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Fishery Creek Caravan Park, Hayling Island

The 2014 camping season has started and the weather for the school Easter holidays was looking good so we loaded up and headed south for an adventure on Hayling Island.
We had chosen Fishery Creek Caravan Park because it was a short walk from the beach and because it runs alongside Fishery Creek with its own slipway and we wanted to use our kayak.

We arrived at approximately 3pm after a very clear run from Reading and we were parked up and pitched (overlooking the creek) shortly after. The weather was gloriously sunny but quite windy, so we decided not to use our sun canopy although we did use our new wind break.
After a bite to eat we went for a walk to and along the beach at Sandy Point and watched the start of sunset before walking back and preparing for an early night.

The next morning we woke early, had a shower in the excellent site facilities, then made breakfast, washed up and unpacked our inflatable kayak.

We were waiting for some friends to arrive (guests are allowed on site if they pay a small fee at the reception) and for the tide to come in before we could use the slipway into the creek so we relaxed with a book in the sun.

Our friends arrived and eventually the tide came in enough so we made our way into the water for a paddle and swim. The creek is very shallow (and muddy) with a reasonable tidal current and after a couple of hours we were ready to get cleaned up and dried.
After another trip to the site showers we fired up the BBQ (first of many this season!) And enjoyed a cool glass of cider as a reward for our wet suited antics.

Our friends headed off early evening so we went for another walk along the beach, returning in the dark, and settled in for our second night.

The next morning breakfast was dealt with and cleaned up and we started packing everything else up ready to leave the site, but the adventure was far from over. We were packed and ready to leave the site at midday, so after an ice cream at the highly recommended ice cream shop at Sandy Point, we headed along to the other end of the Island to an almost deserted beach where we unpacked our kayak once again and took it out onto the open sea.
Although much calmer than the previous days, kayaking on the open sea is a different proposition, with waves, tides and wind to contend with. An exhilarating hour or two later and we were once again dry and packed and having a bite to eat in the local pub before heading back to Reading.

A great trip with fab weather and a good opportunity to fully test our new kayak on open water. We will definitely return!

The Inside Park, Blandford Forum, Dorset


Loaded & Ready

Although we’ve been out and about in Tallulah already this year this was the first opportunity we’ve had to go camping. We had plans to meet up with some friends on the Devon/Somerset border but as it was the Easter weekend we decided to take our time and break up the journey with an overnight stop in Dorset, on the western edge of the New Forest.

We left around midday heading almost directly South-West via Andover and Salisbury, at a very leisurely pace and arrived at the camp site in a little over 2 hours. We had chosen the The Inside Park due to it’s open woodland location and large adventure playground, ideal for our 6yo son, and it didn’t disappoint!

Adventure time!

The site is set well back from the main road along a narrow tree lined lane, within the gently undulating grounds of the former 18C Down House Estate with around 120 pitches, most with EHU. The reception, toilet and washing block is all housed within the former stables, along with a games room containing pool and table tennis tables and the surrounding grounds are very well maintained.

We hadn’t booked in advance – which might be an issue in peak season – so we were allocated a pitch with EHU roughly in the centre of the camping field and set about levelling and plugging in. The large adventure playground entertained our 6yo for ages, returning to us only when hungry. We then cycled 2 different mountain bike trails (maps and trail guides provided at reception) and properly wore him out so we would all have a great nights sleep.

Tallulah's new friend Thomas

Other features:

  • Well maintained toilet, shower and washing up facilities.
  • Indoor games room with pool and table tennis tables and table football.
  • Picnic benches, free to use and relocate next to your pitch.
  • On site shop well equipped with all the normal ‘essentials’.
  • ‘Late arrivals’ area so the remainder of the site remains undisturbed after 10pm.
  • Take away menus available at reception for the local delicacies of Blandford Forum!

If you are looking for a relaxed, child friendly site on the western edge of the New Forest then I can highly recommend The Inside Park, just minutes from Blandford Forum.

Thorness Bay, Isle of Wight

For Tallulah’s next trip we decided to be a bit more adventurous and go ‘overseas’… to the Isle of Wight. We also wanted to try a more child focussed site as it was the start of the Easter holidays and we chose one of the four Park Resorts holiday parks on the island, Thorness Bay near Cowes.

We had been to the Isle of Wight several times previously, for day trips and to the festival (and Bestival), but never in a vdub camper so our 5yo was amazed that we could simply drive Tallulah onto a boat.

We were booked on the 11.25 ferry from Lymington so left Reading at 9am for a very scenic and leisurely cruise south along the A33 to Winchester, A3090 through Romsey and finally picking up the A337 heading into the New Forest.

We arrived in plenty of time and ate our lunch on the sun deck during the crossing.

We arrived at the site soon after and once checked in, went about finding our allocated pitch – the pitch numbering system was somewhat out of sync with the map we were given – and setting up.

Tallulah was levelled, plugged in and attached to her awning after an hour or so – Oli had made friends with a boy of a similar age and was happily cruising around on his bike – so we relaxed in the glorious weather for a while before exploring the rest of the site and the nearby beach.

The site had a great atmosphere, very friendly and not too busy – although it was the very start of season when we visited – a swimming pool, large adventure playground, various ‘kiddy club’ activities throughout the day as well as shows and other entertainment in the evenings, two bars, a shop and a restaurant.

Most of the activities and entertainment are included in the pitch price so if you’re for a site with lots of things for kids, it’s a bargain!

We stayed for two nights making the most if the facilities and headed back to the mainland on the Fishbourne to Portsmouth ferry, passing the Isle of Wight festival site on the way.

Once again we took the scenic route back to Reading on the A3 and arrived home in roughly two hours.