Endings

The Elder Flower Orchard,

I’ve avoided writing this post, just as I avoided actually putting the Bongo up for sale.  It’s a bit of a wrench.  The end of something rather wonderful.

We bought the Bongo when my kids were 3 and 5.  They were so little when I look back.  The girls are now 9 and 11 and we’ve simply outgrown our lovely van.  We’ve had six wonderful summers of campervanning. I am so happy that it was a massive part of their early childhood.  When we bought the van we decided to use it as much as possible.  Pretty much any weekend from May to September where the weather forecast was ok and no other significant events were taking place we would pack up and go.  Sometimes just for a night, usually two.  We gained so much.

We explored hidden corners of the UK, some very close maybe only 30/45 mins drive away or sometimes a few hours drive.  We all learned an awareness and appreciation of the beauty of the land we live in.

Wookey Farm

My husband has a stressful job and it can be hard for him to switch off at weekends, being out camping forced him to slow down and nature worked its balm on him and all of us, each time.  Quality family time.

The best campsites are places you can walk from or around. When the girls were little our walks would be relatively short with a focus or game to keep things going.   Over the years our walking adventures have expanded.  Now we all walk up mountains and a 5 mile ramble is a no challenge at all.  It was camping that led us naturally into this activity.  Walking is just the best family activity but that’s another post!

Our enthusiasm for camping was infectious.  We often camped alone but we loved it when friends came too. Over the years we have cemented friendships over the campfire and created wonderful shared experiences.

The sea is quite far from where we live.  It is just possible to spend a day by the sea on a day trip but it’s a very long day.  The freedom of the campervan allowed us to enjoy sea views, sea air and beaches of every kind so much more often than we could have managed any other way.  Once we went to the beach early in the morning in our pyjamas!

Eweleaze Farm

Having a campervan at the beach is just brilliant.  Make a cup of tea, get changed without getting sand in every orifice, have a nap in the roof, a cold beer from the fridge, a place to shelter if the weather turns unexpectedly.  Just brilliant and one of the main things I will miss about owning a van.

There a few incredible things so easy to access and so often ignored as the night sky.  We’ve sat and watched the stars emerge, taught ourselves about the constellations, seen shooting stars, satellites and the ISS and simply been mesmerised by the beauty of the night sky.

We aren’t giving up camping, but I know, without the Bongo and with the children’s expanding social lives, we will be doing it a lot less.  We are all going to miss it.  Bye bye Bongo, its been totally amazing.

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Camp in My Garden – no, not really my garden!

Ok, hold the press everybody.  I have just come across another brilliant camping concept.

There has been quite a trend recently for websites that share facilities, equipment etc.  Like parkatmyhouse.com, a rather cunning website where you can, umm,  park at people’s houses, on their drives in fact.  Clever isn’t it.  We’ve used it and it worked a treat. Continue reading

Campsite Review: Abbey Home Farm, near Cirencester

Where: Abbey Home Farm, nr Cirencester, Cotswolds.

How much: £3 each for adults, £2 for kids.  No other charges.

Campfires: In braziers only, bring your own or hire one for £5

Wood: sack of soft wood £4, sacks of ash £5. Kindling £1. Do not collect your own

Types of camping: Campervans, carlesss camping or camp with car

Facilities: Composting toilets, bush showers

The review: Continue reading

Campsite review: Leeford Farm, Doone Valley, Exmoor.

Way down to the little river beach.

Way down to the little river beach.

Where: Leeford Farm, Exmoor

How much: £6 each for adults, £3 for children under 5

Campfires:  On the floor, no official fire pits,  just make a fire.

Wood: £4 for a ‘small’bag and £5 for a large bag of very nice Ash.  Very good value! No kindling sold.

Types of camping: Tents, campervans, motor homes, anything really. Electrical Hook up available but no hard standing.

Facilities: Unisex toilet and shower block.

The review: Continue reading

Campsite Review: Wo-Wo (Wasbourne Manor) Campsite, Sussex

Camping with friends at Wo Wo.

Ok, lets get the negatives over with the toilets and showers in the central reception area are in portacabins and up quite steep steps.  A bit tatty and not very many of them.  There are also composting toilets and portaloos dotted around, usually in a reasonable state. It took us a little while to discover these different toilets as there where none in our field. But that aside, lets move on to the good stuff!  Continue reading