Gandalf the VW is nestled on his own woodland glade* at Alderstead Heath Caravan and Motorhome Club site. (*it’s his own because we have no neighbours- not because we’ve purchased the entire site! The site is relatively quiet however)
We’re sat listening to the birdsong and enjoying some well needed downtime after a very busy week at school. I can feel the stress of the past few days dissolving as we enjoy the last hour or so of daylight; sat outside Gandalf, with our fire pit and cadac cooking up some tasty treats. We really needed this!
We’re at Alderstead Heath campsite as we decided to make a last minute trip to see Keith’s Dad and Step mum who live just down the road in Kenley. Unfortunately his step mum is not in the best health right now and, like many, a year of lockdown has taken its toll on them.
Our journey down was spent bashing out admin; taking it in turns to drive so the other could get emails, invoices and timetables updated and sent out as we take on more and more schools (good news!). We did however make a stop for supplies close to Kenley and Alderstead Heath at a lovely farm shop at Godstone; Flower Farm.
Flower Farm has a great butchery and deli counter, very dangerous territory for us- I could have purchased the entire shop. We were strong though, settling on sausages, bacon for breakfast, and Greek chicken, chilli pork, homemade burgers for a bbq dinner and a potato salad, scones and clotted cream to accompany the quiche and jam I’d made for our lunch at my in laws. It also has an attractive tea room with plenty of outdoor seating. A worthy stop off for sure!
We continued on to Kenley and enjoyed a few hours in the garden with the folks. It was lovely to see them in person after a few months of only being able to video call.
Around 5pm we made our way the short distance to Alderstead Heath, passing Kenley aerodrome, a popular place for local dog walkers and a very interesting site for history enthusiasts. The former Royal Air Force Station Kenley, more commonly known as RAF Kenley was an airfield station of the Royal Flying Corps in the First World War and the RAF in the Second World War. It played a significant role during the Battle of Britain as one of the three RAF stations specifically tasked with the defence of London. If you’re lucky you can watch gliders depart from here.
Onwards to the Campsite (be very careful on your approach here- a couple of the entry roads are very steep and very narrow) and we were treated to a glorious yellow field display. Keith and I have lived in this area for many years previously, however we still get surprised at the “countryside” feel at this site; despite being within close proximity to London, Croydon, and the M25 the site is surrounded by fields and countryside and you very quickly feel like you’re a million miles away from the chaos of Croydon. There are lots of lovely walks from this site, one day when we stay we will give ourselves more time so that we can show them on here. Here’s one the Caravan and Motorhome Club show to wet your appetite!
Check in was swift and set up was even swifter. Being on a grass pitch made the awning go up in a flash, and within 15 mins we were enjoying a beer in the last of the days sunshine.
Keith managed a shower in the tailgate awning and then cracked on with dinner on the cadac- our delicious treats from the farm shop served with potatoes and asparagus (also from the farm shop) in the Remoska. We had the fire pit out on some bricks and we had a very pleasant evening watching the sun set.
The next morning we enjoyed the morning birdsong; the site is surrounded by woodlands and there is just so much space here. It’s just bliss.
Jazz had a little run around with some doggie pals in the secure dog area before heading back to Keith’s dad’s. We picked him up and drove the short distance to Emmett’s Garden National Trust. Alderstead Heath campsite is a really great location for visiting National Trusts in the area. There are at least 5 or 6 within 30-40 mins drive. It’s a really excellent location to base yourself for an explore of the Surrey Hills.
Emmett’s Garden was just superb. We visited last year and enjoyed the autumnal colours, but today we were treated to blankets of bluebells lining the banks and woodland. I’ve never seen such a phenomenal display. It really was excellent and we highly recommend a visit. Don’t forget, during Covid you need to pre book your visit though.
Following our visit we stopped for a drink at the pretty little village of Ide Hill before making our way back to Kenley to say goodbye to the in laws and making our way back home. It was a flying visit but we were returning feeling happy to have had some quality family time and actually felt rather refreshed!
Until next time