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Hitch& Pitch

For family camping and caravan adventures all year round

November issue - ÂŁ2.50

MEL SYKES

Opens Motorhome and Caravan Show 2013

10

Gadgets for your getaway

HOTSPOT

of the month...

YORKSHIRE Photo courtesy of The Motorhome and Caravan Show


12 This month’s hotspot Yorkshire

Contents

Photo courtesy of Barnzy

10 Preview: Inflatable awning

15 Top 10 Camping Gagets

20 Glamping Add glamour to camping. Photo courtesy of Steven Schofield

Photo courtesy Pablo Asekas

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Welcome to Hitch & Pitch November issue

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ith the caravan and camping industry bringing in a whopping £6 billion in revenues to the UK economy each year and employing 115.000 people across the country, these holidays have grown in popularity in recent years. This month we have incorporated some more family activities for you and the kids to enjoy over the next few winter months.

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Photo courtesy of Ben Bodien

This month... 04 - Wonders of the Wild - Why go camping this winter? 06 - Overseas touring 07 - The Summer Blast 08 - The Motorhome and Caravan Show 2013 12 - Inflatable Awnings 13 - The £195,000 motorhome

14 - November’s Hotspot 17 - Top 10 Gadgets for your getaway 20 - Cheaper sites next year 21 - The Scrubba - Keep your clothes clean! 22 - Keep Calm and Glamp On 26 - Photo of the Month 27 - Next month’s issue

In this month’s issue we look at the National Caravan Council’s Motorhome and Caravan Show with the one and only Melanie Sykes on duty to cut the ribbon at the beginning of the weekend. And if you flick over to page 15 you can see which top gadgets Hitch & Pitch’s editorial team have chosen for you this winter, making your caravan even more of a home-from-home. And not forgetting this month’s Hotspot. We have chosen the beautiful county of Yorkshire, not only for its renowned beauty and rolling hills, but also for its array of activities for the whole family. And finally, dont forget -Kids’ Corner. Keep them entertained on the journey there! So pick up your cuppa, put your feet up and enjoy this month’s Hitch & Pitch.

04 Why go camping? Photo courtesy of Steven Scofield

Reasons you should take a camping holiday this season.


Wonders of the Wild Hitch & Pitch

By Darius Taylor-McCall

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hen was the last time you ventured into the garage to find your tent buried beneath bikes and boxes of toys? Was your last camping holiday one of horror that put you off for life? Well it shouldn’t. Camping is a great way to get away from the mundane stresses of life and escape to the wild. So put your feet up, and live the old cliché of letting the world pass by.

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80% of children camping with their families feel parents are less stressed

Camping is one of the few times you can relax wih your family. Your break starts as soon as you have packed the car. No driving to the airport, no losing your luggage and no hopelessly feigning a foreign language – just jumping in the car with the essentials and escaping.

Camping is great, not only for the fun, but also financially. It won’t break the piggy bank for the average family of four. You don’t have to get sucked into buying the latest state-of-the-art equipment, unless you want to go the whole nine yards, but instead, a conventional tent and sleeping bag is all you need. There is usually a small surcharge per night, unless you go ‘wildstyle’ (in that case it’s free), but site prices vary. Think of it as a huge saving, as it’s only a fraction of the price you’d be paying if the whole family jetted off to Spain. Do you often work a nine-to-five week? Busy days can be detrimental to spending quality time with your children. It can be hard to find the time to focus entirely on your family. It’s not a bad thing to admit, it’s merely life, and working plays a big part. Camping can be the answer. From waking up in the morning to feel the wet, fresh dew on the grass, to gathering round Photo courtesy of Steve Cyr


Hitch & Pitch

p Stress-free p Adventures the crackling campfire on a star-lit evening, it is truly family time - a chance to bond and enjoy your loved ones’ company. Don’t be alarmed if you think time will pass you slowly, a simple Google search into where you will be staying will reveal a plethora of family activities, from nature walks, to aerial rope centres. Never been fishing? Well what a perfect way to start. A license costs next to nothing (available from the Post Office) and a basic rod can be bought for under £20. A worthwhile investment, as it could be putting dinner on your plates every night! Jon Dale, Senior Communications Manager at The Camping and Caravanning Club, said: “Camping is a fantastic way to holiday – not only is it an inexpensive pastime, it’s also proven to help develop closer family relationships”.

p Cheap and cheerful p Family time Research gathered at Liverpool John Moores University which showed that 91 per cent of all children interviewed said spending time exploring outdoors with their parents makes them happy. When asked, 80 per cent of children said that their parents seemed less stressed and additionally three-quarters said their parents shouted less. Mr Dale added, “Camping is the perfect family holiday option.” Official tourism site, VisitBritain said that camping and caravanning holidays have gone up by eight per cent since the beginning of the recession, showing their increasing popularity as an affordable family getaway. Not only do they agree that ‘glamping’ is a long term trend, but companies must respond to this huge consumer demand.

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Overseas Touring

Hitch & Pitch

By Charles Clark

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amping and caravanning abroad is one of the most exciting ways to add a little bit more variation to your holiday. With a rising number of cash-strapped Britons choosing not to fly and stay in swanky hotels, there’s been an increase in the number of us hopping across the channel and setting up camp in mainland Europe. P&O Ferries told Hitch&Pitch that they’ve seen large numbers of campers and caravanners pass through their doors over the past year. The benefits of going overseas on your trip are endless. It gives the opportunity to soak up not only the scorching Mediterranean rays, but the culture of the continent as well. Stepping across the water adds a world of potential camping locations, from the white sands and historic coastline of the Portuguese Algarve to the rolling green hills of the Dordogne. Prices at European campsites can start remarkably low. A family of four can enjoy a week-long stay at Camping Bellevue in Brittany for as

Photos courtsey of Richard Ross

little as €160. This seems a good price, but it seems even better when you compare it to the £2,000 a family of four could spend staying in one of the region’s glitzier options, or the £150 you could spend on a single meal out with the family.

