t get on with crocs, but my partner swears by them, with a pair for in the van and another pair for out on the campsite and in the camp showers. Slip on and supremely washable, they do make the perfect shoe for camping.

Don’t be tempted by any of the looky-likey croc wannabees…genuine crocs are where it’s at. They come in a bewildering range of colours and styles these days, so you’re no longer limited to dull khaki or weirdo pink. ... Read more

November 4, 2011 |

France Passion

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France Passion Tell non-camping friends that you’re thinking of signing up for the France Passion scheme, and you’re going to get some distinctly odd looks. With whispering, quite possibly… But really there’s no need to worry, it’s all perfectly above board and respectable.

The concept of France Passion is simplicity itself.  France is, as we all know, stuffed to the gills with farms and vineyards in beautiful countryside. These all make fabulous places to camp if you have  a motorhome or camper that’s  fully self-sufficent. Thousands of farmers and vineyard owners have signed up to the scheme, which allows tourers to stay on their site for up to 24 hours free of charge.  The idea is that the site owners will very often have fresh produce or other goods to sell, and that in return for a free place to stay, you’ll perhaps buy some fresh eggs, ham and such. ... Read more

November 4, 2011 |

Review: Dorling Kindersley France

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I sometimes think that if the Internet, with all it’s visual abundance, hadn’t been invented, then Dorling Kindersley would have taken over the world. Back in the 90s, I remember being swept away by DK’s excess of photos and illustrations in every book they produced. To my mind, this makes DK country guides by far the best travel guides on the market. They may not have the depth or quirkiness of Lonely Planet or Rough Guides, but as a starting point for deciding what you want to see on your next big trip, they’re invaluable.

I’m currently planning a 6-month European trip for 2012, so the Dorling Kindersley France guide is one of my constant companions. From it, I’ve been tempted by the glorious Gorges du Tarn, the Camargue with its ponies and flamingoes, and all sorts of smaller towns, chateaux and beaches. ... Read more

November 4, 2011 |

Camping Recipe: Easy Camping Cake

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Easy Camping Cake

I’ve named this recipe Easy Camping Cake not because it’s easy to make whilst you’re camping, but because it’s easy and it’s great to take with you when you go camping. It’s good for those en route roadside stops for a cuppa and something to nibble, and it’s great with custard as an easy pudding or even as an emergency breakfast. It keeps brilliantly in a Tupperware container, staying lovely and moist for a weekend or longer.

Ingredients

125g caster sugar

250g plain flour

4tsp baking powder

50g butter, cubed

1 egg

100ml milk

1tsp cinnamon

400g fresh fruit, chopped (* see note for what fruit works well!)

 

* you can choose what fruit you want really for this recipe. I’ve made it with gooseberries, rhubarb, apple and even tinned pineapple.  It turned out delicious every time!

 

Instructions

Pre-heat the oven to 170c/gas mark 3. ... Read more

November 4, 2011 |

Campsites With Sea Views

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If you could magically whisk people away for a weekend, and have them wake up at a campsite with a glorious sea view, I’m pretty sure most diehard non-campers would be converted.  Whether it’s breakfast outside the van with the birds tweeting behind you, or beers at sunset, you cannot beat a campsite with a sea view.  We’ve picked five of the best:

 

View from Durdle Door Holiday Park

Durdle Door Holiday Park – this one is very definitely a sea view campsite rather than a beachside site – the beach is a good 15 minutes walk down the cliff from the campsite.  But this campsite is still a firm favourite – it has stunning views out to sea from the clifftop area of the site, and once you’ve walked down to the beach, you can admire the  magnificent rocky creation that is Durdle Door, as well as swim in safe, clean waters. ... Read more

November 4, 2011 |

Campsite Review: Tudor Caravan Park Slimbridge

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October this year seemed like everyone’s favourite month. After a summer that was mediocre weather-wise, October came along and the sun shone and shone.

Somewhere in the middle of all that sunshine, we had an overnight stay at the Tudor Caravan Park at Slimbridge, in Gloucestershire.

We arrived around noon on Saturday, and the friendly man on reception ran through the layout of the site, and told us there would be a chip van calling later that evening.  As the entire site is perfectly level, we just drove onto the pitch, filled up with water, then headed off for a walk along the Gloucester to Sharpness Canal.

The canal is just 2 minutes away from the campsite, and is ideal for leisurely strolling in either direction.  Also just a few minutes away is the Slimbridge Wildfowl & Wetlands Trust Centre, but since we’ve been there a few times before, we gave it a miss on this trip. ... Read more

November 4, 2011 |

Campsite Review: Durdle Door

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Durdle Door

Yes, those are people jumping off the rocks

I still can’t quite believe how lucky we were to chose that amazingly sunny weekend at the start of October for a trip to Durdle Door, in Dorset. Durdle Door Holiday Park has an amazing location anyway, but in perfect weather it’s unbeatable.

We headed down on the Friday, expecting to be there just after lunch.  A huge road diversion meant that it was closer to 3 o’clock when we arrived.  The campsite operates a ‘pick your own pitch’ scheme, so we headed up to the Sea View area and grabbed ourselves a great spot. All the Sea View pitches are sloping, so you’ll definitely need levelling blocks.

We levelled up more or less, then popped on our swimming gear and zipped down to the beach for a swim. Yes, swimming in the sea on September 30th. ... Read more

November 4, 2011 |

Van Spotting: Mystery A-Class

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Annoyingly, I forgot to note down the make and model of this motorhome.  I’m quite taken with it…it’s got similar styling to the old-style Hymers, which probably accounts for why I like it so much.

Mystery A Class

I wouldn’t fancy changing the wiper blades though! ... Read more

November 4, 2011 |
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