This review is of the Ashridge Farm Caravan & Motorhome Club site near Ashwell in Hertfordshire and is based on my visit in April 2018, when I stayed for six nights. The site is open all year around and is for club members only, however you can join on site. It’s a relatively small site with just 39 pitches, 25 of which are hard standing but they do not accept tents and there are no camping pods or similar available. All pitches can accommodate awnings.
Next, as always, getting there. The clubs instructions are that access should only be via the A505 – and having driven along some of the other roads into and through the village it’s sound advice. Our Site Arrival video below shows the route heading north-east on the A505 after leaving the A1(M) at junction 9. Leaving the M11 at junction 11 will bring you in from the opposite direction.
Check in is from midday although the Wardens – there’s only one set – take their lunch between 1pm and 2pm. I arrived at about 1:50pm and was in no rush so busied myself with the towing cover until they came to open up. I wonder though whether the Check in should be from 1pm, allowing the Wardens to take their lunch at midday – as is the case at the Cherry Hinton site near Cambridge.
You’ll find the basics on sale in Reception and Calor gas is available too. The grassed area opposite Reception is home to eight pitches when the weather and seasons allow but was empty during my visit. There is limited visitors parking just before Reception on the left.
Given the size of the site it’s no surprise that there is only one service point – located opposite pitch 21 – but no-one will be that far away from it. The Motorhome service point is beside it and although the Site Plan doesn’t show it, there’s a walk through that runs between pitches 25/26 and 21/22 providing a short cut to the service point and the facilities block which sits behind Reception. Shower cubicles numbered just two in the Men’s but although the hardstandings were full I didn’t have to wait, however I did stagger my shower times. I do wonder whether two is enough though when the site is at capacity. The facilities were kept immaculate throughout my stay.
Overall the site was quiet and peaceful with very occasional – and distant – aircraft noise. It might be worth noting that pitches 7-12 back on to rear gardens, from which you may get some noise in the warmer months when folks are outside.
The club’s Wi-Fi was fine for general browsing, social media and YouTube. No problem with the TV either however mobile coverage varies. My signal with ‘3’ was hit and miss for both voice and data, as was EE. O2 and Vodafone was fine.
There is no dog walk on site but plenty of options locally including just outside the site entrance.
It’s just a short walk into the village and you will pass Ashwell Springs – a source of the River Cam on the way.
If you don’t fancy cooking, there’s three pubs to choose from. I only got to try two but would happily recommend them both – The Three Tuns is the nearest and the Rose and Crown a little further along. The butchers and bakers are said to be good and fresh eggs can be bought just down the lane from the site. There’s a village shop too but you will find supermarkets in nearby Royston or Baldock and an Aldi and M & S Food on the A505 towards Royston on the opposite carriageway. There’s a BP filling station just over 2 miles away, again along the A505 to Royston and further – and cheaper – options in Baldock and Royston.
Right, getting out and about for something other than grog and grub. The bus stops in the village High Street go to Royston, Baldock and the world’s first Garden City – Letchworth. Call in reception for details of walks around the area. You are close to national cycle route 12 and there are plenty of country lanes nearby. The railway station – as indicated by the sign on the route to the site is just a few minutes away but, judging by the number cars occupying the grass verges during the week, parking may be an issue. It’s on the main line into London in one direction and Cambridge the other.
Talking of Cambridge, it’s a city well worth some of your time. If you’re driving, the Park & Ride at Trumpington, via the A10 is nearest. Vehicles over 2.1m high should use the entrance off Hauxton Road, not the one signposted from the A10.
There is a hop-on/hop off bus tour which will give you the highlights and a climb up the tower at Great St Mary’s church in the Market Square will reward your efforts with some great views.
A punt on the River Cam is almost certainly a must do and there are plenty of hawkers vying for your cash, most notably along Kings Parade and by Magdalene Bridge, just up from which is The Pickerell Inn, said to be Cambridge’s oldest pub. Scudamores are the only official operator of punts and are priced accordingly but there are others who will be more receptive to some haggling.
The Duxford Imperial War Museum sits by the junction of the M11 and A505 and will most certainly demand a day of your time. Collections are arranged over several hangars as well as outside and it’s likely you’ll see some activity on the airfield during the day. There’s plenty of options to refuel but ample places to sit outside with a picnic too.
The National Trust managed Wimpole Hall is not far away and again, make it a day and bring a picnic. The market town of Saffron Walden just over the border in Essex is worth a wander around too.