You can even experience the sheer glamour and luxury of the famously swanky

Experience the glamour and luxury of Monaco

Monaco on a budget by choosing to camp just outside the city. Camping La Vielle Ferme is only a 10 minute walk from Biot Station, allowing easy access to the home of F1 and the glitterati.

The British Caravanners Club have always been great advocates of camping abroad. A spokesperson for the club said: “We’ve seen an increase in the

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number of campers going overseas. Touring, particularly abroad and in France, has become a popular pastime with many caravan manufacturers reporting increases in sales.” Finding a campsite to visit can be easy too. The French tourism board have set up a website dedicated to helping campers find their home-from-home. The Fédération Française de Camping et de Caravaning’s website gives you the handy option to filter regions and price ranges when searching for a place to stay. When camping abroad, the main cost to take into consideration is travelling. Aside from petrol costs, you have to take into account foreign road systems. France, as opposed to road-tax, operate a much more prominent tolling system to fund the upkeep of their roads. At first this may seem like a bother, but as you drive through France with your tent and worldly belongings crammed into the back of your caravan, you’ll notice the quality of the French roads make for perfect travelling and touring.

Camping abroad?

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Regular camper, Mark Holderness, from Spilsby, said: “My wife and I take the caravan abroad as much as we can. The kids love being able to play outdoors and it’s sunny all year round in France which is always a plus. The culture as well: it’s nice to see other countries whilst being on a budget. We used to stay in villas but since swapping to the caravan we have been able to visit more places as it is so much cheaper.” Of course, your passport is a must. It’s a holiday-maker’s worst nightmare - driving all the way to the Euro-Star station and having to turn back at the last hurdle. The Euro has been a godsend for campers around the

continent for obvious reasons. No longer do you have to take an assortment of currencies banded together in your rucksacks, no longer do you have to try to remember which country uses which currency whilst uselessly fumbling around in front of a clueless cashier.

But let us not forget the main reason most of you will want to camp abroad – the sun. You’ll be able to bask in 30 degree Barcelonian sunbeams.

Camping overseas is the cheapest way you can experience that continental weather without having to fork out a small fortune to carry extra luggage onto your Jet 2 flight whilst thinking ‘why didn’t I drive?’

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Stepping across the water adds a world of potential

The Summer Blast

By Natalie Casey

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ooking to pitch up your canvas? Or perhaps parking up your van may be more appropriate for this cold winter weather. Either way, you shouldn’t be short of a neighbour or two, with figures in the Telegraph showing camping has overtaken bed and breakfast bookings for the first time. Dan Yates from Pitchup.com, explained: “There has been a growing desire for ‘authenticity’ – exemplified

Or camping at home? Photo courtesy of Archaeobobalist

by the popularity of local produce, farmers’ markets, organic food, crafts – and time with family and friends outdoors. Camping ticks all of these boxes and is inherently sociable.” With everyone on a tight budget, camping may seem like a poor option for a family break, but it’s clearly not just those with a lower budget choosing to keep their holiday on British turf. With the brighter weather giving a helping hand, summer bookings were up by a massive 60% from 2012 bookings. The Telegraph reported bookings

are up 40% from 2012, this shows people are not only returning to British based holidays but are also spreading a good word or two, encouraging more of you to pack up your cars and begin a British adventure. A study by Dr Kaye Richard, an Outdoor Education lecturer, found that campers are happier, healthier and more socially connected. This off peak season could be the perfect time to test the water, so with this excuse and your budget why not continue exploring Britain this winter?

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The

MOTORHOME CARAVAN SHOW &

This year’s show saw the world’s top caravan and motorhome brands come together for the weekend. three top models. Visitors at the show were able to tour the new caravans before the next season.

By Alex Price

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he Motorhome and Caravan Show 2013– if you weren’t there, you definitely missed out. This year’s biggest and quite frankly, most glamorous motorhome and caravan show not only saw a record-breaking number of visitors walk through the doors, but also featured some of 2014’s newest models. Visitors were also greeted by Melanie Sykes at the door as she opened this year’s show.

Next year will also see the beginning of a revolutionary design from Knaus. The German manufacturers featured their new design this year, calling it the ‘Caravan of the Future’. They have combined future design with yacht characteristics to create a new, sleek caravan called the Caravisio-

Over 100,000 visitors

almost appropriate for glampers (but it’s still no Yurt). The Caravisio even features a terrace at the back with sliding doors and motorhome-standard interior. Burstner had a stand at the show after they announced a 2014 limited edition range to celebrate 55 years of manufacturing Burstner motorhomes, which were displayed at the NEC last month. But the show accommodates for more than just motorhome and caravan enthusiasts. At the event, visitors can purchase anything from outdoor clothing to the

Each year, the show is timed to coincide with the launch of new models and give customers the chance to order them before the next season. This year’s visitors had a sneak peak at Carthargo’s newest range, including the rebirth of Carthago’s Malibu motorhome. The Malibu, originally named in the seventies, has been renovated and is now more spacious, featuring a double bed and separate shower cubicle. But the Malibu isn’t the only come-back of 2014 - the Compass brand will also be reintroduced this season, as they bring out

