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Run Cottage Site Review

We’ve now stayed at this site twice between Christmas and New Year 2016 for 7 nights and at the beginning of June 2017 for three nights. The site is now Adults Only and comes under the Tranquil Parks umbrella.

The site is privately owned and is situated on the edge of the village of Hollesley in Suffolk on the Alderton Road. Access is recommended from the A12, the required junction of which is about 7.5 miles from the site. Directions given on the website are clear and advise the best route. Some of the roads may look small on a map but there is nothing of concern. You may want to check out our Site Arrival Video below which shows exactly what you can expect on route.

As you enter the site, the reception is to the left at the rear of the house. A few camping essentials are stocked. Normal arrival time is from 1pm.

The site itself consists of two areas or paddocks and has just 45 pitches including 14 hard standings. Electric hook up is 10 amps and is included in the pitch fee for motorhomes and caravans but an optional extra for those in tents.

The facilities block is on your left as you enter the first paddock, with a washing up and laundry room on the left as you face it consisting of two large sinks with large drainers, a washing machine and a dryer. There is also a fridge freezer.

The Gents facilities consisted of two showers, two toilets and two wash basins. Showers are push button. I assume, not having had reason to look, that the Ladies is a mirror image! Further on is the waster water and CDP then at the end there are two ensuite units each consisting of a toilet, basin and shower. During both our visits the facilities were kept immaculate and I’m delighted to report that the loo roll was some of the softest I’ve encountered on site!

A separate information hut was well stocked with leaflets, maps and pub menus along with a selection of books and DVD’s for swapping or borrowing whilst on site.

Dogs will love the pleasant 2 acre exercise field accessed through a bar gate and two wooden glamping pods overlook a large pond.

Satellite TV hook up is available as TV reception can be quite poor. A nominal fee is charged but you can borrow a box, remote and the required cables for free. We took advantage of this during our winter stay and it worked just fine.

WiFi is free and performed well. Both times we were in the first paddock so were closer than some would be.

On both occasions we found the site exceptionally well kept but the spring sunshine really brought out the siteís beauty. Clearly a lot of work goes in to keeping it so nice.

So, that’s the site. We’ve now stayed twice and wouldn’t hesitate to go back. It’s owners Andy & Michelle are friendly and welcoming and it’s a lovely environment to kick back and relax for a few days. But if you want to get out and about, what is there to do? Well, quite a lot!

Just a mile and half from the site is the coast, the nearest settlement being Shingle Street. As the name suggests there’s not a lot of sand about but it is a lovely place.

Thereís also Bawdsey Quay just a few minutes drive away where, in season, you cab catch a foot ferry over to Felixstowe Ferry.

Orford castle is not far away as is the town of Woodbridge on the River Deben and Aldeburgh on the coast.

And for those that don’t want to stray too far the village pub and shop is within walking distance!

For more details visit www.runcottage.co.uk

Site Arrival Video

What’s going on in the world of caravanning?

As we get into full swing for this year’s season, there’s more than ever happening in the world of caravanning.

News stories help to underline the ever-increasing popularity of an outdoor life made possible by ingenuity and innovation in the design and comfort of caravans themselves and the steady upgrading of first-class caravan and camping sites in the UK.

Here is a small clutch of just some of those stories …

Swift caravan sales soar

One of the indicators of the strength of the market is illustrated by the success of British manufacturer Swift Caravans, which saw turnover reach £287.8 million in 2018 – up from £271.4 million the previous year. It’s a performance that also helps to secure the 1,200 jobs or so employed at its plant in Cottingham, in the East Riding of Yorkshire, according to the Hull Daily Mail on the 30th of May.

The results coincided with the launch of National Camping and Caravanning Week on the 22nd of May, on a special floating campsite near Tower Bridge in the heart of London, which itself marked the 100th anniversary of the modern caravan.

Demand for staycations boosted by Millennials

The popularity of caravanning has also been given a boost by the increasing number of people opting for staycations in the UK rather than spending the time and money travelling abroad for their holidays.

On the 23rd of May, Travel Weekly magazine revealed that an estimated 31% of domestic holidaymakers are planning to spend longer or more frequent holidays in Britain than in previous years.

Even more encouraging for the caravanning industry may be the fact that more than half of the respondents in the survey of staycation intentions are Millennials (those aged 25 to 34).

A reminder on caravan towing rules

Given that it will again this year be one of the most popular destinations for caravanners, it is entirely appropriate that Cornwall Live published a timely reminder on the 22nd of May about the penalties for breaking the law relating to towing your caravan on British roads.

If you take to the roads towing a caravan that is an unsafe or unroadworthy condition or don’t have the appropriate driving licence, you may be fined up to £2,500.

Driving licence requirements are determined by when you took your test and the Maximum Authorised Mass (MAM) of the caravan you are towing. If you passed your driving test after the 1st of January 1997 you may only tow a caravan up to 3,500kg of MAM on your category B driving licence, and may need a supplementary Category B+E licence for heavier ‘vans.

If you took your driving test before the 1st of January 1997 you are usually qualified to drive a combined caravan and vehicle weight (the “road train”) of up to 8.25 tonnes.

