Category Archives: Camping

Europe’s best campsites by lakes and rivers

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/travel/campingholidays/11642919/Europes-best-camping-sites-by-lake-and-river.html

In this extract from ‘Cool Camping Europe’, editor Jonathan Knight chooses his favourite sites near the continent’s lakes, rivers, reservoirs and waterfalls

From France’s Lake District to the wilds of Slovenia, staying in yurts, wooden caravans and treehouses, here are some of the best places to enjoy the great outdoors.

Müllerwiese, Germany

A family-run, family-friendly oasis, Müllerwiese is a small but perfectly formed operation that’s been running since 1972. On the edge of a picturesque German village called Enzklösterle, the area resembles nothing more than a large, pretty household garden, with around 75 pitches stretched along the River Enz. Away from the riverbanks, you can pitch in a grassy, car-free area, purely for tenters, or rent one of two log cabins edging the camping field. The Enz provides a gurgling soundtrack, fir trees offer shelter and facilities are appropriately modest but adequate, accompanied by a playground in the garden. Quaint Enzklösterle on the doorstep will keep you busy and the vast Black Forest all around will keep you busier still – visit the tourist office directly opposite the campsite to get started.
Location: Campsite Müllerwiese, Hirschtalstrasse 3, D-75337 Enzklösterle, Germany
Contact: coolcamping.co.uk

Müllerwiese, Germany. (Credit: Cool Camping)

Quinta de Odelouca, Portugal

When it comes to waterside lounging in the Algarve, it’s usually a mad dash to the beach accompanied by a swarm of other British sun-seekers. Backtrack into the forested Serra de Monchique, the region’s mountain range, and it’s a totally different story. Above the coastal crowds, Quinta de Odelouca overlooks a tranquil river basin, gradually widening into a vast reservoir. Almost all of the 25 pitches come shaded by olive trees and the basic but clean sanitary facilities offer something for everyone – there’s a baby-changing room, disabled-friendly showers and a chemical disposal point for the caravanning community. There’s even a saltwater swimming pool, perfect for cooling off on summer afternoons. With high peaks puncturing the surroundings, the site is a perfect base to do some serious hiking or canoeing.
Location: Quinta de Odelouca, Vale Grande Baixo, Monte das Pitas, São Marcos da Serra, Portugal
Contact: coolcamping.co.uk

 

Quinta de Odelouca. (Credit: Cool Camping)

Camping Val d’Or, Luxembourg

Luxembourg boasts a total area of just 999 square miles but, tucked in the valley of the Clerve River, Camping Val d’Or boasts perhaps the finest acreage of the lot. Spread around the riverbanks, the campsite is an oasis of greenery with the water at its heart. Shallow, rocky and gently flowing, the Clerve occupies children for hours and, while there is room to pitch along its edges, campers can also cross a wooden footbridge to more spacious pitches hidden behind tall hedges – best for peace and quiet. Not that the place is a riot at the best of times. The village of Enscherange has a population of 140 and it’s a five-minute drive to the nearest restaurant in Drauffelt. It’s an easy and scenic train journey to historic Luxembourg City, though, with day tickets costing just €4 (£3).
Location: Camping Val d’Or, Um Gaertchen 2, Luxembourg
Contact: coolcamping.co.uk

 

Camping Cal d’Or. (Credit: Cool Camping)

Agricampeggio Madonna Di Pogi, Italy

Tuscany may not strike you as a secluded getaway – Pisa and pizza-seekers swamp the place in summer. Yet at the region’s eastern fringes, you can truly leave the beaten track. Nestled in the heart of the Val’d’Ambra, verdant hills stretch for miles around while inland lagoons puddle the valley floor. Comprising eight wooden “caravans” and five wooden “tent houses”, Agricampeggio Madonna di Pogi offers ingenious glamping accommodation fully furnished within so you can travel lightly and sleep deeply. When the weather’s nice, the private lake is perfect for a cooling dip or a spot of fishing in the shade of the cypress grove. Some of Italy’s most iconic Renaissance sights are easily reachable too: Florence, Siena and Arezzo are all within an hour’s drive.
Location: Agricampeggio Madonna Di Pogi, Via della Madonna, 52, Pogi AR, Italy
Contact: coolcamping.co.uk

 

Camp Liza, Slovenia

It pays to bring along your own personal kayak to Slovenia’s Kamp Liza. With so many others lying around, without one you might feel a bit left out. The site offers access to two rivers: the emerald-green Soca and the clear, wild Koritnica, making it a serious boon for aqua aficionados. Surrounded by the peaks and pastures of the Bovec Valley, the campsite is a large, laid-back space with relatively basic facilities – there are lavatories, hot showers and disabled bathrooms, but they’re a bit limited. Groups are directed to the lower terrace, next to the burbling Soca; families gather in the central area, while tenters head to the farthest field. It’s a couple of kilometres to 800-year-old Bovec, a centre for adventure sports, with an array of cafés, shops and traditional restaurants, as well as a daily market.
Location: Kamp Liza, Vodenca 4, 5230 Bovec, Slovenia
Contact: coolcamping.co.uk

