It’s my first show
of the new decade and Manchester’s EventCity is a great place to start the camping and caravanning year. The show is compact (compared with the ones at Birmingham’s NEC, anyway) so you can easily see everything in a single day. Yet there’s still plenty of choice in terms of caravan and motorhomes, with all the major manufacturers displaying a selection of models. You also get the chance to visit Destinations, the Holiday and Travel Show at the same time to get some inspiration for future holidays.
The latest Lunar caravans
A change of ownership for Lunar in 2019 meant we didn’t get to see the new season caravans at the autumn shows. The new Taurus (right) and updated other ranges can be seen on the Campbells Caravans
stand 3-75. Look out for our review of the latest Lunar Ariva in March’s issue of Camping & Caravanning.
A mug for a proper cup of tea
If you prefer to use pretty-much unbreakable melamine mugs when you’re on the campsite you might have encountered one of their limitations. The material is only designed to take up to 70C so if you’re partial to a proper cup of tea (made with boiling water), your melamine mug is likely to fail after a while. Brunner Outdoor, on the Preston accessories stand (1-2), has some new Hot Mugs on sale at £5 each. These are like melamine in many respects, they feel similar and are robust, but they can take boiling water. They are moulded in a single piece so the handle is an integral part of the mug, claim to be stain resistant and have a practical anti-slip base.
A new seasonal porch awning
Following the success of our first Awning Owner Satisfaction Awards
ceremony at the show, it was good to see a new inflatable-tube porch awning on the CampTech
stand. The Duke is 4m long and 2.4m deep, designed to be robust enough to be pitched on site all season. It reflects the trend for traditional style caravan awnings in inflatable-tube form.
A new camp cookery book
There are many great camping cookbooks on the market – not least Pitch Up, Eat Local by our Eat Local
specialist Ali Ray – but this small, easy-to-carry tome still caught my eye. It’s by Phoebe Smith, who will be familiar to Camping & Caravanning magazine readers as she’s one of our regular contributors. Called The Wilderness Cookbook, it includes recipes that can be cooked on a single stove with minimal ingredients – always useful even if you have a fully-equipped caravan. You can find a copy on the Stanfords stand in the Destinations show, stand E8.
Not quite a camping unit but…
My favourite exhibit at the show doesn’t come under the caravan or motorhome category, but it is spectacular. Tucked away in the Destinations hall is a brand-new narrow gauge Pullman dining car. It’s been built to be enjoyed on the Welsh Highland Railway
. From the end of March you’ll be able to enjoy a full cream tea or some other fine dining on board as it travels between Caenarfon and Porthmadog. But for now you can enjoy a few moments
peace inside, transported away from Manchester to a luxury trip through the mountains in Victorian times.