A. Passenger wrote a review June 2020
London · 56 contributions

Having accepted that grand holiday plans are off the cards this year, I’d been making do with only the odd day trip during lockdown, escaping the city on my own two wheels to find some peace and sanctity in the murky lakes at Cheshunt in North London.

So when I heard about the ‘Holiday On Wheels’ experience, I couldn’t have been more excited. A real opportunity to feel that sand-in-my-pants sensation on a package holiday in Burgess Park – sign me up!

I knew we were in for a treat as soon as were met by the On Wheels air stewardesses on the runway. With a hint of 1970s seaside glamour, they were lining up rows of ice-cream-wielding children to get their snap with the HC-19 aeroplane (undoubtedly a true design classic).

On embarking the plane, I was immediately offered an individually wrapped dime bar, tropical juice box and mini pack of raisins. Oh boy, I thought, we really are back to the to the future with this level of on-flight care. Snacks? Gratuit?! Sugary, vegan or gluten free? Incroyable!

Promptly we set off for the Maldives. The flight involved a quick whip around the park, at which point the afore-mentioned flight attendants took off, gliding the HC-19 up, down and around the gentle inclines of Burgess Park's paths, and occasionally giving the aircraft an elegant spin when onlookers showed their appreciation with a round of applause (the HC-19 is a fossil-free eco-miracle, though still awaiting some development in terms of engine power).

Our hostesses held down navigation and passenger-safety to a "T" (exits to the left and right etc), landing us safely on the kind of beach one imagines only exists in postcards. Toes in the sand, sun cream was dutifully slathered, beers handed around and we perused the excellent in-flight reading list.

At a respectful 2m distance, conversation sprang up between the other holidaymakers. How refreshing to meet new friends in lockdown! And what a wonderful selection of travellers. I met an artist (well they are 10 a penny in South East London - great bike though), not to mention a florist who farms her own flowers. I'm still thinking about the logistics of this... does she have heat lamps in the living room? Vertical soil beds running up the side of her house? Flower boxes in every window? Planters on the pavement? A wild flower meadow covering every inch of the garden? Or a seeded roof...?

But back to the holiday. With an origami-flourish, the aeroplane was folded into triangles, and a ping-pong table emerged. We played until the winds changed, and the storm clouds blew in. We were unperturbed. Watermelon was handed around (a perfect colour match to our air-hostesses skirts).

The heavens burst, and the HC-19 transformed again, this time from ping-pong table to tent. The pitter-patter accompanied our chatter, and we bonded over another beer.

The park was now empty. We were in the South London countryside!

For sand, snacks and SE tranquility Holiday On Wheels is a MUST!!!!!!!