Friday, 27 May 2016

My favourite places to go camping, but can you guess where?

Talk about PERFECT Timing, last night through my letter box arrived the 'Halfords Guide to Camping' and it's a gorgeous little book of ideas to inspire the next camping trip.

Last weekend I celebrated my birthday and was lucky enough to not only go camping for the weekend for my birthday but it was also the hottest and sunniest weekend of the year so far. It was amazing, me and my partner had the best four day mini break, road tripping in the van.

The minute we finished work on the Thursday we were in our T4 camper van, named Stanley and were heading up the coast. In less than an hours time we were watching the sun set over the beach and had a beer in hand. It doesn't matter where you go as long as you go somewhere that isn't your regular work or home location and your holiday starts the minute you arrive. We travelled all over the west country that weekend from North Cornwall to Bath and then down south to the New Forest. It was amazing and you can read all about the adventure in depth on my blog here.

Getting back to the reasoning behind this blog post is this cute little camping guide that was on the door mat when I returned home from work. This is no flimsy leaflet that finds it's way through the letter box and straight into the recycling bin. This is a chunky heavy weight booklet bursting full of information about camping. Taking a tour around the UK the booklet sweeps around the UK with campsites, attractions and cycle rides and within just a few pages I am planning my next camping weekend and possibly even camping week away.

Flicking through the pages with my partner we started to remember some of our favourite camping trips that we have been on over the last eight years of being together.

Cornwall
Starting on home turf my favourite place to go camping has to be Cornwall. I know I live in Cornwall and when I say I live 7 miles from the beach and that doesn't sound very far at all there is still something very exciting about going to the beach and especially spending the night at the beach. 
There are so many campsites in Cornwall and so many have fields literally above the cliffs over looking the beach. 
One of my favourites is a really simple campsite at Bedruthan steps. This probably sounds totally crazy as its literally only a ten minute drive from my home but there is nothing better than the simple things in life. This campsite is nothing more that a field and a beach, there's a small toilet and shower in a shed and that is it! 

The campsite is only open for two months of the year during the summer and the minute you arrive you are completely and utterly absorbed by it's beauty. When the tides out there is a gorgeous rugged beach and when the sun sets over the water I don't want to be anywhere else. With a glass of something cold and a few friends I absolutely love camping here.
Surfing and camping in Cornwall
Surfing and camping in Cornwall
Amsterdam

Now my most memorable camping experience goes from one end of Cornwall to the other side of the Netherlands. One of my favourite bands were playing at a festival in Amsterdam called Fat Freddies Drop and so we decided that we would embark on an epic road trip travelling across the UK with various stops along the way and end up in Amsterdam. We stayed in a gorgeous camp site on the outskirts of the city of Amsterdam on the edge of the main train line into the city.

At first sight the campsite was just off a motorway, near a train station and close to the airport, it had barbed wire around the entrance gates and the perimeters, with security guards at the entrance. However once inside it was one of the nicest camp sites I have stayed in. With wonderful lush green grass, surrounded by trees and a very clean block of showers and toilets with the friendliest staff you could wish for when travelling in a foreign country, it was perfect.
Campsite in Amsterdam
Campsite in Amsterdam
After several nights in the city of Amsterdam and taking in all the sights and sounds of the music festival it was a long road trip back to the UK but one of my favourite camping holidays.
Amsterdam City Centre
Amsterdam City Centre
Cycling in the city of Amsterdam
Cycling in the city of Amsterdam
Belgium
Another favourite camping trip has to be another European road trip, this time across to Belgium. It was one of the first times we had taken the van abroad and it was such an adventure. From driving on the wrong side of the road, well technically the right side of the road to attending a classic Volkswagen drag racing festival. 
Volkswagen drag racing in Belgium
Volkswagen drag racing in Belgium
However as camping goes you can never tell what the weather is going to do and you need to pack and prepare for every eventuality and we had gone completely unprepared. 
It was lovely driving over, the sun was constantly shining and it was really hot but once we arrived the heavens opened and it poured with rain all night. 
This wasn't such a problem for us as after a long drive across the UK and Europe we were tired and just got a good nights sleep listening to the rain on the van roof. 
It wasn't until the following day once the sun was back out that we realised that a lot more festival goers had arrived during the night and the fields were mud baths. 
I didn't have the correct footwear just a pair of trainers and the mud was knee deep! 
It was a brilliant weekend, an excellent adventure but a definite reminder to pack for every weather eventuality when camping. 

Camping at a muddy festival
Camping at a muddy festival
Sinking in the mud at a festival
Sinking in the mud at a festival

It doesn't matter whether your camping in a small 2 man tent or you have a huge Winnebago getting away from the daily stresses of life and camping is such a brilliant way to spend a weekend. It's the places and the people that you go with that make the memories. From camping in a tent at a music festival to camping in our van In remote locations I absolutely love the adventure. Even when covered from top to toe in mud I love it.
Festival camper van with friends
Festival camper van with friends
Sitting in my living room flicking through the pages of this little Halfords guide to camping I'm now full of ideas for our next adventure in our van.

Feeling inspired? You can download a copy of the camping guide and find out loads more information on camping and even festival survival here. Plus if you are inspired and need a new tent there are loads available at Halfords including a gorgeous Orla Kiely tent!!!