Camp Liza. (Credit: Cool Camping)

Camping De Roos, The Netherlands

Meandering through the sprawling, grassy meadows of Camping De Roos, the River Vecht is the perfect centrepiece to nights under canvas. Many cycle here along the river’s towpath, a journey punctuated with a refreshing dunk to cool off en route. Upon arrival, campers truly are spoiled for choice with pleasant places to pitch up. An undulating space scattered with trees, bushes and winding paths, the site has an intimacy belying the wide variety of pitches. For something special, two designated trekkersvelden are tucked away amid the chunkier trees, exclusively reserved for anyone arriving by bike or on foot. Situated in an area of breathtaking natural beauty, preservation is a priority, with timed showers, recycling bins and an on-site shop chock-full of healthy foods, planet-friendly cleaning unguents and the most local of local produce.
Location: Camping De Roos, Beerzerweg 10, 7736 PJ Beerze-Ommen, the Netherlands
Contact: coolcamping.co.uk

Camping de Roos. (Credit: Cool Camping)

Camping Milin Kerhé, France

On and around the Brittany coastline there is no shortage of camping destinations but Camping Milin Kerhé stands out from the pack. Not many sites can boast such an idyllic setting: pristine terraced fields hugged by dappled woodland with a salmon-rich river meandering languidly through. The general laid-back air of the place is mirrored in the camping options on offer. Tents, campervans and motorhomes are all welcome, while hanging tents slung up in the woodlands are pre-arranged for campers travelling light. It’s echoed too in the varied activities, from volleyball and boules to kayaking on the majestic Trieux or following nature trails along its banks. Campfires are very much encouraged and riverside picnic tables are set up for family barbecues. If you do decide to leave, the beaches of the coast are a mere 30 minutes away.
Location: Camping de Milin Kerhé Rue du Moulin 22200 Pabu
Contact: coolcamping.co.uk

 

Camping Milin Kerhé. (Credit: Cool Camping)

Lima Escape, Portugal

On the western edge of Peneda-Gerês National Park, the appropriately huge Lima Escape (capacity for 400 campers) seems to maintain an intimate atmosphere while still showing off the park’s vast natural beauty. Pitching up in mixed woods of oak and pine, campers can rest near a babbling stream that snakes along one edge, or pick a point overlooking the open Rio Lima, resembling more a long, slim lake than a river. Two tepees, two bell tents and two tree houses are the summation of their glamping options and poach the best views on the site, each with their own wooden terraces. Ramblers and mountain bikers will love the surroundings. Peneda-Gerês is spread across four dramatic granite peaks, and is especially popular in late spring when its wild flower-lined trails are in full bloom.
Location: Lima Escape, Lugar de Igreja, 4980-312 Entre Ambos-os-Rios, Ponte da Barca – Viana do Castelo, Portugal
Contact: coolcamping.co.uk

Forest Days, Spain

Four fully furnished bell tents, raised on wooden platforms are the sole accommodation in this Pyrenean glamping site, each separated from one another to provide space and seclusion. Inside, super king-size beds are accompanied by bedside tables made out of enormous round logs, while outside, guests have their own vista-viewing dining space and a hammock for relaxing. Venture down the track and a pleasant walk reveals the majestic Vall d’Ora River, where an old, disused lock has become a re-wilding waterfall, with pools on either side perfect for swimming. Off-site, the traditional Spanish town of Solsona boasts a well-preserved centre, complete with towering Catalonian cathedral and a cluster of good eateries. Alternatively, head to Panta de Sant Ponc, a vast lake that’s ideal for kayaking and cycling on the perimeter route.
Location: Forest Days, Navès, 25286, Solsonès, Lleida, Catalunya, Spain
Contact: coolcamping.co.uk

 

Forest Days. (Credit: Cool Camping)

Lo Stambecco, Italy

On the Italian side of the Mont Blanc Massif, Lo Stambecco is a campsite popular with walking types and anyone with an eye for stunning views. Directly opposite its grassy slopes is a steep shoulder of mountain – the silhouette for setting suns – while rumbling through the valley below, a gushing river of glacial melt water. Dips (and sips) are not recommended, though – your extremities wouldn’t thank you for the exposure. On the edge of the tiny village of Valnontey, the campsite is a popular stopover on one of the great Alpine walks – the Alta Via from Champorcher to Courmayeur – and has a variety of pitches, some on the open grass, others venturing into the pine cover that engulfs much of the hill. Facilities are good and there is a cosy bar and reading area with a selection of board games.
Location: Camping Lo Stambecco, Valnontey, Cogne, Val d’Aosta, Italy
Contact: coolcamping.co.uk

La Ribière Sud, France

Known as France’s Lake District, Périgord-Limousin Regional Park is dotted with sparkly bodies of open water – some with natural beaches perfect for wild swimming and many with countryside cycle routes. In the park’s north-easterly corner (on the site of a former tree nursery) La Ribière Sud boasts 22 acres of woodland and meadows. Run by two English expats, Ann and Harry, the site’s centrepiece is a wonderfully painted, genuine Mongolian yurt with a refined, gipsy-chic interior and wooden struts delicately illustrated by the hands of nomadic craftsmen. The giant bed and welcoming candlelight is difficult to turn down, but you don’t have to stay in here if you’ve brought your own canvas – there are plenty of pitches in the shade of the towering poplars outside, all with electricity.
Location: La Ribière Sud, Haute-Vienne, Limousin, Limoges, Chalus, France
Contact: coolcamping.co.uk

