Monday, 15 June 2015

Camping In The Forest #Staycations

Camping in the forest sounds idyllic doesn't it? I live in a small town and although the countryside is in walking distance, unfortunately I don't embrace it enough. Tilly is a real city girl, she loves to visit London and she enjoys the hustle and bustle that a city brings. So how would she cope in the countryside for a couple of days?

We were invited along to Holmesly Campsite to give camping a go. Now Tilly is a bit of a pampered princess and she has her Kindle Glued to her hands at home, always watching the kids channel on Netflix. I am just as bad, I daren't leave the house without a kindle in my bag, or my phone in my pocket.

We arrived at the campsite, I don't drive so we took the train following the coastline as it was £50 cheaper than travelling through London, It took an hour longer but I saved £50. whilst on the train I made the most of the free WIFI and booked a cab so it was there when we arrived at the station.

At the campsite we checked in and went to meet up with other bloggers who were invited to stay too. Can you imagine my utter disappointment when I realised there was no WIFI, no electric sockets for us and I couldn't even get 3G on my phone. I felt so cut off! We quickly made friends with the other bloggers and their children and it was lovely to see some old faces there too. Children make friends so easily and it was so lovely to see them all mix with each other.

Anybody that knows me, will know that I am the person that books a holiday and likes to be off somewhere, out and about, I need to be adventuring and I need to be close to a bus stop or train station, Sadly there was nothing close by so I felt trapped!

But how did I really get on?

As the weekend went on and I learnt to relax, take life easy for a change and to not have to go out and about to explore. Instead Tilly and I explored the local area, We went to see the New Forest ponies. Its so nice to be able to get up close and personal (although there is a no touching policy). We went for walks in the woods, climbed over stiles and gates and even hired a bike to go on a bike ride. I actually sat down to read a magazine whilst I watched tilly running around the field bare foot, building 'dens' in the woods and getting in touch with her nature side. What I witnessed was something I hadn't seen for many years, I watched my child be worry free and carefree, I watched as she learned so many new things that can't be taught when you live in a town and she has come home with so many new ideas and so many new experiences. Sometimes we wrap our kids up in cotton wool and we worry so much about giving them too much freedom in case anything bad happens, but with Tilly this weekend she loved the freedom!

The park ranger arrived in her mobile van and taught the children about the local nature and they went on a bug hunt and looked under bits of wood to see what they could find, They went on a scavenger hunt and they learned what things are safe to touch in the forest and what animals to stay away from. The mobile ranger visits schools and local Scout/Brownie groups in the area to spread awareness of looking after the local area.

Tilly had never been camping before apart from when she was 5 months old, so she didn't know what to expect and she actually embraced the whole weekend. She never asked for her kindle once and as for me missing the internet ........... what internet? This weekend I realised that sometimes you need to put your phones down, get the kids away from X-boxes and leave the tablets at home. Getting back to nature is so good for the children and you find that you actually spend time talking to your family and joining in with the activities. I never missed the TV, I never missed the internet (after the first day) and I stopped looking like an idiot waving my phone around whilst walking the length of fields looking for a 3G signal.

I would love to take Tilly camping again and I would definitely recommend it to anyone who has kids and wants to get away from it all. The New Forest is such a beautiful unspoilt place and it is so quiet. Camping is so cheap and I spent about £30 including the taxi fare from the train station.

We were given the weekend away from Camping In The Forest, and we stayed at Holmsley Camp Site.

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