Friday, 22 August 2008

Atherstone Stables Certificated Location


Living on the edge of the Peak District, we often head into Derbyshire for our weekends away in the motorhome. However, we'd had our eye on Atherstone Stables CL, Warwickshire, for several months but had struggled to get in as it's a very popular site - and with good reason.

Site owner Vicki Garland wasn't around during our stay, so we can only report on what we experienced, rather than getting interesting background and gossip straight from the horses mouth (so to say).

Immediately you arrive you feel safe, and slightly regal, as you enter through huge electric gates (code supplied on booking) and drive up an immaculate gravel drive, past the stables and holiday apartments on the left, through to the large camping area at the back. Access is great, so it's ideal for people less-experienced in towing. Horses are grazing in fields all around, including to the rear of the site, which gives lovely views from your caravan or motorhome. Being so far away from the road, there is no noise at all, and although the site was full, we can honestly say we never heard any noise from our neighbours at all (in fact we were probably the noisiest there!).

The site feels brand new. There are 5 huge gravel hard standing pitches with hook-up and one grass pitch (this one has the best views, but no hook-up) all level, backing onto hedgerows and overlooking a large open grassed area and beyond to the fields. The toilets (2) and showers (2) are a 2-3 minute walk back to the stable block and there is a £1 charge for showers (coin in slot). These are shared with the livery clients. The marked dog walk is actually a peaceful circular walk around the owners' fields and takes about 20-30 minutes. Proceed past the horses with care though, as a couple of them were quite frisky.

Yes, there is a slightly horsey smell around the stables/toilet block (not in the camping area though), but you wouldn't expect it to smell of anything else, really, would you? And everywhere is so clean and well-looked after. There is a room at the other end of the stable block which the friendly livery folk use for tea and coffee and resting, and tourist information is available there too.

Atherstone is a 1.5 mile walk, or a short drive away, and what a smashing town this is. Atherstone was once an important hatting town, and became well known for its felt hats. The industry began in the 17th century, and at its height there were seven firms employing 3000 people. Due to cheap imports, the trade had largely died out by the 1960s, and ended completely in 1998. Also nearby is the delightful Hartwell Country Park, Twycross Zoo, and many, many other places of interest.

Back at the site, walks are possible in the surrounding countryside (remember to take the gate code with you though ……. and watch out for the occasional fast car on the lane outside). If peace, quiet and relaxation are your bag - this site will be perfect.

If you have your own horse, you can even take Dobbin along for a holiday by prior arrangement with Vicki. How good would that be?

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