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One gypsy caravan and a couple of Somerset ciders


My daughter had been doing a project about rural communities at school and wanted to see what it was like to live in a traditional caravan. I had always wanted to go to Somerset and check out the cider, so we booked a week’s holiday in a vintage bow-top caravan.

On an August morning we set off from London with everything but the kitchen sink stuffed into the boot of the car. Used to touring in our own caravan, we weren’t sure what facilities would be provided. It turned out all we needed were clothes and entertainment as the site was really well equipped.

After a short detour to see the magnificent Stonehenge we arrived at Pitney, a lovely little village in Somerset.

Driving up the track into Marsh Farm felt like stepping into ‘Skywest and Crooked’, a beautiful film and one of my favourites, starring Hayley Mills. My daughter said she felt like one of Enid Blyton’s ‘Famous Five’, in fact the caravan had actually featured in the 1970’s TV series!

We were greeted by friendly dogs, a lovely couple and the sounds and smells of a melting summer. As a welcome pack, we were given local sausages and cider- it doesn’t get much better than that.

The caravan was beautifully decorated in the traditional style with bright colours and dark wood furnishings. Located in the corner of an apple orchard, the whole scene was like something straight from a fairytale. Furnishings were fairly basic, but there was a modern static caravan opposite for cooking, so we had everything we needed.

Not that we were scared of the elements, or basic living for that matter. And that was the point of us being there – to cook on the open fire, to sleep under the starry sky and absorb the atmosphere. We spent the afternoon exploring the country lanes and buzzing fields. And then it was sausages and cider time!

There is a lot to be said for rustic cooking on an open fire in an apple orchard. Afterwards, we spent the evening reading, talking, taking photos and watching the sky cool down to a blanketing purple. After our evening ablutions in the nearby shepherds hut with hot water, a sink and shower, we settled down for the evening. The bed was very comfortable, I think I got to sleep sooner than my daughter. Nothing to do with the cider of course!

We awoke to the sounds of the countryside humming and chirruping, welcoming the warm day ahead. Another wash and we headed to the village shop in Pitney, saying hello to the happy dogs as we walked through the farm. London and the cloak of stress it imposed seemed a lifetime away. I don’t know about my daughter, but I felt thankful for her school and its projects!

Bio: Sophie Ann is a writer, blogger and digital nomad who enjoys exploring the world and seeking out new stories. She writes articles and camping itineraries for Tourer Trader and is a regular contributor to HeadingThere.

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