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  1. I have been doing some research and testing out the different types of tables available on the market and how they stand up to different situations on camp sites and caravan parks.  We currently store our caravan on the site that we use every year and it saves us transporting the large caravan 2.5 hours back and fourth.  This benefits us in a few ways, we leave our larger items right in the caravan and when we return we set them up and are good to go.

    Our 3 table test

    When we go caravanning we enjoy sitting outside of the caravan and enjoying the nature and the people sharing the site with us.  On our last camping trip last week I tried using furniture that I don't normally use on the site but wanted to see the practicality.  We tried 3 tables, 2 plastic and 1 wooden trestle, we have used the plastic tables before but we tried these 2 new models to see how they would stand up to use.  We had never tried a wooden trestle table but thought it would be nice as we enjoy playing different card games such as bridge. 

     

    Table 1 - Fold up Plastic Trestle Table

    Table 2 - Plastic Trestle Table

    Table 3 - Wooden Trestle Table

     

    The fold up plastic trestle was very light weight and what made it super portable was the fact that it folded in half.  This table was perfect when we wanted a large table that folded up into half its original size!  The only issue we found was that when playing our card games that the middle line was a bit of a pain but a plastic or cloth table cloth fixed up the issue right away.  The smaller 4ft plastic trestle was also great the difference with this one was that the legs folded up and the table top did not fold in half.  This was perfect for card games with or without a table cloth however as it did not fold in half the size of the table stored was larger than the fold in half.  The third table we tried was the wooden plywood folding table.  This table was heavier than the rest but it was the most versatile, it was well built and perfect for eating, drinking and playing cards.  This table is great if you are spending a few weeks at the site and want a strong durable table that feels that you are eating at home.

    Our 3 Chair test

    While camping or caravanning you also need something to sit on :) So we tried out the classic folding chairs that went from plastic to metal.  We are usually quite content with our chairs but wanted to try out a few of the models we have as to see how they work and how durable they really are.  The 3 chairs we tried were 2 plastic folding chairs and 1 metal folding chair.

    Chair 1 - Plastic Folding Chair

    Chair 2 - Mixed Plastic and metal folding chair

    Chair 3 - Metal fold up chair

    Chair 1 was the perfect indoor outdoor chair, it was durable and strong and held me up easily as I am 100 kilos.  The metal chairs were good but to be honest I think unless you dried and stored them well after each and every use they would rust after use outdoor.  To be honest with you the plastic folding chair might have been the cheapest cost wise of the 3 but I think it really is the ideal outdoor chair for use while camping or outdoors.  It is so lightweight and it folds when you store it that it fits under the bed or in the storage closet!

    I anyone has any other furniture they like using please leave a comment and your ideas.  We are always on the lookout for new product we can try and have a play with :)

    Thank you for reading.

    fold-up-plastic-trestle.jpg

    plastic-trestle-table.jpg

    wooden-trestle-table.jpg

  2. Haven Site Presthaven Sands

     

    Typical style of commercial site – Reception and entertainment complex at one end of site touring site at the opposite end.  The site itself is split into smaller areas each surrounded by trees and shrubbery, with the Touring field next to the main gates.

    To start with the Touring site is dedicated more to touring caravans with only 13 out of the 51 pitches that are grassed, although they are reinforced grass so caravans cause less damage.  There are 13 what Haven call “Euro” pitches that have water, drain, electric and TV. There are also 20 Hardstanding pitches and 5 Super pitches similar to Euro but without the TV whereas the Hardstanding’s type only have electric.  The site is well laid out almost continental in style with most of the pitches having small hedges dividing them, the awning spaces on all the hardstanding pitches have a gravelled surface so do need long rock pegs. The TV points are a little different needing a satellite style screw on fitting -which we have not got and the site had run out off.

    2016-05-14_Presthaven_Touring_site_map_w

    The site warden operates from a nice summer house at the entrance to the touring site from 8:30am to 9pm.  The showers, toilets and waste areas with Elsan disposal in a largish building at the end of the field. The showers and toilets are cleaned regularly and are disabled friendly.

