2019 Camping Weekend Report

A Weekend In May


It’s the merry month of May and with my Commando fuelled and loaded I set off for the Shenstone Branch Camping Weekend.  This year it was to be held at the Stafford Boat club situated at Wildwood on the Stafford and Worcestershire canal.  A look at their website (recommended) showed a promising location for the weekend.  So with the sun shining I head up the M40 with thoughts of pitching the tent and enjoying a cold beer by the canal as the sun was setting.  I stop en route to meet up with branch member Martin and after coffee we head to the site.


May 10th – Arrival – Day One


Arriving mid afternoon at the Boat Club we were greeted by our hosts for the weekend Shenstone Branch Members Sandy and Dave who, anticipating the changing weather, had the Norton hospitality gazebo up and fully kitted out with a fridge, kettle, heater and tea and coffee-  which was very much appreciated.  This was to be our haven for the next hour or so as the heavens opened preventing us from pitching our tents. Once the rain subsided and after successfully erecting our tents it was time to check out the amenities.


The site has two sets of toilets available to us both incorporating showers, there is a `pay` washing machine including a dryer (most useful if you have leaky panniers), plenty of electric hook ups, a comfy club house with a nicely stocked bar and though no site shop there is a Co-op just 10 minutes walk away. There is a local pub providing breakfast and other meals throughout the day and close by a Fish and Chip shop.


With an improvement in the weather a Fish and Chip supper by the canal was enjoyed before retiring to the bar, opened especially for us, giving everyone a chance to relax, catch up and discuss the next day’s activities.


May 11th – A Real Pub, A Junction And Ice Cream – Day Two

Waking early Saturday morning after a cold night I peered out of the tent just as the sun was rising and the mist was rolling off the canal.  After a coffee in front of the excellent heater in the gazebo, thoughts turned to the planned ride out for today.  First was a trip to the Haberdasher’s Arms in Knighton, a very traditional watering hole so off we set as the sun gained strength.  The route was a nice mix of A and B roads before winding our way down picturesque country lanes. The pub seemed to appear out of nowhere.  Greeted by the landlord we headed inside for refreshments.  With our thirsts quenched and helmets on we headed to our next stop – Norbury Junction Café – situated on the Shropshire canal, a good location to sit and watch the canal boats while enjoying a bite to eat from the café. With our energy level now restored and talk of ice cream we set off for our final stop at the Red Lion Tea Rooms in Haughton.  They cater for just about any ice cream fanatic’s taste and soon we all sat outside enjoying our various flavoured ice creams. Now fully satisfied its back to the boat yard and time to chill by the canal with a beer or two before supper at the local pub, The Wildwood.  This is within walking distance of the site, they have a good menu, the food is nicely cooked and reasonably priced. Finally we round off the evening in the boat club bar.

May 13th – A Big Windmill – Day Three

Waking early Sunday morning and cracking ice off the tent I decide a hot shower is what’s needed. It’s a beautiful morning by the canal with clear skies, and after coffee and a good breakfast at The Sizzler there’s time to sit in the sun waving to the passing canal boats and watching the local wildlife before setting off for our final ride out of the weekend. Today we will be going to Heage Windmill Classic Bike Day in Belper. The windmill is set in the beautiful Derbyshire countryside and the ride there takes us through some great scenery. The windmill hold various events ranging from classic cars to bikes (I recommend you check out the website) and when we arrive the place is buzzing and there are plenty of bikes on show, British, Italian and Japanese, many of which bring back fond memories.  We have a good wander round and I have a rather tasty cheesy sausage roll, before saddling up for the ride back to the boat yard.  It’s been a great day enjoyed by all and rounded off by a relaxing evening in the club bar.


May 14th – Goodbyes and Thank You – Day Four

I wake early and make a coffee and, while sitting by the canal I reflecting on the last few days as the sun rises, it’s much warmer than previous mornings.  It’s been good, very good. The site is a great place to stay, the people a friendly, helpful and really good company and it’s been a good base to ride out from.


With the tent packed and the bike loaded I say my goodbyes and though I’m not a member of the Shenstone Branch I feel I have become one. May I finally say a big thank you to Sandy and Dave for their warm welcome, hospitality and for organising the perfect Norton Camping Weekend.

Upcoming Events
7:45 pm Social Evening @ Clifford Arms
Social Evening @ Clifford Arms
Mar 5 @ 7:45 pm – 10:00 pm
Social Evening @ Clifford Arms | Great Haywood | England | United Kingdom
An informal social evening at the Clifford Arms in Great Haywood Ready for the Saturday ride out.
10:00 am Club Ride Outs @ Clifford Arms
Club Ride Outs @ Clifford Arms
Mar 9 @ 10:00 am – 3:00 pm
Club Ride Outs @ Clifford Arms | Great Haywood | England | United Kingdom
Ride outs are arranged for the second Saturday of every month, these usually start from the Clifford Arms pub in Great Haywood near Stafford. The Clifford has its own classic car and bike club of all[...]
6:45 pm Social Evening @ Clifford Arms
Social Evening @ Clifford Arms
Apr 2 @ 6:45 pm – 9:00 pm
Social Evening @ Clifford Arms | Great Haywood | England | United Kingdom
An informal social evening at the Clifford Arms in Great Haywood Ready for the Saturday ride out.