Monday, 30 April 2012

Peterborough Motorhome Show Review - wet, but not a washout

Peterborough Motorhome Show is a must-attend event for us here at  We love meeting old friends, making new ones, get to nose on loads of motorhomes and see innovative or new products and services (more about that later).

Having planned to turn up as a non-booked motorhome on the Friday, the organisers advised on  FaceBook that, due to poor ground conditions, they were accepting day-visitors only, so rather than take the motorhome "for the day" we got in the Discovery and went on Saturday instead.

The weather got progressively worse as we travelled down the A1, however on arrival mid morning there was a steady stream of visitors wrapped up in waterproofs, hats, scarves and gloves, queuing to get in, and hundreds of motorhomes already camping in the rally area. 

Yes, it was horribly wet and muddy underfoot and pretty cold, but the organisers had put straw down in the worst places, and many areas were covered in a heavy duty, non-slip  metallic walkways.  The inside venues were incredibly popular, and these traders were doing well as visitors sheltered from the worse of the heavy rain.  Not sure how much ice-cream was sold though . . . . . . .

The traders we spoke to were stoical (it's what we British do best, isn't it?) but there was no doubt that selling goods and services in such conditions was much more difficult than normal.

Out of all the many businesses exhibiting, two really caught our eye:  Back2You, is an innovative, portable GPS vehicle and tracking device which has no contract and no ongoing fees.  During a long chat with owner Chris Truelove, he patiently explained the huge benefits and low cost of his device and he is posting us a device for trial and review for our motorhome.

The second business was Leather Genie, where we were treated to thorough and professional boot shine (and boy, did the boots need it by then) using their leather treatment cream which restores leather of all ages and conditions in an unbelieveable way. 

Full reviews on these two products will be reported in future blogs, so watch this space . . . . .

Above image : A wet and windy scene at Peterborough MotorHome Show
Copyright, April 2012


Sunday, 22 April 2012

Camping at Chatsworth for the Christmas Market

Pssst - want inside information into the best way to see Chatsworth Christmas Market?  Then read on .......

The queues to get into Chatsworth Christmas Market in November 2011 stretched back towards Baslow for 4 miles on the Sunday morning.  We know this because we passed them all as we left following our noon check-out from the Chatsworth Caravan Club site.

In fact, the whole area was pretty much grid-locked within a 5 mile radius, for both the weekends that the fair was held, such is the popularity of this relatively new Christmas Market.

And it didn't get any better once you were inside the Chatworth estate either.  We counted over 50 coaches lined up at the top, near the house on Friday afternoon, waiting to collect hundreds of visitors at "turning out time", and there were even more waiting on the Saturday.  The queue of cars snaking through the estate roads was unremitting and cars were being parked in a temporary car park quite a way from the Market.

The secret?  Simply book in at the Caravan Club's Chatsworth site.  But you need to be quick - pitches for the November weekends get booked up very early when the Club releases its forward dates in December each year.

Do this, and to get to the Christmas market is a doddle - with no queues.  What's more, you can go very early or after 4 pm, when the market is much, MUCH quieter. 

From the site, situated in a walled garden, you pass through the secret wooden door into the estate (remember your key to get back in), and then it's a mere 15 minutes walk up the hill to the area where the market is held, just in front of the courtyard.   

We were lucky and got a pitch booked for November 2012 when they were first released earlier this year - so we may see you there ............?

Above Image:  Chatsworth Caravan Club Site November 2011
Copyright 2012