La Ribière Sud. (Credit: Cool Camping)

Camping Lagos de Somiedo, Spain

High up in the quiet and unspoilt Spanish village of Lago, Camping Lagos de Somiedo is a compact campsite by the side of a stream. Cars are confined to an entrance car park, so the camping area is free of clutter. For extra seclusion, there’s a private patch of grass across the water, accessed by a rickety wooden bridge. Facilities are basic but clean; a rustic wash-block has showers and lavatories, and outside washing-up sinks, while elsewhere, there’s a small bar and a “mini-farm” with animals and a quaint old water mill. Within a Unesco Biosphere Reserve, the area boasts some of Europe’s most rare and exciting wildlife, from birds of prey to the Cantabrian brown bear.
Location: Camping Lagos de Somiedo, Valle de Lago, Somiedo, 33840, Asturias, Spain
Contact: coolcamping.co.uk

‘Cool Camping Europe’ is available at coolcamping.co.uk

Would you take a campervan to the ski slopes??

vw winterIs swapping the warmth and comfort of a ski chalet for a campervan worth the money you’d save?

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/travel/snowandski/skiing-news/11294759/Would-you-take-a-campervan-to-the-ski-slopes-this-season.html

ByLucy Aspden

New research has found that families could save up to £1,100 by swapping a hotel room for a “cosy caravan” when hitting the ski slopes in Europe this season.

Caravan dealership, Salop Leisure, compared the average cost of staying in a hotel or chalet with the cost of driving to the mountains and staying in a campsite. Yes, there’s no match for the comfort of real, actual brick walls, a freshly-made bed every morning or chalet staff-made coffee and cake on your return from the slopes every day, but making the swap to the deal on wheels could be almost eight times cheaper.

Using prices from Trip Advisor’s 2014 Trip Index, Salop Leisure found that the average price for a week’s stay in a hotel or chalet in Serre Chevalier, France, where accommodation is apparently one of the cheapest in the French Alps, is £1,210. However, skip the hotels and head to the nearby Champ du Moulin campsite and the cost for a family of four for seven nights plummets to £163.

The same savings apply in more popular resorts like Austria’s St Anton, where, according, again, to Trip Advisor, a week’s stay is the most expensive in Europe, with an average cost of £3,424. But trade the luxuries of a hotel or chalet for the Camping Arlberg site and a pitch for the week will cost £182 and include a private bathroom hut, wireless internet, washing machine, tumble dryer, sauna and ski bus stop to the slopes (mind you, that’s just a public bus stop and a free ski bus).

Salop Leisure says more and more Britons are purchasing campervans and caravans for holidays, a trend it believes matches behaviour in North America where driving a motorhome to a holiday destination is much more common. The dealership says that while the initial investment in a “chalet on wheels” may be steep (in the region of £20,000, but up to £40,000), the savings to be made in resorts around Europe are vast.

Campbell Levy, a regular caravanner in Colorado dug up by Salop Leisure to sing the holiday format’s praises, said he drives up to Aspen Snowmass in a 1997 VW Eurovan Camper. “It has a propane-powered furnace that keeps us toasty even on the coldest nights. We’re often too warm, and have to let heat out,” he said.

 

“It’s especially advantageous on a powder day because you can park on the steps of the gondola, and roll out of bed right before the lift starts running and get right on.”
Camping Arlberg in St Anton, Austria

Ski-in/ski-out access (sort of, from your car park) may sound ideal, but Telegraph Ski and Snowboard editor Henry Druce said the dream does not match the reality. He said: “When I toured the Alps a few years ago in a campervan I found the experience tiring because of all the driving and inconvenient because the campsites where we stayed in Val d’Isère and Chamonix were not that close to the lifts and lacking in crucial home comforts like a nice big bath to soak away the aches and pains of a day on the slopes.”

He added: “Admittedly my experience was tainted from the word go as we were robbed on the first night of our trip and lost thousands of pounds worth of kit.”

Saving money is not the only consideration though – as well as the hours of driving (the drive from Calais to Val d’Isère is about nine and a half hours), prepping your ride for a winter journey requires meticulous effort. Everything from winter tyres, snow chains and pipe insulation to checking tyre pressures, testing breaks and investing in copious amounts of antifreeze are seen as essential preparation for a moutain drive adventure. See our guide on how to drive to the slopes.So, would you?

