WE all like nuggets. Of chicken, of gold . . . of wisdom too.
Apt, then, that Ford has named its latest campervan the Nugget. Chunky and dependable, it will get you from A to B before dishing up a hot meal and tucking you into bed.
We tested the nifty Nugget at Longthorns Farm in Wareham, Dorset, with its 47 acres of woodland, for a long weekend.
It was perfect for the Nugget. Sitting quietly in a field next to alpacas, we clicked up the roof, laid out the table and chairs and were fully settled in barely half an hour.
All the while, the alpacas watched us merrily. Twenty or so live on the farm and are a highlight of this rural glamping spot near the Jurassic Coast. Guests can learn all about them on a guided woodland walk.
Led by the all-knowing Toyah, we were introduced to three of the softest creatures I’ve had the pleasure of petting: Garfield, Harry and Nigel. These curious animals were a delight, happily walking alongside us and posing for selfies in the greenery.
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As Toyah rattled off fact after fact, it was hard not to get caught up with her love of the alpacas.
Beyond the farm grounds, Dorset has plenty to offer, especially for outdoorsy types.
Studland Watersports, a 25-minute drive away, has adrenalin junkies sorted. It has kayaks, pedalos and stand-up paddleboards you can take straight into the sea on Studland’s pretty beach.
I went for the fastest option on offer: Water-skiing (£20pp, studlandwatersports.co.uk).
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Beach-loving owners Tracey and Paul know their stuff and gave us a quick tutorial on how to handle the skis. Then we were off.
It took me a few goes but suddenly it all clicked into place and I was flying along behind the boat, feeling like some uncoordinated member of Charlie’s Angels.
For those few glorious minutes, I was on top of the world . . . until my legs tired and I went somersaulting into the water. I came up beaming, though, determined to try it again.
If you are after something adventurous but a bit slower-paced, ForeAdventure, just around the corner, has leisurely land and water-based activities, ranging from climbing courses to snork-elling trips.
The foraging-kayaking course is really special. As you paddle through craggy caves, you will be fishing like a pro, inspecting lobster pots and checking out edible types of seaweed for two hours. Our guide, Kyle, taught us how to “troll”, letting the line dangle in the water behind us, in hope of a catch.
Suddenly, I felt the line tug. As I started to reel in my catch, I imagined coming face-to-face with a huge shark, thrashing about like something from Jaws.
But after a few minutes it became apparent I hadn’t caught a thing. My line was merely snagged on a rock below. Oh, well.
Exhausted from all the action, we collapsed into the Nugget. While there were just the two of us, it has seats that can fold down into beds, which means you can fit four adults.
When you are not dozing, there is a fold-out dining table, kitchen with a stove and a sink and a big fridge.
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And we were even able to have a shower thanks to the nifty set-up at the back of the van.
As we drove back home, rolling through green countryside, it seemed only right to stop off for some chicken nuggets. A salute, of sorts, to our four-wheeled home for the weekend.
GETTING THERE: The Ford Nugget costs from £350 to rent for a weekend. See brookhire.co.uk. For more information, see ford.co.uk.
STAYING THERE: Longthorns Farm has camping and motorhome pitches from £17 per night. For details see longthornsfarm.co.uk.
OUT & ABOUT: A half-day kayak foraging adventure costs from £65pp. See foreadventure.co.uk.
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