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Melanie Sykes and Ed Baines opened the show. Photo courtesy of The Motorhome and Caravan Show 2013


Hitch & Pitch latest satellite TV systems. An abundance of free advice, on anything from finances to technical issues, was available to both newbies and seasoned fanatics. The six-day annual event ran from Tuesday, October 15 to Sunday, October 20 with TV chef, author and restaurateur Ed Baines also on set. Ed was at the show each day in the Expert’s Theatre to show the packed out audience live campsite-style cookery demonstrations. More than 400 companies attended the event across 11 halls- the equivalent of 12 Premier League football pitches. They included major manufacturers, dealers and independents such as Elddis, Swift and Auto-Trail.

‘The Caravan of the Future’

The show’s organisers, the National Caravan Council, have reported 100,000 people visited the NEC in Birmingham over the course of the event and had record-breaking sales, with some companies reporting over 200 units sold in a day. The NCC said these statistics signal a ‘potential upturn for the industry’. Simon Coe, the exhibition co-ordinator of the event, said: “This year has been spectacular and the show has featured very high quality products. The show will be running next year and hopefully the number of visitors will increase once again. “We asked Melanie to join us earlier in the year, she told us caravanning was one of her favourite past-times - she was more than happy to open the show.” Sykes opened the show stylishly on Tuesday, in a bright pink Micro Zone caravan. On the opening day, she said: “My parents used to take me and my sisters caravanning when we were kids and I loved it. I liked the

All images courtesy of The Motorhome and Caravan Show 2013 ©

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Hitch & Pitch closeness of the family together, all in this little space... I have just got warm memories of it.

department that, in turn, secures the aftersales business and so the cycle continues.”

“Kids are so glue to computers and iPads now aren’t they? And caravan holidays force you to start getting back to nature and to the simple things like playing cards and doing jigsaws and kite flying –all those beautiful things that kids miss out on now.”

Laws added: “Our bestselling brand is Burstner. After their announcement, they were an instant success and I’m sure the Burstner brand will go on to be our bestselling unit.”

When asked if she would ever go caravanning again, Sykes said: “In my little fantasy land, I would like to do Route 66 – I had this thing about doing it in a Winnebago.” Camper UK, motorhome dealers based near Lincoln, attended the event for the second year in a row. Martin Laws, manager at Camper UK said: “It was brilliant for us; it is the industries show case event for the UK. This year we had representation on the Carthago, Bessacarr and Burstner brands. “The show is very important as this is the opportunity to secure future business for our sales

Over 400 companies

The Caravan Club were also in attendance. Lucie Warren, the exhibitions co-ordinator at the Caravan Club, said: “Touring popularity has increased steadily in recent years with 2013 proving very popular due to the glorious summer weather. Overseas touring has also seen a rise in popularity, therefore the club decided to have a stand promoting overseas advice.” The Motorhome & Caravan Show will be returning to Birmingham next fall between Tuesday, October 14 to Sunday, October 19 2014. However the start of season event, All images courtesy of The Motorhome and Caravan Show 2013 ©

Above: Melanie looked fabulous in her Micro Zone caravan as she opened the show last month.

Left: Chefs demonstrate barbequing on the Weber Grill.

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Hitch & Pitch

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the Caravan and Camping show is up next, from Tuesday, February 18 to Sunday, February 23 2014. The Caravan and Camping Show has promised to be bigger and better than ever, with double the amount of stands for camping than 2013.

Visitors will have the chance to look around holiday homes and lodges, as well as offers from UK and European campsites and holiday parks. The Accessories Megastore will also be back in 2014 for all you happy campers to stock up on those camping essentials. And

for the newbies, there will be a Towing Experience, as well as Motorhome Maneuvering Lessons over the course of the weekend, ensuring the dads know exactly what they’re doing. So all that’s left to say is: roll on 2014...

2014 promises to be bigger

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Photo courtesy of Barnzey

An awning sure to blow you away... Hitch & Pitch

By Alex Price

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t’s the same every time isn’t it? You’ve arrived at the caravan site, parked your caravan after an embarrassing and occasionally awkward 20 minutes of reversing, pulling out and reversing again.

The kids are already getting out the fishing rods and mum’s desperate for a cuppa. But you can’t take the kids fishing just yet – the awnings not done. The dreaded awning is still piled high in the caravan and with no volunteers jumping at the opportunity to help, you’re forced to spend the next half hour of your holiday scampering around outside, looking for poles and pegs. And let’s face it; you came in a caravan to avoid the stress of canvas and poles. But what if there was an easier way? The Kampa Rally Air Awning range comes with connected Airframe replacements meaning

It’s the fastest and easiest awning to set up and take down

there’s no need to drag out the metal poles. This new ‘inflatable awning’ can be assembled in less than 60 seconds. It has been tried and tested it and consists of three simple steps: thread, peg and pump. It all sounds too good to be true, but what are the disadvantages of this revolutionary design? One disadvantage is the step across both side doors – easy to see but also easy to forget about, and after a few beers in the local pub, it may disappear altogether, sending you head first into your stowed away barbeque. Maybe not a massive problem, but worth thinking about. Secondly: the price. It isn’t a cheap alternative. The Rally Air 260 can be purchased for around £500, whilst the 390 is a hefty £800.