    2016-05-14_-_Presthaven__Touring_Recepti

    The Entertainment complex, and reception as said before are at the opposite end of the site approx. 1km away, to get there Haven provide a minibus service from 9am to 9pm which runs approximately every 10 minutes. There are the usual arcades, crazy golf, archery, high wire activities and go karts and pedal karts.  There is a moderately well stocked shop as well.  The Daytime bar-restaurant the “Mash and Barrel” provide good food and fairly good quality drinks but at premium prices to the trapped customers.

    The site is adjacent to Gronant Dunes a Site of Special Scientific Interest and is an internationally important Ramsar site making it the most protected nature reserve in the area. Gronant Dunes represents the only surviving, largely unmodified remnant along the North Wales coastline of a once more extensive sand dune system.

    The reserve has seen Sand Lizards and Natterjack toads reintroduced and is the only Little Tern breeding colony in Wales making it a haven for wildlife.  The sand dunes also provide a diminished habitat to dune plants including the nationally rare dune fescue. There are information boards providing information about the flora and fauna.  Gronant Dunes has part of the North Wales Coastal Cycle Route 5 running through it which leads from Prestatyn Promenade along the coast through Flintshire into Chester and beyond. This has a good surface making it easy to walk or cycle or wheelchair on. There are a number of boardwalks and viewing platforms leading through the dunes allowing you to explore on foot

  3. [url="http://www.bbc.co.uk/food/recipes/chocolatetartwithwhi_87928"]Recipe is on BBC Good Food [/url]
     
    Need one pastry case and
     
    For the filling
    400ml/14fl oz double cream
    few drops vanilla extract
    100g/3½oz caster sugar
    400g/14oz dark chocolate, approx 70 per cent cocoa solids
    50g/2oz butter
     

    Bring the cream, vanilla extract and sugar slowly to the boil in a pan.
     
    Break the chocolate and butter into pieces and place into a large bowl. 
    Pour over the cream mixture and whisk slowly until the chocolate has melted and the mixture is smooth.
     
    Pour the chocolate mixture into a pastry tart case and leave to cool. Place in the fridge to set for two hours. [list]
    [*] 

    [/list]
     
    [url="http://www.finecooking.com/recipes/chocolate-truffle-tart-whipped-vanilla-mascarpone-topping.aspx"]Topping is from this recipe [/url]
    but English measurements are
     
    8 ounces/ 227g mascarpone cheese
    178 ml or 6 fl oz double cream
    2 ounces granulated sugar 
    1/2 teaspoon vanilla essence
     
    In a medium bowl, combine the mascarpone, cream, sugar, and vanilla. Using an electric mixer, beat on low speed until almost smooth, 30  to 60  seconds. Increase the speed to medium high and beat until the mixture is thick and holds firm peaks, another 30 to 60  seconds. Don’t overbeat.
     
    With a rubber or metal spatula, spread the topping over the chocolate filling, leaving lots of swirls and peaks. Serve the tart right away or cover loosely and refrigerate, in the pan, for up to 4 hours.
     
    For information 1 American cup measurement = 8 ounces or 8 fl ounces
     
     
     
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    Recent Entries

    Hi all,

    We are looking to purchase a caravan and looking at some on eBay and come across one or two which are halestone damaged, the damage looks incredibly light? What does this hale stone damage actually mean or is it just simply what it says on the tin?

    When looking around a caravan we have been advised to take a damp meter, can you spot if a caravan has had any flood damage?

    Thank you in anticipation for any advise,

    JustinStilly

  4. If you're deciding to get around Europe this year, here are some ideas on renting or leasing a caravan and useful tips on insurance, sightseeing and other benefits of European caravan travel.

