When we were little, we used to take trips to Cornwall, Devon, Wales – basically somewhere with a beach. Inevitably, as a lot of people did in the 80s and 90s, we stayed in a caravan. There was none of the ‘glamping’ or ‘yurt’ style accommodation that you find today, instead it was a good, old fashioned caravan.
My memories of staying in a caravan mostly extend to sleeping in strange 3/4 sized twin beds, feeling never quite warm enough and contending with bugs in the bathroom (apart from one trip which had an outside toilet – I think that this is where my fear of spiders might have originated!). Despite caravan holidays giving me the shudders, they are also a source of lots of warm memories – spotting rabbits through a pair of binoculars (‘binos’ to me and my dad), long walks along beautiful beaches, some dodgy club house nights (usually Haven Holidays style – other holiday clubs are available!) and lots of laughter.
Whilst a caravan holiday isn’t something I’d choose, I was invited along to join my mum and dad for an evening in Cresswell Towers, Northumberland. In a caravan. With Wandering Beeb.
Whilst it was a long drive there and turning into the campground brought back a rush of nostalgia – caravans and kids running around – I was longing for the rabbits to be honest! The caravan was the archetype of all caravans, not quite warm enough, not quite big enough but at least there were no bugs that I saw!
Once we had settled in, we set off on a long walk down the beach. It was there that I remembered why I loved those trips to the beach as a child. The empty stretch of sand, the sound and smell of the sea and the lack of distractions to focus on anything but each other’s conversations. Me and my parents reminisced about the trips we’d taken when I was younger, telling Wandering Beeb stories of what we’d done and what we’d found. A pirate ship climbing frame where we were pirates off to Neverland, a giant jellyfish called Max (it looked a little like the shape of the ship from Flight of the Navigator), stories of giant pasties in Cornwall and the best fudge in the world from St Ives.
Whilst I’m not a fan of caravan holidays (I’d rather camp in a tent!), that trip reminded me of a whole host of experiences that have made me who I am today. I don’t think that I’ll be booking a caravan any time soon, but I might just think about a few trips around the UK to visit some of those places from my childhood.