River Avon - Sandy Balls New Forest

caravan without awning up

This weekend was the culmination of tremendous, detailed research for Other Half. For over a year now he has been watching items on eBay. Not any old items – all different models of caravans. He’s searched by price, by distance to all manner of complex tactics. However last week when Terry Towbar finally came over and kitted our car out with the latest in towbars (cost £260 if anyone’s thinking of doing it) OH became a man with a mission.

A dream he’s had since he was a boy spending his own summers caravanning with the family was about to come true, he would own his very own caravan. He has been nudging me for the past twelve months to look at the various models he came across but I wouldn’t give him too much interest until it was time to actually go ahead and choose. So two weeks ago when he showed me one of his preferences, I looked and thought ‘yep, that looks ok.’ Time for a viewing.

Off we went last Saturday to view and we left £100 deposit we were so impressed.

This weekend, we picked her up and booked into Cosgrove Park which is just outside Milton Keynes to try her out and make sure everything was working.

Caravan - girls area

Only five minutes down the road from picking our van up we missed our turning! So OH decided to turn into the first residential street to do a 3 point turn. I panicked, screamed a little bit, told him he was wrong, wrong, wrong and almost burst into tears. He kept quiet, turned the car and caravan around much to the delight of the residents and the queues of cars lined up on either side of us and my relief and off we went again.

Cosgrove park campsite

Our stunning view of the lake

Cosgrove Park, our first campsite which OH had found on the internet, is utterly stunning. Normally they only take two night bookings so we phoned on the off chance on Saturday morning and we managed to secure a plot. A very well kept park with a ma-hoo-sive children’s play area, a swimming pool, a take away, a restaurant and an onsite shop.

Cosgrove Park is dotted with lakes, some are out of bounds as they’re in the residential areas but we were assigned plot 108 which was one row back from the Waterside lake. A stunning view over the lake watching speed boats pull water skiers back and forth.

Flock of geese Cosgrove park campsite

There was plenty of wildlife too, a flock of geese flew over a few times which I managed to capture on photo.

The shower blocks were clean and modern with facilities for fresh water and to dispose of your waste water (all new to us!)

We thoroughly enjoyed Cosgrove Park and would definitely go back there one day. This isn’t a sponsored post just us trying out our new toy and if you’re not into caravanning but like the idea of Cosgrove Park check out their Willow Banks Lodges….

Cosgrove Park tip – the site has no license for alcohol, make sure you pack some in your cool box ;)

caravan kitchen


Preschoolers reading a book



Do you remember that? Hi de Hi, classic TV from my childhood and I can’t go near a camp site without hearing her voice.


We weren’t going too far afield Just In Case. So we headed off towards the North Kent beaches and Paul decided we’d try out the Two Chimneys campsite as he used to go their as a child. 

However, tent up, bedrooms ready it was time to hit the beach and take the girls to their Peter Pan party. 


We returned around 6pm and ordered dinner from the take away on site, they’d run out of fish and chips already (?) but 2 x chicken nuggets, a chicken Kiev and scampi and chips they had. We watched the poor lady work on her own to get it already whilst there were others in the queue waiting. A bit slow but we made it and headed back ‘home’ for our meal. 

paul and girls

Afterwards, we took the girls to an excellent play area and on to see the swimming pool which was quite handily next to the clubhouse. It was disco night and so we stopped for a drink and took the girls to cut some carpet for their first time. 80’s favourites, I was in my element! 

So would the girls sleep in their new fun bedroom? Noooo, we had screaming, tears, ‘No daddy! No mummy! No na’nights’ and eventually they sat in Pauls’ lap whilst I read them The monkey with a bright blue bottom by Steve Smallman and eventually dropped off. We separated them, one in each bedroom so they wouldn’t wake each other up. 


Dancing queens

A bottle of wine later (This is Mari’s idea of camping Paul!) I crawled into my sleeping bag in full pyjamas as I wasn’t taking any risks. Had I known I would be sleeping in the girl’s room with Bessie I would have blown that mattress up to its max as well, as it was, “It’ll be ok for the girls”, clearly wasn’t enough. I slept like a banana, my bottom to the floor, my head and legs higher, so infinitely more difficult to turn and get comfy. 

I didn’t sleep well, admittedly the atrocious amount of wine didn’t do me any favours either. Alice was awake and sparkling at 6am on hearing a flock of seagulls shriek overhead and Sunday was born. 

Even the delicious ‘Full English breakfast baguette from the take away did nothing for my head and after a walk around the park to check out the static caravans we headed home, camping for this year crossed off the To Do List. 

Do you like camping?