The weekend wasn’t looking great weather wise as we approached our first two nights of camping in our new VW LT Westfalia campervan. The forecast was correct with long spells of rain.
The first night was a night of confusion as we tried to establish a practical working solution in foreign territory. What came second nature in the smaller campervan, became a challenge in the larger van. We are seasoned campers now, and can quickly ascertain what may be a long term working proposition, and what will not stand the test of time. The second day we had a list of things to move or alter. Everything else will be minor tweaks as we work towards a long term package that will make time in this vehicle as seamless as can be.
Our September break always used to be the one we focused on as our main holiday. That said, the last three years we have taken advantage of extended holidays earlier on in the year to make the most of the good weather, but also avoiding high season. We have the luxury of being able to skirt the rush of the school holidays, and taking breaks after schools starts the new term in September, has always been a blessing to us as the usually extortionate prices plummet.
Lots of things have happened since our amazing and blissful getaway in June. Mandy’s Mum became seriously ill, and I have had to take some time off work with anxiety, stress and depression. We both considered cancelling this holiday for all of the reasons mentioned… but the treatment for Mandy’s mum looked promising, and we both agreed we could do with time away to just chill.
We set off with a campsite booked. It was my job to sort this, and I was overly chuffed that i had found a camp site that I felt would be perfect. The Caravan and Motorhome sites usually offer some of the best amenities, and the webpage pictures looked perfect, but it seemed remarkably cheap!
However, after a late start and obviously late arrival as a result, we were a little confused when we were asked if we had a toilet by the campsite reception. Mandy questioned this, and we found that the lower price was reflected in the lack of amenities. Electric was included, but no shower and toilet block.
So we spent a little time on our mobile phones trying to get another pitch local. We found one that looked like it would tick the box, but the phone went dialed with an out of hours message, and everything was looking like we wouldn’t be able to arrive late notice. our options were limited and the campsite was only a short drive away so we took a chance and drove half an hour to Puddledock Farm.
Fortunately, on arrival we were greeted by the wardens and given a healthy list of available pitches. We parked in a very roomy corner pitch a short walk from the shower blocks. We were really pleased as the website photos didn’t really do this campsite justice. Pleasantly surprised!
We were invited to a good friends 60th Birthday party a few months prior. It was being held in the city of York and we knew that it would be nice to hook up for the occasion, and combine it with a long weekend away in the van.
We had stayed at this club site previously, and knew that its close location to the city centre made ultra convenient.
We spend a lot of time at Calke Abbey. It’s one of the few places you can park up in amazing surroundings and just chill with friends and family. It’s great to be able to use the campervan as a base to prepare food and drinks, or just to provide a cool place out of the sun if we are blessed with the good weather.
However, the only disadvantage was the toilet facilities were a twenty minute walk each way to the main house. This proved quite an inconvenience, so having a portaloo in the van went some way to helping the situation, but it wasn’t ideal.
That said, for a couple of years there was some major work being carried out behind the trees and we heard it was a new visitors centre. It was a long time coming but this Sunday outing we finally got to experience the new attraction. We were all really impressed.