    Renting a Caravan

    Everyone's familiar with renting a caravan if you regularly get around in a caravan. You find a caravan rental agent, go to the rental counter, hand over your credit card and then fill out numerous forms until they hand you the keys. But you could also reserve in advance and cut down on the paperwork, if you apply online.

    Should you be planning to rent a caravan, you should watch out for high deductible that normal insurance comes with and consider checking your own insurance policy as well for coverage, if you have one. The original advertising quote for renting caravan insurance will probably have some hidden costs, such as additional drivers. So ensure you read your terms and condition thoroughly and plan your caravan journey before comparing the cost of rentals with a company.

    It often cost more to rent from some companies in the UK, because some companies may add additional insurance cover or offer roadside recovery and if you’re near a big city prices for renting a caravan can also be inflated. You'll often get a better rate with advance booking compared to late bookings.

    Leasing a Caravan

    Deciding on lengthier trip to Europe or perhaps you want to tour France, Spain and Holland in your caravan this year. Which is common with gap year students’ taking a year off their studies to travel and for this type of caravan user leasing a caravan provides the best option.

    There are available companies if you’re considering leasing a caravan for a long trip and what you'll get with such companies are variety of caravan models.

    Some people consider leasing a caravan slightly more expensive. But remember that on a caravan leasing program, the leasing company has a vested interest in the caravans as it will be resold after the leasing and they protect that interest by offering very good caravan insurance. The full coverage insurance that comes with the price of the lease is worth the peace of mind for European trips.

    Traveling to Europe

    Some people are terrified of the very thought of driving in Europe, especially in Italy. This fear probably comes from the thought of traveling to the unknown and less familiarity of your travel surroundings. Whether you’re renting or leasing a caravan for touring Europe or simply sightseeing the English country side. Essentially you need to plan your trip in advance in order to get the best price on renting or leasing a caravan.

    Please use the following link for all correspondants to this article. http://www.shieldtotalinsurance.co.uk/caravan-insurance

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    Just got back from a super week at Rookesbury Park near Portsmouth. Great campsite, no light pollution at night, so stars bright and we even saw some deer when returning from a super meal out on our last night. Great! We spent 2 weeks earlier this year at Navarrenx where we met Maurice and Mary and spent some happy hours sharing good (some!) wine and nibbles with other Brits also on site. The area around Navarrenx is brilliant. I joined this forum to ask about the Cap Finistere and was it possible to stay overnight on the dock at Bilbao - well, yes, it is and we did!! The only draw back was the stevedores who started work at 2am in the morning! Just journalling really - I've never done a blog before - looking forward already to our next break away in France- going to Dordogne in 2012.

    2thumbsup.gif

  5. Can't really fault this campsite, pitches are big, facilities are superb and the staff are friendly. It is a very busy site in summer and has everything you would expect like a pool, kids club, entertainment, shop, bar etc but as we were out of season the site was a lot quieter.

    It has a river running alongside but one word of caution is that there is a railway line running close to the site, we found it ok but we were pitched up on the opposite side, not near the river.

    Would definately go again, even if we used it as a stop over on the way south.

    Wifi is free and unrestricted

    Chemin de la Clusure 30

    6927 Bure/Tellin

    Belgium

    http://www.parclaclusure.be/

    Source: Campsite Parc La Clusure

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    If it's an action packed holiday you're after then look no further than North Devon for your adrenaline fix. The devon coastline is renowned for some of the UK's best surfing breaks and the region is becoming increasing popular for the sport of coasteering. The North Devon countryside offers rugged hills and trails for mountain biking such as the Tarka Trail and great rivers like the River Taw which is ideal for kayaking. If speed is your holiday tonic then North Devon is perfect, with plenty of stables offering horse riding and motor sport fans can enjoy quad biking, motorbike trails and 4X4 experiences throughout the region.

