Reasons to loathe winter washing up at campsites

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Outdoor washing up

Picture the scene.  It is dark and the wind is whipping around the campsite and heavy showers rush across the site in flurries.  The showers and toilets are cosy and warm but there is a frozen camper standing at the outdoor washing up sinks wrapped in fleeces, cagoule and a hat.  As they run the tap the water is whipped across the sinks as it is caught by the wind and under their breath the washer-up is cursing the campsite owner that has saved money by constructing dish-washing sinks that are open to the elements.

We like to camp all through the winter and in all sorts of weathers.  In winter we like to spend some time at a campsite with warm facilities that we can use in comfort and many sites fit this bill but let us down when it comes to washing up.  An all too common design for campsite dish-washing facilities is to have a roof but be open to the elements.  This has the advantage that you can stay dry in the inevitable rain [unless it is windy too] but even wrapped in layers the biting cold of the wind is tough for whoever is on washing up duties.

I understand outdoor washing up sinks in hot countries but in England, Scotland and Wales it seems optimistic at best.  Yes, of course we can wash up in the campervan and given these outdoor facilities we often do but this isn’t the point.  When we are on a campsite with facilities we like to use them and rather resent having to boil the kettle in the ‘van for hot water and do the dishes in our tiny sink when there are perfectly adequate sinks provided if only they were indoors.  We start to wonder why we pay for sites, we might as well be wild camping on these inclement nights [and often do this too].

There must be an off-the-shelf campsite facilities block that all these different campsites purchase as we see these outdoor sinks so often.  Or have these campsite owners never been camping themselves and so have never experienced the dish-washer agony?  We are so relieved when we arrive at a site, check out the facilities and find a room [with a door] [and ideally a window to watch the world from] for washing up in.  This luxury on a campsite is worth paying for!

A selection of campsites [not exhaustive] we have found where the dish-washing facilities are indoors:

Castlerigg Hall, Keswick

Inver Caravan Park, Dunbeath

Eye Kettleby Lakes, Melton Mowbray

Holgates at Silverdale

Caravan and Motorhome Club site at Wharfedale near Grassington

Caravan and Motorhome Club Site near Barnard Castle