But Kampa have claimed it is ‘the easiest awning ever’ on their website. Kampa have also said it can be “unpacked and put up in under five minutes”. Hollie Blenkarn, a spokesperson for Kampa, said: “We have found the air awnings and tents to be a very substantial and reliable product, but you have a look at one to see the quality of it.” She added: “The Rally Air is the fastest and easiest awning to set up and take down.”

The airframe is connected at each corner so only pumping up one section is necessary. With two models of different lengths, the Rally Air 260 and the Rally Air 390, this awning is suitable for most caravans between the heights of 235-250cm. The additional add-ons available at Kampa include the easytread carpet, storm tie down kit, rear upright poles and two-stage electric pump. So will this revoluntionary design take off in 2014? Or is £500 a little too much to justify that extra half hour of fishing?

Photo courtesy of Kampa

Photo courtesy of Mike Cattell


Cattell

Photo courtesy of Carthago

Hitch & Pitch

Is Carthago’s luxury liner on its last wheels?

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t’s got a full-sized ceramic bathroom with LED lights and a very hefty price tag but dealers are saying Cartago’s glamp-style Liner Deluxe isn’t selling well. Alex Price spoke to the UK sales teams...

The UK’s four Carthago Liner Deluxe dealers have reported sales figures as low as one, with some not stocking the revolutionary motorhome at all. Carthago launched the range two years ago and were hoping to corner a particular market but dealers say this market is “a very small one”. At the price of £195,000, the Liner Deluxe sits comfortably in the luxury end of motorhomes whilst maintaining Carthago’s renowned quality and skilful design.

Carthago and have so far sold one. “There is a very limited opportunity for the Deluxe, however there is a market place, albeit a small one.” Speaking of Camper UK’s participation in this year’s Motorhome and Caravan Show, he added: “The shows are very important as it gives the public the opportunity to see such expensive vehicles, as most dealers would not choose to carry one in stock.”

Carthago have therefore only chosen to stock it’s motorhome with four dealers in the UK.

Both Go European Motorhomes and Southdowns Motorhomes have admitted they are contracted to stock the Liner but have chosen not to this year as it is “too costly” for their target consumers.

However, the four contracted dealers, including Camper UK, Premium Motorhomes, Southdowns Motorhomes and Go European Motorhomes said sales are slow and there is strong competition from the likes of Concorde.

Rod Jolley, a salesman at Southdowns Motorhomes added: “One of the reasons we find the Liners less popular from this outlet is that we are also the UK dealer for Concorde which are probably the most prestigious of all luxury liners.

Martin Laws, manager at Camper UK, based near Lincoln, said: “As we deal with other German brands such as Burstner, we decided to go with

“We usually find that customers who can afford the Carthago Liner can also afford to purchase the Concorde equivalent and prefer to do so.”

Speaking of their contract with Carthago, Jolley said: “We are proud to be Carthago agents. They are an excellent motorhome with a unique style and character. “They have a chic but homely and warm feel which is almost cosseting.” With a flat-screen TV, a three-flame cooker and space for a dishwasher, Carthago have created a motorhome suitable for permanent living. However Dan Wright, a salesman at Go European, suggested that the Liner does have some downfalls revolving around the driver’s license. The coach-style motorhome is fitted with a garage for your car. Carthago have said without a car parked in the garage, a full UK drivers’ license holder can drive the vehicle without taking any further tests. However, with a car in the garage, it takes the overall weight over the 8.25 tonnes limit so further driving tests would be required to drive it. The four contractors are hoping to see better figures in 2014 as the popularity of caravanning and glamping rises.

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Hitch & Pitch

HOTSPOT...

Yorkshire

All photos courtesy of Richard Ross

Forget the Cumbrian lakes and bin your Cornish pasty, it’s Yorkshire that is winning the hearts of tourists this season, landing Hitch & Pitch’s Hotspot of the Month. Natalie Casey explores the county...

Emmerdale: the Yorkshire set Photo courtesy of Waldopepper

Yorkshire’s stunning scenery Photo courtesy of Rick Harrison

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inally gaining the number one spot against Lancashire, Staffordshire, Cheshire and Lincolnshire in the National Caravan Council (NCC) Survey, a list compiled of camping figures over the past 12 months, shows this year, tourism is peaking in Yorkshire. Not only is Yorkshire filled with stunning scenery and historical points of interest, but it is bursting with exciting museums and experience centers for fun packed days that will knacker the kids, and of course provide some fantastic shopping for Mum. With campsites from £12 a night, it’s hard to go wrong. Finding a site to hitch your caravan is easy. To help you narrow it down, here are a few points of interest, all season appropriate, no

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The Deep aquarium, Hull. Photo courtesy of Jacky Jordan

matter how your taste differs along with the season. Graham Poucher from tourism agency Welcome to Yorkshire, told us why Yorkshire is top of the table: “Businesses such as Lonely Planet have rated us the best region in the world to visit in 2014. AOL said we are in the top 10 global destinations and TripAdvisor said we are the second most popular destination with Brits and third with internationals in the UK.” Many attractions are already preparing for Christmas and what better way to get in the mood than visiting frosty Yorkshire, where, when wrapped up warm, you will be able to explore a range of indoor and outdoor activities.


Hitch & Pitch

Light Water Valley From Thursday, November 28 to Sunday, December 1, Light Water valley, which hosts a theme park and quirky shopping village, will have a slightly more twinkling atmosphere.