    Here's a list of some great adrenaline activities within a short distance of Tarka Holiday Park in Devon:

    Surfs Up - It's free

    With a coastline so diverse North Devon has waves to suit all abilities. Croyde Bay is one of the main draws for surfers courtesy of hollow powerful low tide waves which on their day produce some truly great beachbreaks. Croyde Bay is situated close to Tarka Holiday Park and is just a few miles from Barnstaple. Other close bays are Westward Ho, Saunton, Comesgate and Woolacombe. Each bay has its own surf shop for those wanting to hire boards or wetsuits - you can even watch the surf live via http://www.eyeballhq...rfcheck/croyde/

    surfing.jpg.scaled500.jpgGet the heart pumping with Coasteering

    Coasteering is one of those holiday activities which is guaranteed to get the heart pumping. Explore sea caves, experience turbulent swims and push your nerves to the limit with progressive cliff jumps into the oceans. Expert knowledge of the North Devon coastline is key to an enjoyable and safe experience of coasteering. Ultimate Aventure Centre run Coasteering trips and is located just over 10miles from Tarka Holiday Park.

    coasteering.jpg.scaled500.jpgKeypitts Stables 'n' Quads

    180 acre all terrain playground for kids of all ages (inc dads). Activities include horse riding, quad biking, 4X4 off road experience, motorbike trail days and paintballing. Just a short drive from Barnstable it's a great action packed day out for the whole family. Further information can be found here.

    quads.jpeg.scaled500.jpgMountain Biking - Tarka Trail

    Like all the premier holiday parks in devon, Tarka Holiday Park has many onsite activities to keep you entertained. However, being on the doorstep of the famous Tarka Trail is why many a keen cyclist and mountain biker come to the region - to explore trail and it's 180miles of stunning North Devon Countryside.

    tarka_cycling.jpeg.scaled500.jpg

    In summary - How you choose to spend your holiday in North Devon is totally up to you. Whether it's catching the early morning breaks in Croyde Bay or exploring the off road mountain bike tracks of the Tarka Trail, you will have a truly memorable holiday. With all the activities available in North Devon the only regret which you may have at the end of your trip is - "we should have stayed longer".

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    Any one no what the law is for towing a twin axle. I have a vactra estate 05 does the job great, and an towing a bailey sentor twin axle. Talking to a guy yesterday he says the law has changed and you need a 4x4 to tow a twin axle van. Any truth???

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    Not 'Just back' because we live here!

    But just back, at last, from the UK.

    Eating Out in France.

    We find that especially in the country areas, the French tend to eat at midday not in the evenings, we always look for the daily lunch time offers on roadside restaurants, these range from €10 to €15 per person and can include a glass of house red :wine: for the non drivers. One of our favourites is at Vaunac(24) for €14 per person you get five courses, and a bottle of wine between four of you.

    We've also eaten at 'les routiers' not always a guarantee of gastronomic excellence but you can be sure of good value for money if the (usually) large car/lorry park is fullish by 12.30. Many restaurants/cafe/bars offer a 'Menu Artisaneaux' (sorry but now I cant spell in either language) or workmans meal, usually poulet-frites or similar but if you want a fill up.....................:Netherlands:

    Source: Anybody just back from Europe?

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    absolutely new to a blog and not sure how it works

    bright sparks, please put me right where i go wrong.

    i can take critique.

    i /we have been members of the caravan club for near 40 years, with enormous pleasure.

    sadly my partner passed away due to cancer.

    my life goes on and i am now a solo traveller.

    any body else in the same boat?? just exchange a few emails to get the hang of it.

    i am not much into rallies and get most pleasure on cl sites , but willing to try anything to broaden my interest and horizons..

    look at my profile and you see what sort of chap i am.

    you are welcome to email me direct at ........geertjager@hotmail.com

    it is easier to than negotiating this site, which i find a bit complicated, being new to me.

    i am on the road to france again as from sunday, but have internet access most of the time.

    awaiting with trepedations to see the response to my first ever blog...all done solo

    gerty

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    Hi All,

    Any one done a similar trip!? Off to Poland through Venlo, Berlin and into Poznan Poland. Been to Poland lots before but never towing the shed! Really looking forward but any advice suggestions would be appreciated. 2 night overstays booked in Venlo and Berlin (well Brandenburg) and about 7 nights in Camping Malta Poznan. Then off down towards Polish Chez Republic border nearish to Klozkow then through Chez Republic with no stops booked just taking in the views!. Any advice would be great.

