17 Minutes from Home

Tuesday morning, the sun is shining and the forecast is good for the next couple of days. A little more relaxed today in our preparation to getting the caravan hitched up and on the road. We discovered a site quite near to home on the Internet a few months ago and now seems a good time to try it. Old Barn Farm Is probably the nearest site we have to home. It took longer to hitch up and leave our storage site than it did to actually drive to the site.

The site is situated in Liphook, just a mile from the A3. The drive to the site is a good clear run from home until you get within half a mile of the site and you hit the countryside. A narrow single track road leads to the site entrance, you wouldn’t want to meet another caravan coming the other way.

A gated entrance welcomed us, we’d been given the entry code prior to arrival, in we went. Guided through well maintained farm buildings by signs a vast open space greeted us with only 6 pitches taken, EHU and water points skirted the perimeter of the field. With no facilities on site we chose a pitch and got the legs down parallel with the hedgerow on the south facing side of the site.

A vast expanse of farmland with loads of walks and not to far out of Liphook, where you will find a supermarket, local shops, pubs and takeaways,makes this site a perfect little haven. Slightly on the more expensive side at £20 a night, no facilities remember, still is a bit of a find for us for the shorter break as it’s very close to home with minimal fuel costs to get here.  We were a little worried on arrival to be greeted by this notice on the EHU though. Regardless we ran the electric and weren’t given any extra costs or charges.

Whilst on site we had two extremely good days weather wise with the second proving to be the hottest day of the year so far. So hot it melted my bloomin candles!

The hot weather meant after a walk to the local supermarket we were very hot and sweaty and with the sun still glaring down it seemed like the ideal opportunity to try out Equip, waterless wash wipes. Still too hot in the day to shower, you’d only need another one within the hour, these wipes certainly did the trick of freshening us up. Perfect for times when you need a quick wash but don’t have access to soap and water. Probably a good idea for festivals and a bit of wild camping.

One of the key pleasures of a caravan trip, and admit it, you agree, is the arrival of an entertaining couple, eg. the ones that argue and generally do things in an ‘interesting’ way. For now we will call them ‘Browbeaten Bob’ and ‘Bossy Bertha’.  So, Bob and Bertha drive onto our field and confidently drive to a unpopulated area, nothing too exciting, but once unhitched, Bertha is screaming “Further … Further … Further” as Bob drives about three caravan lengths away from their caravan, no sooner had we joked about the length of windbreaker they would be needing that Bertha was practically sprinting ten metres the other side of caravan with, yes, a windbreaker.  Eh..Up we both said, and immediately faced our chairs their way and settled in to enjoy the on site entertainment.  Once hammered into place, Bob is cajoled into helping carry another windbreaker ten metres past the now distant car.  Now either Bob was embarrassed at the scene or didn’t fancy the long journey to the far end of their new enclosure as a few cross words were exchanged before he flung his end of the concertina windbreak at his still sprinting wife. Bertha carried on regardless and hammered in the right perimeter wall, although, it is being re-hammered every ten minutes or so as it falls over regularly. Next, the caravan is emptied, my God, I hope they are staying more than two days, items were continually flung out of the opened caravan door into a large pile, to date, seven chairs are assembled (two people remember) and positioned in the North, West and South extremities of the encampment, a parasol complete with water filled base and the obligatory awning, which surprisingly was erected without too much drama, albeit over a period of about three hours.  As I look across it is still being pegged down.  In the time it has taken them to get to this stage we have normally had a cup of coffee, eaten dinner, explored the nearest town and eaten tea (translation for Southerners, for dinner and tea, please read lunch and dinner).  Maybe I am being harsh, the thirty metre exclusion zone could be on medical grounds and they are not just anti-social, territory grabbing, selfish gits, who knows.

The hottest day of the year soon turned into a stormy evening. Still warm, we were able to sit out under the canopy with a beer watching the rain come down.

All in all, would we come again? Yes, purely because of its locality to us. At £20 per night with no facilities, including no wifi, the price is a little bit steep but as you can see there is more than enough space for everyone. The owner is very relaxed and doesn’t really have any rules. He is very generous with his arrival and departure times, or should I say there aren’t any.

As for the anti-social territory grabbing selfish gits ?  It turns out they are wonderfully considerate people, why?, well clearly they were protecting us from the mass of bodies, bikes, dogs, caravans and tents that turned up over the following twenty-four hours and all seemed to be related to dear Bob and Bertha. Either way, we were entertained.

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