Trip number four of the year arrived and off we went for a two night stay at Clumber Park Caravan and Motorhome Club, looked fabulous nestled in the grounds of 20 acres of National Trust parkland in Sherwood Forest. Sun was out and the roads were pretty clear too, so we couldn’t ask for more during our 3 hour journey.
Arrived just after 1pm and it was perfect timing, there were plenty of pitches to pick from so chose one that had woodland to its rear. Didn’t take long to set up as we hadn’t brought the awning, just the tarp, but we had a new addition to equipment and that was the small 2 man tent, our ‘pup tent’ or as MrB called it, the shed. This was a bit of a dry run for our 16 night tour of Scotlands 500, we would be just tarping it and if weather was poor we would need somewhere other than the car to store wet gear.
After lunch and cream cakes in Pod we went on a walk around the site and ventured onto the parkland, very strange situation to us, as the main road through the park grounds seemed to be a regular thoroughfare from one side to the other. We crossed this main road and walked up towards the village and the lake, beautiful tree lined walk which lead us to a small row of exquisite red brick terraced houses and a farm at the end of the junction. We eventually turned and strolled back past the path for the lake and back to Pod to discover the site 90% full and people, children and dogs milling about all over the place.
Time came to find somewhere for dinner but due to the poor reception on the site our wonderful portable wifi had let us down, we couldn’t believe it as it has been all over Scotland and Ireland and worked superbly without any issues. We could only blame it on a slight dip in which the site was situated. We were totally cut off, no wifi or phone signal for either of us. Only option left for us was to tag onto the Caravan Club for 24hrs for the cost of a few pounds, easy enough to do but just annoying.
Decision was made to head to The Alders Pub, no more than a couple of miles away and this was on the recommendation of the staff at the site. Situated on a large roundabout along with a Fish and Chip restaurant and McDonalds it was a fair old circular display of eateries.
Looked like a new building and the parking was ample, so off we went through the doors. It was busy but we were shown to a table and updated on how to order food, a carvery was on offer so that was definitely to be had by one of us and a large one too plus a very nice ‘shroom burger’ was had by the other. Needless to say the carvery was piled high but easily demolished, minus a Yorkshire pudding.
Desserts were next on the list, and what arrived for MrB could have fed a family of four, it was a huge slice of a Chocolate Éclair Cake, this was delivered by a waitress who with a bawdy pantomime villain laugh said ‘Enjoy’ and plonked the plate on the table. A valiant attempt to eat this delight was made but it turned into an epic fail and a small section remained to be disposed of.
We eventually wobbled out of the pub and poured ourselves into the car for the drive home, we had definitely been well fed.
Back at Pod and showers were had, these were of the usual Caravan/Motorhome Club standard, looked a little tired but did the job required.
Rained through the night, not heavily but just enough to remind you of caravanning as a child, you know, that gentle tapping of it on the roof as it slowly sent you to sleep. A great memory where you felt warm, safe and protected.
Breakfast was had and a day out in the area was planned, the day before we’d passed a sign for a Military Museum so we opted to head in that direction to start with. It wasn’t hard to find and not too far from the site either, easily found on entering the grounds of Thoresby Courtyard which was situated next to Thoresby Hall (Spa).
Free parking and entry were used and the fabulous little courtyard had lots on offer, from a small café to boutique shops selling a huge variety of items, clothing and woollen yarns to personal, handmade art work, all reasonably priced too. In the corner of the courtyard we found the entrance to the museum which was dedicated to the Queens Royal Lancers and Nottingham Yeomanry. A very moving experience that took you through their entire history and up to present times, lots of personal stories and an amazing record of many historical events.
Next stop was the ‘Major Oak’, believed to be the tree where Robin Hood and his men took shelter and slept. This again was only a short distance away and we paid £3 for parking. Once out of the car we followed the signs towards the Oak and the path wound through the woods which to us looked a little sparse, many trees seemed to have died and their stumps had been turned into little works of art resembling houses with delicate little windows and chimneys.
The ‘Major Oak’ appeared ahead and it was indeed a very impressive sight, with a recorded girth of 33 feet and a canopy of 92 feet, it was believed to weigh in the region of 23 tons and be between 800 a 1000 years old, it was huge. The thick long extending branches were being held up by various metal supports and it was also protected by a sturdy circular wooden fence. It’s a good job too, it’s one of those things you just have to touch, but not anymore it seems.
Tummys were rumbling so a late lunch was on the cards, off we set without any direction in mind. After a short drive along the country lanes we found ourselves back at the roundabout and low and behold the Fish and Chip restaurant beckoned us forth.
We treated ourselves to a proper portion of cod and chips, it was absolutely delicious, the fish was huge and cooked in a very nice light batter. Great environment too, little booths along the windows with the same set in the middle. Would highly recommend.
Feeling very satisfied we headed back to Pod to enjoy our last evening, after our fish treat we didn’t feel like eating too much, so cheese and biscuits were enjoyed with the last few bottle of ale we’d brought with us. Not a bad end to our two nights away and we thought we ‘d crammed quite a bit in too.
Morning arrived way too soon but it was dry which is always a blessing when packing up and the pup tent had worked a treat, perfect for putting the chairs and muddy boots in, a brilliant little buy. We felt we were pretty prepared for our jaunt in May round the Scottish coast, midges and weather permitting.
But before that we had our special Easter break planned and our April trip to Arran, all very exciting stuff, don’t you think.