Is it time to book a summer holiday yet? Can we, please?
Because a cursory glance in the fridge reveals that, once again, it’s salad for dinner.
Most of us are struggling to even stand up straight thanks to a new-fangled fitness regime (in my case just one class a week).
And dry January was a terrible, terrible idea.
BUT. The days are getting longer. Summer is a mere 143 days away. Surely it’s time to think about the next sun-filled mini-break? Yay!
Having spent the last 9 years exploring the southern hemisphere, we are now testing the lovely waters around the UK (I understand – they are not always sun-filled but it’s the start of a new year and my glass is resolutely half full).
So, where are the best places to take a campervan? Which campsites would you recommend?
We love North Devon in England’s south west and once we’d arrived back in the UK last year, one of the first places we headed to was Croyde Bay.
Croyde is LOVELY. It’s got a fabulous sandy beach. Coastal walks. Great surf.
But let’s face it. The main reason any of us go to North Devon is the cream teas. Warm, fluffy scones smothered in homemade jam and clotted cream. And with every café, pub and beach shack serving their own special version, it would be rude not to try at least one every day you’re there.
That’s surely enough to get us through three months of lettuce.
Campsite review – Ruda Holiday Park
On our most recent visit to Croyde, we stayed at Ruda Holiday Park, which we’d watched being built before moving to Australia. Nestled in a perfect spot behind the sand dunes, Ruda offers a large campsite, touring pitches and a number of lodges.
Still campervan-less, we tried out one of the lodges. Aside from the price, which – despite being outside school holidays – would easily rival the cost of an all-inclusive trip to the Caribbean, our Clovelly Lodge was fantastic. It was light, bright and spacious and had literally everything we needed for a week’s stay, including high-spec fittings and appliances. Granted, it did officially sleep 6 and there were only 2.5 of us (6 would have been mightily cosy) but compared with my vision of a glorified static caravan, it was impressive.
There’s a well-stocked grocery shop onsite, a large swimming complex which our toddler loved and regular evening entertainment if that’s your thing. On the downside, there’s no 3G coverage and the wi-fi is only available in the bar area, where it was very temperamental.
Also, the eating areas were not overly inspiring – maybe a bit too child-friendly to allow for a civilised evening meal if you’re a group of adults. (Of course if you do have children in tow then the sight of a few chips on the floor might just make you relax about the prospect of your own carefully chosen kids’ meals being flung around. Nope? Just me then.)
Reading the reviews on TripAdvisor, the actual camping facilities at Ruda aren’t always rated very highly. But if you’re using your own campervan facilities (or are staying in one of the lodges) you can’t beat the location.
The beautiful beach could not be any closer. The cliff-top walk to Baggy Point is just around the corner and the pretty village of Croyde is a few minutes’ walk away. (And those few minutes would definitely justify another cream tea while you’re there.)
In the evening, try the lovely local pub, The Thatch, for dinner, or drive the short distance to Braunton for some amazing fish and chips at Squires.
So Croyde is definitely on our travel list for 2016. We could almost buy a new campervan for the cost of a week in a lodge though, so we might need to focus our efforts in that regard.
Okay, over to you. Where are your favourite spots to get us reacquainted with the English coastline?