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Delamere Forest Camping and Caravanning Club Site - Review

Delamere Forest – Camping and Caravanning Club Site – Review

In August 2019, we stayed at Delamere Forest Camping & Caravanning Club Site, supported by the Camping & Caravanning Club of which we are press members.

We had a good few days. Our holiday was sandwiched between the July heatwave and the August storms. We had a couple of nights which were a bit blustery and we woke up to a partially flooded pitch on our last morning, but we got away with the worst of the weather.

Delamere Forest Camping and Caravanning Club Site
Royal Armouries review - Leeds

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Where is Delamere Forest Camping and Caravanning Club Site?

Delamere Forest camp site is adjacent to Delamere Forest in Cheshire. The Forestry Commission manages the 972 hectares of woodland which is good for walking and cycling. There are six car parks, and a train station right next door to the camp site, which is handy!

The camp site is adjacent to the forest rather than in it. It is a fairly typical Camping & Caravanning Club Site; not too flashy, well maintained, and run by a friendly and helpful team.

What is there at Delamere Forest campsite?

There isn’t much at the site. There is….

  • a reception/shop
  • toilets and showers, and also a family bathroom
  • A laundry room
  • A washing up room
  • Motorhome toilet disposal point
  • An information hut
  • Free Wi-Fi

….and that’s about it. There is no park, but the girls did find some very good rope swings a short walk from behind our pitch, which got a lot of use!

The fish and chip van calls on a Friday. There is also an entertaining site cat called DelBoy who likes attention but will let you know if you give him too much – top tip, wear trousers.

The toilet and shower block at Delamere Forest campsite

The site has an 11pm to 7am curfew when the site gates are also locked to cars. While the site gets some noise from the nearby road, railway line, and the occasional plane, there was no noise from the site itself once 11pm came around. We have found that Camping & Caravanning Club Sites tend to have well-behaved guests who appreciate the value of sleep, and Delamere Forest is no exception.

The laundry room and the washing up room at Delamere Forest campsite

The Wi-Fi wasn’t the best, either getting on it or getting any decent speeds, but I did get a very strong mobile signal all week, which I wasn’t relying on before I got there.

The information hut and information about DelBoy the site cat.

What pitches are available at Delamere Forest?

We stayed on a grass pitch with EHU. It did get boggy on our last night but then we had got a lot of rain overnight. To be fair, it did look the worst pitch on the entire site that day, so I wouldn’t say that Delamere Forest camp site has a significant waterlogging problem.

There is a mix of grass and hard-standing pitches, and EHU and non-EHU pitches. In total, there are about 40 pitches. If you want less noise, ask for a site away from the busy road, though this might put you in closer proximity to the railway line – where the trains stop about midnight.

We found our pitch to be a good size, level, and not too springy considering the rain we had in the UK throughout July. Our pitch was quite far from our electric point so we borrowed an extension lead from the site for £10 refundable deposit. Pitches were a nice distance from the neighbours and there was room to put the car next to the tent.

What is there to do at Delamere Forest?

There is lots to do at and from Delamere Forest Camping & Caravanning Club Site…….

1 – Explore Delamere Forest

The main things to do are a lot of walking and cycling. There are two gates from the campsite with direct pedestrian access to the forest. Here we found some rope swings.

There is also a Gruffalo trail. We did find the starting point for this, which is a short walk from the Go Ape! cabin.

Go Ape! Delamere Forest and the start of the Gruffalo trai

2 –Go Ape!

A little further down and you get to Go Ape! We love Go Ape! and have done the course at Dalby Forest in Yorkshire a couple of times – both the full and the junior versions. We also tried out the Delamere Forest Go Ape! and both courses here got the thumbs up. I can state that the senior version is much higher and more challenging than the Dalby Forest one, but I didn’t cry once. It was hard work and I was fully prepared not to be able to walk the day after, but I did OK on that front. This is a great experience for 2 – 3 hours and is recommended for anyone that likes a challenge.

3 – Go on a train trip

From the Train Station right next door (go out the main gates, down the road for about 200 yards, and then you’re there!) you can get trains to Chester or Manchester.

Delamere train station

The trains are fairly frequent and run til quite late. We decided to go to Rhyl for the day, which was about 90 minutes from Delamere, including the change at Chester. Chester itself looks worth a visit and we will definitely be visiting there on a future trip.

Rhyl beach and promenade

4 – Visit Cheshire Oaks.

Cheshire Oaks is a huge outdoor shopping village adjacent to The Coliseum, an entertainments park. We went one day here as the teen was booked onto a movie at Vue she absolutely HAD to see. Me and the tween went around the shops, and there was more than enough to keep us occupied, including the Cadbury and Lindt outlets, an M&S outlet, and The Works. We lunched at Wagamamas.

Free all day parking, and very easy to find. This is about 20 – 30 minutes drive from Delamere Forest.

Cheshire Oaks and The Coliseum, Ellesmere Port

5 – Visit Gulliver’s World in Warrington.

The twins wanted to do a return visit to Gulliver’s World. They had been with grandma last year and loved it. So while me and the girls shopped and lunched in Cheshire Oaks, the twins took Dad to Gulliver’s. They had another good day despite some heavy showers. It’s about a 30 – 40 minute drive from Delamere Forest. Have you been to Gulliver’s World?

Gulliver’s World, Warrington

6 – Go to Chester Zoo.

We have all been wanting to do Chester Zoo for a long time so we took the opportunity to go while we were at Delamere Forest. It’s about 25 – 30 minute drive from Delamere Forest.

