Dubs in the Forest and an Indian Summer
Some Dover-based Forum friends joined the gang up North for the Eskdale Dubfest in April 2014 and mentioned that there was a very friendly event in the New Forest in September. As they’d driven to Cumbria from Kent it didn’t seem unreasonable that we could drive down to Hampshire, so we booked to go to Dubs in the Forest.
We’d been too late to get into the Club camping area at Lytton Lawn but, as the site is quite small, we were quite happy to have a standard pitch and we’d catch up with the others when we got there.
To break the journey we decided to set off on Thursday and to stay over in Banbury so that we could get to the New Forest in good time to set up camp before the others arrived. We booked a room at the Cromwell Lodge – they allowed dogs so Boris could stay in the room.
To say the hotel was tired was an understatement – strangely the staff seemed just as tired and customer service wasn’t top of their list. We checked in and when the receptionist saw Boz she told Alison that we shouldn’t have booked a “superior” room as dogs were only allowed in the garden rooms. She asked if he was well behaved and decided it would be ok.
|Boris in the “superior” room|
The room was average to say the least – definitely not “superior” but it was a bed for the night and broke the journey. We didn’t eat in the hotel – we’d spotted a Thai restaurant across the road and went there instead – the food was fine and the staff welcoming.
Banbury itself was just what we neeeded. There was a park full of squirrels to walk Boris and we did the touristy thing of looking at Banbury Cross. The sun was shining and we enjoyed the evening walk.
|Boris watching the budgies in the Aviary in the park|
In the morning, breakfast was just as shambolic – they hadn’t bothered to get the newspaper that we’d ordered when we booked in so they had to send someone out to buy one from the local newsagents. I suspect they just need a new manager to rally the troops, although a lick of paint wouldn’t do any harm either…
The drive down to Lymington was uneventful and we got to the site around 2pm. We were one of the first vans there and the organisers had moved us to the Club camping area to be with our friends, which was great but would cause issues later. During the drive someone spotted us on the M40 and took a photo of Absinthe and the Green Fairy trailer, which they posted on Facebook. Fame at last…
We soon had the Glawning up and gradually others started to arrive. Friday night included a mooch round the trade stalls and a few ciders listenting to the entertainment.
There was a cruise through the New Forest on Saturday morning which was great until two trains in Brockenhurst split us all up and we had to head back to the site in a convoy of 3!
There were quite a few Club members who attended as day visitors and it was fantastic to see them all again. There was much talk of next year’s holiday trip and the upcoming Halloween event at Anita’s in Mollington.
|Our neighbours who’d also spotted Absinthe’s pic on Facebook|
There was a show and shine on Sunday with some outstanding vehicles – they tried to persuade us to enter Absinthe but that would have meant too much polishing for me I’m afraid.
|Show and shine|
The event finished on Monday but by then most people with children had left, because they had school in the morning – there weren’t many people watching the excellent entertainment on Sunday night – his family almost outnumbered the rest of us!
|We borrowed the Renault electric car for a drive round the site|
When I rang to book for the rest of the week after the show, I had to confirm which pitch we’d been allocated. The show organsisers told me it was 262 but of course when we got there they moved us on to 223 to be with the Club. On Monday, when we left the site for the day, the reception office was closed so we couldn’t tell them about the change and when we got back about 6pm the site manager wasn’t happy. He thought we’d abandoned the glawing and our trailer at the end of the show – as if!
As it happens pitch 262 would have been flatter and sunnier but we weren’t going to move at that stage.
The weather throughout the week was excellent – a bit misty in the morning but it soon cleared to be sunny and bright – there was hardly any wind and made such a lovely change from the grey of the County Palletine.
We spent our time touring during the day – to Lymington, Lyndhurst, Christchurch, Brockenhurst, Burley, etc. The day on the beach at Christchurch was great – we sat for a while on a bench watching the sea – as I said to Alison, I could really get my head straight, watching and listenting to the waves. Idyllic.
|The New Forest Inn – a welcome sight after we (me!) got lost in the Forest|
|Fortunately, we had no plans to camp at Lyndhurst library!|
|Me and Mrs B in 5 years…|
|New Forest pony|
At night we had the stove on and relaxed with a bottle of red – is there any better way to chill?
We had hoped to join the Forum members at Brighton Breeze but I’d not brought enough medication (don’t ask) so we had to go home on Friday – at least we were back in time to have the bonus of watching Wigan beat Warrington to reach the RL Grand Final!
There are more photos here: Flickr