Motorhome Adventures
Clare Priory 25th to 28th June 2009

Clare Priory - Suffolk

We recently purchased a motor home. I am returning to motor home camping after a break of over twenty-five years - my husband is new to the experience.  We have had several trips now which have been great fun. My first motor home was a home conversion and very basic. We have needed to refer to the instruction manual on numerous occasions with our 'high tech' auto sleeper model. We now feel confident with most of the procedures.

We read in 'Out and About' that the North London and Eastern Motor Home Section were holding a rally at Clare Priory from 25th June to 28th June.  I telephoned Maureen Sibley for more details - she was very helpful and just about to leave for the site.  Unfortunately, the site opened on Thursday - not Friday as we had thought so we missed a day. We drove through heavy rain on our way there on Friday but arrived in the grounds of Clare Priory in sunshine. We were made very welcome.

The pitches were on a grassed, wooded area in the grounds at the front of the priory.

It is a picturesque setting.  We were able to wander around the grounds of the priory and church, which are still in use.  The priory was originally founded in 1248 and restored in 1953. 


A brief history

The priory is linked to Clare village by a foot bridge over the river - entering the grounds by this door

The peaceful grounds surrounding the church and priory are immaculate and a haven for a variety of birds

The church is an attractive building in an ideal setting.  It was well attended for mass on Sunday.  There was also a christening.

A short stroll along the path takes you through the grounds and to the camp site


This ancient stone arch way led into the gardens and cloisters at the back of the priory

Old Part of the Priory leading to the Shrine


This is the footbridge linking the priory grounds to Clare and Clare Country Park

This is the quiet, pretty river, crossed by the footbridge from the priory, which runs through the Country Park - with ruined castle and lots of walks. There is also an interesting exhibition centre with information about the history of the area.

The Local Mute Swan Family in the Country Park

The parents were very protective

There was a lovely public footpath along by the river and Country Park which led to the bridge at Clare Mill Sluice Gates

It was a picturesque scene with horses at the water's edge

Group of horses near the sluice gates

The Bell, Clare, where some people enjoyed Sunday lunch. This is just a stroll from the site through the priory grounds. There are also antique shops, newsagents and tea rooms.

We were given help and advice by the members of the group and invited to join in activities if we wished.  Some members went by bus to Sudbury on Saturday. We attended the coffee morning on the last day and were delighted to receive a badge marking our first rally with the N.London and Eastern motor home section. We met some nice people - had a great weekend and look forward to the next time.  Many thanks to the organisers and stewards.
Below some of the wildlife photographed in the area:

In the priory garden Spotted Flycatchers

And around the nearby river Grey Wagtails

There were a good number of dragonflies, this is our largest Dragonfly - The Emperor

But the one I had really wanted to see (not having seen one before) a White - legged Damselfly

The weather was so good on Sunday afternoon when we left so we headed for the Polstead site - hoping to stay for a couple of nights.  However, it was so crowded we decided not to stay.  Instead we went to Thetford - which was lovely. The facilities were excellent and there was lots of space. We camped by a small lake (large pond) with lots of dragonflies for Roy to observe and photograph.
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