8 Things that Will Make Eating and Drinking on Your Camping Trip So Much Better

http://fwx.foodandwine.com/secrets/8-things-will-make-eating-and-drinking-your-camping-trip-so-much-better

By Noah Kaufman |

The summer solstice is upon us and there are few better ways to spend the brightest weekend of the year than on a trip into the great outdoors. The fresh air, the chirping of the crickets, the knowledge that you don’t have to care about what’s trending on Facebook for several days—camping is great. But eating and drinking in the woods come with some drawbacks. Lugging beer and wine bottles in your backpack is cumbersome, making a decent meal on a stove the size of novelty Frisbee is challenging and how are you supposed to get a decent cup of coffee? Here are eight things that can solve all of those problems so you can worry about more important things, like what was that growling sound you just heard off in the woods.

Beer Concentrate

Drinking beer around the campfire is perhaps the best part of any camping trip. But packing out all of your empties (and make sure to pack out all of your empties) is a real pain. Pat’s in Alaska has created a beer concentrate, so you can make your own beer right on the trail. No more lugging around packs full of jangling glass bottles all weekend.

The Hydro Flask Camping Growler

What if you’re in the mood for a beer that doesn’t come in cans or bottles? You’re in luck. This vacuum insulated bottle will keep your beer cold for 24 hours, so stop by the brewery and have them fill it up.

Wine Preserver Bags

You can pick up wine in portable pouches, but selection is limited. These refillable ones, which will hold an entire 750ml bottle, will let you put whatever you want in them. Now you don’t have to leave that 1982 Bordeaux at home.

Pour Mason Coffee Maker

This funnel system makes pour-over coffee much more campfire-friendly. Also, hipsters rejoice, because you can own yet another item made of a Mason jar.

A Cooler That Dispenses Shots

Finally, a convenient way to get shots when the nearest bar is three hours away. This is made by Jägermeister, but if that’s not your vice of choice, you can fit it with other spirits.

The Coleman Camping Stove/Oven

We have a friend who insists the only food you should eat when you go camping is canned chili. We’re getting one of these ovens and making a soufflé. That should show him.

The Back Country Martini Glass

Wine and beer not your thing? Class up your campfire drinking with a martini from a stainless steel cup. These things are hearty enough to survive a bear attack.

Power Pot Generator

This brilliant heat-powered generator will charge your phone while you’re boiling water for your coffee. You may not have service, but at least you’ll be able to play Threes and Angry Birds.

Related: This Earth Cooler Chills Your Beer Underground, with No Electricity
The World’s Most Expensive Tea Machine is a Very Fancy Vacuum
Top 10 Picnic Recipes

Traveller’s Guide: Camping in France

http://www.independent.co.uk/travel/europe/travellers-guide-camping-in-france-9268480.html

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Bubble wrap: an unusual ‘treehouse’ in Mayenne
Domain des Vaulx

The traditional holiday under canvas has come a long way – now you can sleep in a treehouse, a vintage caravan or even at the zoo. Sarah Barrell pegs down the options

Happy campers are those considering France this year. According to the French tourist office (uk.rendez vousenfrance.com), there are now more than 9,000 one- to four-star campsites spread across the country, plus a blossoming number of luxury pitches. And if you don’t want to carry your own canvas, many of these sites provide fully equipped tents, caravans and cabins, not to mention a burgeoning number of very smart treehouses.

Camping in France

The accommodation on offer is ever more inventive: from a pop-up surf camp near Bordeaux (0800 6123 516; feralsurftours.com), to a naturist beach retreat in Corsica (00 33 4 95 38 80 30; bagheera.fr/en) plus floating cabins (echologia.fr) and bubble treehouses (00 33 2 43 69 95 63; domainedesvaulx.fr) found in the increasingly popular Mayenne region, a short hop from the ferry port at Caen.

Camping in France

Early booking is recommended, especially for breaks during the school summer holidays and to secure places on sites with easy beach access, swimming pools and activities for children. “We hear that the north and west coast of France is selling well, but there still seems to be lots of availability in the south,” says Daniel Johnson, from campsite comparison website, francefor families.com. “This is different to recent years. But families who want to head to the Mediterranean coast for the school holidays should still book now before it sells out.”

To ensure a good choice of dates and destinations, it is worth considering areas outside the southern summer holiday hubs. “The Alps are often overlooked, but there are some stunning sites to be found there and plenty of outdoor activities to fill a holiday,” says Jonathan Knight, founder of Cool Camping (020 7820 9333; coolcamping.co.uk). He suggests choosing a site with pre-pitched tents. “Without the need to bring a car-full of your own camping gear, you could just pick up a cheap flight or take the train.”

Pre-pitched tents with luxury trimmings – plush beds, loos and a close attention to design – are popping up across France, a destination that had previously lagged behind the luxury camping boom seen in the UK and Spain.

However, “bookings are significantly up on last year,” says Rebecca Whewell, from Sawday’s Canopy & Stars (0117 204 7830; canopyandstars.co.uk). “It’s important to book early, especially for family places. People assume peak season weather is the best, but the mildest, sunniest days often fall in May, June and September. Our most popular bookings are treehouses – France is the place to go for these; there are many more established than in the UK – and also for traditional roulottes: much bigger than a gypsy bowtop caravan, but with the same quirky, bohemian style.”

