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Camping - where? what? how?

(30 Posts)
popsycal Wed 24-Mar-04 09:27:54

I sound like the hoobs!

Anyway - we are discussing summer holidays and, for a variety of reasons, are considering camping to be our main choice.

I am a camping novice (apart from guide camp aged 11) but dh has camped lots when he was travelling but in hot countries. He is also (how can I put this politely?) a 'minimalist' and would only take the very bare essentials. He is also badly organised so it would probably down to me to ensure we have the necessities. HMPH!!

So! First - recommendations of where to go.
We are in the north east - if we were to go north, we would only want to travel 3 hours maximum. Going further south, we have places we could stay off for the night (family/friends) but don't want to travel more than 3 hours per day.
We would also like to be close to things to do if it should rain (eg sealife centre, swimming pool, etc). Just thought about France actually....somewhere nearish to an airport that does cheap flights.....?

Second! What do we need? Dh reckons he has a tent (hmmm -I have never seen it!). WHat are the essentials and what are the nice 'extras' to take?

Third - DS will be two in the summer when we go - any "Do and Don'ts" for camping with a toddler?

Any advice greatly appreciated

fio2 Wed 24-Mar-04 09:32:51

there was a great thread on this once, I will try and find it. Dont worry I will get your backpack to you before then!! LOL

My Mum and Stepdad do camping in france and have found it is cheaper to hire a tent due to all the insurances, dont know if this is true or not, someone?

WideWebWitch Wed 24-Mar-04 09:41:19

popsycal, you need katherine, she is an expert camper. try searching on her ame fio2. i am 1 handed scuse typing

fio2 Wed 24-Mar-04 09:42:46

here it is here

fio2 Wed 24-Mar-04 09:43:20

yes I was going to say Katherine is the expert too wwww

popsycal Wed 24-Mar-04 11:56:02

oh thanks for that link it is great!
Does anyone have any suggestions about France and camping.....would have to be within an hor or so of an airport.....just off to find ot which easyjet flights to france go from newc or leeds

popsycal Wed 24-Mar-04 11:59:15

oh newc only goes to nice,....and only at 6:30am!
anyone know which cheap airlines fly out of leeds/bradford as easyjet does not

Hulababy Wed 24-Mar-04 12:06:08

Popsy - just thinking of sleeping arrangements - for your DS. One idea for him might be a ready bed. We got one for DD who is only a few months older and she loves it. It is a blow up bed (takes 4-5 minutes to do with the hand pump included) which has a fleecy sleeping bag attached to it. Bag bit can be machne washed. Loads of designs: DD has Barbie but also Thomas, Tweenies, Disney, etc. Cost £29.99. Comes with one bag - lightweight and easy to cart around.

Here's an example

Hulababy Wed 24-Mar-04 12:07:14

Is the airline from Leeds/Bradford called Jet 2 or something similar?

popsycal Wed 24-Mar-04 12:07:49

hula - i really like that - think we may need one of these anyway as he is too long for his travel cot almost when we go to relatives etc

Hulababy Wed 24-Mar-04 12:17:15

We use it for when visiting family and friends, although the first day we got it DD wanted to sleep in it that night! She slept really well in it - considering the problems we had at Christmas with her sleeping full stop, we were really happy. She even found room for Baby Annabelle in there too

Freddiecat Wed 24-Mar-04 12:23:45

popsycal! have done 3 weeks of camping with DS!

beds: airbed (for comfort) + carrymat (for warmth) + thick duvet underneath for more comfort. take your own duvets and pillows plus take DS's grobag.

(we are so not minimalists when it comes to camping but you saw our car one time)

camping fridge - kept in car for adhoc rural market cheese purchases

camping chairs - including one for DS. our DS got a Gelert kids camping chair for Christmas and he loves it!

can recommend excellent campsite in north wales bryn gloch - play area, lovely setting, BATH room which is unusual, clean shower blocks, close to attractions, PLUS has the Welsh Highland Railway running through the campsite which means proper steam trains every hour with all the excitement a 2 year old could want from that! didn't try the pub within 1 mile but there's a brew-pub further down the valley which oddly we didn't eat at but don't know why as the perfectly decent family room is stuffed full of little tikes toys.

you need a tent of a decent size though. the bedroom needs to fit all 3 of you in (needs to be 4 berth really) and you need extra space in the tent for toys and being in if it rains.

popsycal Wed 24-Mar-04 12:24:31

Freddie - i was going to email you later today to ask - only just remembered that you were the guru!!

popsycal Wed 24-Mar-04 12:26:52

Freddie - so THAt is the place...actually - north wales might be a good place to go......we have family in yorkshire and friends in chester and manchester.......
but it is a huge drive from you, isn't it!

