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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!

Woolsbridge Manor Farm Caravan Park, Winborne

We had planned an ‘activity weekend’ for the end of the school summer holiday as it was our son’s 7th birthday and he loves outdoor activities, so were heading to the western edge of the New Forest with a shortlist of 3 campsites to visit and fun plans for both Saturday and Sunday mornings.

We left Reading around lunchtime on the Friday and headed South-West at a very leisurely pace, stopping for lunch in the near Lyndhurst and arrived at the first campsite around 3pm.

Woolsbridge Manor Farm Caravan Park was our first choice being closest to Moors Valley Country Park where we had booked a Junior Go-Ape adventure the following morning, and just 20-30 mins from Mudeford Quay where we would need to be early Sunday morning.

Young’un up a tree!

It was the last weekend of the school summer holiday so would likely be busy, which is why we had some backup sites to visit if needed, but thankfully they could squeeze us in and we were very happy they could.

Woolsbridge Manor Farm is a well maintained, fairly structured site with a well equipped shower/toilet block, small site shop, lots of water points and a decent children’s play area. Better still, there are several cycle tracks accessed from gates at the rear of the site that lead to Moors Valley Country Park were there is plenty to do and see, especially if you have young’uns with you.

They also have a mobile fish and chip van that visits on a Friday which made an easy job of our evening meal. We sorted Tallulah out on her pitch and unhooked the bikes to explore, getting back in plenty of time for fish and chips and an early night ready for Saturdays activities.

We were up early on Saturday and after a hearty breakfast we headed off on our bikes once again, this time with a packed lunch and lots of snack and drink provisions for a busy day. After a long ride around the tracks at Moors Valley, we stopped for a well earned lunch before locking up our bikes and pulling on some tree climbing kit for the Junior Go-Ape adventure.

There are plenty of Go-Ape sites around the UK, but only a few with a Junior Go-Ape course that allows children as young as 6 to participate (you need to be at least 10 to enjoy a ‘regular’ Go-Ape adventure) and Moors Valley Go-Ape is one of these.

Moors Valley Railway

After an hour or two of monkeying about in the trees, we were back on our bikes exploring more of Moors Valley along one of several cycle routes and found ourselves at the Moors Valley Railway – Britain’s longest narrow gauge railway – and went for a ride.

That was more than enough exercise and excitement for one day so we took a more leisurely ride back to the campsite, fired up the BBQ and settled down with an ice-cold drink.

The next morning we were up early, packed and ready to leave by 9am on the short trip to Mudeford Quay to take part in our next adventure, a 3 hour kayaking tour of the bay and Christchurch harbour booked with Shoresports.

We arrived in plenty of time to put the kettle on and tuck into bacon and egg sandwiches prepared the night before, then squeezed into some wetsuits – part of the Shoresports package – and listened to the safety briefing before setting off across the bay in kayaks.

Image courtesy of Shoresports

It took a little less than an hour to cross the bay and join the deeper channel heading into Christchurch harbour, but the deeper water and outgoing tide made the next part much harder so it took another hour to get to the mouth of the river Avon.

A quick loop around a section of the river, including a tricky crossing of the current where the river splits, led us into a much easier return journey and we were back on Mudeford Quay a little over 3 hours after we left, exhausted but also very pleased with our exploits and ready for a BIG lunch and the journey back to Reading.

We had a great, fun packed weekend, especially our young’un and it only took a few days for our soar arms to recover. We’ll definitely be doing it again!

Anita’s Caravan Park

Tallulah was on the road again last weekend, this time heading to a great looking camp site 5 miles north of Banbury – Anita’s Caravan and Camping Park.

On this adventure we will be properly testing our new larger awning both in terms of living/sleeping space with friends staying with us, and weather proofing as the conditions are forecast to be wet and windy for at least the first half of our stay.

The main reason for our trip was to attend the inaugural ‘Kombi Sleepover‘, a meeting of other Brazilian VW Bay owners from around the country, but also to test our new awning as we had friends staying with us and sleeping in it.

Tallulah with some of her friends…

We arrived shortly after 6pm and set about levelling, plugging in and pitching our awning which was somewhat challenging in the windy conditions.

All done an hour or so later so we then unpacked our picnic table and benches and had a nice relaxing meal then after a short walk to a local pub we settled in for a chat and a few more drinks before turning in for the night.

Saturday morning gave the awning a thorough test, persistent rain until after lunch and two small kids needing space to be entertained, and I’m happy to say it passed with flying colours!

The weather brightened up shortly after lunch, as did the campsite with the arrival of 9 more Brazi Bays in a wide selection of colours.

With total number of buses now at 12 the fun could really begin, everyone being introduced and having a good look around each others vans. A game of rounders ended in a tactful draw (air-cooled vs water-cooled) and we all sat round the campfire (BBQ) waiting for Kiteman’s solar lights to glow.

All setup ready for the weekend

A well earned late breakfast Sunday morning and a leisurely pack-up before heading south for a spot of lunch in Oxford.

A great weekend with lots of very nice people and great looking buses, it looks like becoming an annual event.