Happy Campers

It has been a long time since my last blog. There are a couple of reasons for this:

  1. I started the year on a bit of a health kick, so I was busy putting all my efforts in to that.
  2. I actually wasn’t sure what to write, or what people would be interested in reading.

It then occurred to me that I started the blog for me, as an outlet for things I was interested in and as a record of Oliver growing up. So I’m back and what better way to start than at the beginning of our yearly camping adventures.

My hubby booked our first tent camping trip for the beginning of April at The Glen Nevis Camping and Caravan Site. I was somewhat apprehensive, after all we live in Scotland and snow at this time of year is not that unusual. It was for this reason a week before departure we decided to upgrade to a glamping pod and thank goodness we did. The decision was reinforced waking up on the first morning and seeing the tents covered in frost as we looked out from our heated pod.

If you are unsure about camping, staying in a pod is a great introduction. on this occasion we had the luxury of running water, but still had to head out to the facilities for the toilet and showers. Luckily, this site has great facilities and they are really close to the pods. Oliver loved the whole experience.

By the beginning of May we were ready to take on our first tent trip (whatever the weather). We decided to return to Glen Nevis as we love it there and there is plenty to do in the surrounding areas. Car packed to capacity and we were ready to go.

On arrival hubby pitched our inflatable tent in no time at all (with some assistance from Oliver of course) and a fair amount of time later we had set up the interior and we were ready to embrace our weekend. With the weather being great we decided to have a bbq (it was delicious bbq’s always taste great), rounded off with my favourite Home Bargains find ever, a bbq chocolate fondue complete with marshmallows. I tried to make it healthier by adding fruit to the mix, but I think I was just kidding myself on. I justified it with the fact we are all way more active on these breaks and would be sure to burn it all off. Oliver is always up at the crack of dawn cycling round the campsite in his pyjamas.

Not a bad place to stay for a few days

The downside of camping with kids, especially in the north of Scotland, is trying to get them to sleep when it is still light (it can be light until after 11). Luckily, we bought a tent with a blackout bedroom, a tip I would highly recommend. Mind you if you think the kids will go to bed on time when camping it is not happening. Unfortunately the weather was not to last and the next couple of days were rain filled, but we didn’t let that spoil our fun. A visit with old friends and day out to see the Jacobite (Harry Potter) Steam train made for an enjoyable trip. Oliver is obsessed with trains so that was a particular highlight.

The rain didn’t deter our enthusiasm for camping, we booked our next tent trip as the rain battered down on our tent. Ok wine may have been involved, but we are keeping the booking.

Home for the weekend

Today we are back from our 3rd trip, this time we opted for a wooden wigwam and this time we had an inside toilet. I was happier about this than I ever imagined I would be, although Oliver continued to want to go to the toilet block. Herding Hill Farm in Northumberland was this weekends destination and we were not disappointed. We were in a circle of wigwams with a big central area of grass for all the kids to play. On the first day my heart melted as 3 year old Oliver strode up to a group of much older kids and asked if he could play. They were more than happy to let him join in and I couldn’t of asked for a group of kinder kids for him to play with. Oliver’s lack of footballing ability may have infuriated a lot of kids, but they continued to be patient with him for the duration of our stay. A much needed attribute as he continually picked up the ball and ran to the goal before kicking it past the goalie with shouts of ‘I’ve won, I’ve won’.

We did manage to drag him away from the site to explore a little bit of Northumberland. We had a visit to The Sill , a great place, followed by a walk to Hadrian’s wall. Again the weather wasn’t the best, but I am now a firm believer in the saying ‘there is no such thing as the wrong weather, just the wrong clothing’. Oliver was brilliant and embraced every challenge. It was a pretty steep climb and he was delighted to reach the top (he thinks he climbed a mountain and who am I to argue).

Northumberland is a beautiful part of the world, further enhanced by numerous amazing family pubs, of which we tried a few. This and the incredibly friendly people will ensure we will definitely go back.

The two campsites we have visited so far this year have been excellent and very different.

  1. The Glen Nevis site is really big, but never seems that busy. The facilities are excellent and location breath taking. With the added bonus of an onsite restaurant we will always go back.
  2. The Herding Hills farm has the best facilities of any campsite we have ever been to and are actually comparable with some hotels. One particular bonus are baths (I’ve never seen this on a site before) to soak the dirt of the little ones after a long day. This is a small campsite and the people that run it couldn’t be more helpful (did I mention they deliver pizza to your wigwam).

We will definitely revisit both these sites, but before then we have many more places to discover and we look forward to them all.

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