Two National Parks

The park and shopping village will host magicians, carol singers and bell ringers all accompanied by a traditional Christmas soundtrack. Santa will be making an appearance, opening his grotto up to children and their Christmas wishes, as his reindeers get take Centre stage and illustrate a special story. Based in Ripon, the accessible and picturesque location sets the perfect scene for a relaxing get away before any big occasion. Though if Christmas 2013 is already jam packed, this attraction is flexible regardless of the season. The theme park and shopping village will provide great family weekend entertainment.

The Deep But if you’re wanting to get a little closer to nature, Hull might have just what you’re looking for with an exquisite aquarium, boasting Europe’s deepest viewing tunnel. Further out than other attractions, but definitely worth the travel, The Deep aquarium is a fantastic way to get out the elements and explore the oceanic side of nature we very rarely see. This attraction uses its spectacular sea life to take you to exotic places, without the hassle and expense of travel, making this attraction fascinating for Mum and Dad as well as the kids. Neighbour to Humber estuary, The Deep’s extravagant architecture makes sure its appearance is as bold as its inhabitants, being sure to capture your attention from several points around Hull. The spectacular lights ensure it doesn’t disappear at night and changes the coast and sky line of the city. As the

appearance of the building changes, so does the internal activity, from feeding animals to feeding yourselves, The Deep houses The Two Rivers Restaurant. The unique restaurant enables you to dine with the backdrop of the endless ocean gallery accompanied by rays and sharks. It gives you the chance to end the day a little more exotic than you had planned when you chose Hull as your destination. And with it being Christmas, you’ll be able to make live video calls to Santa, and take home your handmade Christmas decorations from Thursday, November 28 to Monday, January 6.

Malham Cove Not afraid of the weather? Or just a family full of avid movie fans? How about a bit of set jetting and a visit to Malham Cove?

This secluded Yorkshire waterfall

We’ve got the whole world in one county

is featured in Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows. Granted, it’s a little enhanced for the film, but strip back the special effects and you have a picturesque haven that’s open to the imagination.

A budget day that gets you right back to nature, with an interesting twist to make sure the kids can be persuaded, this North Yorkshire paradise is an ideal location to fully escape the city. It may be no Machu Picchu, but walking the same steps as Harry Potter definitely

The Deep is home to 3,500 fish

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Hitch & Pitch highlights it as one of the more novel and interesting hikes found in the UK.

Over 4,500 places to stay

Under a mile from the centre of the village of Malham, it is very accessible. So during this cold season, save your Iceland expenses and explore this North Yorkshire corner which can offer you the scenic environment with gorgeous winter weather.

The Emmerdale set Now, what Yorkshire trip is complete without a visit to the most famous part of the Dales? The set of Emmerdale is just outside of Leeds in a secluded area of West Yorkshire. Not only are you able to have a pint in the Wool Pack on tour days, but the surrounding area showcases some of Yorkshires most simple yet beautiful scenery. Tour days are available to book online at the price of £25 for adults and £18 for children.

Harewood House Neighbouring the village tour is Harewood House (pictured below).The remarkable grounds lay the foundation for a whole host of activities, all of which are both fun and educational. There’s plenty to explore on the exterior. You can start with the bird garden where there is an array of exotic birds to see and move on to the adventure playground. The area has age appropriate sections meaning all

the kids are catered for and should you come during a dry spell, there’s relaxing scenery to put you at ease. And inside there is fancy dress for the kids and a little historical education for the whole family. There will be plenty to explore, it’s just a case of fitting it all in. So whether you take a trip for Christmas or save it for summer 2014, exploring all these exciting Yorkshire spots will showcase all it has to offer and show you why it won UK’s top camping and caravanning county. Poucher said: “Our broad tourism industry and our friendliness play a large role, but bringing the Tour de France in July 2014 is already helping us reap the benefits of global exposure which can only be a good thing for Yorkshire tourism. “We’ve got the whole world in one county. You can be almost anywhere in two hours from our seven cities, to our stunning coastline to our three National Parks. Our food is some of the best and on the finest menus in the country. Plus our attractions are renowned, so it’s hard to beat.” Poucher continued by highlighting why Yorkshire is just as good as a trip abroad. He said: “You don’t need a passport for starters. People come back to Yorkshire time and again and there are several reasons for that. Natural beauty, customer service, variety, easy access on roads and rail. It may not be tropical, but Yorkshire looks stunning 365 days a year.”

Over 2.5 million acres

And if you have any spare time, or energy, you’ll almost definitely be able to find more hidden gems to experience in Yorkshire. Photo courtesy of Patrick Theiner


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Hitch & Pitch

The Top

Camping Gadgets By Charles Clark

For the technology obsessed younger generation, the idea of being away from the rest of the world whilst camping can be a tear-inducing concept, and adults can feel the strain of a tech void holiday too when they’re missing those ever-important work emails.

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ometimes there’s nothing worse than seeing the dreaded ‘low battery’ alert on your phone, knowing there’s no plug sockets within reach, or spending your camping trip traipsing round the woodlands looking for fresh water or an easy way to start Whatever the case is, there are ways you can work around the whole cut-off-from-society situation. the campfire.

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Below are Hitch & Pitch’s top ten must-have gadgets for your next camping trip:

The Dongle - Prices vary

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et’s start off with the obvious. The dongle has been around for a long time, but with the entrance of 4G, and an ever-widening mobile phone network in the UK, there’s never been more reasons to buy a dongle. Just plug one of these nifty little devices into the USB port of your laptop and you’ll be able to Facebook and tweet from the comfort of your sleeping bag. All of the major carriers sell dongles on either payas-you-go or pay monthly schemes.