Trailers and caravans account for 11 accidents every day

Further illustrating the need to ensure you are properly qualified to tow your caravan and keep it in a thoroughly roadworthy condition, is the sobering statistic that very nearly 11 road traffic accidents every day in the UK involve a caravan or other trailer of one kind or another.

The annual tally of some 4,000 accidents involving caravans and trailers was revealed by Motor1 on the 27th of May.

Towing a caravan that is too heavy for the car pulling it or with excessive nose weight, driving too fast, overloading the caravan, or loading it improperly, are all cited as some of the principal causes of the accidents recorded.

Being eco-friendly in and around your ‘van

Eco-friendliness, sustainability and the protection of the planet are hot news topics these days – and rightly so.

The concepts creep into every aspect of our lives and even have a relevance to your caravanning experiences – without in any way disturbing or interfering with the enjoyment of your days in and around your ‘van.

Here are just some of the issues – and how you might be more eco-friendly – when you are enjoying the experience of caravanning:

The caravan

  • you are off to a very good start by choosing a caravan holiday in the first place;
  • you are more likely to be staycationing, but even if you board a cross-Channel ferry with the ‘van, you still avoid the plane journeys that contribute so much to pollution of the atmosphere – you are going green from the word go, suggested an article in Metro newspaper on the 28th of December 2018;
  • some makes and models of caravan are also built to more eco-friendly standards than others, so this might play a part in choosing your own – a lighter weight, for example, means that you’ll be using less fuel to tow it, while effective insulation keeps down the cost of air-conditioning in summer and heating in winter;

Public transport

  • you need the car to tow your caravan to the campsite, of course, but once it’s pitched, why not try other forms of transport to explore the surrounding area;
  • your own two feet provide one alternative, and the slower pace of walking allows you to take in more detail of the countryside you are passing through;
  • biking might get you there a little quicker and for longer journeys, you might find it even more of an adventure to do your exploring by public transport, suggests the website Good Energy;

Recycle, recycle and recycle again

  • recycling is one of the keys to sustainability – getting the longest possible life and use of practically anything avoids the twin costs of disposing of what’s thrown away and manufacturing what needs to replace it;
  • even the water you use can be recycled – collect it after you’ve taken a shower or done the washing-up and use it to water any plants or flowerbeds, you’re almost certain to find on any campsite;

Shun plastic

  • every minute of the day and night a truckload of plastic rubbish finds its way into the world’s oceans – that’s some 12.7 million tonnes, said the action group Greenpeace;
  • do your bit for the environment during your caravanning holidays, and the rest of the year, by shunning plastic wrapping, bottles, and plastic bags – always take your own reusable shopping bag with you when you pop into the supermarket instead of spending your money every time to buy their plastic bags;

Don’t waste food

  • an even greater reduction may also be made by throwing away your left-over or unwanted food – instead, make a point of saving for tomorrow whatever you do not manage to eat today;

Close the curtains

  • a simple but effective way of helping to keep the heat out in summer and the warmth in winter is to close the curtains on your caravan windows – it also keeps direct sunlight off the furnishings, stopping them from fading and helping them last longer.

It needn’t affect the ability to enjoy your holidays and outings in your caravan by continuing to keep eco-friendly and sustainable actions and behaviours firmly in mind.

The popularity of touring caravan holidays

Some people might tell you that the heyday of caravan holidays in the UK were the decades running from the end of the 1940s through to around the earlier 1970s.

In those austere days, the attractions of overall low-cost holidays meant that statics, tourers and holiday camps, were the mainstay of much British holiday making.

Whilst it is true that the advent of mass tourism to the Mediterranean in the 1960s and 1970s dented popularity of the holiday caravan somewhat, things have changed significantly over more recent times.

Why is this?

The staycation

The financial and economic traumas that started in 2007 caused many people to look again at how to get out in the open air and have fun but without paying a fortune for that privilege.

Focus switched rapidly to caravans because not only are they cost-effective but their very nature had changed massively since those far-off days of the 1950s etc.

Today, many contain all modern facilities and are fully connected to mains services.  Some are equipped to designer-level and are based in some wonderful UK locations.

So, understandably, people began to move back into these traditional holidays and that trend continues.

Here are some great reasons why choosing a touring holiday may be appropriate for you:

  1. the cost. In today’s cost-conscious environment, why pay more for a holiday if you have to? Either taking your own tourer, hiring one, or staying in a static caravan means you can enjoy all the benefits of luxury accommodation (yes, caravans nowadays really can be luxurious) without a hefty price tag;
  2. freedom. Caravan holidays give you lots of freedom, whether you are hitting the open road in a tourer, or staying in a static home. If you don’t like your destination, in the case of a tourer, you can simply move on!
  3. caravan living means you have your very own home from home on wheels. No worries about cramming everything you need for your holiday into a suitcase, then paying baggage fees at the airport. You can simply pile everything you need in to your tourer and off you go – no weight limits and no hassle!
  4. you can do what you want, when you want. Unlike if you stay in a hotel, where you may have set mealtimes, in your caravan, you are in control. You can cook when you want, or eat out if you prefer, without being tied to the hotel timetable. People with children may particularly enjoy this freedom;
  5. going abroad in your tourer is easy enough to do. As long as you have continental cover and know the legal driving requirements of the country you are visiting (for example, in France, you are required to carry a breathalyser kit in your vehicle), Europe is your oyster!
  6. using a tourer to get around means you may see parts of the continent that might simply not be accessible from traditional package tours;
  7. perhaps the best thing about staying in a caravan is that in the unfortunate event that it does rain, there is nothing that quite beats the feeling of being cosy in your tourer, hearing the pitter patter of raindrop on the caravan rooftop!