    Thanks

    Taff

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    Latest Entry

    Easter : Talybont - http://www.islawrffordd.co.uk/

    Mayday Bank-hol – 40th birthday, destination TBC

    Whit-week : Tenby - http://www.caravancamping.co.uk/our_parks/...rk/default.aspx

    June TBC

    July : 9th <> 12th German F1 grand prix @ The Nurburgring

    France August :-

    13th - http://www.baiedesomme.fr/aire-autoroutier...mme--ene25.html

    14th & 15th - Futuroscope - http://www.camping-le-futuriste.fr/

    16th <>21st - Sequoia Parc - http://www.sequoiaparc.com/en/

    22nd <>28th - La Grande Metairie http://www.lagrandemetairie.com/en/

    29th - L-Etang des Haizes http://www.campingetangdeshaizes.com/

    30th – CC Rookesbury Park

    Sept TBC

    Oct half term

    23rd <> 27th - Marton Mere- http://www.caravancamping.co.uk/our_parks/...re/default.aspx

  6. Latest Entry

    I am now doing my blog on Msn, which is easier access for my friends. If you wish to see the blogs the address is http://rbuchan.spaces.live.com

    Regards

    Richard and Julie

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    Hi, does anybody know where i can buy wallpaper to match my Avondale wallboard? Im currently in the middle of repairing some damage to one of the side walls caused by the dreadfull damp, and had a quote of around £170 to scan the old paper and print out onto vinyl, two metres long!!

    Today, 03:11 PM

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    Today has been a really good one. Our friends Chris and Barb are in their van next to ours in Norfolk. We went into Sheringham and Cromer earlier. It wasn't cold but the wind chill made it very crisp. We had a good lunch at a little restaurant in Cromer before having a wander down by the beach. The waves were quite fierce. Later on, we went to the Thursford Christmas Spectacular, as we do every year. We had excellent seats with a very good view. This year's show was the best we have seen: a good mix of song and dance, some humour - but very professionally done and a pleasure to watch.

    Now back in the caravan where it is cosy and warm and we have had a brandy and are now going to bed.

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    New to this - but everyone seems to be doing it so here goes!

    I plan on doing updates from time to time re life in the holiday parks industry.

    Writing this in November 2007 - its been an interesting year!!

    Has it ever rained so much! What about global warming - I think we'd all like to have a bit of it next summer please!!

    I do think that we do all have to take our environmental impact seriously though. The David Bellamy awards have given the industry a great boost, and eveyone is talking about green isues.

    I think we do have an image problem though - The likes of Jeremy Clarkson & Top Gear have a lot to answer for- I wonder if they really believe what they are saying or do they just think it makes good telly??

    At least we have the likes of Margaret Beckett doing us a bit of good - but its a shame we couldn't get someone a bit trendier to be our Ambassador!! I think the Caravan Club do a good job trying to raise our profile in a positive way - as do the BH&HPA.

    Anyway I'll leave it there for now!!!

    I will leave a few links on here in case anyone wants to take a look at the parks I'm involved with -

