Here we are, back from our fantastic trip to France and Spain and, making the most of our year-long Elddis Avante loan, we've decided to squeeze in a cheeky pre-Christmas trip to Chester and Southport.
We're soon heading off to Germany to stay at some great Caravan and Motorhome Club sites over there and visit the renowned German Christmas markets. We've always wanted to do this and are very excited, so a trip in the meantime is just the thing to whet our appetite!
We were a little concerned about going away in the caravan in the middle of November, but we were so wrong - the caravan is extremely warm and cosy. The Whale heating is fab at keeping the caravan at whatever temperature you want. When we were on our Summer trips we did not put the carpet down but decided during the winter months it would feel warmer if we did.
We were amazed that the Caravan and Motorhome Club sites we stayed on were both busy (and we could not get onto the York site as it was full throughout the whole of November and December). There's definitely plenty of caravanners who camp all year round - and with the modern-day design and features of our Elddis we can see why a new caravan is a great investment.
The toilet and shower facilities on the Southport and Chester sites were lovely and warm and clean. We've also invested in a porch awning and groundsheet - both of which were really useful for keeping the caravan clean and tidy, leaving boots etc in the awning.
Southport Caravan and Motorhome site
We loved this site and its facilities! In fact, our car did not move for the 4 days we were there. It was just a 15 minute walk into the centre of Southport. The supermarket was less than a mile away and there was a nice pub within a short walk.
On one of the days we walked from the campsite to the train station and caught the train to Liverpool to visit the opening of the Christmas Markets. The Christmas markets were located in at least 2 separate locations. We enjoyed the Bratwurst and we also had pork, apple and stuffing sandwiches with crackling which was absolutely fabulous! Unfortunately, neither the ice bar nor the ice slide were open while we were there, but the ice rink was. There was live music in the centre of Liverpool which added to the fab atmosphere.
Chester Fairoaks Caravan and Motorhome Club site
It is very important not to drive on the grass on the campsite!... Unfortunately, we upset the warden.
Nevertheless, Radio 2 played through the speakers in the toilets which I thought was nice and relaxing. There was also a good pub less than half a mile away. All was not lost!
One day we drove into Chester and although it was November the weather was good and we sat by the river. Handy hint: there are 4 hours free parking at the Tesco supermarket (provided you spend £15 in store). Steve was happy because he found a good real ale pub in the centre of Chester. I enjoyed the variety of shops and we both loved the fabulous old buildings and architecture from hundreds of years ago.
The Christmas market in Chester was relatively small but the atmosphere was good and the mulled gin was fabulous. Feeling festive, we added Christmas decorations to the caravan to add to the festive season.
The Chester Fairoaks site is ideally located for shopping at the Cheshire Oaks shopping centre (which is a very large shopping centre with an Outlet).
Rested and relaxed, it's not long now until we set sail with our lovely Avante to the sparkle of the German Christmas markets!
Jane and Steve.