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There is a National Shortage of sites which allow fires....

(47 Posts)
Blu Wed 17-Aug-11 13:46:35


A good choice of newer style sites around Kent and E Sussex which offer camping in the woodland, 'pitch where you like', non-crowded non regimented camping, but you have to book a long while on advance to get a space. And in other parts of the country this sort of place can be almost non-existant.

Camping seems to be enjoying a huge boom - is there a way to let farmers and landowners know that there is a gap in the market?

Cappster Wed 17-Aug-11 15:58:24

Tbh I never look for fires, and I've never been to a site that has them. I haven't avoided them at all, but I am concerned that fires will mean people indulging in antisocial camping behaviour such as smiling and talking quietly until past the time when it is too cold, rather than behaving properly by zipping up their tents at 9pm and sitting huddled in blankets with a dim headtorch reading books in the dark and damp.

IloveJudgeJudy Wed 17-Aug-11 16:02:12

Fires do not come top of my list of what I would like in a campsite at all. From what I can gather, the sites with fires don't usually have very good toilet/washing facilities, and I'm more interested in that. You can usually have a BBQ and ours turns sideways after you've used it, anyway.

Blu Wed 17-Aug-11 16:15:08

Having a fire is the essence of camping! Being all rural and out of doors!

A BBQ isn't the same thing at all! It doesn't crackle, you don't have to keep tending it and adjusting the level - embers to cook over, roarong flames for effect, fun and keeping warm round. You can toast marshmallows over charcoal, but it's not the same.

Anyway, campfire sites book up incredibly fast - so if there were more, you 'all mod cons' folk wouldn't find your sites so crowded with displaced campfire fans!

Obviously it's a matter of taste, priorities and prefernces, but I'd like there to be a greater choice of campfire sites.

I've never had a noise issue on a campfire site - only on sites with a clubhouse and massive family groups who play footie til 1am. You're usually much further apart, or separated by trees on campfire sites, so maybe noise isn't such an issue?

Blu Wed 17-Aug-11 16:23:25

you are right about facilities being a bit more basic and further away. Some sites don't have showers at all. But I am not hardcore enough for that

Cappster Wed 17-Aug-11 16:27:21

I don't want mod cons

Definitely not a clubhouse <shudder>

You really have to sell this fire thing to me. People I know who have fires tend to go in big groups, whereas we camp just as a family. I just imagine me, dh and the two dds, sitting round a fire, dd1 moaning because she is too cold (she is always too cold, and can't run around to warm up) and dd2 (6) just crying because it's late and she's tired.

Good times.

(Do fires deter midges? We are like gourmet food for midges, it seems)

Cappster Wed 17-Aug-11 16:28:47

We never go places with showers

they are never disabled accessible anyway

we just go swimming

Nikkid21 Wed 17-Aug-11 16:31:11

I agree about the shortage of campfire sites.

My fave campsite in the world is one with 2 loos in a shed and a cold tap.

You can't even take the car onto the field but you can have campfires. On our last trip we took our old washing machine drum to use as a fire bit / brazier

Blu Wed 17-Aug-11 16:35:58

We don't go in big groups. Biggest we have done is 3 families, and it's nice because we can camp in a semi-circle facing each other.

So - but she wouldn't be so cold because the fire gives out loads of heat. Sometimes we have to move back! And toasting a marshmallow helps take the mind of the chill. The little one could go to bed anyway, but would alternate between being happy to throw sticks on the fire and having to be constantly told to 'keep back' by you grin
And the smoke / fire definitely deters midges!

Most campfire sites ban amplified music of any kind inc radios, and sensible ones ban drumming (now all that bad hippy drumming would make me shudder) because the sound carries so.

If your dd1 needs accessible facilities (re the not running around coment) tis true that most campfire sites involve yomping about on rough unmowed ground, and have questionable facilities. But I think Forgewood has accessible toilet and shower, and at the delightful little Welsummer there is a specific bathroom, toilet and shower for families with young children to use that I don't think had steps (or much hot water.....hmmm)

Blu Wed 17-Aug-11 16:36:37

Cappster - x-posted.

Cappster Wed 17-Aug-11 16:39:15

But the 'not being able to take your car' business

our tent is really, really heavy. Really heavy. REALLY REALLY HEAVY.

and getting a child on crutches across a wood is not so much fun, really

Nikkid21 Wed 17-Aug-11 16:44:02

Admittedly I don't have a child on crutches but our tent is very heavy as it's steel poled. Dernwood proved metal trailers (like those at the garden centre) or wheelbarrows to get your stuff from the car park to the tent field.

