Sunday 3 May 2009

Canterbury Camping and Caravanning Club Site - Tour 2008

True to its “friendly club” strapline, we were indeed given a very warm welcome at the Canterbury Camping and Caravanning Club. The possible reason for this quickly became became apparent – according to a notice on reception, they were hoping to win one of the “best campsite” awards currently up for grabs.

Prior to arriving we’d checked online availability earlier in the week, and spoken to the Wardens to confirm there were pitches available. We didn’t actually book, however, because the Camping and Caravanning Club require a minimum £25.00 deposit, or the cost of one night, whichever is the cheaper, upon booking (unlike the Caravan Club, which currently requires no deposit at all) and we wanted to keep our plans flexible on this tour.

After a short queue at the entrance barrier, we were “processed” very efficiently and requested, and were allocated, a very quiet pitch well into the site, tucked away in a corner, backing onto a wood, with a nature/dog walk very close by. The Assistant Warden went to great lengths to suggest a pitch which suited us and cycled down ahead of us to guide us there. This is a very pretty site, divided into several very different areas all with their own “feel”. There is a brilliant dog walk which is in fact a small nature reserve, which was peaceful to walk through at night with just a head torch, and a pleasant way to unwind. Reception sells a variety of essentials together with local produce, and nothing was too much trouble for the Wardens, they really were outstanding.

The pitches are located in several meadows, each with a very different feel to it. Some areas have hardstand and are more suited to motorhomes, whilst others are very much a meadow, ideal for “proper camping” in tents and trailer tents. There was a variety of wildlife came to visit us including rabbits, squirrels, owls and bats.

We liked this site so much, that a planned two night stay became three, then four, and eventually five. What made us stay so long? Well, in addition to the site being so delightful, it’s so easy to get around the area on public transport – Canterbury, Herne Bay, Whitstable and Chatham were all visited.
The No. 13 or 14 bus stops outside the site, and is only a 10 minute journey down into the City centre. The alternative is to walk, allegedly 15 minutes, but because the bus was so convenient, we never walked it, but think it would be more like 30 minutes down. One word of warning – the buses are very popular with Seniors using their free bus passes. On one occasion a mid morning bus was so full it only let 2 people on, (not us, unfortunately). This meant we had to change our plans to visit Chatham Docks that day, as we would have missed the connecting train. Luckily the site had provided us with a bus information sheet and following advice, we walked a short distance to catch the shuttle bus which runs round the nearby housing area before heading town into town.

Canterbury is a truly fascinating city, at the heart of which is the world famous Canterbury Cathedral. More in the next blog ................



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