Once the drizzle lifts we’re going to be thrown into summer so fast that if you’re not ready, you might miss out. And by ‘ready’ I don’t mean just stocking up on charcoal for the barbecue and making plans for the bank holidays and blue-sky weekends coming up. I’m referring to camping ready: tents out of the garage and de-moulded, peg supplies replenished, sleeping bags washed (or at least aired) and the box of camping goodies ready to go.
Of course I’ve done none of these things (yet), I’ve been far too busy doing a sun dance and praying for the start of summer. But whatever the British weather has in store, in the coming months I’ll be piling the family into the van and under canvas for a series of camping adventures.
With two toddlers (now one and three years old) I’m under no illusion that these trips will be any kind of feet-up holiday. The van will be crammed with every-weather gear, bikes, buggies, boards and toys. The days will be filled with sand, mud, picnics and tears. Evenings wrapped up with marshmallows, chocolate-stuffed bananas and plenty of red wine (for mum) around the campfire. We’ll be sun-kissed, rain-washed, late to bed and early to rise. And that’s the beauty of it. Basically, for a few days at a time we’ll be living to the beat of the Great Outdoors, with no CBeebies or computers to suck away the hours.
Living in Cornwall, many of my favourite campsites for kids can be found down here and in Devon, but there are cracking family sites to be found from the Scillies to Scotland. Not holiday parks. Think tipi-studded woodland, seaside meadows, yurts on working farms and insulated eco-pods. These days it’s easy to find the perfect site for you and your family: the new edition of Cool Camping Kids has just hit the shelves, and is brimming with the coolest, quirkiest and best family sites across the UK. Having co-authored the book I’ve checked out the Cornwall and Devon ones and can personally recommend them all. So what are you waiting for? Time to get the camping box ready.