Three months ago if you had asked me if I wanted to go camping, my answer would have been a big fat NO! I honestly couldn’t have thought of anything worse. Then we were invited to go camping with Graham’s sister, Kelly and her wife Shenade. The kids begged us, and so we booked up to go for two nights.
With both of us being complete camping virgins, we had absolutely nothing. My dad’s friend was giving his spare tent to my parents, so we could borrow that, and my brothers lent us sleeping bags and camping chairs. Then we had a stroke of luck – my friend offered to give us a tent (to keep!) and some blow up beds! We were also sent a sleeping bag from Vango to review, which you can read about here. Kelly and Shenade are experienced campers so had all the cooking equipment and other bits and pieces.
We loaded the car up and set off to Lower Lacon Caravan Park in Shropshire. It was only about an hour or so away from us, so not too far if we absolutely hated it and wanted to come home the next day.
Turns out we didn’t need to worry – we LOVED it! We had a few teething problems attempting to get the tent up, but with the help of Kelly, we did it.
We thankfully had absolutely beautiful weather. We knew there was an outdoor swimming pool on site so packed the kids swim stuff. I didn’t think for one minute it would be warm enough to use it so didn’t bother with mine – BIG mistake! It was gorgeous! We couldn’t take photos at the pool for obvious reasons but it was small enough that the kids could go in and splash about whilst we watched from the edge. By the end of the first day, Harrison was confidently jumping in the ‘deep end’ (5ft) to his aunties, and swimming the entire length of the pool with just armbands – he was so proud of himself!
On the evening we just chilled by our tents. Kelly and Shenade cooked a fantastic BBQ, and we had a few drinks whilst the kids played. We then headed for the on site club, where there was supposed to be a disco. We were a little bit disappointed because it was empty and the disco was just some music playing quietly in the background, but we all had a drink and the kids loved having a run about.
Because it had been such a hot day, we thought the night would be warm. The kids had thick onesies on so they were fine, and Benjamin was lovely and toasty in his baby sleeping bag. Graham and me on the other hand were absolutely freezing. I thought I had put all the PJs in one bag, so when I couldn’t find mine I assumed I had forgotten to pack them. I ended up sleeping in just the tshirt I was wearing and knickers. We also made the mistake of not getting into the sleeping bags, just opening them up and putting them over us like a quilt. Several times during the night I woke up dithering, and when I needed to pop out for a wee, I was FROZEN! The stars were pretty though. At ten to six, we gave attempting to sleep, and sat chatting instead. The sunrise over the campsite was beautiful!
Kelly cooked us a lovely breakfast, and once we were all washed and dressed, we went for a wander whilst we waited for the pool to open. The park has plenty of animals to go and have a look at – chipmunks, alpacas and two gorgeous hairy pigs! We found another play area at the other end of the site, which the kids spent a happy few minutes on, before we headed back to get changed to go to the pool.
The kids all had another fantastic day in the pool. Harrison spent the day jumping in the pool and Alex discovered some toy cars in the little shaded quiet area – he was in his element.
That evening, after another wonderful BBQ we had a few drinks, and Shenade and Graham attempted a game of cricket with the boys (lasted about ten minutes!) and Ben had a crawl around. Kelly and Shenade’s nieces, who were a bit older than Harrison loved Benjamin and were pushing him around and entertaining him.
The sun (and the beer and the wine!) got to me, and so I headed off to bed fairly early, and managed to find my PJ’s in another bag! I wasn’t making the same mistake as the previous night, and got inside my Vango sleeping bag. I was lovely and warm all night, and managed to sleep until almost 7 (with the exception of getting up for a wee!).
It was a little damp and misty when we first woke up, which was ok as we were going to pack up after breakfast and go straight home. As we were eating breakfast, the sun came out and it was gorgeous! We packed up and then decided to head to the swimming pool for a few hours – we didn’t need to leave the campsite until 5pm.
We left feeling tired, hot and wanting a shower (there were showers on site, and as far as I could see they were lovely and clean, but as were were only there two nights I didn’t bother!) but full of love and excitement for camping. We have already looking at places to go and started thinking about buying all the other bits and pieces we need.
What are your experiences of camping? Do you love or loathe it?