I would like to ask you to sign up with the Best Hosting and read more web hosting reviews.


Longleat 2019

Category: Caravanning
12 Jun 2020
Written by Andy Hits: 3610

Our summer holiday in 2019 was to Longleat.  However, we started with a trip to Coventry for weekend.

We stayed at Gate Farm CL. It is right under the flight path to Birmingham Airport.  Great for plane spotters, including 18 month old ones!  I should add that the noise doesn't seem to disruptive, and doesn't carry on late into the night or too early in the morning

It wasn't the greatest of journeys.  Traffic bad in places along the way.  Some of this was due to roadworks for major improvements, however there was also "normal" Friday afternoon rush hour, not helped also by a partial shed load of rubbish too. But once we arrived and got on site I think I spent more time talking to our neighbours for the weekend rather than fully directing the reversing onto the pitch.  However, practice and rear view cameras ensured that it was an uneventful process.

Once pitched up and the dogs made comfortable, we popped out for our dinner with my brother an his family.

Saturday was a damp day, but we made ourselves useful, providing Uncle and Auntie childminding services while appointments were kept.  The dogs got taken for a good walk, and came back very damp, but happy

On Sunday afternoon everyone came over to our camp site to see our caravan, and to join us for a dog walk.  My youngest nephew was confused / curious as to how we steered our "camping van" as he couldn't see a steering wheel!  He didn't immediately get that we tow it with our car, rather than sit in it to drive places.

There was a nice long length of solid track with a public footpath along it.  With the ground still being muddy, it made for an easy walk for the various little legs with us.

On the Monday it was time to move down to Longleat

It felt slow drive down from Coventry, we ended up catching a fair amount of traffic along the way.  Roadworks, people leaving a festival.  My inlaws reached site first, and found a spot with a couple of good sized pitches next to each other, so it wouldn't be too much of a walk between our caravan and their motorhome when we were making plans or enjoying time together.  

We used the child minding services of their motorhome while we sorted things like our big awning, along with other usual setup items with water, electric and turning the gas on.
It is true what is said about the safari park, that you can hear the lions roar.  And the sea lions making all their noise, as the campsite is fairly adjacent to the lake they share with 2 hippos!

On the tuesday, we went out for the day, in convoy to Shepton Mallet.  We spent a chunk of the morning in soft play, as the weather was pretty miserable. But it was good fun seeing my little one playing, enjoying lights, reflections and other such attractions.  

After lunch, we needed somewhere to entertain the dogs, and found some woods to walk in.  Beacon Hill woods, complete with standing stones, and views across to Glastonbury, a good long ways off.
We did have to hurry a little bit back to the car, as we realised rain was coming in, but made it there in time.


On the wednesday, it was our main visit to the Safari Park.  My wife had been bought a VIP tour as her birthday present, so all 5 of us had a guided tour of the park, in what felt like a bit of a random order
"The big cats have just been fed, so lets start off there"

Our guide was allowed to drive off road, the wrong way, and get us really close to the animals.  All of course with a running commentary, pointing out animals by name and such like.
One of the highlights were seeing the young wolf cubs coming out and having a play.  Another was when we got to the flamingos.  Knowing that our 18 month old called most birds "chicken" (the ostriches were called "Naughty big chicken"), our guide announced as we reached their enclosure "And here we have some pink chicken". 
As it wasn't our car, visiting the monkey enclosure was also without worry, as they recognise the warden / vip tour etc cars, and know better than to mess with them

In the afternoon, we spent some time in the gardens and more "zoo" type bit, before taking advantage of our re-admittance to the safari park, and went back to the "African Village" section for icecream, and to get the self-drive experience.  Needless to say, we bypassed the monkeys in our car!

We re-visited the house, gardens and zoo the next day, as we knew we hadn't done them justice the previous day.


Our final day out was to visit Stonehenge.  I'd never been down to this area of the country, so was keen to see it for myself.  We spent a bit of time in the visitor centre, before taking the bus up to the stones, and taking a steady walk around.  We decided to walk back to take in the scenery, and see some of the other barrows in the area in person.  Plus it was a hot sunny day, so wanted to make the most of it!


On the satuday, we returned home.  Well, I say home, but I'd promised to lend the van to a friend for the week, before realising how the dates worked out, so had to pause outside the house while unloading things, before leaving the family at home and driving another couple of hours to drop the van off and back home.  This is where I am glad that both my wife and I can tow, as we can and do take shifts! 

As a side note, South Mimms services caravan spaces are not caravan friendly.  It is a row of angled, double length spaces in the car section of the car park, without sufficient space to easily swing in and not either take out the row of cars parked in the adjacent row, or snag the caravan in the next space, meaning that only half the spaces can ever be used.   If we ever need to stop there another time, I suspect we will just go to the lorry park.  At approx 12m long when hitched, we might be a little slimmer than an HGV, but we are not vastly shorter than them


Free Joomla 1.7 Templates designed by College Jacke