Magical touring memories
Can you remember your first ever trip in a caravan or motorhome? Do you have a memorable story from your touring adventures? Here our members look back on some their favourite memories.
The past year has given all of us plenty of time to reflect on better times so we asked members to look back on their touring adventures and share them. We received dozens of contributions reminiscing about floating down a river in France on a barge to getting stuck in the mud in Savernake Forest! Here are just some of our favourites.
First trip: We purchased our first caravan, a Swift Musketeer, in 1988 and set off on a wet October weekend with our two boys (aged two and four) to Savernake Forest on the outskirts of Marlborough. On arrival we could see all the caravans pitched around a large, circular lawned area. With no direct access, we decided to go for it only to be grounded in the middle. We quickly unhitched the jockey wheel (without tightening) and the front crashed into the mud. Thankfully the amused onlookers kindly helped us get the caravan onto our pitch!
Memorable moment: In 2014 we took the Harwich to Esbjerg ferry. As well as Denmark, we visited Germany, Holland, Belgium and Sweden – it was such an amazing holiday and we made some lovely friends.
George and Carmel Rudnik
First trip: In the late 1950s, following a particularly wet summer holiday in Cornwall, my father decreed we would henceforth holiday in warmer climes. He bought a four-berth Thomson caravan (a Glenalmond, I think) and built two hammock-style canvas bunks above the two rear divan beds to make it a six-berth. For our first trip we headed through France to Le Lavandou. We made this pilgrimage for many years, travelling through Belgium, Germany, Switzerland and Italy depending on my father’s inclination, but we always stayed at the same campsite near Le Lavandou on the same plot number!
Future plans: We have become regular visitors to Abbey Wood Club site since the birth of our first grandchild in August, so another trip there in ‘Mr B’, our motorhome, is top of our list.
Memorable moment: Some 40 years ago, the Club organised a ‘carabarge’ experience on the River Sarthe in France. We arrived at the dock to find what looked a very unsteady barge wallowing in the shallows. Myself and my two daughters (aged around 10 and five) beat a hasty retreat while my husband and the organisers loaded our caravan onto the barge. We returned expecting the caravan to be submerged, to find it on the barge safe and sound. We excitedly embarked and set off floating gently down the river for four days – drifting majestically along, passing under bridges where people gazed in amazement – before reluctantly having to turn around and head back.
Future plans: We can’t wait to visit Berwick Seaview Club site again. It’s our most special site and despite going many times we never tire of it.
First trip: We married in
1978 and our first holiday together was to Norway in our Fairholme New Dawn caravan. We crossed the Arctic Circle and drove to North Cape, the most northerly point in mainland Europe.
Memorable moment: Forty years later we shipped our Chausson Flash to South Africa. We visited 12 countries, saw the ‘Big Five’ and crossed the Tropic of Capricorn and the Equator.
John and Sue Hughes
First trip: In 2014 we travelled to Yorkshire to see Le Grand Depart of the Tour de France. We’d only finished restoring our 1967 Safari 13/4 (the same make, model and year of van my parents owned when I was a child) the evening before.
Memorable moment: Catching the ferry from Denmark to Sweden for the 2016 European Classic Caravan Rally in Falkenberg.
Memorable moment: My parents bought their first caravan in 1952. It was kept at Fell Foot Park, on Windermere, and we all went up from Leeds every other weekend.
I led a ‘Swallows and Amazons’ life with the children of the site wardens. We sailed on the lake, swam when it was warm or took picnics up Gummer’s How and the fells. My husband and I carried on the tradition with our three girls and still holiday every year in our latest caravan, visiting Fell Foot whenever we are in the Lake District.
Future plans: The Lake District, Yorkshire or Scotland are likely destinations once it's safe. Now the Windermere Jetty is complete we will certainly hope to visit that.
Tim and Christine Sparrow
Memorable moment: This is my mum and dad, Roy and Joan Hodges, who joined the Club in 1961, with their Travelmaster caravan in the New Forest. The photo shows my brother Richard and I, and our Border Collie, Bess. We would set off in the caravan every Friday evening for the weekend throughout the summer and have two whole weeks in the school holidays. Precious memories of a wonderful childhood.
Future plans: My husband and I retired last month so we are looking forward to making lots more memories. We’ve booked to go away in our motorhome to Devon in April and Brecon in June and are so grateful to the Club for keeping us safe.
We would love to hear more about your fantastic adventures so please send in the details – along with any photos – to firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line Magical Memories