I received a copy of The Sunday Times Travel Section from early July, which a mate had sent me as it had a top 20 small campsite list. This look liked it had been lifted from Tiny Campsite guide, and I couldn’t help but laugh out loud when I saw their Camping Manifesto: it just looked like they were trying too hard to adopt an attitude that’s not likely to be shared by their readers, or by the journalist, and seemed a little disingenuous given they’re part of Murdoch‘s empire. It’s hard to see why you’d pay for this content online as you can check out the Guardian Camping Guide for free and find a whole host of sites on the Cool Camping Directory. There’s also The Independent’s Top 50 Campsites from 2006 (1-25 and 26-50) with input from the likes of Cool Camping and Alan Rogers Guides, and a more recent one they put together last year here. Then there’s Mumsnet Camping Reviews, UK Campsite Directory and the list that Cath and Math have put together here.
Less than 24 hours to go before I head off as the advance party on our two night trip to Stubcroft Farm in East Wittering, and I’m glad we upgraded our Renault Clio to a Grand Scenic as we are a very long way from Matthew De Abaitua’s more utilitarian, perhaps even mystical, philosophy about essential camping kit. I’m beginning to wonder whether we have chosen the right site, because I’ve met another two other people who’ve been to the Scotts Farm site in West Wittering, and although they admit that the site is a bit soulless they say it’s got great facilities and it’s very close to the beach. At the same time, you can pitch you tent away from any larger groups in the field they have at the back and you are pretty much guaranteed to get a pitch any time other than busy bank holiday weekends. Stubcroft Farm is beginning to sound a little more formal with the pitches being numbered, so although the venue looks more charming it doesn’t seem as chilled as one of the new bread of ‘cooler‘ sites like Wowo, nor does it seem as relaxed about where you pitch your tent as one of the more commercial and formal sites like Stubcroft Farm. Anyway, I’ll have more feedback on Monday, and in the meantime I have a check list to finish and it seems to be getting longer and longer (I’ll be continuing to update this post with more stuff until I go, I’ll print off and take it with me for packing).