Caravanning really can be a fun, rewarding experience. If you are one of the few people who haven’t yet tried it, maybe your next holiday could be the one where you do!

How much is caravan insurance?

Caravan Accessories

There is, of course, absolutely no single answer to such a complicated question.  Too much might depend upon variables such as your type of caravan, where it is and how you use it etc.

However, there are a number of factors that typically influence your insurance costs as follows:

  1. the value and make.  As you might expect, if all other things are equal then the higher the value of your caravan, the more it might cost to insure it. Some manufacturers’ vehicles might also be more expensive to insure than others;
  2. where you have chosen to site it, if it is a static or park home. Some sites may be defined as being higher risk than others, for example, in the case of a site with a known history of flooding. In the case of park homes and static caravans, if you choose a site which has a poor track record for things such as theft and vandalism, then your premium may increase significantly. Some providers may even decline to cover it at all;
  3. the value and nature of your contents.  Some policies may specifically exclude certain categories of contents from their cover or have strict maximum pay-out per item limits;
  4. the nature of your security precautions.  Some policies might prove to be lower cost in situations where you have opted to use things such as alarms, hitchlocks and wheel clamps.  In some cases, such precautions might be a mandatory requirement of the policy;
  5. the facilities of an individual site.  In fact, some policies may not cover static caravans situated on unregulated sites or those which do not have a full range of mains facilities;
  6. whether or not you use your vehicle for commercial purposes.  Note that even if you rent out your caravan for a few days here and there each year, you may be making any personal cover you have invalid.  In such circumstances, you may need some form of commercial cover, which typically may be more expensive than ordinary recreational use policies;
  7. in the case of touring caravans, the ages and backgrounds of drivers.  Some policies may allow drivers of any age to tow the caravan, some may not and others may have upper and lower standard ages which if exceeded, may incur additional costs.  Policies might typically also have higher premiums in situations where an insured driver has motoring convictions;
  8. the discounts offered.  Some providers may offer discounts for a number of things including, for example for tourers, discounts where the ‘van is stored on a CaSSOA-approved site. Or, in some cases, if you are willing to accept a higher voluntary excess on your policy (this is the first part of any successful claim that you are liable to pay), you may see a substantial reduction in your premium. At Cover4Caravans we will always be willing to highlight such opportunities to you;
  9. in the case of tourers, your annual mileages and whether or not you plan to go outside of the UK (some policies may offer extensive EU cover as standard).

Finally, shopping around for your cover will enable you to get a feel for what constitutes what you consider is a good deal.

Is shopping around really worthwhile?

Quite simply, yes it is.

The obvious reason which may immediately spring to mind is that of price.  Some providers may offer solutions that you feel are more cost-effective than others.

Note though the use of the term ‘cost-effective’ here and not ‘cheapest’.  That is because price alone is no real guide to the suitability of a product.  You need to look at the cost alongside the cover that the policy provides.

Does cover vary significantly between policies?

Without any doubt. For example, some touring caravan policies may offer up to 280 days of EU touring cover as standard. Other touring caravan insurance quotes may offer little or none unless you pay an additional premium.

Clearly, that may be particularly interesting to you if you enjoy taking your tourer over to Europe regularly but perhaps less so if you stay within the UK.

The point is, however, that this is just one example of many areas in which cover may vary and why it is important not to select a policy purely based upon price alone.

Can’t I just do without cover altogether?

In some cases, you may be under no obligation whatsoever to have insurance cover on your caravan and caravanning activities.

It might be wise though to seriously question whether that would be sensible.

You may have very substantial sums invested in your caravan and if a natural disaster or other accident destroyed or seriously damaged it, you may find yourself facing horrendous costs to repair or replace it.

Note that if you have purchased your caravan on finance, your loan agreement may require that you keep it fully insured.

Some site owners may also require that you have third party liability cover before allowing you to use their site – though note that in most cases they may have no right to insist that you purchase your insurance from them.

Of course, in the case of motorhomes the law may demand that you have a minimum of third party liability cover in place at all times.

Let is do the legwork!

Here at Cover4Caravans we know the importance of actually matching an individual caravan owner to appropriate insurance solutions and that is why we can shop around on your behalf for caravan insurance to find the most suitable deal for you.

We would welcome the opportunity to help you investigate the market and to consider in more detail, just how you might be able to apply some downward pressure to the overall cost of your caravan cover. Please contact us today on 01702 606301.