I am here at the NEC at the Spring Caravan & Camping Show, staying on the temporary Caravan Club campsite - a much easier and more relaxed way of seeing and doing as much as possible. My first port of call was to collect a copy of 'Discover Touring' magazine (of which I was formerly their freelance travel editor) - for in the latest Spring/Summer issue I have a feature on touring in Cornwall. Writing that, and sourcing photos, was nostalgic and took me back to to the many times I had visited Cornwall as a child, and then with husband and children.
|Cornwall's Finest Parks were also offering Padstow Cornish Pasties|
to visitors around lunch time (delicious)
We did not have a caravan then, and campsites were few and far between (though we did once camp under the wing of our aircraft at Land's End!), but now there is a marvellous network of independently owned sites: 'Cornwall's Finest Parks'. The 23 parks offer quality family-holiday touring pitches with top star grading and each with a huge range of modern facilities.
|Nora and I set to work|
On to help my friend Nora of the Irish Caravan & Camping Council set up the stand for their display - for her colleague's flight from Dublin had been delayed by fog, and she wear on her own struggling with banners and bales of campsite guides. No matter, for it gave Nora and I an opportunity to reminisce about the touring holidays I have enjoyed with my photographer husband at some of the lovely parks - again independently owned.
|All set up, and Nora's colleague has arrived and is kept busy talking to visitors to the stand, as well as to me.|
Actually, looking back through earlier posts on the Blog has me wanting to be back in Ireland, enjoying the quiet roads and the fabulous scenery. There are many parts of Ireland we have not explored and each area is so very different; and full of history.
|Plenty to discuss with 'the friendly club', and where I will tour next|
Now for some networking, always essential for a writer, to meet some of the people who keep one fed with information; they feed, I digest and weave words and images into a storyline intended to inspire readers and my blog followers. Inform them of events and places to visit and encourage them to try some of the other activities I suggest, from keeping a travel journal to tips for photography. Both of the groups to whom I chatted are vital to those holidaying in caravan, tent or motorhome, for they provide the largest network of campsites in the UK - large affairs with masses of facilities and smaller away-from-it-all farmers' fields. Something for everyone. It's worth joining both clubs: the Caravan Club and the Caravan & Camping Club; each with a different ethos and each offering a range of opportunities for members.
|A brand new concept in motorhome design|
That was yesterday: and now I am checking the latest motorhomes, caravans, and technological advances which the many manufacturers are displaying and exhibiting, all to add to the pleasure of holidaying on the open road, away from the stress and strain of everyday living. The Show, organised by The National Caravan Council, runs until Sunday.