31 August 2016

Our first ever camping holiday as a family

I have never been a camper. I am more of a luxuriously soft pillows, breakfast in bed, and a five star hotel type of a girl. But then I married someone who was practically raised in a campervan. And there was no getting away from us having a family camping holiday.

For me camping pretty much equalled freezing cold nights, uncomfortable sleeping bags, and sore backs after several hours of interrupted sleep. And then my husband announced we were going on a camping holiday in Folkestone. With or without me.

You can imagine my enthusiasm.


camping and caravaning club folkestone toddler sitting on a bench

camping and caravaning club folkestone camp site overlooking the seafront

our 4 man tent at the camping and caravaning club folkestone site

camping and caravaning club folkestone wall mural with a brown bunny

camping and caravaning club folkestone scenery over the sea

toddler with a bike helmet

boy holding a black beetle bug

warren folkestone warning sign about falling rocks

warren folkestone concrete structures and white cliffs of dover

mummy kissing daughter at warren folkestone

concrete beach wave breakers and neon orange sneakers

warren folkestone rocky sand beach




We arrived to the campsite, and while it was not my type of a holiday (my type = hotel) the scenery was gorgeous, right by the seaside and I figured, well, it can't be all that bad. It could even be pleasant. Well...

The first night was a catastrophe. Our inflatable mattress failed, so we mostly slept as if in a hammock, slowly crushing each other awake. Not to mention that the summer blanket we brought from home was no match to the freezing breeze of English camping. I wore a jacket and two pairs of trousers and a onesie. I was still cold.

After several consequential upgrades to our equipment (camper beds, three extra sleeping bags, and warm socks) the last two nights were relatively comfortable...

That was thankfully just us adults though. My daughter had a new blow up mattress, a Pat Patrol branded camping bed, she wore her flimsy pajamas, and she has really never ever slept any better than what she did in the tent. She absolutely loved it. She was out the whole night, and very comfortable and warm. She repeatedly told me how she loves sleeping in a tent, and how she loves camping, awww.

What we really enjoyed about camping was the outdoors. We loved the sun, the sea and the sand. We swam several times in the freezing cold waves, and we walked along the sea front, enjoying the salty air. We ate freshly caught seafood at the harbour, and enjoyed fish and chips for dinner on a beach. We went to Dover Castle and we wandered around the Folkestone artisan shops. Mostly though, we were outside. In the sunshine, by the seaside, and loved it.

Our daughter loved riding her bike up and down the campsite road, and running around like a headless chicken. She loved swimming in the sea, bobbing along with mummy and daddy, pretending to be Zuma (from Paw Patrol) rescuing us from the water. She loved being at the beach and making sand castles. Most of all, she enjoyed spending time as a family, and with her extended family, chatting with nanny and gran dad, playing with her cousins, and spending time with her auntie and uncle.


folkestone sandy beach and people swimming in the sea

mummy and daughter cuddling while standing in the sea

toddler entering the sea at folkestone sandy beach

people swimming in the sea with a sail boat in the distance

toddler in a red bathing suit wading into the sea

toddler building a sand castle

two sand castles and folkestone sandy beach in the background

mother and daughter holding hand on a beach

toddler walking on a sandy beach

mum cuddling daughter in the water at the seaside

toddler testing the water with their toes

toddler smiling and wearing a zebra swim suit

father and daughter holding a toy camper van

two fish and chips portions

dad eating fish and chips with toddler at the beach in the evening



Would I go camping again?

Well, maybe. I can certainly see the appeal. Despite some awful nights, it was wonderful to fall asleep to the waves splashing in the distance. It was wonderful to finally see all the stars, even the tiny ones the light pollution in London hides away. We came back incredibly tanned and feeling like we really relaxed. Away from all the civilisation (ha ha, we were totally out of reach by phone and 4g) we didn't really get to do much anything other than be. And that felt good.

So we shall see what we get up to next summer - it might be camping again! 



36 comments:

  1. Glad to hear that your daughter slept so well and that things got more comfortable for you after the first night! I'm more of a hotel girl myself but camping does have it's good sides! Lots of gorgeous photos of your trip away though and I especially love the ones on the beach :-) #countrykids

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    1. Yeah camping had some good sides - it was quite amazing to wake up and hear the birds singing and the waves splashing. It was such great scenery in Folkestone too I got lots and lots of great pictures :)

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  2. Lovely photos. In our house it's the other way round, the OH won't go camping, despite us going with friends of his (and mine). I have to say though, I'm not keen on air beds. This year I used one because last year's self inflating mat gave me backache. But I love it - so great for the kids. #countrykids

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    1. We got camping beds, which are pretty hard, but other than that they were surprisingly comfortable. The only thing is they are pretty big and difficult to fit in small tents (like ours). Try one - I thought the camp beds were much better than air bed / mat.

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  3. I am not one for camping so totally understand how you felt....
    It looks like you had a wonderful time in the end....Gorgeous photos. It looks like a fantastic place to camp.

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    1. Ah the scenery was absolutely gorgeous! The campsite was at such a beautiful location too. The only down side was ha ha, camping! We got there in the end though, it wasn't that bad the last night :D

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  4. I love camping if the weather is right. we used to camp a lot but had too many rainy days and wet trips to the loo in the middle of the night to put us off lol. and the faff of packing up so much...yeah im much more a hotel girl now lol. but like you say , hearing the waves and seeing the stars - there is something lovely about being out in the fresh air now and again at night! #countrykids

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    1. Yeah that's what I was worrying about as well. I think the trip would have forever turned me off camping had we not literally had sunshine every single day. There was only one night when it drizzled lightly, so we were pretty lucky. It is such a faff packing though - we had tons of stuff with us!

