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Keep your distance

Watching footage of motorway pile-ups was an interesting start to Week 4’s Institute of Advanced Motoring Skill for Life course, which showed what can go wrong at speed.

Remembering the two-second rule is vital for dual carriageway or motorway driving. When travelling at 70mph the braking distance is 315ft – that’s potentially a lot of vehicles to crash into if the worst happens. Navigating slip roads was addressed too – namely how not to race down them and hope for the best. Again we were reminded why flashing the headlights is never a good idea to indicate your intentions – though it’s a tough one when it seems to be a universal driver language. And dare I say it but I think it’s actually quite a nice gesture when someone you’ve courteously given way to shows their thanks by flashing their hazards a couple of times.

Mike PageThen it was time to get out there and experience what the A46 (a three lane dual carriageway in some sections) had to offer on a Sunday morning with IAM Observer Mike Page. As my daily commute route I was not too worried about this, and aside from forgetting to signal at least four times before overtaking (and then being told not to bother when safely pulling back in – a habit I’m going to have a really hard time dropping) I had no issues.

A few days later I tried to remember what I'd learned on my trip down the M5. It was interesting to see how many people ignored the flashing 50mph signs that warned of an accident ahead; a mile later everyone realised the signs weren't purely decorative and slammed on the brakes. It was definitely a moment for spouting off some IAM hazard-noticing commentary - and thankfully Mike was nowhere near to hear it!

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Winter sports fun for Camping Club Youth

Enjoying the Viper Run

Enjoying the Viper Run

The Club’s Youth members love a bit of winter camping. Read Youth Public Relations Officer Sam Canfield's report on three recent winter meets packed with fun, games and friendship.

At the end of January Central Counties Youth gathered for their annual Winter Youth Meet at Copt Oak Village Hall, Leicestershire.

Some 39 Camping Club Youth and Senior Youth members enjoyed an activity-packed weekend under the guidance of ten Youth Leaders, four helpers and Central Counties Region Vice Chair Gordon Barlow who dropped in for a visit on Saturday.

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This is a guest blog entry. All views are that of the author and not necessarily shared by the Club. Mention of any product or service on the blog does not constitute endorsement by the Club. All blog posts are moderated before going live.

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Northern Ireland awaits

I’m not sure what surprised people the most when I told them our plans for February half-term, the fact we were camping or the fact we were going to Northern Ireland. The Giant’s Causeway is pretty much the only visitor destination that comes to most people’s minds. There’s no denying the World Heritage Site is a breathtaking experience but to assume this is the only reason for paying a visit is to miss out on so much more.

BunkA week of touring this beautiful and friendly land has given us a family holiday rich in experiences, landscapes, history, culture and exceptional food. My overriding impression is one of the people. From petrol station attendants to tour guides, taxi drivers and shopkeepers, every single person we encountered made us feel welcome. Maybe it’s the Irish lilt that charmed me, but I felt a real and genuine warmth from the people we met here. There is a sense that people have time for you.

There is so much more to define Northern Irelands than its Troubles. Our days spent in the cities of Belfast and Londonderry/Derry gave a sense of rejuvenation. There are vibrant food cultures, contemporary restaurants and bars as well as new cultural ‘quarter’ - areas built to attract visitors.

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Ali Ray

Ali Ray

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Ali Ray is as passionate about camping as she is about eating and cooking with locally produced food. You can read more from Ali in Camping & Caravanning and online.

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