If you want something really wild, how about camping out at the zoo? Three new safari-tent-style Lemur Lodges recently opened at La Flèche Zoo (00 33 2 43 48 19 14; safari-lodge.fr), in the valley of the Loir, a tributary of the more familiar Loire. Each has oversized windows for observing the nocturnal habits of these much-loved Madagascan primates, plus an outdoor shower and pergola to complete the back-to-nature experience. A week in June costs £125 per adult, £60 per child (aged three-12); under-threes go free. The price includes two-day zoo passes for all and half board with dinner delivered to your lodge.

Camping in France

The Michelin Camping Guide (travel.michelin.co.uk) and Guide Officiel Camping Caravaning (available from campingfrance.com) have more details on sites across France.

Camp chic

These days, the perfect pitch means more than flat ground and a great view. Glisten Camping (0844 344 0196; glistencamping.com), at Col d’Ibardin in the Pyrenees-Atlantiques, has six new geodesic domes furnished with hanging sleep pods for children, beanbags, king-sized beds and an artfully arranged al fresco kitchen with plancha grills. There’s also a kid’s club, swimming pools and sports for teens. A week in August costs £750 (sleeps four adults, two children).

Canvas Holidays (0845 268 0827; canvasholidays.co.uk) has expanded its “luxury extras” programme. New summer additions include safari tents and buggy building (teams race and create beach buggies from rope, wooden poles and barrels). Other activities at the 12 participating French sites include Water Walkerz (aqua body zorbing), orienteering and teddy bear picnics. A week’s stay in a Safari Tent Deluxe (sleeps six), at Camping la Sirène, near the coast and the French-Spanish border, costs £1,288, arriving 19 July.

Travelling with tots

If you don’t have to travel during the school holidays, it’s easy to save. Book a break between 1-19 June and Eurocamp (0844 406 0402; eurocamp.co.uk) is offering a week’s holiday for £405 per party (up to eight/six adults), including accommodation in a three-bedroom mobile home and return Dover-Calais ferry crossings. Participating toddler-friendly sites include Domaine des Ormes in Brittany, where pitches are available for those with their own tents, plus treehouses and mobile home rental. Set just inland from St Malo, the site has a pool and lake to swim in, plus a kid’s club, babysitting services and all-terrain buggies which you can hire.

Stay within dashing distance of Paris, at La Croix du Vieux Pont (0844 847 1356; hoseasons.co.uk), a five-star campsite perfectly set up for under-fives with accommodation that includes fully equipped mobile homes, lodges and tents. Facilities include children’s pools, playgrounds, soft play areas and a kid’s club; a frequent camp bus service makes the hour’s journey to Disneyland Paris. A week in June costs £441 for a family of four staying in a mobile home, with shower and loo.

Camping in France

Fancy farm stays

Book a stay on a farm near the beach in Normandy. As part of the Featherdown Farm (featherdown.co.uk) portfolio, the family-run Ferme de la Folivraie offers the usual Featherdown comforts: decked, canvas tents (sleeping six) with kitchens, comfy beds and flushing loos, plus farm activities for childern, the beaches of Port-en-Bessin are a mile away and the Marais du Bessin National Park is on your doorstep. A week’s stay in June costs between €649 and €759 per tent.

Another Normandy farm favourite, Château de la Grande Noë, is an organic farm estate where you can camp high up in Douglas redwoods in medieval tent-style treehouses complete with drawbridges, rope ladders and winch systems to hoist up farm-made picnic baskets. Walk a Shetland pony, pet horses and goats in the paddocks, and explore La Perche – the surrounding region of protected woodland. A week in August costs €1,015, including breakfast, in a treehouse for five (chateaudelagrandenoe.com).

However, “bookings are significantly up on last year,” says Rebecca Whewell, from Sawday’s Canopy & Stars (0117 204 7830; canopyandstars.co.uk). “It’s important to book early, especially for family places. People assume peak season weather is the best, but the mildest, sunniest days often fall in May, June and September. Our most popular bookings are treehouses – France is the place to go for these; there are many more established than in the UK – and also for traditional roulottes: much bigger than a gypsy bowtop caravan, but with the same quirky, bohemian style.”

If you want something really wild, how about camping out at the zoo? Three new safari-tent-style Lemur Lodges recently opened at La Flèche Zoo (00 33 2 43 48 19 14; safari-lodge.fr), in the valley of the Loir, a tributary of the more familiar Loire. Each has oversized windows for observing the nocturnal habits of these much-loved Madagascan primates, plus an outdoor shower and pergola to complete the back-to-nature experience. A week in June costs £125 per adult, £60 per child (aged three-12); under-threes go free. The price includes two-day zoo passes for all and half board with dinner delivered to your lodge.

The Michelin Camping Guide (travel.michelin.co.uk) and Guide Officiel Camping Caravaning (available from campingfrance.com) have more details on sites across France.

Sand, sea and safari

Stay safari-style in Brittany. Bot-Conan, in the Baie de la Forêt, has six “Archipel” safari lodges set on wooden decks, and each comes with its own outdoor kitchen. There are also “atoll” tents with sundecks and barbecues and two grass-roofed bathhouses. Beach access is along a wooded coastal path down to a “secret” bay. Canopy & Stars has a week’s stay in June for £587, in a safari tent that sleeps five.

