We went on our first family camping trip last weekend, taking advantage of the extra day of the bank holiday weekend, we left early on Saturday and got back Monday evening. For our first trip I think 2 nights was just right and maybe next time we’ll book three nights! You might remember a little video I shared a few weeks back of us attempting to put the tent up that Millets sent us for our weekend away in under ten minutes, well I am pleased to say that tent was a warm and comfy home for the long weekend, we all survived and had a blast! In that post there were some really handy tips from other parent bloggers and they definitely came in handy!
We camped with our friends on a camp site that they use regularly and that Sam and I stayed with them on this same weekend five years ago, well before kids were even on the horizon! It’s called Hurst View and is close to Lymington but perfectly situated to get to most areas of The New Forest with ease. After a pub-lunch out on Saturday we had visited a little lake so our friends dog could go for a swim, and he could practise flying his drone. We saw some wild ponies and went on a search for snakes, but didn’t find any! We chilled out at the campsite after that with the kids running about whilst I extracted our sleeping bags from their tiny little cocoons (seriously, why do they make those bags SO small, getting them out is a doddle compared to getting them back in!) We headed to the beach in the evening for some crabbing and fishing before it got too dark, The campsite is about a ten minute walk to the coast and the guys did actually manage to catch some crabs (with the idea of eating them although that didn’t pan out and they ended up being out back unharmed! When the sun went down we tried to tire the little ones out with glowsticks until Athena finally crashed and I could come to bed with Arlo and try and get him to go to sleep too!
On Sunday we were up at the crack of dawn, as most campers with young kids probably are! After a cup of tea we headed out to a local car bootsale, where Athena’s godfather Theo bought her a bright pink minnie mouse hoover, she was over the moon! It rained on and off and eventually we decided to give up the bargain hunting and headed for a cooked breakfast at The Old Farmhouse, which is a lovely place that serves food all day. We all fuelled up and then headed off for a stroll round the village of Burley, which is full of (over-priced) gift shops, leather, music, witchy one…) definitely fun for a stroll but the village is so small so it won’t take long! After that we headed for a proper walk round the woods in Bolderwood, we found stick man and saw some horses having some ‘adult’ fun, and Athena got to stroke and pat wild ponies which she absolutely loved. She was so careful with them, and they were so gentle in return!
We made up a campfire and had burgers, sausages and marshmallows, that well balanced camping diet! The males of the group all set off for more fishing later in the early evening so I took the opportunity to have a but of an early night to try and catch up on some sleep! On Monday we had a leisurely morning scoffing food and packing up the tents. Now this is the bit I don’t like about camping, everything takes so long! It took me a good 20 minutes to stuff 5 sleeping bags back into their stupidly tiny bags, and then I had to roll up the airbeds to make sure they were all empty! Sam did most of the tent dismantling, which actually took less time than packing everything else up! Our friends have a trailer tent which looks really comfy as it has foam mattresses and separate compartments plus enough room to stand up in, plus a cooker, but of course that took a while to put down too! I think campsites should hire people out to pack away for you, I’d definitely pay! Once we’d played car jenga to get everything back in the car (including Athena’s new toy hoover and 2 fishing rods and reels that Sam bought whilst we were away) we set off to Lymington before heading home.
Lymington is a picturesque little town, with a ferry that runs over to the Isle of Wight and a harbour packed full of boats. We had a stroll along the harbour, where there was lots of crabbing and cider drinking going on! We popped into a lovely little cafe for ice cream and tea before we drove home! It was such a lovely weekend, with our closest friends; lucky Athena had her god mother and god father with us, plus her best friend. They were inseparable for the whole weekend, with lots of playing Mummies and Daddies and pretending to be fairies. If I hear the phrase ‘I know, lets play mummy and daddy, you be the baby and I be the mummy’ one more time I might scream! Arlo learnt to love shouting the word NO over this weekend, and had a few major tantrums which is never fun, during one he threw a spoon across a table pretty violently which was amusing/horrifying! Both kids were filthy for most of the weekend, and they loved it!
We will definitely go camping again, maybe for a bit longer even so it doesn’t seem like such a faff packing and unpacking for a couple of days!