Category Archives: Camping

Le Mans 2017

OK so this was my 9th trip to Le Mans in 11 years – and what a belter Le Mans 2017 turned out to be!

Same campsite, same format, many of the same great bunch of people – why change a winning formula?

The pictures always tell the story, the journey down, the campsite sports car show, the crazy noisy circuit and the incredible racing itself – so let the cars do the talking…

Usha Gap base camp

Camped with our mates in Swaledale again last weekend at this fantastic campsite.

Usha Gap camp site is a winner, even when it rains!

Usha Gap camp site is a winner, even when it rains!

Usha Gap base camp

The weather was horrific, but when did that ever stop anyone having a good time?

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Campfires, wine and some nice steaks on the barbeque – so no worries re a damp night under canvas, this is the place to be!

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And when it stops raining you can take a lovely 5 mile walk up and down Upper Swaledale, taking in Muker and other villages; there is always the ‘Farmers Arms’ in Muker – a 10 minute walk away if you can’t face getting the washing up done.

Usha Gap is a great camp site – no electricity, you are back to nature and near some nice new toilet and washing up blocks on a family run friendly site in deepest North Yorkshire dales.

What ids not to love?

Book here…..

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Chateau Chanteloup

Chateau Chanteloup is a beautiful campsite in rural France, set on the outskirts of Sille le Phillipe and handily situated for the annual pilgramage to the 24hr sports car race at Le Mans.

The real winner

The real winner, campsite bar in background.
1926 Bentley 3 Litre


Welcome at Château de Chanteloup

Chanteloup is located in the middle of a typical French countryside where you will profit from a remarkable site and a preserved environment. 20 hectares of meadows and wood, water spots and lawns where no recent buildings disturb this perfect ordinance.

We have been to this campsite for eight out of the last ten trips to Le Mans – and every year, Dominique adds something new and improves on perfection.

Each year also, we manage to add on motoring exotica to match the surroundings. 2015 was no different, the mixture of Bentley, Porsche, Ferrari, Mclaren, Jaguar and TVR to our tented village made it a special year indeed!

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You will go for a walk or for a ride on the paths of the park. You will be able to fish and canoe on the pond with the small boats placed gracefully at your disposal. The in love ones with cars will go to the famous 24 Hours of Le Mans track and will visit its Museum impossible to circumvent.

Chanteloup is in limit of the Pole Resident of Sarthe, recognized Regional Tourist Pôle and which profits from the label “Country of art and history”. From Chanteloup you will leave to discovered the strengthened churches and castels. You will discover the Ferté-Bernard called “Venice of the West” or Montmirail, which is classified as “small city of character”.

The history of Chanteloup

The history of Chanteloup goes back to 1400 even if the two main buildings date respectively from 1815 regarding the Castle, and 15th and 19th centuries for the “Orangery” (the building close to the pond).

As far as the Castle is concerned, it was built in 1850 by the Viscountess Ogier d’Ivry who had two sons but only one castle. She thus built Chanteloup for her second son. The manor house is from a Classic Style, Louis the XVI’s time. The mansion remains pleasant to live and particularly during the family celebrations.

The Souffront family acquired Chanteloup in 1960 with its park of 20 hectares as a second home, and started the campsite business in 1974. Before this activity, the outbuildings were used as a farm with cows, pigs, pheasants and chickens. The 5 lodgings fitted out in the Old Orangerie and the farm buildings have been progessivley constructed between 1995 and 2004. Throughout the year, three persons are working full-time to maintain the park and the buildingds.

Dominique Souffront, the manager of the family business-, the family members and all the staff will be happy to welcome you  and will do their utmost to make your stay a most enjoyable one.


Muker, Swaledale

Muker, Swaledale is one of the most beautiful places you could wish to visit. Located at grid reference SD910978, on the banks of the Straw Beck near its confluence with the River Swale, at one time a centre for lead mining, the main economic activities are now woollen clothing, tourism and sheep farming.

Famous now of course for the first stage of the Tour de France, which whizzed through in July 2014 on the first stage of the race, having dropped down into Swaledale through Buttertubs pass.

In the village, the pub is the Farmers Arms, and does a great pint of Black Sheep. Muker also has a village shop as well as craft shops and a café. Originally the Vicarage, the Muker village tea shop was built in 1680 and retains much of its ‘Olde worlde charm’ today. A Park Information Point for the Yorkshire Dales National Park can be found at the Muker Village store.

Here are some shots from the weekend spent camping at Usha Gap campsite, well worth a trip at any time of the year, we will be back soon.

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Usha Gap campsite, Muker, Swaledale North Yorkshire May 2015 Leica M (type 240) Summilux-M 1:1.4/50 ASPH. f4.0, 1/2000 sec, ISO 200

Usha Gap campsite, Muker, Swaledale
North Yorkshire May 2015
Leica M (type 240) Summilux-M 1:1.4/50 ASPH. f4.0, 1/2000 sec, ISO 200

A bit about Muker from Wikipedia…

The traditional late 18th and early 19th century barns and drystone walls of Swaledale are the most characteristic feature of the landscape. The flower-rich hay meadows around Muker are of international importance and are carefully protected. Farmers receive grants which allow them to farm the land by traditional methods, without using artificial fertilizers.

Muker is also home to the Muker Silver Band, a brass band formed in 1897.[6] The band, which recently celebrated its hundredth anniversary, is now one of the last surviving bands in Swaledale and Wensleydale, and still maintains a busy calendar of public appearances.