Swim in view of the Pyrenees at Camping des Albères, near Perpignan. Perfect for families, the site has a two swimming pools, a café, shop and activities; the beaches of Argelès-sur-Mer are four miles away. Pitchup (pitchup.com) offers a week in June for £164, for stays in a “nature safari tent” (sleeping up to five), with accommodation split into a double room, a triple room and a fully equipped kitchen, plus a decked terrace area.

Camping in France

Remote retreats

Sleep high in the Haute-Savoie in south-east France. Camping Les Dômes de Miage is set at 3,000ft up the Rhône-Alpes with pitches offering views of Mont Blanc. There are no swimming pools, static caravans or animation programmes but plenty of mountain bike trails, forest hikes and a lovingly-restored wooden mazot (traditional Savoyard chalets). A pitch for two people costs €25 a night (in own tent) in August, with Cool Camping.

Beat a retreat to the foothills of the Pyrenees, to bed down in a vintage trailer. Pioneers of the European vintage trailer park trend, Belrepayre (00 33 5 61 68 11 99; airstreameurope.com) is arguably one of the most splendidly isolated spots to stay in an Airstream. Ten gleaming aluminium trailers from the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s (sleeping two to six) are each furnished in period style, plus there’s an on-site spa, hot tub and bar/café. A trailer for two costs €630 per week in August.

On a budget

France’s municipal campsites offer the best budget pitches. Found in most towns and larger villages, these usually have loos, hot showers and a basic shop. You need to book only in touristy (largely coastal) regions. These make great pit-stops for road trippers or those who don’t want to commit to one destination. A night at the Mérindole site in Port de Bouc, close to Marseille, costs from €1.95 per tent and €3 per camper with cars charged at €2.05 (camping- municipal.org).

For a bargain action-packed camping trip, try Family Adventure Holidays (01273 827333; family adventureholidays.com). Stay in a mobile home on a campsite set vineyards and the foothills of the Cévennes. Take a two-day whitewater canoe descent of the Ardèche gorge, with an overnight riverside bivouac, or try kayaking, climbing and abseiling in the limestone cliffs, and tackling a high-ropes course among the pine forests of Villefort. These holidays are suitable for children aged eight and above. A week in August costs £438pp, including accommodation, activities and some meals.

What Kind of camper are you?

http://www.inspiredcamping.com/kind-camper/

What Kind Of A Camper Are You?

what kind of a camper are you?

Camping, for those who are particularly fond of this outdoor activity, is primarily a very satisfying act since it allows them to commune freely with nature as well as get away from the daily hustle and bustle for a few days at the least. Most campers can be recognized into what kind of a category they fall into through their style of camping.

Family Camping

Family campers, these days, wish to provide their children with an outdoor experience which is coupled with basic amenities as well, so as to be sure not just of their safety but also of their comfort. Woolacombe Bay Park in Devon, England allows such parents to not just teach their children various outdoor skills but also helps them relax and rejuvenate as a couple by providing various facilities like sauna, heated swimming pools as well with an easy access to the Lundy beach and to various countryside walks.

Wild Camping

There are many who want a pocket-friendly getaway into the heart of nature and do not mind carrying that extra load of freeze-dried meals and a tent, camping into the mountains is the foremost choice. Dartmoor in England provides them with just the right kind of escape and it costs absolutely nothing.

camper

Al-Fresco Camping

Camping outdoors does not always entail lugging tents around but can also entails inhabiting whatever space is available to get the most out of an outdoor experience. It could be a barn or a run-down shack that nobody is using or even a beach. Those who prefer this kind of camping, only have to carry the bare minimum that they require and can do away with the whole hassle of tents and poles.

Laid-back Sites

Camping for many is actually an escape from not just the routine of everyday living but also the rules that society puts on them. Which is why, if one does not want to be ordered around on where to pitch their tent or when to put the lights out, countryside Britain allows such campers an excellent  opportunity in the form of the Stonethwaite campsite in Borrowdale which is surrounded mountains and is at a stone’s throw away from the Blackmoss Pot.

Glamping

Recent times have seen the rise of a new style of camping known as Glamping that involves camping in luxury. For those who are overtly fashion conscious, boutique camping trips are winning favors hands down and allow the glampers a 5-star experience along with soaking in the atmosphere of living out-of-doors.

Dozens of jobs created as GO Outdoors opens £1.2m Taunton store

http://www.thisisthewestcountry.co.uk/news/11143997.Dozens_of_jobs_created_as_GO_Outdoors_opens___1_2m_Taunton_store/

GO Outdoors, which sells outdoor equipment and clothing, has opened a £1.2million store in Taunton, creating 37 jobs and boosting the local economy.

The store has a wide range of camping products, tents, clothing and footwear, as well as fishing, cycling, climbing, running and horse riding equipment.

Staff can advise customers on the right products for their needs, whether it is camping with the family or competing in downhill mountain bike races.

The Taunton store has a large indoor field tent showcasing GO Outdoors’ new range of tents.

The tents are pitched in store so that customers can get a feel for the size and shape of the product, and in-store experts can answer questions.

