07/11/2011
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Camping & Caravanning Club Certificated sites

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GREAT NEWS. When the Camping and Caravanning Club announced Dyfed Shire Horse Farm in Pembrokeshire had joined its Certificated Sites network back in August, it was the 1,500th such site across the UK.

So, what’s a Certificated Site? These often amazing little jewels are small, minimal facilities sites that are licensed to take a maximum of five caravans/motorhomes at any time, but as many tents as the landowner wants (OK, the Club prefers to keep it to ten tops).

And a fair few are pubs (around 60 at the last count). Like the Green Man at Long Itchington in Warwickshire. I haven’t stayed here for a long time now (far too long), but this is a proper beer pub that didn’t even serve food when I last visited, although I see it does now. And it’s open all year (see greenmanlongitchington.co.uk).

Landlord Mark Carver-Smith is a massive Bob Dylan fan, too. Now, a few top quality beers and music from The Bard (Sorry Will. I know we’re in your native Warwickshire, but...) is my idea of heaven. OK, it may not be youShires campsiters, but what I’m saying is there are 1,499 other opportunities out there to enjoy some real back-to-basics camping at destinations you might not otherwise consider as perfect places to pitch.

Overnight prices can start at as little as a fiver (budget for around a tenner as an average and you won’t be disappointed). And yes, facilities can be basic – the minimal requirement is only for a tap supplying cold water and somewhere to dump toilet waste.

But, quite a few offer more than this, right up to shower blocks and more. But, key is their locations. They’re everywhere, almost. Check things out at certsites.co.uk.

You do have to be a Club member to stay at a CS, but you can join “on the spot” at any of them (plenty of folk do), and I still think the annual membership fee of £39 is one of the biggest bargains you’ll get in the whole camping world. If nothing else, on joining you’re sent a copy of a publication called Your Big Sites Book – it lists not only every CS but some 2,000 other campsites, too.

Oh, and one other reason for mentioning all this now? What a cracking Christmas present idea Camping and Caravanning Club might make for the campers in your life.

See more at campingandcaravanningclub.co.uk

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