It's a bit of a faff but we view it as part of the fun and always go for at least 3 nights.

I like that is has no electric hookup, no caravans and a very laid back atmosphere. Amanda who owns the site is lovely which always helps too.

Cappster Wed 17-Aug-11 16:44:22

Blu - you and I are friends of old, so old that you wouldn't even expect to find me here. I just came on to talk about cleaning my tent, but no-one wants to talk to about this, it seems, so I came and hijacked your thread.

See, three families IS a group, in my book. grin And the yomping. We don't go much for the yomping. If there is yomping, dd1 gets left out, so we deliberately go to tiny sites where no mass yomping is expected to occur.

Really we camp because many accessible holiday cottages are so meh, as well as being expensive.

You'd have to TALK to one another round a fire, though, yes? Rather than read your book and scowl?

Blu Wed 17-Aug-11 16:44:24


At Forgewood if you park in the field area of the site you can have your car next to your tent, it varies.

So, we need more sites that allow fires, have options for parking next to pitches, and good facilites!

Forgewood has a lovely cafe. The Barn field is much like any other non-developed, no-clubhouse campsite, really.

Cappster Wed 17-Aug-11 16:48:02

I once found a site online - I didn't keep the link, I clicked away in a hurry - for an adult-only site where they had a big mass campfire every night, for everyone on the field, and the owners (who were in their 60s and had dreadlocks) hosted a party.

I couldn't think of anything worse. I realise this makes me a bad, judgemental person.

Blu Wed 17-Aug-11 16:48:54

We keep x-posting, Cappster grin.

I totally get 'no yomping'.

Talking round the fire? well, we spend time gazing into it, but it's true that late night talking goes on occasionally. I took DS camping on my own a couple of w/es ago, and we wished we could have had a fire, on an otherwise good site.

And with a 6 yo you might spend a lot of time saying 'keep away from the fire...I've told you before...'..

Trying to think who you are now smile

Will look at your tent cleaning thread, but i know I won't be able to offer anything sensible!

Blu Wed 17-Aug-11 16:50:51

Oh, mass tribal fire - shudder.

There is a place called WoWo much beloved by many campers, but I have never been because they offer free camping to anyone prepared to play acoustic music for other campers.

I am not a songs round the fire type at all!

Cappster Wed 17-Aug-11 16:52:09

<takes off wig>


I lost my name when I deregistered a couple of years ago

Blu Wed 17-Aug-11 17:04:54

Oh, wow - hello! smile

How lovely to see you! I used to look at your blog but changed computers and lost all my 'favourites'.

pinkhebe Wed 17-Aug-11 18:29:36

I've been to wowo a couple of times - neither times did I hear anyone playing around a campfire. We're antisocial, our campfire is for us only :D

We're off next week to a little place near canterbury which allows fires, but only has 14 pitches (and a washing machine/showers/toilets) and a bargain at £10 night

Blu Wed 17-Aug-11 18:36:11

You have re-assured me about WoWo, Pinkhebe.


Some white-dreadlocked guy singing 'House of the rising Sun' would send me over the edge!

Which is the Canterbury site you are going to?

Blu Wed 17-Aug-11 18:50:29

And Cappster - look here accessible wet room and the shop and onsite cafe look FAB!

I am sold on WoWo now!

SeenButNotHeard Wed 17-Aug-11 19:14:17

We went here a few months ago - our first family camping trip and it was great.

I am also very tempted to buy this for ease of transport for BBQ rather than gas cooker - has anyone got one?

Blu Wed 17-Aug-11 19:24:55

SeeenBNH: Someone was talking positively about the [[ Outwell fold-flat BBQ]] the other day. Some have had bad reviews for warping and the paint peeling off in a flume of fumes! But Outwell generally have a good rep, don't they?

We have one of these which also doesn't get great reviews, but it's been fine all this summer, and didn't suffer from paint peeling. And I paid a lot less than that.

But my favourite cooking gadget of all is This. We have the Rebel model so that it can be a BBQ or a campfire grill. And it packs down v small. Have not used it as a BBQ yet, only over a fire - brilliant. We had to let the fire go to an embery state first, though, and then build it back up later once cooking was dne - but all easily managed.

Blu Wed 17-Aug-11 19:29:04

Sorry, messed up first link. But Outwell like this and there is a bigger one on Amazon.

Also - the lady who sells campfire grills will meet you at Victoria Station and hand it over to save you the high p&p costs, if that is close to you.

We could manage with a BBQ and one of the single 'suitcase' gas burners - I didn't take the double burner stove last time we went, with it's big old gas bottle...

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