Campsite Review – Baltic Wharf, Bristol

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Bristol is my home city but it didn’t stop me taking a trip to the fantastic Caravan Club site at Baltic Wharf, right by the floating harbour and the SS Great Britain.  You may think it’s strange taking the van two miles down the road but we were short of time, and more importantly, hadn’t got a cat sitter.  Staying at Baltic Wharf meant we could have a trip out in the van but still go home to feed our cat.

We were lucky that the weekend we picked at the beginning of December was gloriously sunny and mild which always makes for  a better trip.  On the Caravan Club’s website it showed that the site was full but I phoned the site direct and they did have a place for us.  We had to have one of the smaller pitches which meant that we wouldn’t be able to put our awning out but that didn’t matter to us, we were just glad to get a place.   ... Read more

December 16, 2013 |

Joseph Joseph Wash & Drain Washing-Up Bowl

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I was in the scrum of Christmas shoppers in John Lewis, Cribbs Causeway yesterday.  It was chaotic, I was feeling very frazzled (I hate crowds in shops), and I was struggling with what to buy various relatives that I never clap eyes on from one year to the next, when I saw this amazing Joseph Joseph Wash & Drain Washing-Up Bowl.  I had to remind myself that I was shopping for other people and not for kit for my new motorhome.

Washing-up in the van is always a bit of a nuisance,  the bowl is quite small and I splash water all over the place.  I like washing-up at the campsite’s own sinks but in the winter when it’s cold and dark I just can’t bring myself to go outside.  So the Wash & Drain bowl looks the perfect thing.

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It’s big enough to wash-up dinner plates and pans and has straight, high sides to stop the slopping of water.     ... Read more

December 4, 2013 |

S’Mores

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I didn’t know what a S’more was until earlier today.  So I now know they are a sweet confection of deliciousness originating somewhere in North America, and perhaps invented by the Girl Guides way back in the 1920’s.  It tells you how good they are by the fact they’re still made today.

Anyway, finding the technical aspects of cooking quite challenging, I think even I could make a S’more (some more, get it?).  All the recipes I’ve found suggest that a real S’more has to be cooked over a campfire, but I’m guessing you could improvise with the flame of a gas ring or a grill.

So here it is, the recipe for S’mores –

Graham Crackers

Milk Chocolate Hershey Bar

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Apparently, the closest thing we have to a Graham Cracker is a Digestive biscuit and a Hershey bar is just like a bar of Galaxy or Dairy Milk (only not as nice).   ... Read more

November 22, 2013 |

Christmas Gadget Gifts Under £100

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Here at Campingly we’re partial to a good gadget.  We usually manage to avoid buying the latest thing by calculating how many nights camping the cost of said gadget would be equal to, and we decide we’d rather have the camping than the gadget.  However, Christmas is coming and here are some gadgets that outdoorsy people might like to find in their stockings, and all for under £100.  We’ve also done a Christmas list of gadgets under a fiver if your budget is tight.

If you know someone like me who doesn’t know one end of an Ordnance Survey map from the other, then a handheld GPS device might be just the thing.  Check out the Garmin Dakota 10 Handheld GPS – Amazon from £94.98

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Last time we went away travelling in Europe for six months the only books I could get my hands on were Jackie Collins blockbusters and the complete works of  Martina Cole.   ... Read more

November 20, 2013 |

Our new Hobby 750 Motorhome

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Finally, we’ve got a new van.  We’ve said goodbye to our lovely American motorhomes for the time being (very thirsty, ergo very expensive) and have returned to a European model.  Our first van was a Hymer, which had great build quality, and so we decided to go with a German manufacturer again.  Having had a 31ft American RV we wanted something with a bit of space and the Hobby 750 seemed to fit the bill very nicely.  Finding a left hand drive van proved quite tricky and took a few months of searching to find just the right one.

Eventually we found one in the Midlands.  Left hand drive, garage, fixed rear single beds, immaculate condition inside and out,  18,000 miles, 2006 plate.  We’re very pleased.  We’ve called her Wilma.