The Taunton store officially opened last weekend with more than 50 customers queuing from 8am to take advantage of opening offers.

Store manager Laura Humphreys said: “We’re very excited to be up and running in Taunton.

“Somerset is a great base for outdoor pursuits and we’re really keen to get to know local activity groups and individuals who enjoy the great outdoors.

“We had a great reception on launch day and hope to meet many more local families, enthusiasts and adventurers over the coming months.”

GO Outdoors was established in 1998 and employs more than 1,800 people across the UK.

GO Outdoors Taunton is at St John’s Retail Park next to DFS. To contact the store call 08443-876800.

This Company Rents Out High-End Trailers For Camping and Corporate Events

This Company Rents Out High-End Trailers For Camping and Corporate Events

Tents are fine. RVs can be fun. But no transitory home launches as many dreams of running away from it all as an Airstream. That’s something Bill Ward counts on for his Denver-based business, Living Airstream, which rents out the gleaming aluminum trailers for events from camping to corporate. The instantly recognizable bullet-shape trailers are “an American icon like Harley-Davidson,” Ward says.

Recreational renters can call one of his Airstreams, which include new models and vintage ones with 1960s-era amenities, home for a day or for months on end. Prices start at $175 per day for a vintage trailer; a monthlong rental of a new model costs $2,600. Many customers fall in the 50- to 80-year-old range and have been Airstream enthusiasts for decades. “This has the most diverse demographic of anything I have ever been involved with,” Ward says.

He has sent Airstreams out for everything from camping trips and guest housing for weddings to hipsters looking for a backdrop for stylish selfies. They’ve also been used at Burning Man, the counterculture festival that takes place each summer in Nevada’s Black Rock Desert.

Living Airstream

Playing on the power of Airstream’s iconic image and utility, Ward’s company rents out units for corporate customers, too. The Airstreams have served as vinyl-wrapped mobile billboards (one-month minimum rental) and temporary office spaces (average rental time: five months). The bulk of the consumer rental business comes during warm weather, but the corporate usage generates income year-round. Ward estimates that the corporate advertising business brings in 10 percent of total revenue.

And for those who really fall in love with the Airstream lifestyle, the company sells restored vintage trailers (outsourcing the renovations) for an average of $15,000. Living Airstream’s team of six part-time employees and independent contractors manages everything from deliveries to introductions to companies that make the vinyl wraps to finding folks who can do repairs and restoration.

Living Airstream has a constantly shifting inventory, with more in stock during warmer months. In the first quarter of 2014, the company expanded to San Francisco, where the proximity to outdoor recreation and the population’s affinity for retro styling are expected to help the venture triple its revenue this year. Living Airstream is also expanding to Arizona.

Eventually, Ward hopes to move to “an inventory-less model.” He is starting another business, Rentbowl.com, which he describes as Airbnb for Airstreams, ATVs, boats and other recreational vehicles. Customers will use the website to book the vehicle they want in the location they want; Rentbowl.com will take a cut, but won’t have to take possession of or deliver the vehicle.

The new model adds to the “idea of a community” upon which Airstream was founded in 1931, Ward says. “We have such a solid start on what’s next.”

Warwick Davis takes his family to Cornwall in a VW camper

 

In a brand new travelogue for ITV, legendary actor Warwick Davis and his family take their camper van around the country and extol the virtues of the Great British Holiday. Tonight’s opening instalment sees the Davis clan journey round Cornwall where they meet pirates, woodland creatures and a band of rogue knitters.

An enchanted wood in Launceston is the family’s first destination as they meet a group of locals dressed up as fairies, pixies and numerous other woodland creatures. These locals meet up regularly to keep the area’s legends and mystical stories alive and Warwick is excited to learn more about the magic and mystery of the county.

Warwick later organises for a gang of pirate reenactors to bring Cornwall’s history of smuggling and piracy to life. However the Pirates of St. Piran’s ambush on the family provokes a negative response from Warwick’s son Harrison who is genuinely terrified by the experience. Warwick later tells us that he thinks the stunt has backfired and is worried that he’s traumatised his son for life.

In Penzance, Warwick meets a group of graffiti artists with a difference as he gains an audience with the notorious ‘Yarn Bombers’. The women in question keep their identity a secret as they discuss their pop-up knitting displays which arrive randomly in Penzance every six weeks.

Finally, Warwick participates in a boat race involving only blind rowers. He shouts words of encouragement to the team and later helps out the cox by using ropes to control the rudder.

Join the Davis family as they begin their journey Fridays on ITV at 8:30pm

VW campervans in the UK – a guide to rentals

http://www.theguardian.com/travel/2014/mar/21/uk-vw-campervans-rentals

Festival-goers and nostalgia-hunters are fuelling a boom in the campervan rental market in the UK
  • UK campervan
A VW campervan on a campsite at Reedham on the Norfolk Broads.  Photograph: Richard Baker/Corbis

Campervans aren’t just for warmer climes. In the UK, the Kombi is very much alive and trucking. According to Camperbug.co.uk – a site that brings together van owners with potential hirers – the rental sector is going strong, bolstered by nostalgia and the growth of music festivals.

