Camping is a complete joy. It is the family holiday (and experience) that once tried, will never be forgotten and more than likely, repeated again and again. It sort of gets into your system. Don't get me wrong, I like a swanky hotel and spa in the countryside as much as the next person, but the pleasure and excitement of a family camping holiday is quite different and honestly, way more enjoyable.
Pitch your tent by a stunning Cornish sandy beach, on the shores of the Lake District or in the tranquil setting of the New Forrest....the world - literally - is your oyster. There are so many campsites across the UK; stick a pin in a map, load up the car and head off. Some campsites have more of a wild feel; fewer facilities, less noise and light pollution and no towns for miles around, for that twinkling starry night feeling of tranquility. Others are larger with lots of things on site to use if you want them; adventure playgrounds, farm shops, bike hire, some even have restaurants and swimming pools. Most will accept your furry friend (talking dogs not husbands here) and all usually have basic facilities, so don't fear, you won't be heading off into the forest with a spade, a loo roll and a red face. You can make it home from home, or you can cut off from the outside world completely (bar the odd sheep or Alpaca) for a real back to basics experience.
Kids absolutely love it. They get to run wild, cook their own food, make treehouses, explore beaches, form huge gangs of new camping friends, not wash, sleep in a den, wear the same clothes for three days and best of all, be in the outdoors all day and connect with nature. Food tastes way better outside, everyone knows that, and as family experiences go, cooking over a campfire is one of the best.
If you're not sure about tents but love the idea of the outdoor life, many campsites now offer the hire of glamping pods, yurts, bells tents, shepherds huts and all manor of other things, so you can have the experience without the flapping canvas. Campervans and Motorhomes are also brilliant fun and you still get the "sleeping in a den" type feeling, unless you've got a bus sized affair (I'm thinking Robert de Niro in "Meet the Parents").
Memorable camping trips stay with children (and adults) forever. You can go in a massive group or just by yourselves. You are making wonderful memories in a way other types of holiday just can't. Even bad trips will soon become stories of legend...."do you remember camping in the rain when the awning blew off, the fire went out, Dad fell in the bog and we ate chocolate for dinner?" They'll remember that. What about that brilliant hotel when we ate a nice steak and went to kids club. Hmmm, not so much. As avid camper Ben Fogle once said: “You have to have the highs and the lows. The most memorable holidays we’ve had are all the muddy, wet camping ones.”
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