European Escapades





Conkers campsite in the National Forest
Conkers campsite in the National Forest

This was our first experience of an actual campsite. For the week before selling our house, we camped on our driveway, so that Missy Moo could get used to the new motor home and us sleeping in it. It was also a good excuse for us to check out the cooking and how to use the heating and water. As they say better to get used to a Motor home in the comfort of your own home whilst there is a chance to run back to a fully stocked house and garage if anything goes wrong. Our first two nights away were at our youngest son’s house, parked outside and then in the pub car park as we visited our friends in Derby. We asked the landlord if it was OK to stay there overnight and when he said “No problem” it meant we could enjoy our friends company and a few drinks as well.

Why did we choose Conkers as our first stay, well for one it was a Camping and Caravan Club site that was open all year round. It also had all the services we expected to need including a MV point, hard standing, electric hook-up, toilet and shower facilities. I.e. A nice big site that could help us newbie’s if we needed it. It was also near the town of Burton on Trent which I wanted to visit as it once was the epicentre of English beer brewing.

Costs to us were according to the book £7.25 a night and a club service pitch at £3.20. I made that £17.70 but the manager made it £18.50, something about the cat being extra? Or was it something else? All I know was that we were happy to be there and ready to experience out first campsite pitch even if it was a little expensive for our proposed budget of £30 a day. More money spent on our campsite fees means less money for beer and wine…ooohh errr missus.

Our first issue was the water and the hose connection. Seems we didn’t have the right connector for the campsite. This has since been a trial wherever we have been so far. Brownhills whom we purchased the camper van from, in their wisdom sold me from their onsite camp store, a piece of hosepipe 3 Metres in length with a blue rubber funnel type contraption to fit over any tap. It fitted OK at Conkers; it was just that the water preferred to come out the top of the funnel contraption rather than down the hosepipe and into our water tank. With a daytime temperature at 4° C, you can understand my disinclination in standing there too long trying to fill up a 100 litre onboard water tank. Half a tank later and we were parked and connected to the electric.
Initial thoughts as we sat in the van were that the site was brand new and that the facilities were top class, a drive on grey water point for our MV and the electric point at a reasonable distance from the rear of our van. This meant that the electric cable I purchased from Brownhills did the job. There were plenty of walks and places of interest around the site (inc the furnace at Moira) and the nearest bus stop into Burton was only half a mile away on the same side of the road as the campsite. We found this out by trial and error, standing between the two bus stops on either side of the road waiting for a bus to come up or down the hill and stopping it to ask if it was going to Burton. The bus stops themselves gave no clue and the guy selling paving slabs had no clue. Check out the Rants page for the connected story.

Would we recommend it, yes I think we would, especially in the summer when the place would be a hive of activity. We stayed two nights and would certainly go back in the warmer weather.

This entry was posted on Wednesday, February 24th, 2010 at 3:44 pm and is filed under Campsite Review. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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