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Cheddar Mendip Heights

Our first trip with friends – the three of us in our Vdub camper and the four of them in a 6 man tent – was planned at Mendip Heights, a Caravan and Camping Club site in the middle of the amazing Somerset countryside near Cheddar.

As normal we took the scenic route, following the A4 west out of Reading then across to the A303 via Aldermaston and on to Stone Henge. From there we took various A and B roads zig-zagging our way to our destination for around 11.30am.

The campsite was very easy to find and everyone was very helpful and friendly. The site has a combination of hard standing and grass pitches in 3 or 4 fields separated by low stone walls. Most of the pitches have a gentle slope, but there were plenty of bricks and pieces of wood to aid levelling and we were setup within the hour and ready to help our friends pitch their tent.

The kids went to explore the play area and the adults sat down for a catch up and glass of wine.

After some food we all went for a nice long walk – there are several recommended walks of varying distances, the site shop even sells a handy walking guide book.

The site shop was excellent, selling a wide range of essentials as well as local produce and a pre-ordering service for fresh bread and croissant for breakfast. The showers/toilets were equally as good, very clean and well maintained.

We were only staying for the one night so after settling the kids into their sleeping bags we finished another bottle and settled down for the night.

In the morning we enjoyed our fresh croissant immensely then did a leisurely pack-up ready to leave the site at noon and head back to Reading once again.

Cheddar Mendip Heights is an excellent site, great location, fantastic facilities and very reasonably priced. It’s a Caravan and Camping Club site, but non-members are welcome, and is very friendly and family oriented.

We will definitely visit again.

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.