First Trip for Donkeys Years!
This story happened on: 28/06/2015
Well the day arrived for our first trip out with our Sprite Major 4FB Caravan. We caravanned years ago when our children were little but have not been for years.
My wife was a little reluctant to take up caravanning again but with a little persuasion, we are now sat in our lovely new caravan on Pitch 23 at The Cirencester Caravan Club Site. The journey took about an hour from our home just North of Oxford.
We arrived at the site at about 2pm and were welcomed by some really friendly staff in the site reception. I explained that this was our first trip and they couldn’t be more helpful.
The first challenge was to reverse our shiny new van onto its pitch. The first attempt wasn’t too bad albeit the van was a little diagonal. Second attempt and we were in place. Within 20 minutes we had power water and were ready to crack open a bottle of wine and enjoy our first weekend away.
How things have changed. I remember when the kids were little having to pump a pedal on the floor to get some water, but now, we have hot running water, flushing toilet and a shower!
The site itself is set just on the edge of Cirencester and is right adjacent to Cirencester Park. There are 207 pitches that are nice and spacious and we got to choose from either a gravel pitch or grass pitch. The site is great. nice and peaceful and very clean. There are two recently refurbished toilet/shower blocks and numerous water and waste points dotted around the site. There is a small shop in reception that is open until 5pm and an information hut that has loads of leaflets and ideas of what you can do in and around the area.
The Caravan Club site states that there is a building site next door. However the building company is the most considerate, clean and professional company I have ever seen. (I have to say that because I work for them!!) That in itself was a bit of a surprise. Pulling into the site, seeing the signs of the company that you work for.
A few glasses of wine later and it was time to retire for the evening wondering what the next day would bring!
We woke the next morning feeling refreshed and decided that we would venture into Cirencester Town. A Shower and breakfast and we were ready to go.
If you plan to walk into Cirencester take the scenic route. There are maps in the information hut that give precise directions and it takes about 15 minutes. Turning left out of the site you walk through some farmland and alongside the perfectly groomed cricket pitch. You then pass through Cirencester Park which is part of the Bathurst Estate. The park itself is open to the public from 8am to 5pm dogs are permitted but you are not allowed to cycle through the grounds.
After leaving the park it is about a 5 minute walk into the centre of Cirencester. Considered to be the "Capital Of The Cotswolds", the town is an historic Roman settlement in the heart of the Cotswolds with attractions from a Roman Amphitheatre to the nearby Chedworth Roman Villa. You can also pay a visit to The Corinium Museum, conveniently located in the centre of the town it is considered to be an important source of information on the local history.
There are a number of boutique shops, arcades and café’s that accompany the regular high street stores. There are also a number of pubs that serve a great pint. We had lunch at the Crown, which is situated on the corner of Black Jack Street and West Market Place nestling under the towering presence of the town’s beautiful parish church. The Club Sandwich is recommended and is plenty for two to share.
Back at the site we decided to go for Fish and Chips for tea from The Village Chippy, A mobile van that visits the site twice a week. £5.00 bought us Fish, Chips and Mushy Peas. The food was good, but we had to wait nearly an hour to get our food and it wasn’t really worth the wait. At least it was cooked fresh!
After our supper it was time to settle down for the evening. If the weather is good opt for one of the pitches in the centre of the site, away from the shelter of the trees. If it’s sunny you will get sunshine for the best part of the day. However all of the pitches are good.
Sunday arrived and it was time to pack things away. First the toilet and the waste then came the challenge of getting the awning back in the bag! With a few choice words and a lot of pushing a shoving we finally got everything in and it was time to depart. Check out time on the site is 12:00 noon and we were soon on our way.
We got back home and the first thing after emptying the perishables out of the cupboards. Like a man possessed I then proceeded to wash the road grime from our shiny new van to ensure it was spick and span and ready for use again. Next was to book up the next trip. Salisbury Hillside, Moreton in Marsh, Cirencester (again) and Henley Four Oaks will all be our weekend retreats over the next few months.
Having been overseas over the last few years for our holidays, we were a little sceptical at first when we were considering buying the van, but we are both agreed it was absolutely the best idea. We are now looking forward to our next trips and many more years of caravanning!