Have your say…
WRITE TO Letters, Practical Caravan, Teddington Studios, Broom Road, Teddington, Middlesex TW11 9BE OR EMAIL firstname.lastname@example.org
Shady pitch? No thanks!
STAR LETTER £40 PRIZE
I FAIL TO understand why anyone in a caravan holidaying in the UK would want a shady pitch. Shade is fine if you are within hailing distance of the Mediterranean, but here in Britain, you need every ray of sunshine you can get!
We recently spent a week in Scotland and were fortunate enough to get six really good, sunny days. Our caravan park of choice was in a walled garden which was beautifully set out and cared for. However, there were walls (understandably) and trees! When we arrive at any caravan site, I always have my compass at the ready to make sure that we choose a pitch so that our awning faces south to ensure that we benefit from any sun there might be both in the early morning and in the evening.
If that is impossible I will settle for west-facing so that, at least, we get sun in the evening. On this occasion, we managed to find a pitch which gave me my south-facing awning but failed to see the tree behind us which completely blocked our morning sun and, having deemed the wall far enough away
UNMADE IN THE SHADE Jenny cannot fathom why anyone would prefer a shady pitch not to put a premature end to our evening sun, failed to register the huge trees behind the wall which did just that! Had the weather been poor I would not have cared but, despite the sun, our mornings were chilly – we even had the heater on one morning – and in the evening we were reaching for the fleeces while others in the centre of the park, enjoying full sun until about 9pm, were stripped to the waist (the men that is). I estimate that in the absence of the sort of balmy evenings experienced in the more southerly parts of Europe, there can be 10˚ difference between shade and full sun.
It occurred to me one evening, while wrapped in my fleece on my shady pitch, that wardens could have a colour-coded map of their site indicating the pitches in full sun, sun in the morning, sun in the evening and fully shaded. Or at least they could have an under-the-counter copy that obsessive, painful people like myself could consult on request! You never know – someone might want a shady pitch! Jenny Germain
THOUGHTLESS OR OVERSTRETCHED? After booking a pitch on the CL at Gallowhill Farm, Kinross, we set off for what we thought was going to be a great weekend. On arrival we discovered the entrance was very muddy and the hook-up points were lying on the ground. The fee was for £8.50 per night.
As we did not want to take our caravan through all that mud, we stayed on the non-CL portion of the site, which cost us £15 per night. On reaching our pitch we found the park was covered in clumps of wet grass due to the rain. We had to wash the grass off our water containers after filling them and brush off our footwear every time we entered the van or car, hoping the next day would be better. It was and we had a great day out. The next day the grass was a lot drier. We went to Aberdour for the day and again had a wonderful time.
When we arrived back at our caravan, it was almost swallowed up by a tent. It was only two to three feet from our van – a fire hazard. The tent was so close we could hear every word that was spoken and we could have tripped over the guy-ropes coming out of our van. The next morning we were awoken by children, so no lie-in. We complained to the owner, Mr Paterson, who apologised and offered us a discount for the next time. But we told him we would not be returning. A wonderful weekend spoiled by a thoughtless owner. William Fleming
Claudia Dowell says It seems you have not had good luck with this site. Maybe the owner was overstretched and unable to keep hook-ups off the ground or clear grass cuttings.
Reviews of this site are mostly positive and praise the helpful owner. Most of the reviewers are tent owners and one wrote that he was told to pitch his tent anywhere he found a space. Perhaps more vigilance on pitching arrangements would keep everyone happy.
16 | NOVEMBER 2011 | www.practicalcaravan.com