It's been a quiet few weeks on the blogging front for young tourers, but what better excuse for an entry than to tell you about our Easter weekend break.
You may have noticed the blog and socials being slightly more quiet the last few weeks compared to our usual raft of uploads and updates. All 4 of us have been working away at our day jobs waiting for spring to really break. Unfortunately Karl and Rhea's Buccaneer Barracuda is still at the dealer for warranty repairs. Wer'e all hoping this won't be for much longer so that they can start to get out and enjoy the van for the 2018 summer season (This weekend, fingers crossed)
Grace and I decided that the long easter weekend was a great opportunity to get out in the van despite the below average weather forecast. My brother and his partner were also keen to get out in their tent! At 4 days notice we managed to find a site with two available pitches. The site, called 'The Secret Garden Touring Park', was located in a secluded spot Just off the A47 near to Wisbech.
We were attracted to this site, not only because of it's availability, but also to ability to have tents and caravans side by side and the fact that each pitch had it's own firepit, bonus!
We arrived mid afternoon, instructions and signposts to the check in and office were very clear. There is very little chance of getting lost here. Checking in was quick and easy, with a small leaftlet given out with all the infomation you would need. What was missing from this sheet? A long list of Rules, that's something that i'll come back to in a minute. A young chap showed us to our pitch and made sure we were okay. All pitches are grass but even in the weather we had, they held up VERY well. I was suprised to see that each pitch had it's own EHU bollard with Water and Drain. A serviced pitch which wasn't sold as an extra!
We didn't get upto very much during the weekend. The rain managed to keep us at bay, but there was plenty of drink, food and laughs in the awning. Saturday afternoon gave us a small amount of rest bite from the weather so we made haste and headed out to explore the site. I called back to the shop and met the site owner, Lesley, who talked me through the site and also the large selection of locally sourced and manufactured produce, including beers, cider, Jam, Honey.... The list goes on. For such a small shop, it was packed with all the basics, Bacon, Sausages and even a goose egg!
The shop also sold Firewood for the pits provided on each pitch. This cost a very reasonable £4 a bag. One thing that we really loved about this site is that it was based on trust. The Firewood was stacked up outside the front of the shop, with the brief of 'if the shop is closed, pay us in the morning'. We really loved the laid back, trusting approach this site has.
The secret garden isn't just a campsite either, A Garden Nursery and a brewery are just a couple of attractions on site aswell as the cute little Piglets! The Site also runs a number of events and courses. Courses and events over our weekend were 'Bushcrafting Skills', Sausage and beer tasting as well as an easter egg hunt for the Children, We were apparently too old for this!
The Highlight of our weekend was Saturday evening out at the Dogs. Peterborough was only a short distance and the persisent weather made a good excuse for the evening out, I even won a few quid too!
Back to 'The Garden'. We really think that this site had alot to offer, it felt remote, whilst being less that 3 Miles from Wisbech, with all the ameneties you could ask for. The pitches, although grass, were well sized and spaced and really did give you that 'Garden' feeling. The presence of a large Teepee was also a site to behold. Facilities are fairly basic but showers and toilets are perfectly functional and do what they need to do. We did notice these were a tad muddy but thats to be expected!
Now, back to what i said about rules. That's what really makes this a brilliant little gem. Many sites seem to have become very commercial and you can often find the list of rules can be spilling over pages. The Secret Garden didn't have this list. Knowing this and understanding the Firewood situation, you quickly come to realise this is a site which runs on common trust and courtesy. It means that people are free to do as they wish with the understanding of 'Please don't annoy the neighbours'. We think that other sites should look at this concept, It's Great!
By Monday morning, things were becoming rather boggy just in time for us to leave. One thing to note is that some of the pitches are raised at the front and this can make it difficult to hatch your escape in conditions like we had. We aren't knocking the site for this though, as the ground has had more than its fair share of water this winter. Before we knew it, the 4x4's and sites tractor was assisting those with motorhomes and two wheel drives from the site.
'The Secret Garden Touring Park' seems to have everything that many may look for in a campsite. Relaxed Rules, Permission to have fires, Serviced Pitches... Need i go on? This site is about all of that and more though. This really is a site to come and relax, socialise and let the stresses and strains of life wash away... Literally! Despite the weather, we had a lovely weekend away here with the family and this is definately a site that we'd love to return to in better weather to sit out, have a drink round the fire and watch the sun set.
This Little Cambridgeshire Gem really is one worth your consideration. If you want to know more, or to book, Visit https://www.thesecretgardentouringpark.co.uk/
Take a look at the gallery below of our weekend snaps.