One of Angelina’s birthday requests was to go camping. So that’s exactly what we did during the last half term.
I tested the waters of having a day out with them in atrocious weather at the Cotswold Wildlife Park and we coped, even with Max wanting to be mobile all the time.
I then took the plunge and took them camping for 5 days and 4 nights- Wednesday to Sunday-, with Dadonthebrink joining us half way through. (Ok, I did duck out on the Saturday to scoot off to Cybher, the blogging conference. )
We went to the Hertford Camping and Caravanning Club site. I wouldn’t have naturally chosen this location, but the National Camping and Caravanning Week 2013 press and members event was scheduled for the Friday. The program was too good to resist, with free access to Camping and Caravanning Club (C&CC) members and press (or even some little ol’ bloggers like me).
The stay did not disappoint! Large, secluded site, nice clean facilities.
I took on the challenge to pitch a trial tent, a Vango Airbeam, on my own. It took 40 minutes. (One day I will get around to editing that video, so you can have a laugh… in the meantime just imagine extreme red face from the aerobic work-out.)
On the Thursday we went to Paradise Wildlife park based on the recommendation of the campsite’s website, reinforced by staff. (Full details of our fun day to follow)
On the Friday Dadonthebrink arrived to join us for a fun-filled exhausting day.
It was the day we finally got to meet David Bellamy who my friend, Jennie, had been gushing about ever since I mentioned he’d be there.
There was hog roast.
There were kids running freely, like we did in our childhood.
The event’s objective was to highlight how camping and caravanning can make you happier and through the Club Perks introduce families to local gems on the doorstep of their campsite, or even of their home!
The Club did a fantastic job by organising a local farmers’ market with the most delicious produce from the Hertford area, a petting zoo, a rowing competition, tent painting competition, cycling tours for families and of course the Nature walk with David Bellamy.
The Club had invited some suppliers to demonstrate their products- Camping Gaz, Outwell, Swift Caravans were represented. Outwell brought their cost conscious range- Easy Camp. The children had great fun decorating the festival tents with fabric paint. Angelina even won her age group, winning a funky new sleeping bag.
As the beautiful day faded a most-captivating storyteller took the children and the tired adults on a story extravaganza.
A story for which the children needed to find sticks to make the imaginary fire, to invent the characters for the story. A story during which Hugo protested at the suggestion that the Chicken may live in the woods with the Fox.
“Chickens live at home not in the woods! The Fox eats the Chicken, so they have to live at home and be closed inside. He came to eat ours too!…He ate the clever one.”
After a bit of dancing to a live band the children all dropped off to sleep. Real happy campers!
The 4 days away were fantastic! The kids, all 3, had great fun being able to roam, discover, get to know other children. They loved meeting the children of fellow blogger: Gemma’s lovely son and by the end of the weekend they were like forever friends with Penny’s two.
The Littlins have never finished their meals so quickly as they did in those few days. And not only were they quick, they were very complimentary of my very basic recipes, which were spiced with my own brand of all spice: My spice container, which contained little sections that I fill individually, gradually mixed all the spices together, creating an accidental delicious blend.
I can so relate to the recent research published by the Club, based on research carried out by Onepoll. It revealed the majority of people had a pretty sorry view of the year and the time to come. However, it seems that camping is a tonic for glumness as 81 per cent of the people agreed that the thought of going on a camping trip cheers them up! And with 84 per cent of people want to explore more of the UK.
The Club is giving holidaymakers even more reasons to enjoy a ‘staycation’ by offering a number of inspirational ‘Perks’ to enhance their camping experience like they the tasters we got.
Our next trip is just a couple of weeks away and the kids and I can hardly wait!
Do you like camping? Caravanning? Or are you a bit of a glamper? Do you have any festivals planned for the summer where you’ll be camping too?
Come and join the discussion over on our Facebook community page – What is your camping style?