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Caravaning

Caravanning in February

Category: Caravanning
06 Jun 2019
Written by Andy Hits: 15

It might take a while, but with the good heating and insulation in out caravan we seem to be working towards using the caravan at least once in every month of the year. 
Summer months, May, June, July, August aren't too difficult to cover, and I think we have already in the first couple of years of owning the caravan used it for at least one night on each of these months. 
Moving into late summer and autumn hasn't been too difficult either, having had our big family tour round Scotland last year in late September and early October covered that off. 
But getting out about in the propper winter months, November to February is where the challenge could lie.  

If we do get serious about it, all season tyres, or something with more of a mud / snow rating than the tyres supplied with the car may be a worthwhile investment, but I've looked at the caravan, and it appears to be on all season tyres as standard.  However, unlike 2018, the winter of 2019 was mild, and barely a dusting of snow in East Anglia.  So no special precautions were required for the little break we had in February.

Our destination was a CL site near Cambridge called Birds Farm.  In spite of the unseasonably warm weather, the ground was still too soft for the site to allow anything other than the hard standing to be used, which made pitching up a little difficult, and being closer than sometimes to the other visitors.  But with some creative manoeuvring using the motor mover, we were able to pull into the space at the very end of the hard standing, and fit our awning under the tree next to us.  We had our little porch awning, rather than our bigger inflatable one, but with our little one having her own wheels that need somewhere to go, we've found the space invaluable.  We ended up arriving after dark, but it didn't take too long to get the awning up once the rest of setup was done.

The next morning was chilly and crisp, but bright as I took the dogs out first thing, though as the sun rose, a little mist came up too.  About 10 minutes down the road from the camp site is the National Trust Wimpole Hall estate.  It has a large area of parkland, with some areas without live stock on that they are happy for dog walkers to exercise dogs off lead (if well trained), so we took the opportunity to try and wear the dogs out a little.  Seeing the Folly through the light mist as we walked through the park certainly added something to the experience.

Next on the agenda was a visit to Duxford Imperial War Museum.  It has a huge array of aircraft, from sections of the fabric wing of the Wright Flyer, through to Concorde and even a SR-71 Blackbird!  With the sunshine as warm and bright as it was, we sat down outside to enjoy our lunch.  We then headed inside to the main Airspace hanger with a huge variety of aircraft and exhibits.  Seeing Concorde again was quite something.  I recall visiting there what must be over 25 years before, when I was at primary school.  It was also impressive standing underneath the open bomb bay of the Lancaster Bomber.  A sobering thought that the contents of that space were dedicated to destruction.

After a good amount of time there, and with a little one needing a rest, we took the short drive back to the campsite, once again, it was only about 10 minutes to get back to the camp site.  With the weather still warm and sunny, we enjoyed a good few minutes rest sat out in the awning.

The next morning, after a nice chat with the site owner, we took the dogs for a walk from the camp site, around the fields, following the maps that the Countryside Restoration Trust Lark Rise Farm provides.  This included a section walking near the Cambridge Radio Telescope with all of its large dishes.

We then returned to Duxford to continue where we left off the previous day, this time visiting the American Air Museum hanger.  Walking through the door we were greeted by the cockpit of a B52 bomber.  An amazingly large aircraft, dwalving all the other aircraft in there.  Other interesting aircraft included SR-71 Blackbird and A10 Warthog

From there, we returned to Wimpole Estate, and visited the Farm.  It was touch and go whether we had a sleepy toddler once we got from the car park to the horses, but the smile on her face when she saw the shire horses getting washed and brushed down was worth the rush from the car park.  Having seen the animals, we then took a more leisurely walk to the walled gardens, before enjoying the sunset over the parkland, and heading back to get some tea.

Sunday morning came, and it was time to pack up and return home.  The awning was packed away, water drained down, items stowed in the caravan and the open road found once more.  A nice little break, and although some mornings there was a frost on the ground, no problems with water from the external barrel.  I've seen insulated covers that might be useful if it is properly cold.  But the other suggestion is to keep a full kettle, bring the pump pipe in, and if needed boil the kettle and add to water container if needed to melt it.

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