Last weekend we went up to Lincolnshire to stay with relatives who’ve just bought a dilapidated bungalow in two acres.   ... Read more

November 19, 2013 |

Campsite Review – Parkland, Kingsbridge, Devon

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Parkland Campsite is an AA Five Pennant campsite located about a  mile outside the busy town of Kingsbridge in the heart of the beautiful South Hams district of Devon.  We were lucky with our November visit as it was gloriously sunny and mild.

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I had telephoned a few days before our visit to check if we needed to book.  I was told that there would be no need to book as they had plenty of space.  I would suggest that you check before you travel as I know the site gets very busy in the spring and summer.

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When we arrived we were offered a fully serviced, hard standing pitch which was good as we’ve found that our new van will get stuck on grass really easily.  We were told where everything was, showers, w.c., laundry, chemical waste emptying, etc, and then left to our own devices.   ... Read more

November 18, 2013 |

Breffo Spiderpodium

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If you’re anything like us your phone now has multiple uses – phone, camera, video recorder, and this clever little gadget, the Spiderpodium from  Breffo, will hold your phone in just the right place to allow you to take the perfect photo or record that awesome video.  It can hold your MP3 player, your sat-nav, your e-reader, your Nintendo DS.

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So how does it work?  The Spiderpodium is made of fully flexible, soft-touch rubber and has 8 legs, and a docking platform, compatible with most handheld gadgets out there.  Simply grip your gadget with the flexible legs and there you have a tripod, or wind it round the frame of your bike, put your smartphone on the dock, and set it to record, and film your great adventure.

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I like the idea of being able to set up my camera on the dashboard ready to take tripod quality photos on the move. ... Read more

November 14, 2013 |

Motorhome Basics – Electric Hook-Up

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If you’re a seasoned camper then you’ll be well versed on the electric hook-up cable, but if you’re new to caravanning, motorhoming or indeed camping, then it’s an essential piece of kit.

When you go out and about and stay on campsites most, but not all, will provide an electricity supply (check before you book with a site).  This is usually provided from one of a number of electricity supply posts sited around the campsite.  Your hook-up cable will then run from the post to your van.  One end has a 3-pin plug (male), which you plug into the electricity supply on the site, and the other has a 3-pin coupler socket (female) which you plug into the hook-up point on the side of your van.

Top Tip – get in the habit of plugging the hook-up cable into your van first and then plugging the other end in, as this way you’re not plugging the cable into your van with the power already on. ... Read more

November 13, 2013 |

Road-Cam Recorder

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When you’re on the road for a while, the urge usually comes along to want to film some of the more breathtaking trips.  The Corniche on the Cote d’Azur, le Pont de Normandie, meadows in the Pyrenees or sometimes even the murky crossing over the Severn Estuary.  I’ve fiddled about with my phone and my little video camera trying to save those very breathtaking views for posterity.  What I actually get is a really good shot of my hands or lap, lots of camera shake and glare from the windscreen.  I don’t want to bore myself or anyone else with hours of film of us trundling along the road but some bits really are worth a second look.  There’s also the added bonus that if you’re unlucky enough to be involved in, or witness an accident, it’s all on film.  

I’ve had a look on the internet and I quite like the look of this Road-Cam Recorder from RoadPro. ... Read more

November 6, 2013 |

Christmas Gifts Under a Fiver

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Working on a budget and wondering what to get your caravanning, camping and motorhoming relatives and friends?  Here are a few ideas.

 

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Getting the right pitch and facing the right way for the evening sun is always a priority.  With this pocket compass from Outdoor Ranger for £4.99 it makes the job so much easier.

Setting up camp also involves drinking quite a bit of tea.  Here’s a handy tea bag squeezer to keep tea making clean and tidy.

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From John Lewis at £3.00

Keep caravan cupboards tidy by sealing all opened packets with these useful Jumbo Klippits from Lakeland at £3.59

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When it’s lashing down with rain there’s nothing for it but to get the playing cards out.  Get these fun Bicycle Playing Cards from John Lewis at £3.99

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Everyone seems to be getting more adventurous on their caravan and motorhoming trips, with the countries of Eastern Europe offering exciting countries to visit.   ... Read more

November 5, 2013 |
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