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  5. Ah glad you had a good time, at least once the new sleeping equipment had been obtained! I used to like camping and so Did hubs, but we haven't braved it yet with kids, we shall wait until LM is a little older first I think! Xx

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    1. I was a bit worried about my daughter's age too, as she was just three. It went well though, but I can imagine if your kids are in nappies it might be a bit tricky. My daughter loved it, I am sure yours will too once they are old enough to go :)

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  6. It's great that after a disastrous first night camping things started to improve, and overall you enjoyed it. I personally don't think I'll ever be one for camping, I really do prefer the home comforts of a hotel. Your daughter looks like she had a fabulous time on the beach with you and all her family, it really must've been a magical holiday for her.

    Thanks for linking up with me on #CountryKids.

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    1. It was so magical for her. Poor thing didn't want to come home and was crying her eyes out when we left and when we got back home, shouting "I don't like this!" and saying she wanted to go back camping...

      I on the other hand was very happy to be back in our comfortable home :D

      Thanks for hosting!

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  7. I'm glad in spite the first disastrous night, you still enjoyed camping and with views like that - amazing! We love camping as a family and only managed to do it once this summer. Would've loved to have done it more ;) #countrykids

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    1. The views were amazing! I am wondering if we should do it again next year... I think I have caught the bug now. It would be nice to see a bit more of UK and enjoy the nature in UK too, there are some gorgeous places.

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  8. Glad that things improved for you in the end! I like my home comforts too so I would be much like you. The scenery looks amazing. I haven't been that way for many years so must plan to take my children one day.

    #countrykids

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    1. Oh yes, you should definitely go. The scenery is so gorgeous, I was admiring it every day. It really felt so different from London refreshingly so!

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  9. Well done for giving it a go, I've never braved it yet and not sure I will. I love all the pics of you all on the beach. Mich x

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    1. Well I figured you might as well try it once to be qualified to say you don't ever want to do it again :D (I've done that with white water rafting - no thanks ever again!)

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  10. Gorgeous photos, looks like an amazing camping trip! So glad things got better after the first night for you! I am really not sure about camping, like you I would prefer a hotel but it does look like you had a great time and sounds like a fantastic family holiday. Also sounds like your daughter had a camping bed fit for a princess :) #countrykids

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    1. I would recommend at least trying it, especially if you can borrow the equipment so if you hate it, at least you have not spent a huge amount of money on it.

      My daughter was lucky with her bed ha ha - and I'm sure the Paw Patrol branding made it even better :D

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  11. We always camp before but we never had one that is near the sea! Looks like a lovely trip and this post made me remember the first time we camp as well. There are so many things that you get on each trip and the first one is always not perfect but always the most memorable =) #countrykids

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    1. It most certainly was memorable! I think you always forget something home, it is such a massive effort packing and remembering it all. I had to get some warm clothes too as it was surprisingly cold in the night time...

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  12. We went camping as children and LOVED it. Your photos look lovely and it is always good to escape the 4G signal for a break

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    1. I suppose it is healthy to escape the internet for a while but gosh was it annoying as I actually had things to do and sort out and had been waiting until my leave to have the time to do them...

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  13. I think the first night can be a challenge. It is the time you, usually uncomfortably, lie there remembering the things you should have brought. After that it's usually OK. We took the whole family for the first time this year. Haven't been for years. Your beach photos are wonderful. Hope you do go next year. #CountryKids

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    1. I hope you had a good time camping this year! I do find the first night away from home to be always the toughest - I can never seem to be able to sleep properly in a new place. I hear it's an evolutionary thing but it is challenging!

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  14. The scenery was gorgeous. What a wonderful adventure for your little one! Kids never seem to mind being uncomfortable on camping trips. Glad you enjoyed the days (if not the nights). My son and I go camping with a friend and her 4 boys every summer. Last year we were caught in a freak storm and spent the night in out tent in -2 degree C weather. The boys had a blast on that trip.

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    1. Oh gosh, that sounds terrible being caught out in a storm and it being that cold. I hope you had really warm sleeping bags to snuggle in to! Yeah kids, they always seem to love time spent outdoors, and it knackers them out too so they sleep like little angels :D

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  15. Sounds like your daughter had the time of her life. I haven't camped near the sea before I may have to add that on my things to do list. At least next time you would be better prepared for it. #countrykids

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    1. Oh she absolutely loved it, it was the dream holiday for her. She didn't want to come back home, she was crying the first night as she wanted to go back... Camping by the sea was fab, you should definitely do it someday!

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  16. I don't think anything can prepare you for your first camp, but it looks like you guys did quite well despite the initial lack of sleep. Then again, with the outdoors and the sea air I'm not surprised your little one slept! But it does look gorgeous and dry most times - I'm sure the storm must've been quite scary.
    We went Glamping, and that's as far as I can get my husband. Maybe that could be a halfway house for your next trip x
    #CountryKids

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    1. Glamping sounds like it would a bit more my bag to be honest! I think that would be quite fun to try next :) I did enjoy this trip as well, but probably because it was mostly a really good weather all the time!

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  17. I have never been camping before, you make it look amazing. What a great time and so many wonderful pictures. #countrykids

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    1. Ah, well, how can you not make it look amazing when you are in a place like this! :)

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  18. I would like a week off grid I think.Being by the sea and under the stars with no internet sounds like a great way to detox and just be.

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    1. I know, it sounds great doesn't it, and I think it would have been had I not had so many things I had to sort out online :)

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