Beer, Planes, Boats & Trains

Another oblique title but be assured all will appear in this two part blog at some point – some more than others, you can probably guess which. Anyway, here goes:

So finally! After the longest half-term of the school year it was time to get Patsy’s legs up again and drag her out of the storage yard after a well earned break. Here’s what happened:

Our first stop was west – just outside Devizes at the Camping & Caravan Club site – for our ninth Twittercamp meet up with fellow caravanners and were just a little apprehensive about the journey. You see Rosie has had a warning light showing intermittently for the past week or so. The manual suggests taking it to a dealer (kerching!) but not what the issue might be. We were none the wise after a search on Google whose results indicated that anything from a bad earth connection to brexit might be the cause. We needn’t have worried though. Despite the light remaining on throughout the journey, Rosie performed admirably evening managing close on 30mpg – a figure we could only dream of in the summer when we thought the mounting miles and workload might be taking it’s toll. On restarting to head to the pitch once checked in, the light was conspicuous by its absence.

Attentive Legs Downers might recall that we’d been to this site before – back in February 2014 on both our current car and caravan’s first trip. The weather that week was awful – in fact had we not wanted to try out or new combo we wouldn’t have travelled. Apt then that Storm Brian was predicted to do his worst over the weekend of our meet – but handy having The Three Magpies just a few minutes walk from the site entrance – a great dog friendly pub that served us up some terrific food over the weekend.20171023_192732[6]

The meet itself went well and you can read a more detailed review HERE. As is usual with these gatherings we didn’t get out and about much other than to the supermarket or the pub but having been before we weren't too bothered. Site wise the wardens were friendly and helpful. A mixture of grass and hardstanding pitches it was hardly surprising that the grassed areas were out of action but even some of the 20171022_095901hardstanding pitches were a little waterlogged and it was muddy in places where vehicles had cut up the grass. Facilities though were clean and tidy if a little dated. The push button showers were great – water was hot and plentiful - particularly after the little awning peg/ladder combo had been suitably deployed. Site WiFi was poor – we used my mobile’s hotspot facility and had no problems.

Tuesday saw us head back east along the M4 to Buckinghamshire and the Wyatts Covert Caravan & Motorhome Club site near Denham. Easy access to London is one of the selling points and that was the main reason we chose it. More on that later.

DSC_0099Access from the motorway was straightforward although it’s worth following the club’s directions as you avoid a large portion of the often narrow Tilehouse Lane. We didn’t and followed the SatNav. Having done both I can see why the clubs advice is worth taking. There’s no point makingDSC_0098 life any harder if you can help it. Welcome was once again friendly and we went off to choose our pitch which, given that there are only 50 pitches – all hardstanding – didn’t take long. After setting up and settling down for a kip we went out for a trundle to get our bearings and what became clear was that there was more to the area than just easy access to London. We were looking forward to seeing more but did note the location of a few pubs for the comings day’s research expeditions…..

Talking of which, that evening saw us at the Bear on the Barge in nearby Harefield about 6-7 minutes drive from the site. The house ale was a bit too fruity but the Directors was fine. Food wise we opted for burgers not least because of the 2-4-1 offer which made them good value although clearly they’d run out of plates and had to make do with chopping boards. Dogs were welcome in the garden but not in the bar or restaurant.

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Wednesday was a lazy day – I typed up our meet whilst Trev done some ‘house’ work. The afternoon saw us go for a wander around nearby Rickmansworth. Local beers were procured and tea and scones consumed on what was a very pleasant afternoon. Probably too warm to be poncing about in a long leather coat. But I did anyway!

With the cupboard still bare and  in order to stave off imminent starvation another research expedition was necessary. This time the proprietors of the Oaks were the no doubt ecstatic recipients of our custom. The food was fine and the opportunity to try a local beer brewed just a few miles away was welcome.

Right, that’s it for now. Stand by for more pubs, a rather nice lunch and at last, some sightseeing. Oh, and the trains, boats and planes too….


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