    Main web site -

    http://www.parkholidaysuk.com/index.php

    Lakeside, chichester -

    http://www.parkholidaysuk.com/touring/park...eside/index.php

    Marlie Farn , New romney, Kent

    http://www.parkholidaysuk.com/touring/park..._farm/index.php

    New Beach, Dymchurch, Essex

    http://www.parkholidaysuk.com/touring/park...beach/index.php

    Seaview, Whitstable, Kent

    http://www.parkholidaysuk.com/touring/park...aview/index.php

    Sheerness, Sheppey, Kent

    http://www.parkholidaysuk.com/touring/park...rness/index.php

    Steeple Bay, Southminster, Essex

    http://www.parkholidaysuk.com/touring/park...e_bay/index.php

    Dawlish Sands, Devon

    http://www.parkholidaysuk.com/holidays/par...wlish/index.php

    Landscove, Brixham, Devon

    http://www.parkholidaysuk.com/holidays/par...scove/index.php

    Riviera Bay, Brixham, Devon

    http://www.parkholidaysuk.com/holidays/par...a_bay/index.php

    Waterside, Paignton, Devon

    http://www.parkholidaysuk.com/holidays/par...rside/index.php

    Sandhills, Dorset

    http://www.parkholidaysuk.com/holidays/par...hills/index.php

    Sussex Parks

    http://www.parkholidaysuk.com/holidays/parks/sussex/

    Frenchmans Beach, Sussex

    http://www.parkholidaysuk.com/holidays/par...beach/index.php

    Harts, Sheppey, Kent

    http://www.parkholidaysuk.com/holidays/par...harts/index.php

    Seawick, Clacton, Essex

    http://www.parkholidaysuk.com/holidays/par...awick/index.php

    Felixstowe beach, Suffolk

    http://www.parkholidaysuk.com/holidays/par...beach/index.php

    Suffolk Sands, Suffolk

    http://www.parkholidaysuk.com/caravansales...sands/index.php

    St Osyth Beach, Essex

    http://www.parkholidaysuk.com/caravansales...beach/index.php

    Oaklands, clacton, essex

    http://www.parkholidaysuk.com/caravansales...lands/index.php

    AlbertaKent

    http://www.parkholidaysuk.com/caravansales...berta/index.php

    Coghurst Hall, Sussex

    http://www.parkholidaysuk.com/caravansales..._hall/index.php

    Beauport, Sussex

    http://www.parkholidaysuk.com/caravansales..._park/index.php

    Solent Breezes, Hants

    http://www.parkholidaysuk.com/caravansales...eezes/index.php

    http://www.parkholidaysuk.com/holidays/index.php

    devon parks

    http://www.parkholidaysuk.com/holidays/parks/devon/index.php

    essex parks

    http://www.parkholidaysuk.com/holidays/parks/essex/index.php

    kent parks

    http://www.parkholidaysuk.com/holidays/parks/kent/index.php

    sussex parks

    http://www.parkholidaysuk.com/holidays/par...ssex/indeex.php

  7. Another weekend - another rally.

    Along with several hundred others caravans we spent the weekend at the 3 Counties Showground in Malvern, at the annual Three Counties Caravan Show. As shows go it's a little bit one-sided - as it is organised by one dealer (Golden Castle Caravans) and consequently the only caravans on display are those ranges which Golden Castle sell.

    That said, Golden Castle offer two nights free pitch as long as you pay the ?5 per person entry to the show. Ordinarily I am against paying to go to sales shows (if you want to sell something to me why should I pay for the privilege?) but I take the longer view with this one. I look on the ?5 per person and a pitch charge rather than a show entrance fee and then it doesn't seem so bad.

    The 3 Counties Showground still has a long way to go before it could be considered wheelchair-friendly. The open area is criss-crossed with drainage gullies which are just a little bit too deep for the wheelchair to cross comfortably, and entrance to the motorhome hall requires negotiating a one-inch step up followed by a short but steep slope down. Wife's electric buggy got stuck on this due to lack of ground clearance. Nil points for 3 Counties there, I'm afraid. These two problems could (and should) be sorted out.

    The space devoted to caravan accessories seems to get less every year. In a sense, I can see Golden Castle's point. Caravan sales probably generate more profit per square foot that accessory sales. But what percentage of the visitors to the showground actually buy a caravan? 5%? Less? If they do not cater a bit more for the rest of us, I fear the show's popularity will decline even further.

    lefthanded

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