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The Mophie Juice Pack Air - £60

Available at: www.mophie.com

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s time goes on, phones’ battery lives seem to be getting shorter and shorter. Alas, there is a way to combat the seemingly shrinking battery lives, particularly useful for those sleeping under-canvas, where you have no accessible power sources, unlike those glamping in their yurts. The Mophie Juice Pack Air, designed specifically for iPhone, provides hours more talk, browsing and play time on your phone. However, be prepared to fork out around £60 for the battery case.

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Hitch & Pitch

Sony Vaio Battery Sheet - £79

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n a similar vein to the aforementioned rechargeable battery case, this battery sheet, specifically designed to be compatable with the Sony Vaio range of laptops, acts as an additional battery to the internal one, allowing campers to use their laptop for up to hours longer. It simply clips onto the bottom of the case and is hardly noticeable.

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Nikon 1-AW1 - £749.99

McMillan

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ack in September, Nikon unveiled the world’s first interchangeable lens camera that is also shockproof, freezeproof and waterproof, as well as resistant to dust build-up, without losing its sleek looks. If that doesn’t scream, ‘take me camping!’ (or even glamping), then we don’t know what does. The 14.2 megapixel device is aimed at the keen photographer with a price tag of £749.99.

Available at: www.amazon.co.uk

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Available at: www.aboveandbeyond.co.uk

BioLite Campstove - £134.95

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his is a must have for any keen camper. The Biolite Campstove incorporates two of everyone’s favourite things - food and technology. It’s simple, fuelled by renewable biomass such as twigs, this ingenius invention allows you to cook food, whilst at the same time, charging any of your USB devices via the gadgets built-in USB port. At only 22cm high, this portable petite stove is perfect for campers’ needs.

Photo courtesy of BioLit Stoves

Photo cour tesy

Available at: www.sony.co.uk

Solar-Monkey Adventurer - £85

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Available at: www.cotswoldoutdoors.com

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he future of camping is here, and it’s in the form of the SolarMonkey Adventuruer, a backpack fitted with phonecharging solar panels. Both economically friendly and useful, simply attach it to the back of your normal backpack, and throughout the day, the SolarMonkey Adventurer will store away enough juice to power your phone. With an array of interchangable charging jacks, this gadget can be charge most modern phones, including iPhones, Blackberries and Samsung Galaxies.

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erhaps one of the most useful gadgets for survival in the wild is the Lifesaver Water Filtration Bottle. Without further inspection, you wouldn’t be blamed for thinking it was just a normal flask. However, the Lifesaver features a filtering mesh device in the top of the container, allowing you to scoop water out of the nearest stream, lake or river and drink it without worry of illness. Again, the flask is on the pricey side, with an asking price of £124, but if it means avoiding illness on your camping holiday, it’s probably worth it! Available at: www.gopro.com

Eelke D eker

GoPro Hero 3 - £359.99

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cheaper alternative to the aforementioned Nikon AW1, the GoPro Hero 3 offers snap-happy campers a 12-megapixel camera with built in wifi and a waterproof up to 200ft casing, it’s hard to go wrong with that. The GoPro Hero 3 comes in at half the price of Nikon’s sturdy snapper, boasting a more reasonable £359.99 price tag.

Thermacell Mosquito Repeller - £25

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Available at: www.amazon.com

r ou y tes ll ace er m Th of

he Thermacell Portable Mosquito Repeller deals with the nightmarish problem of insects taking up unwanted residence in your tent. The device is an ideal alternative to lotions and creams, providing a 98% insect-free zone of 4.5 metres. Inside, a chemically treated matt is heated up, which gives off a mosquito irritant. Unlike some alternatives to this insect repellent, it’s cheap, at only £25. The fact that this device is odour-free means you won’t have to worry about using it around pets either.

Available at: www.coleman.com

Available at: www.lifesaversystems.com

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Photo courtesy of InHabitat

Lifesaver Bottle - £124

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Hitch & Pitch

Coleman Coffee Maker - £69.99

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et’s face it, not having your morning coffee can make the rest of the day seem like the most arduous of tasks. But don’t worry, Coleman have made a coffee maker that not only can be taken camping, but would give your work-top coffee maker at home a run for its money. If you’re really craving your cuppa, the Coleman Coffee Maker can pump out an impressive 10 cups of coffee in under 20 minutes, at around £50, this is a worthwhile investment.

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Photo courtesy of Barnzey

Caravan Club Slash 2014 Prices Hitch & Pitch

Wanting to get away for less in the New Year? Or just hoping for a few more days in your country haven? Well the generous folk at the Camping and Caravan Club can help...

By Natalie Casey

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ith the Camping and Caravan Club cutting the prices of many of their sites, this means that you can enjoy camping in 2014 for even less. From earlier this month, you have been able to plan and book your break on an all new lower budget, straight from the club’s website. While prices haven’t changed for the current season planning and budgeting for summer 2014 can get well underway before the year is out.

a prime instigator in succeeding in carrying out this task. “Both members and non-members alike will be able to enjoy great value holidays at lower costs, which should increase occupancy across our network. This is fantastic news for the club and its members, as all of the profits generated will go back into developing our sites to ensure a sustainable future for current and future generations of campers.” Planning in advance this year won’t just ease the stress, it will also ease the pain on the purse strings, with the new booking system enabling you to get top pitches for bottom prices.

Not only do children go half-price, but there is a 25% concession discount for certain seasons, giving even more reason to get the whole family involved.

