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A night in a Gypsy Caravan

gypsyArriving into Southampton towards the end of a particularly wet and windy weekend left us running to the shops for wellies. Glamping in this could be grim. We approached the New Forest under grey skies, trying to adjust to the 20 degree drop in temperature from our Spanish home. Texts from my sister knee deep in mud at Womad festival didn't help lift the mood...but despite ourselves we couldn't help admire the vast expanses of green woodland as we drove through the New Forest, counting wild horses along the way. We hadn't seen rain for months and our landscape at home was starting to look a bit sad about it. How glorious to be in England again - green and lush from all the wet weather!

Our destination was Milford-on-Sea. We got our bearings, only stopping briefly at the windswept beach, noting that the local festival was unfortunately packing up early due to the bad conditions. Luckily we had another reason for visiting - Vinegar Hill Pottery & B&B. My daughter and I had a date with a gypsy caravan for the night.


My husband and son took the luggage in a comfortable B&B room - almost an apartment with its own bathroom and breakfast room. Meanwhile we settled into our quaint room on wheels which looked out over the garden. It has its own little shower room close by and outdoor seating for better days. Asha pottered about putting her things out, making herself at home. The little heater kept the place cosy.


Dinner, a stroll away in the village, was a tough decision. There is a good selection of restaurants to choose from. We plumped for the Indian and were given such a feast that we took away enough for dinner the next night too!

In the morning David, the owner and potter at Vinegar Hill, first served us an amazing breakfast with fresh poached eggs from their hens and then showed us around his workshop and gave us a pottery demo. Many of the guests that come here do so to join one of his courses.

The morning showers were just clearing up as we drove to neighbouring Keyhaven and parked up. We walked along the shingle spit to reach Hurst Castle - an unexpected low rise building that curves around the headland, protecting British shores since Henry VIII built it in 1544. It has also been a prison to Charles I before his execution and some unfortunate monk who spent 30 years here just for being a Catholic. Cannons were ready to fend off attackers during the Napoleonic wars and World War II. It's an interesting place to visit.


We took a small ferry back between the moored yachts, accompanied by chatty sea scouts, to the car and sped off for Southampton and a change of vehicle. VW Camper Hire had Dexter - a new VW California - ready and loaded up with fat bedding packs and other essentials. After a talk through how chairs spun and beds manouvered we went back to the New Forest for the night. There was plenty of bickering as we got to grips with where to stash our mountain of gear, who had left the toothpaste in the bathroom and 'No, there isn't any internet!' I was beginning to wonder if the 4 of us in such close proximity was a good idea....

To be Continued!