Tuesday, 13 October 2015

My first over nighter in Gertie!

I hadn't seen Chief since we went to Amsterdam. He said next time he got down we'd go away for a night in Gertie. My first night. Now I'm not into camping. I did my Duke of Edinburgh camp out aged about 15 and went to a camp for a week aged 11 where we stopped in dormitories. It was fun...at the time. But communal toilets of dubious standard and waking up with earwigs is not my idea of a weekend away these days. It's different stopping in a van. You have everything you need right there. (Even if Chief has imposed a no solids in the toilet rule!)

Chief has not been well of late (a second hit of pneumonia) and whilst that's much better he still gets tired quite quickly and he's got a very long drive down just to get to my house, before we think of going anywhere else. So he said would I mind if he found a camp site locally to me and he'd look for somewhere a bit 'different'. On the plus side he said if I really hated it it wouldn't be far to bring me home!

He did some research and really wanted to find somewhere that would be so lovely I'd fall in love with the idea of staying away in Gertie (although I didn't really expect not to! Chief just wasn't taking any risks!) We ended up at a lovely caravan site in the Cotswolds part of Oxfordshire called: Lincoln Farm Park. Now I can't compare it to other sites, but I'm thinking this is probably 5 star.  The toilet/shower blocks were of a high standard and only on the Sunday morning of our stay when lots of people had been in did they start to look like public facilities (what is it with people throwing toilet paper on the floors?!)

The park has a two night minimum stay and even though it was classed as low season Chief could not get a fully serviced pitch (All pitches have electric - fully serviced have grey water disposal and running water as well as TV points. ) There were lots of other caravans and motorhomes in. Including some of those massive American jobs with pop out sides etc. The park caters for tents too (although not so many in that weekend!)

Anyway, I'm jumping ahead! Our weekend started with a trip to Farmoor.  I managed to add 4 new birds to my year list (red necked grebe, Great black backed gull, grey wagtail and dunlin) and it was really rather pleasant walking around in the sunshine. We couldn't get into the park until after lunch so we decided to head in the direction of the park and look for a pub on the way. Of course when I spotted we were on the road to The Greyhound at Besselsleigh we ended up stopping there. It was warm enough to sit outside and eat (how often can you do that in October!?)

The Greyhound

The Greyhound The Greyhound

The Greyhound

I regretted offering to share my duck wrap with Chief as it was yummy and even nicer than his Chicken and tarragon sarnie.

From The Greyhound we headed on to Lincoln Farm Park where once checked in and set up we decided to explore. The reception also boasts a shop and hidden away either side or the reception are two leisure centres!  Complete with indoor swimming pool, jacuzzi, sauna and steam room. You pay extra to use these either in the twice daily open sessions or by hiring by the hour privately. We booked exclusive hire on our first night as it was only about £22 for the two of us to have everything to ourselves for an hour! Opposite reception is a small games room and an information centre. In the latter I spotted a sign saying on Friday nights they have a van coming around offering steak and chips. It just so happened it was Friday night and the van was already parked up taking orders. Chief bought us dinner to be collected on our way back from using the leisure centre later - perfect!

Gertie at Pitch 5, Lincoln Farm Park, Standlake
Gertie set up on our pitch for the next two nights!
What you can't see in the far corner is the bird feeder Chief carries with him!

Leisure Centre - Lincoln Farm Park

The leisure centre to ourselves!

Friday night steak frites
steak and frites meal in a box!

Back in Gertie with our meals in a box, we watched a dvd and then made the bed up for the night. This is when I discovered there had been a slight communication problem with Chief and I. He told me to bring a quilt. I said: Yes, OK but it won't be very warm to sleep under just a quilt so you'll bring sleeping bags too right? He said yes. We started making up the bed and I got out the quilt I made to use in Gertie and Chief said: What you've just bought that to sleep under? I said yes, we had a conversation about this. You said it would be warm enough - I had doubts and that's why you were bringing sleeping bags. Hmm he said. We're sleeping on the sleeping bags not in them. I meant bring a quilt. 

Bring a quilt? What does he think it is? Then it dawned on me. Chief calls duvets quilts. Despite the fact he calls the covers that go on them duvet covers. So whilst he had a nice single duvet to sleep under I just had a quilt. It was pretty fresh during the night. I kept waking up cold. Tried sneaking under his duvet but it still left my back cold. The next night he not only put some heating on in the van, but said I could have the duvet and he'd have the quilt. He got cold too so it wasn't just me being a soft southern wuss! 

Bed made up in Gertie

The next day was glorious too and rather than pack up and drive off somewhere for the day we decided to go for a wander in Standlake. It's such a pretty place and we soon found a track into the countryside and had a walk around a private fishing lake. Chief decided he'd go blackberry picking. 

Walking around Standlake, OxfordshireWalking around Standlake, Oxfordshire Walking around Standlake, Oxfordshire Walking around Standlake, Oxfordshire
Walking around Standlake, Oxfordshire

Walking around Standlake

Walking around Standlake
Buzzard sat in a tree overhanging the street.

After our walk we headed back for lunch. Bacon sarnies and locally made cherry and walnut cake bought from the little Post Office/Shop in Standlake. 

Bacon sarnies for lunch

We had a lovely chill out before heading out for another walk around a different part of Standlake and the park.  When we got back we listened to the rugby on the radio (couldn't get the tv to work) and then watched a dvd before going to bed. 

Walking around Standlake

Walking around Standlake
views from one of the dog exercising areas on the site.

Lincoln Farm Park reception, shop and leisure centre
Reception, shop and 2 leisure centres.

Before we knew it it was Sunday morning and time to pack up and head for home. I have already bought a duvet and duvet cover of my own and can't wait for our next trip. I do like having a little adventure. Even if it is only on my doorstep!


  1. it looks like you had a wonderful time ... apart from the cold night!!.. at least that is sorted now though xx

  2. looks like a fantastic time, my type of camping I think, toilets (even without the solids), electricity and dvds. Funny my husband calls duvets "quilts" too. Gets a little confusing sometimes here too.

  3. I don't do camping but this does sound all rather lovely, especially having the wonderful leisure facilities to yourself. x

  4. It looks like a lovely break!

    P.S. Yes, I call them quilts, too, but also call their covers 'quilt covers'.


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