Ever since I have acquired my motorohome I have spent a considerable amount of time perusing campsite guides looking for ones that are particularly suitable for dogs. It was the “Alan Rogers” guides that provide the most comprehensive information as there was a detailed description of each place. This allowed me to make a more informed decision.
Tanner Farm Campsite veritably leapt off the page. Not only did it have several large fields where dogs could be exercised but also the description oozed efficiency, orderliness, comfort and serenity.
I duly set off with the dogs.
The entrance to Tanner Farm was imposing with the magnificent Ousts houses on the left. I was quite excited. Would the campsite fulfill my expectations?
I went into reception to register. What a disappointment: the welcome was cool and rather frosty. Perhaps this was due to the pressures of the farm..
I settled in and began exploring.
It was all that I could have wanted; fantastic walks for the dogs even if the plethora of rabbits was a temptation for them; clean modern toilet block; spacious well-cared for site. Wonderful.
The next day disaster struck.
I was enjoying a cup of tea in the van after a long pleasant outing with the dogs. Rather than use the toilet in the van I went off to the toilet block. On my return I pulled on the habitation door to open it and promptly fell back. I tried again. It would not open. I checked the cab doors.
They too were locked and the keys were inside. I checked the windows. All of them were firmly closed. The dogs realizing that something was amiss came up close to the window and peered out. Oh how I wished that they could knock the catches and open a window.
What to do?
Contact the AA.
I patted my pockets looking for my mobile. That too was inside the van.
By this time I was in rather a panic. How was I going to get in? It was too far for my husband to bring the spare set of keys.
I rushed to reception, gabbled out my story. The response was offhand but I finally managed to persuade them to loan me a phone book.
The AA, in contrast, were most helpful but unfortunately it would be at least 2 hours before they could get anyone to me. I asked if I could wait in reception out of the wind and cold. I was told this was not possible as they were closing shortly.
I did not know what to do but leave.
I had to wait by the entrance in order to open the barrier and let the AA van in. Fortunately there was a bench so I sat on that and gradually got colder and colder. At no time did anyone from the campsite enquire as to how I was getting on.
I was invited by another couple to sit in the warmth of their caravan. Unfortunately they were situated some distance from the entrance so I declined their kind offer. They did however bring me a coat to put on. That was marvelous.
There is a happy ending.
The AA man came.
I let him in.
He inspected the van.
After a short while he managed to open the passenger door of the cab.
(It was just as well he did not take my advice and force one of the motorhome windows. Unknown to me at that time replacing one of them would have been VERY expensive.)
What a relief.
Now I make sure that I always have some keys with me or the doors are unlocked.
And though Tanner Farm is a really lovely campsite and one of the best for dogs I only go there if I have no option. This is such a shame.
As this happened some time ago(I find time still rushes by) maybe I should go and check it out again.