October Half Term in a caravan? Well, we just had to head South
and east to try and capture the best of the weather, so we decided
to return to Black Horse Farm Caravan Club site at Densole, just
North of Folkestone in Kent. It is one of our favourite Caravan
Club Sites and we have been here three times in the last three
Sunday, 23 October 2011: Travel to Densole
We set off from Polesworth after the morning service at Polesworth
Abbey. We were a bit later than expected in setting off as it
was a friend's birthday and so she and her husband kindly provided
lunch for everyone after the service. This was great for
us. We could eat lunch and then set off without having to
stop for sandwiches, so grateful thanks we headed off.
We went straight from church to pick up the van from storage and
left at 1.10pm. M42 - M6 - M1 - M25 - over Queen Elizabeth
Bridge at Dartford - A2/M2 then down A260 to Densole. Only
one five-minute toilet stop and we arrived at Black Horse Farm at
5.10pm. Two hours later we had fully set up with awning and
all the 'bits and bobs' were out ready to roll. Omelette and potato
wedges for tea (and a glass of wine, of course). Weather was
good during the day and warm enough to sit out and eat at 8pm in
Monday, 24 October 2011: St Margaret's Bay and the White
We awoke to a lovely morning. I cooked breakfast outside on
the Cadac and we ate comfortably in the awning. I very rarely
have breakfast at home, let alone a cooked breakfast, but there's
just something about having a cooked breakfast when we are away in
Decided to go in the direction of St Margaret's Bay today, and had
lunch down there after first having a drink in 'The Coastguard' - a
great pub over looking the bay. Good beer at a reasonable
My wife and daughter went for a short walk along the front while I
sat on the front taking in the sea air. The weather was
unbelievably warm - I got a fold up chair out the back of the car
and was quite happy sitting out on the seafront in a teashirt (+
Later we drove up to the National Trust area - 'White Cliffs' -
which overlooks the ferry port and spent a little time looking
around, and the obligatory cake and drink in the cafe. I have
to say, as National Trust cake goes, this was not up to their usual
standards and I was slightly disappointed.
Before returning to the caravan for tea I thought it would be a
nice idea to try and find a shop that sold cheese made by the
Snowdonia Cheese Company. I tried this cheese at a
stand at the NEC Exhibition just a week or so before and really
like it. After searching the company website for suppliers,
somewhere in a lay-by, we found a place listed for Dover, so we
went off in search. Unfortunately, the store was out of stock
so we decided to ring around. We had no luck with the cheese,
so headed off back to Densole for tea. After arriving back at
the site I spoke to a few caravanners from the site and met a
couple of folk who I had previously 'met' online.
It was still warm enough to eat tea out in the awning, after
cooking outside for the second time today on the Cadac. We
sat out in the awning for a while after our meal, before eventually
retiring into the van to watch TV.
Tuesday, 25 October 2011: Dungeness and
We awoke to another lovely day and another breakfast cooked
outside on the Cadac and ate in the awning.
Now I'm never really sure why we do this, but each time we go to
Kent we end up by going to Dungeness. On the way we stopped
briefly at St Mary's Bay, just to have a look, and at New Romsey,
once more in search of Snowdonia Cheese. I knew there was a
cheese shop here, from the website yesterday, so we found the
'Spice of Life' and we were in luck. The staff at the
delicatessen were really friendly and helpful. They didn't
have the complete range of cheeses available, but they had enough
for us to be getting on with and were expecting a delivery the next
day. One of the staff lived at Hawkinge and said that he
would be quite happy to bring cheese up to Densole for me. He
said we could meet outside the Post Office. I had visions of
illicit drug deals! I could just see the headlines in the
local rag: 'Illicit deals outside local Caravan Club site'.
We eventually arrived at Dungeness. Now Dungeness is a
barren, open, flat scrub land that seems to have little going for
it - this is why I'm never really sure why we still keep on going
there. I just don't really 'get' the place. Perhaps I
keep going there in the hope that I might 'get it' one day.
There is one big blot on the landscape - the power station; and
there are several other little blots on the landscape too - the
'houses'. They are little more than 'huts', which just seem
to be dotted around. Some of them are made out of old railway
carriages. The land is not suitable for growing much; so most
'gardens' just consist of odd sculptures or bits of rubbish!
