14th May 2019
Can caravanning be spontaneous, especially when the forecasters predict a hot Bank Holiday?
Stumbling across British Pathe’s YouTube channel, caravanning from the 1950’s and 1960’s embodies spontaneity with grainy clips from yesteryear showing folks hitching-up on a whim and heading towards the coast.
The picturesque site of choice is occupied by a handful of other units, is incredibly close to whatever activity the filmmakers have chosen to focus upon and, importantly, the cost for the prefect weekend away is negligible. This carefree approach to booking can’t exist today, can it?
Our school holidays trips are usually booked weeks, possibly months in advance, but a combination of events meant that Easter looked to be caravan-free, something which hadn’t happened before. What’s more, news of an unseasonably hot Easter weekend was flooding TV and social media channels which meant something had to be done.
Whilst compiling a Dorset-based feature for the Caravan and Motorhome Club Magazine, I’d stumbled across a stunning CL site just an hour from home. If you’re not sure what a CL or CS site is, they are independently owned, five-unit sites listed by The Caravan and Motorhome Club and The Camping and Caravanning Club.
Get the kids out on their bikes at your favourite CL site
Being able to accommodate just five caravans or motorhomes may limit availability but here’s a handy tip when looking for a last-minute getaway - search for a site WITHOUT electric hook-up.
Electricity is a must-have for many folks, especially during school holidays, but your caravan or motorhome is equally at home without it and, chances are, the only things you won’t be able to use are the 3-pin plugs and the microwave. Admittedly, I did have to invest in an inverter for my wife’s hair straighteners as she refused to leave the Phoenix with hair that resembled a coconut, but you get my point…
Trigon Farm CL sits opposite Wareham Forest (a mountain bike hot spot) and with the forecasters accurately predicting blue, sun-filled skies, I donned my first pair of shorts for 2019, dazzled passers-by with legs the colour of Ready Brek, and headed for the trails.
Taking Bill for a walk on the bikes
Us Dad’s like nothing more than a bargain day out and Bill (our Jack Russell) was also enjoying our chosen activity as I peddled precariously into the distance while holding his lead. Holding the handlebars with one hand and Bill’s lead with the other is a two-wheeled version of patting your head and rubbing your stomach and looks received suggested it’s not a common occurrence in Dorset.
The rest of our bargain basement weekend was equally outdoorsy with a heathland dog walk, a spot of football during a moment when we had the entire site to ourselves and, after a spot of over exertion, a cup of PG Tips on a picnic blanket.
Bill relaxing after a busy day outdoors
A weekend away with the kids doesn’t have to be booked months in advance and, as it turns out, it needn’t cost a fortune either as pitch fees were an incredibly reasonable £11 per night.