Everyone’s idea of a perfect holiday is different and it certainly can change once you have a little one to consider. For us it’s somewhere we can switch off; get back to basics (with maybe a touch of luxury); have quality time together; discover new places and the introvert in me really rather likes to be left alone. Feeling obliged to get friendly with other holidaymakers is not on my priority list.
Long time readers of the blog will know how we like a bit of camping and staying in quirky places. Glamping, pre-LB days, had us staying in a quirky 20s styled bell tent and getting back to nature at Woodland Tipis, Hereford.
When LB was born the idea of taking a baby camping put the fear in me. After a couple of years staying in Yorkshire and Norfolk holiday cottages we decided to take the leap and introduce LB to the world of camping. To soften the blow it would be glamping Lantern & Larks style at their site in Kittisford Barton, Somerset – Proper beds, flushing loo, showers, hot water. Essentially a cosy canvas bungalow with no electricity.
Not sure how LB would take to camping (and if we would cope with the early get-ups that are inevitable when camping at midsummer with a toddler) we opted for 4 nights. As we arrived we were welcomed by John the farmer who runs the campsite featuring just five tents. During our stay only two of the other tents were occupied and LB was the only child. We knew instantly that this new family adventure for us would be right up our street.
In this increasingly digital age it’s getting harder and harder to escape. For the holiday I knew we’d have limited opportunity to charge phones I turned off all notifications and deleted most apps. As it turned out really quite liberating.
After a week of 30°c temperatures the weather took a typically English turn when we arrived for our stay. You could argue this made it more memorable and certainly easier keeping an active toddler safe in the sun. Lighting the stove every morning in our PJs to get warm seemed right and snuggling under a thick duvet every night while rain pattered on tent was comforting.
Our days were filled with maxing out our National Trust cards, climbing castles, eating great food, enjoying lots of cream teas, collecting eggs for breakfast, exploring wildflower meadows, pond dipping, cooking most meals over an open fire and ending each day with an obligatory toasted marshmallows.
With certain aged kids I think it’d be possible to not need to leave the site for the whole of the stay. There may be no electricity, no play grounds, no [shudder] soft play but there are acres of beautiful countryside and your sense of adventure.
I think it says everything that earlier this week we booked our Summer 2018 holiday. We’re going back to Lantern & Larks, but this time to their Sweffling, Suffolk site and for seven whole glorious nights.