Freddiecat Wed 24-Mar-04 12:29:19

standard south to north wales of 5 hours

popsycal Wed 24-Mar-04 12:30:18

longer than from here to north wales!!!

elliott Wed 24-Mar-04 12:47:33

popsycal, don't know if this is of any relevance but we are doing 'camping for softies' in Sept with 2 ds's - i.e. going with Eurocamp where the tents are provided with plenty of space and campbeds. We are doing fly drive to Geneva from East Midlands Airport (where my parents live), with the campsite in the French Alps.
We used to camp a fair bit before kids - I prefer camping outside the UK where the weather is more reliable - and this is a kind of compromise/trying out camping again with kids. One problem with taking your own tent is that the amount of kit you need to take with you soon becomes ridiculous - and self drive from the NE to anywhere with decent weather takes forever.

If you are serious about flydrive, look at - their brochure (and hence presumably their website) lists all the budget carriers to French regional airports. Its worth checking out Teesside as well as Leeds/Bradford - East Midlands is about a 3 hour drive from here.

If you are really sticking to the UK, I would suggest you think about the Lakes or even Northumberland coast - then at least if you get rained off you can easily bale out and come home!
And I woudl probably have a go with a weekend before you decide about the main holiday....hth

popsycal Wed 24-Mar-04 12:51:07

hadn't thought of eurocamp - will look them up now

elliott Wed 24-Mar-04 13:12:59

other companies doing the same thing as Eurocamp are canvas holidays and keycamp.

hmb Thu 25-Mar-04 07:40:58

This is a *great* option. Have done both Canvas and Keycamp and the tents and facilities are first rate. The kids clubs are a bnus, and dd loved to go along and make some friends. Not as cheap and having your own kit in the long term, but great!

We are going to Holland with Canvas this Easter. Taking the soft option in a caravan

Mummysurfer Thu 25-Mar-04 07:50:04

We did this last year with a company called Carisma - very similar to keycamp Eurocamp etc. but significantly cheaper plus all of their sites are beach sites with direct access onto the beaches. altho' we wnet to only one site in south vendee a friend has been to a few so i can give you more info if you want

Mummysurfer Thu 25-Mar-04 07:52:33

we went to this site

popsycal Thu 25-Mar-04 09:04:04

mummysurfer - it would be great if you could get more info. WE would have to go in the school hols - probably early aug after ds's birthday. Did you fly or drive? We would prefer fly and drive if possible since we are so far north.....
do they provide all equipment or not?

Mummysurfer Thu 25-Mar-04 14:06:05

We're near Manchester. We drove. dd suffers with travel sickness so we took it very slowly. took us 3 days to get there!!! day1 drove from here to portsmouth. day2 not much travelling - ferry to Cherboug, fastcat, wouldn't recommend it - then 1 hour journey to hotel stopover. day3 - 6 hour drive to site. this wasn't as bad as we expected, roads are brill, toll motorways mean they are raelly quiet, about £2 for a long journey.
on the way back we did it in 2 days! day1 -site to Cherboug plus ferry - ordinary ferry, would recommend this, more room for kids, big soft play arae, video room, choice of eating places, deck. styed overnight near portsmouth, day2 back home by 2pm.

Site info
somewhere i have the brouchure with scrawled notes from friend about the different sites. i will look for it and let you know. may take some time as this house has no filing systam, we just have a bad case of piles, and the brochure is in one of them. I also have one for the site we stayed on if booked direct, this is even cheaper, the down side of this is the kids clubs are only in french.
if you'd be interested in kids clubs i'd double check as i seem to think that Carisma only do for age 4+
but they are very laid back and if you were prepared to go too they'd let him join in too. one of us had to go last year as despite ds being old enough he wasn't prepared to stay without us. it worked well for us tho' , one of us went to kids club whilst the other packed the bags for the day/made the lunch/went to the laundry/raed. the site was called Les Dunes which meant out of caravan & onto sand. +side - we could sit & read whilst kids played around van. -side - caravan always full of sand, feet dirty for 2 weeks.

OK - i'll go & look for brochures. housework avoidance strategy

Mummysurfer Thu 25-Mar-04 14:06:49

oh yes - we went 9th august

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