Lincoln Farm Park is one of our favourite sites and is reasonably convenient as a stop over point when travelling down to the south coast for travelling abroad.
I have said it often throughout this blog that pleasant helpful staff very often define the quality of the site and here it is no exception.
It is truly self contained with a well stocked shop, an excellent pub within 2 minutes walk serving very good food and facilities you just couldn't fault.
We have been coming here for several years and always look forward to it.
On this occasion it was very much a stopover as the following day it was a long drive to Ellesmere Port to prepare to store the van and have it looked at by Barry Jones, a mechanic who makes sure all the bits do as they are supposed to.
While we have been away our car has been in storage and Barry, kindly, had it charged up and ready for action. We collected it and drove both vehicles to another favourite location, The Caravan Club location at Chester Fairoaks (53.257230 -2.886266).
This is always a popular site and we make sure to book well in advance. The Caravan Club has, over the years, managed to achieve a level of consistency throughout their sites and that is one of their great strengths; you always know what you are going to get and they are to be commended for that. Sandy was on duty when we arrived and could not have been more helpful. The pitches are very generous in size so there is plenty of room for the van and a car which was great for us as we had to swap over lots of cloths and equipment which was coming back home with us.
Chester Fairoaks also happens to be just beside one of the best outlet Malls in the UK so everything is on hand just a few minutes walk away from the site.
A one night stay over, lots of packing and unpacking, tidying and then its time to return the van to Barry who will service it and return it to storage ready for the next trip.
Then its off to the Docks and the boat back to the Isle of Man.
A departing shot from the Ferry to the Isle of Man. The iconic Liver building with its Liver Birds atop and a special guest appearance of a seagull!
I am always interested at the views expressed by fellow motorhomers on the multitude of methods for getting from European countries back to the UK.
My choice is always the Eurotunnel for a whole variety of reasons. Firstly, living on the Isle of Man I get more than my fair share of opportunities to travel by ferry and invariably I will always pick the quickest. That has largely got to do with Dougal as, very often, he has to remain in the car or Motorhome while we cross. However when it comes to France I have no hesitation in using the Eurotunnel as it takes 34 minutes, has a very efficient "get on and get off" routine and, at either end, you simply drive off and are immediately onto a motorway heading in your direction.
A word here about the Caravan Club. They have a very efficient booking service and I wouldn't go past them. I have two very minor irritations. When you call you have to sit through endless recorded messages telling you that they don't make recommendations and, essentially, you are on your "ownsome" when it comes to making a decision. Then you press 1 and hear another statement about something else. Surely by now they could have a button for "If you have heard all this before" press 9! Just a thought. My other niggle is that the confirmatory emails get sent out overnight and not, as in every other case, immediately.
Still its a valuable service and reliable.
Leaving from La Bien Assise it is no more than a 15 minute drive to get to the terminal where pet owners need to keep an eagle eye for the office you have to report to before you can check in. Then it is the simplest of processes to load up by driving onto the train and waiting for it to leave.
At the other end it is the opposite, drive off and away you go. I usually pass the time by going back and having a lie down on my bed, listen to some music and, sometimes, have a sleep.
There are so many advantages to touring by motorhome that sometimes you can be blinded to the downside. Yesterday was something of an ordeal, an early start, a four hour boat trip followed by a drive of over 200 miles to get to Lincoln Farm Park in Oxfordshire. The end result was that I ended up feeling a little wobbly which led me to feel that perhaps I was working my way through one of those viruses that are on the go and that everybody else seems to have had, of late. I suspected something was not quite right when I didn't feel inclined to eat bearing in mind that right next to the campsite is the Black Horse pub, one of my favourite restaurants!
Anyway the following morning (today) we left headed towards Surrey and the Alderstead Heath Caravan Club site which I had long wanted to explore. The trip was uneventful, just over 80 miles leading onto the M25 which is often referred to as the world's largest car park. It doesn't take you long to figure out that's not a bad description!
The site is just a few miles off the motorway making it an ideal stopping off point if you are heading north or south. A beautiful rural setting; hard to believe you are so close to the bustle of London. One thing about the Caravan Club is its level of consistency. You always know what you are going to get and are seldom disappointed. Of course the staffing invariably adds to the quality of the site and I have to say the wardens here are top-notch. We were greeted by Linda, very jovial and extremely helpful. She shares the warden duties with her husband Ron, also attentive and thoughtful. Later in the day when Linda learned that I wasn't feeling 100% she was attentive in the extreme. This is a site I will come back to.
Weather-wise it still on the cold side but, at least, the sun is shining and we seem to have avoided the miserable snow and frost that so many parts of the UK seem to be complaining about right now.
Our trip from Oxfordshire to Redhill (near London), was uneventful and quick. The day continued to be rainy and cold, but the bigger issue became Frank's health. He simply wasn't the jovial, happy camper, he ordinarily is on these trips. As our plans were to take the Eurotunnel into France tomorrow, this became a critical problem, so Frank spoke with a doctor. After some probing questions, it was concluded he probably has a virus of some kind.
Tuesday: This morning he feels considerably better, and was able, in typical Frank fashion, to eat a hearty breakfast.
We've put our plans back one day, and will stay over in this campsite another night to give him time to feel better still, and if he is back to his annoyingly chipper self tomorrow; we'll be in France sometime Wednesday! So today is a relaxing day, and I'll get back to editing my book! Cheers!