In fact, it looks very unkempt. There are a couple of
lighthouses. The second one was, apparently, built after the
power station because the first one could no longer be seen clearly
at sea - good planning, that! At the centre of this odd
community is the Britannia pub, where we had a drink before
returning to the car for our sandwiches. The Britannia was
packed out and a fish and chips lunch seemed the order of the day
After lunch, we went for a look around and a walk along the wooden
walkway down to the beach where our daughter found a host of
interesting looking fish bones and skeletons.
We also saw the Romney, Hythe and Dymchurch railway, which
terminates at Dungeness.
The weather was still very good today but began to cloud over just
as we left. We saw a 'water spout' cloud formation on the way
out of Dungeness (PHOTO) which was so unusual that it was reported
on the news later on that evening.
Back to the caravan for meatballs cooked on the Cadac and
spaghetti cooked in the caravan. It was still mild enough to
eat in the awning, but it started to rain just after we had
finished cooking tea, so we zipped up the awning rather
quickly. We later ate our supper in the caravan - some nice
Snowdonia cheese and biscuits.
The weather got more unsettled as the evening went on and we had a
thunder and lightening storm over night.
Wednesday, 26 October 2011: Tenterden
The storm was pretty heavy during the night and the wife and
daughter were both awake at 6am. When we eventually got up it
seemed a bit unsettled, so we decided not to risk cooking breakfast
outside. Instead we decided that cereals were the order of
We headed off in the direction of Tenterden, but the weather was
mixed - a bit 'showery'. After a visit to Tesco's at
Folkestone, Carol had the job of navigating to Tenterden. The
journey took us 'cross country' and seemed to take a long
time. I thought we might go to Chapel Down winery, but a
wrong turning out of Tenterden took us in the wrong direction and
we had to cut across from the Appledore Road to Wittersham.
We stopped for our usual 'drink in a pub before lunch routine' at
The Swan at Wittersham. After sampling another local
ale we ate our sandwiches in the car, in the pub car park before
going on to Chapel Down.
We arrived at Chapel Down amidst showers of rain and hail, and
waited for a moment for the shower to finish before going in.
The shop was a large modern building and had its share of
visitors. I have to say I didn't warm to the place.
Everyone seemed very pre-occupied and no one spoke to us.
There didn't seem to be an opportunity to taste wines (I would have
willingly paid) other than a pre-booked 'experience' including
light lunch at £50 a head. On the basis of 'our welcome', we
decided not to stay and instead went down the road to the National
Trust, Small Hythe House. At this point, I was tired and not
feeling to good, so stopped in the car while Anna and Carol went
for a look around.
When we got back to the caravan, I was tired out so went to sleep
for a while. Against we got around to tea, it was virtually
dark so we decided to cook and ate our evening meal in the
caravan. It was now a bit colder but the showers had
virtually stopped and we had a fairly dry night. Supper was
cheese and biscuits once more - already running low on Snowdonia
Thursday, 27 October 2011: Awning down, more cheese and a
fish and chips supper
A dry night meant that we were on line to take down the awning
today, so after a cooked breakfast - once more on the Cadac, we set
about emptying the awning and packing it away. The weather
was dull, but dry, but one had the feeling that rain was never too
far away. It kept dry though, and we spent most of the
morning packing things.
As lunch approached we decided on going back to The Coastguard at
St Margaret's Bay for our pre-sandwich drink. We ate our
sandwiches overlooking the bay and then went in the direction of
New Romney to visit the 'Spice of Life' for more cheese to take
home. This was followed by a visit to Sainsbury's and a look
at the sea at Littlestone-on-sea. As we looked West we could
see the power station at Dungeness and a drive along the coast soon
found us there once more. Why do we keep going back
We were invited to the wife's sisters in Hythe for tea, and we
bought in a fish and chip supper and spent an evening there before
making our way back to the caravan late in the evening.
Friday, 28 October 2011: Journey home
After our final packing and cleaning, we left Black Horse Farm at
Sadly, the traffic on the way back was heavy, especially around
the Dartford Crossing. We stopped at Thurrock Services for
lunch - not my most favourite services - but needs must! The
M25 was quite congested in places and the M1 north of the M25
junction was also very slow. We took the caravan straight
back to storage and it was about 5.30pm when we arrived home.
It was a long haul back, but we had had a lovely few days
We may need to put the caravan to bed now for a few months - not
because I don't like caravanning in the winter, but because we will
all busy with other things over the coming months. I'm sure
time will pass quickly between now and our next break in 2012, and
who know, we might just manage to get away sometime before.
Now home - to eat cheese!