The quicker, easier and fairer booking system also enables you to cancel up to 30 days before the trip, should you have to alter your plans at all.

And the brand new Value Stamp scheme, helping you save more money when booking your break, is the icing on the country cake.

Robert Louden MBE, the club’s Director General, told the Caravan Times: “Flexibility of price and a fairer cancellation policy for all, together with a great digital experience, making it easier to book online, we believe are the essentials that will ensure that

The club told us: “The club’s mission is to get more people out camping and our lower site fees are

both members and non-members can enjoy the benefits of the Club Site network for many years to come.” According to the Caravan Times, there are even more incentives to become a member of the club, with exclusive savings and extras available for adult and family members. With memberships starting at just £41, the club states on average you can make the money back with just six nights of camping, they say: “We want to get more holidaymakers out camping and caravanning and enjoying our site network – and we’re encouraging this by offering better value for money. “It’ll encourage campers to explore more of our site network to discover ‘hidden gems’ which they may never have considered prior to the club’s new pricing structure announcement.” With so many sites to choose from, you really are spoilt for choice. Though the selection is limited in these winter months, there are plenty of bargains to get you out the city.

Photo courtesy of Woodhall Country Park


Photo courtesy of thescrubba.com

Hitch & Pitch

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By Darius Taylor-McCall

T

he perfect accessory to any well-seasoned traveller, the ‘Scrubba’, a portable washing device, can make light work of any dirty clothes within minutes. Camping, as we all know, can be rather messy and clothes tend to get dirty quite quickly. Without a laundrette nearby, cleaning your clothes can be quite the nightmare whilst camping. It can be even worse if you’re camping for an extended period of time and space in your bag is an issue. From the other side of the pond, Australian designers have produced something extraordinary. The ‘Scrubba’ which weighs less than 200 grams, can fit in your pocket and can produce a machine quality wash within minutes. Within six simple steps ‘The Scrubba’, in addition to a bit of good old fashioned elbow grease, can give you clean underpants in minutes. Stephen Smith, a regular camper, labelled it: “A piece of equipment that any camping enthusiast should own.”

‘Scrubbas’ up pretty well

The Scrubba uses the same principle as the Victorian washboard but a much more flexible version on the inside of the bag. Australian inventor, Ash Newland, thought of the idea whilst packing for a six week camping expedition to Africa. He realised he only had enough room in his backpack for a few changes of clothes. He told Hitch & Pitch: “The inspiration came from a six week trip to Africa .

“I realised that with all my camping and cold weather gear I would only have a couple of changes of casual clothes, which would mean trying to find somewhere to wash them every couple of days. “I had the realisation that if I could incorporate a highly flexible washboard into a waterproof bag, I could change the way people wash clothes on the go. Speaking of the product’s success, he

added: “The Scrubba wash bag was launched in June 2012 and we now have retailers and distributors in more than 14 countries and we are rapidly expanding.” The ‘Scrubba’ wash bag works using the same principles as the old fashion washboard, but with the advantage that you don’t have to get your hands wet. As clothes are rubbed along the washboard, the bumps create friction and water movement though the clothes, which assists in dislodging oils and dirt from the clothes. You can easily wash up to three days of summer wear in one load such as three t-shirts, three pairs of socks and three pairs of pants in five to six minutes. 21


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Hitch & Pitch

s we all know, camping is great. It’s a chance to relax, bond with the family and free your mind. However, is your annual camping trip becoming a bit too monotonous? The same camp site, the same pitch, the same people year after year. If so, then it might be time for change.

KEEP CALM AND

GLAMP ON

Every blue moon, something comes along that revolutionises what we once knew as the norm. For example, the iPod to music, the Ford to the automobile, the concord to flight, and now ‘glamping’ to camping. A break through - a change in what we once knew as normal. As you probably guessed, glamping, is the utmost desirable side of camping. From Victorian style bath tubs, to wide screen TVs, you’d be amazed at how glamorous it really can get. If you love camping, but hate the side that includes wiping your derriere with leaves, feeling grubby and dirty, or you’ve simply been brow-beaten into going by your significant other or children; then glamping could just be for you. As it falls under the category of camping, you can’t go wrong. Duvets and proper pillows, the warmth and luxury of home, yet all out in the wilderness. Compared to camping, glamping can take on several forms, from tipis, wooden huts or pods, huge canvas tents and even refurbished gypsy-style caravans. Glamping isn’t seasonal either. Regular camping is often dependent upon the weather, and not many people enjoy camping during the off-season of winter. However, due to the fact that glamping can take place within a wooden, insulated hut, it is an all-round, seasonal activity. At Hillcrest Park, North Yorkshire, they offer what they call ‘comfy camping’. A range of camping ‘pods’ that have been insulated with sheep’s wool, possess heaters, lights and electric sockets for all your chargers, hairdryers and straighteners. Kate Nichols from Hillcrest Park, said: “People enjoy it