“As soon as the sun comes out, we’re inundated with people wanting to hire vans,” says founder Bud Atapattu, a music agent turned web developer. He started the site in 2010 to make money from his own van, which was lying unused for much of the year. “Unfortunately, you can’t go on holiday all the time, so you end up with an expensive asset just sitting in your driveway.”

Relying heavily on social networks, Atapattu built an online community of van owners wanting to tap into the rentals market. He now has 550 vans on his books, all over the UK, plus some in Spain and France (prices from £410 a week). “The advantage is that there is no long-term commitment,” he says. “Owners can dip in and dip out when it suits them.”

NewForestSafari.com, based in Hampshire, is another VW specialist and opened for business just months before the last Kombi was produced at the VW factory in Brazil last year (the old design was deemed incompatible with modern requirements for airbags and antilock brakes).

The family-run company owns nine vans and specialises in the restoration and maintenance of older models. It proudly includes two 1960s “spiltscreen” Kombis in its fleet (from £740 a week). Like Camperbug, it sees festivalgoers as a key market, especially group of people in their 30s and 40s who have grown tired of sleeping under canvas.

Camperbug sent 50 vans to Glastonbury last year, while both companies started taking bookings for this year’s festival season last autumn.

The key to a successful campervan trip, says Atapattu, is to travel slowly. He advises first-timers not to make ambitious plans: “Older campervans tend to have top speeds of 55mph, so opt for one of the newer models if you want to buzz down to Italy or the south of France. And don’t be too rigid with your itinerary – the journey is, after all, the best bit.”

• For alternative campervan rentals, not just retro VWs, see also GoBongo.co.uk, WickedCampers.co.uk and Quirkycampers.co.uk

Derek and Christie’s Summer Solstice Rally – 21st – 28th June 2014

Racing at Fakenham racecourse
Racing at Fakenham racecourse

This year’s annual SUMMER SOLSTICE rally is hosted as usual by Derek and Christie Leary. It will be held in the beautiful county of Norfolk at Fakenham Racecourse. It will be held in the week commencing 21st June 2014 for the whole week.

To book a place please call Derek or Christie  – 01491 873 990 or 07971 737 983

Trip advisor information around Fakenham

Fakenham Racecourse website

Many of you have voiced an interest in playing the guitar or ukulele, so there will be a couple of beginners workshops held during this camp. String along with us folks!!

 

 

The Racecourse Caravan & Camping site

Fakenham Racecourse runs its own high quality and independent caravan and camping site. The site is open to guests every day of the year making it the ideal location for relaxing summer hoilidays and winter breaks.

There are a number of features which make Fakenham Racecourse the prime site for a caravanning or camping holiday in Norfolk. For many it’s the location. Just 10 miles from the stunning North Norfolk coast. It is a short 10 minute walk into the market town of Fakenham which is at the heart of the County and surrounded by Norfolk’s finest attractions. The site itself makes the perfect base. Our 125 pitches are set in beautiful countryside, some of which are sheltered by tall conifers and mature trees. The grounds and modern facilities are excellently maintained.

Fakenham campsite pitches

Caravan Club accredited

TheCaravanClubLogo.png

We are proud to be associated with the Caravan Club as an ‘Affiliated Site’. The Tourist Board has also awarded us 3*. The Racecourse is situated 25 miles north of the beautiful historic city of Norwich, and 20 miles to the west is the Georgian town of King’s Lynn. In close proximity are some of the country’s finest stately homes, coastal resorts and diverse countryside. The nearest seaside resort is Wells-next-the-Sea, situated on a magnificent stretch of coast noted for its sandy beaches and salt marshes. Part of the area is National Trust owned and forms the largest coastal nature reserve in the country. It is a major venue for bird watches.

Whether you are looking for a lazy holiday, or an active one, Fakenham Racecourse is the ideal choice for your stay in Norfolk.

Classification

Tourist Board 4* Rating for Caravan/Camping Site Tourist Board 3* Rating for Hostel Accommodation AA 3 Pennant Rating

Pitches

The layout of Fakenham Racecourse campsite
The layout of Fakenham Racecourse campsite

 

125 pitches with 15amp electric TV hook ups. Some hard standing area. Limited ‘Long Stay’ pitches subject to availability.

Arrival Time

You can occupy your pitch from 2pm on the day of your arrival.

The Caravan site has a Late Arrival facility (on Pitch 87)  and operate a drop box outside reception.

Departure Time

Please leave your pitch by 11am on the day of your departure.

Amenity Blocks

Three centrally heated amenity blocks with showers, wash basins, disabled facilities, hair dryers, shaver points, laundry facilities, mother care units and washing up areas.

Parental care unit

Baby changing facilities available on site.

Disabled persons facilities

Facilities suitable for disabled persons are located on site.

Waste

Chemical and waste water disposal points.

Reception facilities

The Reception stocks Basic Goods i.e. Milk , Tea, Coffee, sugar , Drinks, Biscuits and sweets.

Dogs

Dogs are permitted, up to a maximum of 2 per pitch, but must be kept on leads around the site.