Camping…..in the UK

My idea of camping
The reality – in my mind, at least!

So the Summer holidays are nearly over – yay! We had lots of exciting activities lined up for the family to enjoy – a holiday in Ibiza, a trip to see the grandparents in Harrogate, Cambridge, Bournemouth, a few days in London and now, umm….camping. Those of you who have read a few of my posts may have realised that camping and I don’t really go together that well.  In fact up until this Summer, they never went together at all. Sun, sea sand – I’m your girl! Cold, rain, canvas – not so much! However, I have been deliberating and have concluded that as a family of mainly males who adore the outdoors, this is an unavoidable adventure that I need to welcome with open arms.

So over the last few weeks I have been researching camping holidays. I started by asking one of my friends who has relocated to Monmouthshire, whether we could pop in and see them during our camping week away. It took her a few minutes to reply to my text – I found out this was because she and her husband were having a little giggle at the thought of me in a tent for any period of time longer than an hour or two. Unfortunately, this was a common theme with most of my friends. The very idea of me in a tent with my family and dog generated something akin to mild hysteria in most of them. However, I was not to be dissuaded…if no one would offer me any words of wisdom, I would find out all I needed on the internet!

So why do my friends think this way? Well, granted, I have never gone camping before…..except for a school trip when I was 10. We went to Botley near Southampton, I think – it’s all a bit of a blur really. Firstly it rained…..a lot. So much that our tent of 6 might as well have been open to the stars (or rain). On the first night, I was positioned closest to the tent opening. This, I found out the next morning, was the worst position to be in – both for getting soaked and for the sheer bogginess of the ground – needless to say, not much sleep, a mud soiled sleeping bag, wet clothes and general misery all round. I won’t even get started on the state of the communal shower block, but I think you get the picture.

The next night, I demanded to sleep in the middle of the tent. This wasn’t so great either – well it was great for me, but unfortunately I had a habit of moving around a lot during the night, resulting in 4 of the tent’s six occupants waking up with their heads and a large proportion of their bodies outside the tent due to my horizontal position at dawn!

Fast forward a few decades and here we are, mulling over what constitutes are proper camping trip. Is it as hubby says, a large tent in the middle of a field (in my mind with a shower block ages away, enough midges to make you think you were in the jungle during monsoon season and a campfire that take around 2 hours to light as everything is so damp),  OR is it a large tent in the middle of a field connected to a generator with a shower attached and a mess tent 10 metres away with a corkscrew and some glasses? (grin!)

So I did calmly suggest the second option to the boys hoping it met with their approval but they were not impressed. As such, the camping has evolved into a hotel stay in Cornwall with surfing and water skiing for them and spas and glorious food for me!

Who said you can’t have it all?!

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