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Opinion: Secret Thinker spends a perfect weekend in a campervan - despite missing the Northern Lights

Talk about a stroke of luck – not only was I asked to review a campervan this week, but the sun made its first appearance of the year and we were treated to the strongest solar storm in decades.

I decided not to venture too far and stay within our county boundary so joined an online group to request information about the best campsites.

Secret Thinker is now a campervan convert. Picture: iStock
Secret Thinker is now a campervan convert. Picture: iStock

The first person to reply was some melt called Stu Lawrence, who’s advised me to avoid Kent at all costs saying it was the biggest ****hole he’d ever had the misfortune to visit.

Despite his comment being the first received I’m pleased to say it did not prove reflective of the website as a whole and he was quickly lambasted for writing off The Garden of England.

Fortunately, more helpful advice, which did display the value of social media, led us in the direction of Tenterden/Wittersham and we managed to get ourselves booked onto a site which was part of a working farm – perfect for just chilling out or taking wonderful walks in some of the best countryside around.

I know the sunshine lifts everyone’s spirits and generally puts people in a better mood but even the warm weather wasn’t enough to explain the fantastic welcome we got from everyone we met and all the help we received.

I can honestly say the campervan community must be the single most hospitable and friendly group of people I’ve ever had the pleasure to meet. When people first started waving at me I assumed there must be something wrong with my driving or a problem with the van but by the third or fourth occasion I realised it’s just the way campervan folk are.

I won’t list all the trials and tribulations we experienced as virgin vanners, but suffice it to say I am an absolute convert and will be looking into purchasing one for myself at the earliest opportunity.

Having enjoyed the great hospitality in, and around, Tenterden (thoroughly disproving Stu’s appalling assessment), as well as enjoying the great outdoors in the best weather of 2024 so far, we headed for home.

The Northern Lights over Oare, near Faversham, Kent. Picture: Sharr Darling
The Northern Lights over Oare, near Faversham, Kent. Picture: Sharr Darling

On the way we experienced something even better on our final night - a pub campervan stopover. If I wasn’t sold on the idea before then I was now - this really was the icing on the cake.

Having been ‘off-grid’ for several days, we’d completely missed all the news about the impending Northern Lights and, exhausted from all the fresh air, were in bed by 10.30 completely oblivious to all the fuss.

I did see plenty of great photos when I got back but even if it was a ‘once in a lifetime opportunity’, I didn’t need a colourful sky to complete my weekend.

Take my advice - get yourself a campervan.

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