Saturday, 25 July 2009

Last Minute Camping

Are you looking for a campsite or caravan park with vacant touring pitches for the summer? Want to find a last minute pitch? Need to find a campsite with vacancies??? 2009 is an incredibly busy year for campsites, but there are still camping sites and caravan sites on with pitches available now! Click Here to search for a campsite with vacancies for the summer holiday.

Please note that campsite owners are responsible for updating their own availability calenders. Pitches are booking up very quickly right now, so please check direct with the site that they still have pitches available.

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Tuesday, 21 July 2009

AvailablePitch Rally Continued

We'd got the one acre Certificated Site at New House Farm, Hurley, near Atherstone, Warwickshire, all to ourselves for our special birthday weekend, and I have to say that hiring out a whole campsite for your own exclusive use is extremely decadent and highly recommended for any sort of social get-together!

New House Farm is a relatively new Camping and Caravanning Club Certificated Site enthusiastically run by David Pearson and family, who live in the farm house next to the site. The camping field is tucked away at the back of the farm, with far-reaching views over the beautiful rolling Warwickshire countryside and because the site is a long way from a main road, it is extremely peaceful.

For our rally, units started rolling in from lunchtime on Friday, and David had advised we could stay as late as we wanted on the Sunday - the site was ours for two and a half days. The location of the hook-ups dictated where we pitched - which was all together in one corner, forming a large sociable circle - no orderly Club rows here! We closed the gates and let the dogs chase around to their hearts content.

The great British weather delivered us quite strong winds over the early May weekend, and just a smidgeon of rain, however, despite a variety of awnings and annexes, we conducted all our festivities outside. Because of the location, had we made any unsociable noise, (which we didn't!), we wouldn't have disturbed the neighbours.

David has recently installed a brand new HEATED shower and toilet, located in the farm yard a very short walk back from the site, and there are 5 new hook-ups. The ground is pretty firm and well draining, and the site is open all year round. What a great place to spend Christmas - now there's a thought!

There are lots of walks direct from the site, and a few of us staggered out to explore the immediate area on Saturday afternoon. On the morning of departure, of course, the sun shone hot, the wind dropped and no-one wanted to leave. Everyone agreed what a thoroughly enjoyable weekend we'd had, and voted to do it again next year.

Now - must remember to get it booked well in advance with David!

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Sunday, 12 July 2009

AvailablePitch Rally at New House Farm, Atherstone

Two of our group were celebrating "significant" birthdays and wanted to do something special. But what should we do? Various suggestions were bandied around, until the clever one amongst us suggested our own private rally weekend at a small campsite, where we would book out the whole site. Brilliant idea!! Now, where should we go?

We had a pow-wow and drew up the criteria: It couldn't be too far away so as to be accessible for everyone to travel to. The essentials were: it must have some hook-ups, it must have basic loo and shower facilities, it must have firm enough ground to support motorhomes in the event of wet weather and be remote enough so that we didn't disturb neighbours in the extremely unlikely event that we perhaps made a slight noise. Oh - and dogs must be welcome.

A quick search using AvailablePitch’s rally field search brought up many options, and after much lively discussion, the choice was made: New House Farm, Hurley, Atherstone, Warwickshire. A check of the availability calendar for the weekend we wanted showed us there was availability, we just needed to check whether the whole site was free.

A quick call to David at New House Farm confirmed he could fit us in, and we booked the site for the exclusive use of our group from Friday midday to Sunday afternoon at a really excellent price when divided between us. As a Camping and Caravanning Club Certificated Site, we were required to be members, but that wasn't a problem, as we were all long standing members. All we needed now was good weather........

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Thursday, 2 July 2009

Ingleborough Caves and Ingleton Waterfall Trail

A quick phone calls to Ingleborough Cave and nearby White Scar Caves determined that dogs WERE allowed At Ingleborough Caves (free), so they got our money x 4 adults and not nearby White Scar caves, which do not allow dogs. Bad move White Scar Caves owners!

The following information is courtesy of Ingleborough Cave website: "To reach the cave from the car park follow the signed route on foot past the church and an impressive view of a waterfall, to reach the old sawmill building and the entrance to the Ingleborough Cave Estate Nature Trail. A small charge is made for the trail, and leaflets are available at the start to help you to interpret the many features to be seen along the route.This is a popular 2 km walk for people of all ages, passing the lake, and up through the wooded valley to the open dale and the imposing entrance to the cave. You should allow a minimum of half an hour for the walk.

Until 1837 the secrets of Ingleborough Cave were hidden behind large natural calcite dams behind which water had ponded, submerging much of the passage beyond. These were broken down following a flood, to reveal a wonderland of sculpted passages and beautiful cave formations which have been delighting our visitors ever since. The Cave was once the outflow for the streams that flow through the world-famous 17 km Gaping Gill cave system, but it has long been abandoned by the main stream, allowing it to be explored safely by visitors.

A well-laid concrete path allows you to traverse comfortably for over half a kilometre into the mountain, and discrete lighting displays the calcite flows, the stalactites and stalagmites at their best. This really is one of the country's natural wonders. An expert guide will help you to interpret the features, enhancing your experience. At the end of the path, the cave will be seen disappearing into the distance. Even after all this time, explorations in the far extremities of the system continue to unravel the secrets of this hidden world"

Ingleborough's Waterfall trail is quite demanding, with many steps both up and down, but it is beautiful and really is well worth the effort. It took us about 4 hours to complete, taking it at a steady pace. You have to pay a fee of 60p each just to walk up the trail to the paybooth, and then it is £4.00 per adult for the trail itself. The following information is courtesy of

"Ingleton Waterfalls Walk: Famous for it's spectacular scenery, the Ingleton Waterfalls Walk takes a circular route from the Dales village of Ingleton up alongside the River Doe, past several small falls to the main falls, Thornton Force, then across over the tops and back down another valley alongside the River Greta. Great scenery, a well tended path and ice cream along the way.

Take the A65 from Skipton, west towards Kirkby Lonsdale. Turn right off the A65 into the village and follow the signs for the Waterfall walk, which take you to the village centre. Over the bridge and turn right into the car park. Opening Times:The trail is open seven days a week, all year round, 9.00am until dusk. If you require further information on opening times please ring the pay kiosk at the entrance to the trail on 015242 41930".

On the subject of dogs, we found the village of Kirkby Longdale, a few miles away, to be extremely dog friendly, including in a couple of the delightful cafes. Again, these enlightened businesses got our money!

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