The little man, P and I have recently returned from our first camping trip as a family. And I am pleased to report it was a resounding success. After much pre-holiday hand-wringing - What will the baby sleep in? Will he get cold at night? Can I survive without my straighteners? - we have come back from a two-night break away feeling as if we have been holidaying for two weeks.
The destination - Eweleaze Farm in the Purbecks, about 45 minutes from where we live. If you have children and are fond of sleeping under canvas, this place is a gem. Fabulous coastal views, gloriously hot solar-powered showers and a farm shop packed full of organic local goodies for the adults; a petting zoo, the odd pot-bellied pig lolling about and plenty of haystacks for climbing for the kiddies. Sounds idyllic? Well it was, barring one incident with a Shetland pony that for our friends increased the otherwise absent stress levels.
Their little girl, who is fast approaching two, was keen to have a ride on one but there was a queue of other little girls all with the same idea. Each time the hard-working animal approached the line of expectant riders, picked one up and headed off in the opposite direction, their daughter would, understandably so, fall about in a fit of angry disappointment. This went on seven or so times, but they had no choice except to wait, bear the tantrum, and wait again until it was finally their turn. They steered clear of horses and queues for the rest of the stay.
Eweleaze only opens as a campsite in August and the rest of the year is a working farm which makes it popular so if it sounds like your kind of place, book early. Go to http://www.eweleaze.co.uk/.
Some top camping tips I picked up whcih you probably already know but you just in case:
- One washing-up bowl won't do. Take two - one for washing, one for rinsing
- A dustpan and broom come in handy to get rid of all the grass and mud little ones drag into the tent
- Thermos mugs are wonderful for keeping your tea hot while you are running half way across a field after a toddler determined to explore further than he should. They were so good in fact I am considering using them at home too
-Shetland ponies and little girls sometimes don't mix
Here is the little man with his new favourite toy taken by our lovely friend Sian. It belongs to her little girl so not sure if daddy approves...