Carry On Campers

Let’s face things. We’ve all been cooped up for weeks on end worrying about the virus and when we are finally let out we want to escape our homes; our comfort for the last few months that might have started to feel a little restrictive. The problem? The usual Summer holiday abroad we might have planned is definitely now in turmoil and maybe a few people who never holiday in the UK are quivering with despair as to what they might do. Can they be bothered by the British weather? What can you even do on a British holiday?

Come on: People come from all over the world to enjoy the UK! The British weather has been a bonus this Summer and if you are prepared to go and be open-minded, you can have the best camping holiday ever! Stepping outside your town and going off into another county is a fun thing to do. I love English holidays. The beaches are truly amazing. From Cornwall and Wales to Dorset, Norfolk, and Kent, you will not be disappointed with the scenery.

At a time like this, it is nice to think we could all do our bit and support the economy in our country by having holidays here and enjoying what’s on our doorstep. We have castles scattered all over the country that are full of history and a Jurassic Coast where little ones can get inspired by fossil collecting, as well as exploring the coast from Exmouth to Dartmouth with 185 Million years worth of history!

So why camping? Well, it’s a reasonable price and once you have all the equipment you can go on so many trips and enjoy different places. What with COVID still out there, people have been a little uneasy of the quick turnarounds that hotels and places like Centre Parcs do (even though they are probably doing a great job!) and so taking your own bedding and equipment means you have that reassurance that everything you use is your own.

All campsites open now are following strict COVID 19 rules, so you can be assured of cleanliness and safety. I would recommend taking the usual hand sanitiser and some extra anti-bac wipes so you can wipe the toilet door handles and seats every time you need the loo, but then we are all being extra cautious in our every day lives so this is the new norm.

We camped in East Sussex last year (near the British Bake Off site) not far from Hastings. What we loved was the peace and quiet when we set up. We stayed on a lovely farm that was quite far away from the camping field but enough of a walking distance to go and collect fresh eggs and see the animals. Camping is a way to switch off from technology and embrace nature. Looking at the stars at night is such a soulful thing to do and something kids love as well – especially coming from a city where they can be hard to see. Why not brush up on your constellations and have a fun time star-spotting together?

Even though there are a few news stories of camping sites being fully booked up, this isn’t the case. Cool Camping has just announced that there is still availability, especially mid-week, and wedding venues that haven’t been allowed to open for events are opening sites as you read this to welcome campers on to their beautiful scenic fields. There are so many options and businesses are accommodating the British holiday boom!

So what do you need to think about when camping? Here are a few tips:

  1. If you have just bought a tent then test it out before you travel to your campsite, maybe the weekend before so you know that everything is just right before you set off.
  2. Don’t get to your campsite too late. If you’re a family it might be hard setting up your camp in the dark surrounded by tired children.
  3. Think about keeping warm. Even in the Summer, it can get cold at night, so pack plenty of blankets for sitting around a campfire and also think about adding an extra layer under your sleeping bag to keep the warmth in as the ground is cold. You can also pack a couple of hot water bottles that come in so handy at night for warming beds and keeping little ones snuggly.
  4. It can take a while to set up your camp so pack plenty of activities for children so they aren’t bored while you are hammering in tent pegs.
  5. Pack plenty of torches as the kids love them and it just makes it easier to navigate when you have a few of them dotted around.
  6. Think about taking an extra Gazebo to put up outside your tent. An extra, separate cooking area that provides dry cover should it rain is an absolute must sometimes! And if it’s sunny? That extra shade is a blessing.
  7. However long it takes you to set up your camp, it will take the same amount of time when packing up so allow plenty of time on your departure day.
  8. Shop around for essentials you need in places like Aldi that have really focused on camping this year and have tons of things still available like torches, bedding, blow up seating, plus tents. Amazon is a great place too.
  9. Invest in good sleeping bags that offer warmth for the Winter as well as Summer because it really does get colder at night, even after a wonderfully hot day.
  10. Pack clothing for hot weather and torrential rain, then you won’t be disappointed if the weather changes during your stay.
  11. Think about investing in a National Trust or English Heritage yearly pass. You can go to over 400 places across the UK with English Heritage that has undercover places if it rains, free parking and nice toilets when you are out and about. With a cost of around £9.00 a month for a family, it is worth the money. I justified this by thinking how much I spend a month on car park fees and definitely feel it is a good value.
  12. Buying an electric pump that works off your car is a lifesaver!

Check out camping sites like Cool Camping and Pitch Up for availability!

Image by Boutique Camping

By Louise O’Brien