Cherry Hinton: The Caravan Club offers the perfect way to visit Cambridge
This 70-pitch site is situated just three miles outside Cambridge
Monday, 02, Jul 2012 01:38
by Chris Jefferies
Cambridge has a reputation for many things: historical university colleges, relaxing punting trips down the river, and a lack of parking facilities.
What's more, with the city streets overrun my fearless cyclists and largely pedestrianised, it quickly becomes apparent that driving into town is not a particularly wise choice.
So when visiting the University City, Caravan Club membership is one of the most useful things you can take with you, as The Club has a fantastic little site just over three miles outside of Cambridge, which is perfect to use as your base camp.
With a local bus service offering regular trips into the town centre, it makes sense to leave your towcar behind at the site.
Named after the city and the nearby village, Cambridge Cherry Hinton is set in a historic lime quarry, which offers secluded shady pitches in a series of cul-de-sacs, as well as a few open spaces for mingling with fellow caravanners.
The reason caravanners flock here, according to the site's wardens Barry and Diana Covey, is partly down to the allure of Cambridge itself, with its historic quads, peaceful chapels, and wide range of museums and galleries.
What's more, Barry says that the site often welcomes parents of new undergraduates, who like to stay close by for the first few weeks, just in case the laundry needs doing.
But that's only telling half of the story, as the local countryside is also a big draw, with nature walks, cycle trails, 18-hole golf courses, and stately National Trust properties all within striking distance.
Alternatively, it's very tempting to just relax on site, as Cambridge Cherry Hinton boasts an abundance of wildlife, from rabbits to squirrels and from deer to foxes, while a peregrine falcon has also recently been spotted overhead.
Walking round the site, it's plain to see that Barry and Diana take great pride in their work, as the site is kept up to an exceptionally high standard.
Despite the recent torrents of early summer rain that have been lashing the area, the pitches and verges are kept in pristine condition, while the toilet blocks are something of a crowning glory.
"The first thing people always say to us is: 'The toilets and showers are absolutely spotless!'" Diana says, "We take pride in them, because they're the first thing you notice, aren't they?"
With a major refurbishment completed two years ago, she has good reason to be proud, and the laundry and washing-up areas are kept to a similar standard.
So it's no great surprise to hear that this site proudly exhibits a five-star rating from VisitEngland, and has done so for many years.
Another big plus point that Cambridge Cherry Hinton can boast is Wi-Fi internet access, something that has proved particularly popular, while the TV aerial booster system allows for excellent Freeview reception on each and every pitch.
Or if you prefer a more old-fashioned form of evening entertainment, the Robin Hood pub is just a quick stroll down the road.
The warden's lodge sells a selection of conveniences, including toilet chemicals, TV leads and ice creams, and it's only a short walk into the village of Cherry Hinton for bread, milk and newspapers.
The only real limitation is the 8.5m pitch length, meaning mammoth RVs or huge European twin-axle caravans cannot always be accommodated.
However, for the vast majority of caravanners, Cambridge Cherry Hinton works perfectly as a convenient base for exploring the city, the countryside, and beyond.
Site Fact File:
- 60 pitches in total (including 49 hardstanding and tent pitches)
- Pitches available from just £5.55 per night (excluding per capita charges, starting at £5.55 per adult per night)
- Open to non-members, with a £10/night surcharge
- Local village within a ten-minute walk
- Open all year round
*For more details see the Caravan Club website.
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