22 Crown photo courtesy of Domesticat


Hitch & Pitch Below: Marisa Laycock and her family on their glamping trip this year

y l i m a F My

Me this year

Summer

2013 Photo courtesy of Eatswords

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Hitch & Pitch [glamping] because it has all the fun of the camping experience, but without the bad bits. You still have to cook, however, you are provided with an outside stove and BBQ to make things much more convenient.” As the ‘pods’ are fully insulated, they are available for bookings all year round, so needn’t be worried about feeling cold in the winter. According to Tom Sterne from Yurtshire in Ripon, glamping was propelled to fame by the increasing popularity of festival-goers. As they had more money to spend, they wanted to avoid the muddy fields stay somewhere a bit more luxurious whilst still under the illusion they were camping. Camping has always been an activity that divides the family in half. Stereotypically, Dad always wants to get muddy with the kids, whilst Mum wants to relax

without having to deal with all the dirt everyone else is expectantly going to get everywhere. These days children are rarely seen without some form of new technology, locked between their hands. Well what better way to convince them to go glamping, than bribing them with electricity; it’s not your fault if you ‘accidentally’ forget to pack the chargers. Due to the popularity of glamping, it really can serve any particular desire. If you’re looking for something a few pegs up from the regular pitching of a tent, then there is a glamping site to suit you. If you want to go the full nine yards, then pick from over the 150 available in England. Glamping can be anything you want it to be. It offers the best of both worlds; the luxury of hotel class, and the wilderness of camping. Everything is set up with

no extra worries. Marisa Laycock who went glamping with her husband and children over summer said: “I preferred glamping to camping as our yurt was all set up on the decking when we arrived so I didn’t have to watch my husband get stressed trying to set up the tent. I didn’t have to worry about insects getting into the tent. “My husband loves the forest, he loves to make things and get back to basics. I agreed to go as it sounded a bit more comfortable than straightforward camping.” Whilst staying in a hotel abroad, it is easy to become wrapped up in the seclusion of the party you arrived with; but according to regular glampers, there can be a sense of community. Family glamper Beth Donoldson said: “Glamping is a good choice

Photo courtesy of Hillcrest Park


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Hitch & Pitch for family bonding. It’s great to see the children meeting each other and becoming friends and playing. We enjoyed meeting a few fellow glampers by the camp fire in the evening too. There’s a sense of community, which is harder to achieve in hotels.

picking fruit and veg to fishing and cooking on an open fire. Not only does this activity bring the family closer, but it’s a great way to really get out into the wilderness.

“If a family enjoy camping, they’ll love glamping. The fresh air does everybody the world of good. It’s great for families with young children as there’s no airport or aeroplane stress.”

Below is a list of the best ways to spend some quality time together:

1) Hunter Gathering Available from almost any good book store are books that offer advice on what edible foods can be collected from the English countryside. What a perfect way to spark the ignition of the children’s minds by showing them the process of food to plate; from

Glamping is the utmost desirable part of camping

2) Wood carving This may be something that the boys might enjoy a little more; however, it can be great fun for everyone. All you need is a small pocket knife, no more than three inches in length, and a book on whittling that can be picked up for next to nothing. Hours can be spent doing this old past time and some really fantastic things can be made with a little patience and a touch of finesse.

3) Star Gazing

If you live in the city and escape to the country for a touch of glamping, then a spot of star gazing can simply amaze the entire family. There are meteor showers that occur every month during set dates (which could easily fall under when you book your trip), although on a good, clear night, shooting stars are almost guaranteed.

Photo courtesy of Yurtshire, Ripon

Photo courtesy of Eatswords


Hitch & Pitch

HITCH&PITCH PHOTO of the

MONTH


By Charles Clark

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It captures the serenity and tranquility

very month, Hitch & Pitch asks readers to send in a photo they’ve taken that they deem to be particularly exciting or interesting during their camping trips via Instagram, and they rarely fail to impress. This month, the Photo of the Month comes to us courtesy of Natalie Thornley, a freelance designer currently living in Greater Manchester. Natalie, 35, explained: “I took this photo whilst I was camping not far from where I live, here in Manchester. It was in Tatton Park in a place called Knutsford which is in Cheshire.”

Tatton Park is one of Cheshire’s favourite and best-known National Trust parks, boasting an array of wildlife including wild deer in over 2000 acres of green. It also plays host to the annual RHS Flower Show and has sprawling gardens and an opulent country manor house, open to the public. The picturesque and historic town of Knutsford provided the inspiration for BBC period drama, Cranford and is the perfect attraction for visitors and campers as it houses all local amenities, including some of the best wine bars and restaurants around, as well as its fair share of Premier League footballers. The true makings of a glamper’s paradise. Natalie, who’s currently studying Graphic Design at Salford University told Hitch & Pitch how she snapped the photo: “I took the picture

using my Canon EOS Rebel T4i and uploaded it onto Instagram. It has 18megapixels so it’s perfect for capturing moments like this.”

“I think what I like most about the photo is that it captures the serenity and tranquillity of the animal and its surrounding areas. The entire scene is just so peaceful. Just being there made me feel calm.” Natalie also spoke of her love for camping: “If I didn’t go camping. I wouldn’t have half of the lovely photos I have collected over time. What’s so wonderful about it is that it gives you a chance to get out there and explore the world, and as cheesy as it sounds, be with wildlife in its most natural state, in the wild.” In Cheshire, you’ll never find yourself far from a campsite. The Cheshire plains are thriving with camping activity, from Northwich to Tarporley, you won’t struggle to find a campsite in this green county. If you have a photo that you’d like to submit for our panel of judges to have a look at, then don’t hesitate to send it over and your picture could be published in next month’s issue and a £100 voucher that can be used at UK campsites could be on its way.

Kids’ Corner This week’s puzzle: word searches!


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&Pitch

Next month’s issue...

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HOTSPOT

December’s camping hotspot unveiled

GLAMPING GOES BUDGET

p Camping stateside p December’s hotspot of the month p Glamping goes budget


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