First trip out in the new van. More of a fact finding mission than a short break!
Took just 40 minutes to get to Lamb Cottage Caravan Park in Whitegate near Northwich, Cheshire. We wouldn’t normally stay here as Northwich is near enough for us to visit for the day. A really peaceful site with friendly staff and a cute resident cat! Strictly adults only – even visitors have to be over 18.
The toilet / shower block is spotless, and has separate en-suite bathrooms which were almost, always empty even though the site was full.
Took a lot longer than usual to set up. Thought there was a problem with the water pump, but we forgot to switch it on at the main socket. No dust cover for the water container so popped to the caravan shop down the road to buy one. Not as good quality as the one that is usually supplied with the pump but it’ll do the job. Everything else seems to be working fine.
Had a barbecue in the evening as the weather was very mild. Made up some kebabs which would have been tastier if J hadn’t knocked the bowl of Chinese seasoning into the the washing up water. We were the only ones outside, everyone else cooped up in their caravans watching tv – miserable lot! Drunk three glasses of wine very quickly due to forgetting to bring the table.
Supervising the kebabs!
Walked about a mile to the nearest pub, The Plough Inn. Very busy so had a drink outside, then another after the restaurant emptied out. Booked a table for dinner for the following evening but wasn’t happy about the price of food (over £10 for a salad!)
Back to the caravan to try out the bed. That night we were at the back of the van. D was in charge of putting it up but kneeled on the wooden slats before he put the cushions down – a loud crack was heard so out came the toolbox!
Didn’t sleep too badly but the cushions were a bit thin and we were very close to the bathroom door. Hopefully tomorrow night might be better when we try out the front.
Note the curtains hurriedly made by J to replace the original ones. Didn’t notice the dry clean only symbol until they were hung out to dry. Not a great job but they’ll have to do for now!
Woke a bit later than planned and set off for the Sandstone Trail. This was a circular route around Beeston Castle about 7 miles long, all on flat ground. A very pleasant walk mostly along lanes, fields and The Shropshire Union Canal. Weather was very hot and no hat or sun cream! Just before the end we stopped at the Shady Oak pub alongside the canal for a sandwich and the tastiest chips we have ever eaten!
Got back early afternoon as J’s mum and her partner were coming to see the caravan. They brought some delicious homemade date and walnut cake, but as we only had 2 cups (we never have visitors) we had to sacrifice the tea to wash it down! Had a wander around the site looking at the very expensive static caravans, then just down the road to Blakemere craft centre. Had a 2 for £10 meal at the restaurant there, which was great value for money, then back for a Cornetto bought earlier from the ice cream man that visited the site.
Stayed in the caravan that evening. We were a bit tired and sunburned to do much else and didn’t dare go back to the pub as we had forgotten to cancel the table reservation. Converted the front seating area to the bed. This was narrower than the back bit as the window slopes at the front hemming you in a bit, but the cushions are much thicker.
Have concluded that we will get a piece of firm foam cut to replace the back seats and keep the bed permanently made up. The front is more comfortable to sit on anyway. The only downside is its a bit of a tight squeeze to get into the bathroom but we rarely use it anyway, preferring to use the sites facilities.
Now the water heater has stopped working, but a bit of research on the internet suggested we had the thermostat set too high so it cuts out. Fingers crossed it’ll be okay next time or it’s a 3 hour round trip to take it back to be fixed!
All in all, a successful trip – thought it would be like the first trip with the previous van when nothing worked and we spent the whole weekend shouting at each other!