Thursday 3 February 2011

Houghton Meadows Caravan Club Site, Cambridgeshire

To stay at Houghton Meadows Caravan Club site, you have to book very, very early. Well, you do if you want to stay for a weekend between April and September. This is an extremely popular site, and with very good reason.  After three years of not getting in, we booked early in the season and had a wonderful stay in mid-July.

Firstly, the site is dead easy to get to - just off the A14 near Huntingdon and Godmanchester, but far enough away from the constant hum of the A14 to be relaxing. The Wardens WILL NOT accept arrivals before 12 noon, and as a result, on Sunday morning, as units moved off by the 12 o'clock deadline, a long queue of incoming 'vans caused mini-mayhem by restricting access to the Mill car-park adjacent to the site. However, if you get off the site early enough and park your unit up (easier in a motorhome than car and 'van) you can extend your day by a good few hours.

What's really great about this site is that it's not a typical "cloned" Caravan Club site. It's a meadow, set alongside the banks of the River Ouse, with units perhaps just a titchy bit higgeldy piggeldy, there's not even one tiny little hard-stand, but there are lots of hook-ups, it accepts tents (shock horror), and the wardens are absolutely delightful!

A tip - whilst chugging round the site in the motorhome looking for our perfect pitch, we wondered why several gorgeous looking prime pitches were empty. Zoom, straight into the best one. Get the levelling blocks out, plug in the hook-up - aaaahhhhh! Move, quickly! Spotted loads of wasps on the grass crawling over the fallen fruit from the plentiful trees in the middle of the site, so before pitching up, check you are not under a fruit tree - especially if you have kids or pets with you. If you are late arriving, however, you may find these are the only pitches left ..........

Best of all, the site is adjacent to the absolutely delightful National Trust Houghton Water Mill and Tea Rooms and is just 5 minutes stroll from the pretty village of Houghton, so there is always something to do or look at closeby. The Mill opens at weekends and Bank Holidays in peak season, and extra days between July and September. It is still in full working order and if you are lucky you will see flour being ground. The friendly millers are there to share the fascinating history of this building, and a tour is available which is exceptionally educational for children of all ages.

There is SO much to do in this area - a week wouldn't be enough, let alone a weekend. There are riverside walks aplenty for miles and miles, watching the boats meander along of idling at the nearest lock to observe boats passing through. Cycle routes abound - all flat, and buses from the village to take you into Godmachester or Huntingdon, and from there trains to distant destinations. The towns of Huntingdon and Godmanchester are both within a 4 mile flat walk, and merit further exploration.

The village of Houghton, with its pub, fabulous village shop which opens up into an Aladin's cave of essential requirements, and gift and antique shops is a delight to meander round on a warm summer's evening.

It was with great reluctance that we left the site on Sunday morning, but memories of this delighful site will ensure we book early again for next summer.

Above image:  River adjacent to Houghton Meadows Caravan Club Site
Copyright AvailablePitch 2010

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