Chester Zoo is huge! It felt a lot bigger than other zoos we’ve visited, and it was a superb value day. We were there from 11am until about 5pm and saw soooo many animals. We took a picnic to save some cash and there were lots of places to eat.

Check out my Top Tips for Visiting Chester Zoo

Chester Zoo

What did we think of Delamere Forest Camping and Caravanning Club site?

We like the site. It’s clean, quiet, and family-friendly. There isn’t much to do on the site itself but there were lots of other families there and the younger girls soon made some friends to play with.

We loved the wildlife – there was a good variety of birds and also some fairly tame rabbits which came out at dusk to eat the grass around the tents

It’s a good base for exploring Cheshire and there are some good local attractions. We would definitely use the site on future trips to the area.

Disclosure – we were guests of The Camping & Caravanning Club. All opinion is our own.

Camping at Delamere Forest - a review
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Hawk Conservancy Trust, Andover, Hampshire

This is a guest post about The Hawk Conservancy Trust in Hampshire by Emma of Bavarian Sojourn.   Emma is a Mum of three, a recent repatriate to the UK after a lengthy stint abroad, and she last visited the Hawk Conservancy when she was around 11 years old (and she’s not going to tell you how long ago that was!)…

Emma and her family were guests of the Hawk Conservancy for the day.

The Hawk Conservancy (just off the A303 in Weyhill near Andover) started life as Weyhill Zoo in 1966.  Between 1980-1981 the decision was made to specialise in birds alone.  It’s now home to a large collection of raptors, with many having been rehabilitated.  It has a focus on European birds in particular, but there are many from further afield too.

the Hawk Conservancy - Hampshire - a review by Emma of Bavarian Sojourn

Our visit took place in the first week of the Easter holidays before the spell of beautiful warm weather.   The grey drizzly day meant that The Hawk Conservancy was possibly less busy than it might have been, but the weather didn’t detract from our visit at all.

My last visit (my parents ran a village pub nearby) was quite a long time ago now, so to see how it’s expanded in terms of size and of influence in conservation fields was really wonderful.

We were given children’s activity sheets on arrival, and these helped keep our three-year-old occupied throughout the day (with a prize at the end!).  He made his first port of call the bird-themed play area, which gave me plenty of time to take pictures of a few feathered residents.

Throughout the day there demonstrations and talks aplenty.   We learned all about Vultures and why they are so important (whilst they enjoyed brunch!).    The fact that they are disappearing due to poisoning and other factors is sad, and worrying for the ecosystem, and the Hawk Conservancy is instrumental in trying to change people’s opinions on these misunderstood birds (and helping to rescue those that have been poisoned).  We definitely came away with different views on these hilarious characters.

We then went on to watch them in the Wings of Africa Flying Display, where we might have imagined ourselves in the midst of some African plain if it hadn’t been for the weather.  Talking of water, take care of where you sit and take heed of the splash zone warnings if you don’t want to get wet!  We didn’t really mind, the owl almost brushing the top of our heads more than made up for that! 

The secretary bird was also a huge hit with all three children, his super fierce snake “killing” demonstration was actually very sweet (just don’t tell him that, I would hate to hurt his feelings!)…

Then it was time for the real highlight of our visit – meeting the Burrowers.  Not the tiny people who lived secretly in the doors and walls of an English house, but a family of tiny Burrowing Owls hailing from North and South America, and quite possibly the cutest birds I have ever seen.   Whilst you have to pay extra in addition to the entrance costs for this VIP Encounter, it’s honestly well worth it in our opinion as you get a decent amount of time with them inside their enclosure, and as there’s a limited number of people allowed in each session, it’s a truly unique experience.

We were entranced by these tiny owls who were perfectly free to stay in their tunnels if they felt like it, but instead inspected us as much as we inspected them as they ran between our feet, hopped on our laps and perched on our hands.   Whilst the three-year-old was too young to meet them (the minimum age is 6), my 12-year old and 14-year old were utterly captivated and even managed to get a selfie or two with their new friends. It’s not every day you get to do something like that!

After a good hearty lunch at Feathers Restaurant (they also do cream teas here that looked really great!), we headed over to watch the Valley of the Eagles flying display (which was also watched by a few wild raptors on the outskirts!).  The grand finale was the flight of an American Eagle who had started his journey a good few miles away in a demonstration on how fast he can fly.    The Three-Year-old was starting to flag at this point, but we were able to blackmail him with the promise of a tractor ride on the cowslip covered meadow dedicated to the Hawk Conservancy Founder – Reg Smith.  A great end to the day! 

The Hawk Conservancy is open all year round with the exception of Christmas Day, Boxing Day, and a short period of time at the beginning of each year when essential maintenance takes place.   We thought it to be very accessible for pushchair/wheelchair users, and family friendly.

It’s really not your average day out, the conservation, rescue, research and rehabilitation work the Hawk Conservancy do both for birds in the UK and across the world is really humbling, and we found it to be a really inspiring family day out.  Plus, where else can you get to meet a Burrowing Owl? Highly recommended.

Disclosure – Emma and her family were guests of The Hawk Conservancy for the purposes of this review. All opinion is their own. Information correct at the time of publication.

Twycross Zoo - Review

Twycross Zoo, Atherstone, Warwickshire

Twycross Zoo is twice the size of London Zoo but with fewer animals. It makes for a very pleasant day out, rain or shine, of which we had both on the day of our visit.

We visited one changeable Sunday using the tickets we had left as part of the #StayPlayExplore deal. We highly recommend a trip to Twycross Zoo. Continue reading