I failed in 2018 / city wild camping (1 Viewer)

Paul J

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Feb 27, 2018
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So, many years ago, when I was in my 20's I had a Bessacarr motorhome, we averaged almost one trip per fortnight and went pretty much everywhere in the UK, fast forward to today, I'm 42 and return to motorhomes. I got my van in May of last year, and we managed an absolutely disgraceful 4 nights on holiday in the entire rest of 2018. Meanwhile, every few weeks, I've been inside the van, or under it spraying under-seal, and driving it round on occasions, maintaining those moving parts. A couple of times we've attempted to plan a weekend, admittedly at rather short notice, and often to a significant interesting town, finding in almost all cases that sites were fully booked. I joined the caravan club only recently, so I guess we have a few more options, although the CL's which I was so excited about from a value point of view, are typically so far away from said town that we'd never make it there. I've spent the last two nights looking on Caravan and Motorhome Club website and trawling through loads of sites, to no avail, I found that the Southport Caravan Club site had availability, but I don't fancy Southport this time.
All is not lost, I love my motorhome, I don't lack any interest in holidays either, I'm just struggling for good available locations, once found, I'm sure we can make a collection of favourites and frequent them. I'm also trying to use the motorhome for as many annual events as I can, again hoping to increase them each year, a kind Funster reccomended the Great Dorset Steam Fair, which was very nice of them, unfortunately they neglected to mention that I would get stuck in a 5 hour queue (honestly !) and that it would hammer it down with rain forcing us home a day early, never mind, we tried.
Looking at some European travel, I notice that it's actually surprisingly cheap to get over the water, something crazy that I hadn't considered, so I'm sure we'll give that a try when a good plan can be formulated.
Back to the UK, we're trying to do something tomorrow, having failed to find sites in and around Harrogate, and or York, we've decided to go to Harrogate first, I've some very carefully selected parking spots noted down, in quiet neighbourhoods, wide cul-de-sacs, alongside a tall wall or hedge, and not particularly in view of anyone's house, we'll take a tour of our 'Google street view'd' locations, taking our safe day time spot and maybe moving to the next to 'possibly' sleep.... if we get the gut feeling that it's safe, if not, we drive home, it's really not that far.
I've been forever scarred by something that happened the first night we used this van. We've gone to a reasonably local pub, with an arrangement that we'd eat and drink there in return for being allowed overnight use of their car park. Turned out the pub was quiet, and we sat with a guy who was a real character, we'd explained how we were wary of someone hammering on the side of the van while we were inside asleep. we left the pub at 22:45 Well, what do you know, guess what the bloke did on his way out of the pub at closing time. Initially we hadn't worked out that it was him, we both felt trapped, stupid really, the joys of not being on a caravan site.
Waiting patiently of this years Brit Stops book coming out, are there any other similar schemes that allow parking in city centre locations, or do you have any tips that might help me find safe parking spots. I decided not to park near grave yards because of the undead, but parking closer to the church might give me some obvious protection from the Lord, might work, who knows :)

Paul
 

Janine

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Where are you based? I can recommend the Camping and Caravanning Club sites at Oxford and Salisbury which are both close to the city centre. Salisbury is closed in February, I think, but Oxford is open all year.
 

Carol

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If you're in the Chester area you can park on the Roudee Car park 10 minutes walk from the city center £1 80p over night and daily parking rate always motorhomes parked up there
 

Lenny HB

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Now you know why we and many others have given up with the UK.
Get across the channel and you will soon find out that France & Germany are Motorhome heaven with Spain and Portugal not far behind also Greece is well worth a visit.
 
Dec 24, 2009
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Well - on the CMC website it tells you whether there's public transport within a mile - which could be immediately outside the gate or indeed 20 minutes walk away - so if it's reasonably local to eg Harrogate or wherever, then Google the location and see where the bus stops are.

We went on a MHF rally at Lady Hayes, nearish to Chester. Went to reception to enquire about buses/trains into Chester - another couple in there had just asked them to order a taxi to the station, so we asked if they'd mind us sharing the cab, and each pay half. They were as pleased as us for it to cost less. We alighted at the station - no ticket machines, no conductor on the train, all got out at Chester where there were no ticket collectors. Came back on the train, then caught the local bus that goes past the gates of the campsite but it's smack in between two bus stops - no matter - the driver dropped us at the gates!

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Jun 30, 2011
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Bleak house farm, York, CL, they have a hardstanding for winter if you ask, you can either walk, cycle of get the bus in. Bus stop a couple mins walk away on Broadway, cycle in right along river, 15 mins maximum.
 

Caggsie1

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On Cmc website, look at their late availability section, it gives you pitch availability for next 3 weekends. There is also, in membership area/local centres/find your local centre, takes you to the rally list. You will have to book, we are on a rally on the Southport site, access to all facilities and saving money too. I saw the details on Monday, booked on tues, onsite fri for wkend. The list is downloadable in pdf and shows rallies for the year. Some have Ehu, showers, not all. Ehu is minimum for us this time of year.

I find those sites that are popular, such as close to cities, eg York, Bristol, are worth phoning to see if any cancellations, rarely have I failed to get on site of choice.
 
Jul 5, 2013
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You really do not have to put up with the problems of planning in the UK. Just get across to France without any plans, other than to enjoy yourself. Follow your nose or the good weather, get an App showing all the Aires and you will find lots of places to stay in interesting cities, towns and villages.

No booking needed,as long as you avoid mid July to the end of August.
 
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Paul J

Paul J

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Feb 27, 2018
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I've stopped making excuses, I did get out there, we went to Bleak House Farm CL just outside York, via a few hours stop in Harrogate which included taking a small second mortgage for tea and scones at Betty's Tea Rooms :) it was thoroughly enjoyable, a pleasant walk into York, some great food, a few beers and a taxi back to the van, it was very pleasant apart from the girlfriends flatulence. I've counted the mirrors, and we still have one on each side, so I'm counting the driving as a success :)

Thanks for all of your replies, I've noticed the comments about France etc, I'll give it a try, also I'll check out park4night


Paul
 

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