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The theatre in a campervan; caravanning and the Cumbrian economy; and more news …

As start a New Year, there’s never a dull moment if you’re a caravanner – whether new to the pastime or a veritable old hand. So, let’s see what’s been making the news in the past few weeks.

Tiny theatre in a campervan

A tiny vintage Bluebird Eurocamper caravan is home not only to the smallest cinema in the UK but the entire solar system no less.

That is the – admittedly difficult to prove – claim of Sol Cinema which was featured in a travel piece published by the Guardian newspaper on the 14th of December.

The tiny mobile cinema tours across the UK – often popping up at festivals of one kind or another. Viewings for its capacity audience of just eight people are given free of charge, last for a maximum of 10 minutes and, are entirely solar-powered – hence the name.

With eight comfortable seats and a bucket of popcorn provided on admission, you can drop into Sol Cinema’s home pitch on the Gower Peninsula in South Wales or catch up with while it’s on the road touring.

Rickinghall caravan site wins top Caravan and Motorhome Club award

Ever wondered what makes for the perfect caravan site?

Endorsement as the Best Newcomer (Certified Location) in the Caravan and Motorhome’s annual awards surely counts as a top rating. It’s been won this year by the Barn Owl Meadow site at Rickinghall, near Bury St Edmonds in East Anglia.

Featured in the Bury Free Press on the 30th of November, Barn Owl Meadow is a new, purpose-built site which occupies three-quarters of an acre on a small working farm in Suffolk. It offers just five pitches – some on grass, some hard standing – all of which are fully serviced.

Special mention is reserved for the unusually well-appointed 5-star washrooms and showers. The building has energy-efficient under-floor heating, a washing-up area, and personal bathrooms with luxury showers, hand basins, toilets, hand and hair dryers, and shaving sockets. One of them also has wheelchair access.

An onsite shop is supplied by the adjacent smallholding and offers farm-fresh eggs, bacon, sausages, burgers, lamb and pork.

Caravanning plays a strong role in Cumbria’s £3bn visitor economy

The long-established attraction of Cumbria for caravanners is hardly surprising – the county offers immediate access not only to the wilds of the Lake District National Park but also the stunning coastline of northwest England.

Little wonder, therefore that caravanning and camping contribute a whopping £3 billion and more to the local economy, according to a story in the Times & Star on the 13th of December.

As if to underline the point, the article also referred to the considerable sums fetched by two local caravan sites which were recently put on the market for sale. Seacote Caravan Park, on the North Cumbrian coast near Silloth, had an asking price of £2.25 million and has been sold to an established park operator. In the meantime, Violet Bank Holiday Home Park, for static caravans and leisure homes in Cockermouth, has also been sold to a private buyer for more than its advertised price of £1 million.

Premier Park caravan park restaurant wins Best of North Wales award

On the 5th of December, Out and About Live revealed the winners of the best caravan park restaurant in North Wales – and the laurels went to Nineteen.57 Restaurant and Bar, based at Islawrffordd Holiday Park in Talybont, near Barmouth,

Nomination for the award went unknown by its managers, who greeted the prize with surprised delight, for a restaurant and bar that has seen recent investment to the tune of £750,000.