Are you joining in the National Camping and Caravanning Week activities? I am.
If it’s all new to you, the National Camping and Caravanning Week is an annual event run by the Camping and Caravanning Club. This year it runs from Monday 26 May to Sunday 1 June – and it’s celebrating the ‘year of the bike’.
In the absence of an industry body investing in generic advertising to get people involved and engaged in camping and caravanning, it’s one of the biggest concerted efforts each year to raise the profile of our great hobby.
National Camping and Caravanning Week (NCCW) dates back to 2001, the Club’s centenary year, to set a record for the most people camping and caravanning at one time. The event has run every year since.
In 2012, during the Queen’s Jubilee year, campers all over Britain joined together to set a new world record for the most people wearing a crown at the same time in different places.
In 2014, the Club’s NCCW idea is a little less wacky with an eye both on its roots and one of the biggest sporting events in the UK calendar for 2014: the Tour de France, which begins this year with stages one and two taking place in Yorkshire.
The Camping and Caravanning Club was founded back in 1901, as the Association of Cycle Campers. Since then, it’s grown to the giant membership organisation we know today, with nearly 500,000 members.
Impressively, a Camping and Caravanning Club team of cyclists is taking on a challenge to raise money for Sustrans – they’ll ride more than 420 miles in six days.
Starting at Wantage in Oxfordshire, which is the site of the Club’s first meeting back in 1901, the team pitch up at campsites along the way, and even take in parts of the gruelling Tour de France stage routes.
To make things even tougher, they’ll ride in traditional tweed cycling outfits.
They’ll pass through Cambridge, Peterborough, Nottingham, Chatsworth Park in the Peak District, Glossop, Huddersfield and Keighley before heading to their final destination at Scarborough.
And I’ll be pitching up at the Club’s site in Scarborough on Friday 30 May to cheer the brave, tweed-clad souls over the finish line, led by Club President and TV presenter Julia Bradbury for the final turns of the wheel.
I think raising money for Sustrans – whose cycle network I use a great deal with my own family when we go caravanning – is a great cause. To support The Challenge, click here.
Further detailed information on the route and the Club Challenge team can be found on the Club’s new dedicated challenge website.
As part of the Club’s celebration of its heritage, the Club site at Scarborough will play host to a range of traditional activities, such as old-style fairground games and a Punch and Judy show.
It’s the headline event in the Club’s NCCW week, but there are other events planned at the Club’s 109 sites and 16 Camping in the Forest Sites. You can find out more information on these at the Club’s dedicated website.
The Club’s idea has an eye both on its roots and one of the biggest sporting events in the UK calendar for 2014 – the Tour de France