We’re back from our first ever family camping trip and I’m pleased to report that not only did we survive, we actually had a really, really good time and might even do it again sometime….
We had a great time and I’m really sad that I can’t share most of the pictures with you (we went with two other couples and four other kids and I don’t like using pictures with other children in for obvious reasons) but if I could show you some of the 600+ pictures we took between us, you’d see rock climbing, dancing, laughing, singing, playing, water fights, picnics – basically good old fashioned family fun. Not a mobile phone, laptop or games console in sight!
We were really lucky because the weather was gorgeous all weekend and the camp site we stayed at was basic but lovely. The toilets and showers were within a very short walk from where we pitched our tent and were nice and clean. There was a play park for the kids, a shop selling the basics and a games room with table tennis and pool. Even though the site was quite busy, there was plenty of space between the tent pitches and still enough empty field area for the kids to play football and for us all to have a giant rounders game. There was even a pub close by for Mr Frugal to go and watch the England match in.
Our friends have a huge tent – seriously huge with a living area, three bedrooms and a kitchen and we spent 99% of our time at the camp site around their tent which is a good job because the tent we borrowed from our friends to use for the weekend was much smaller. It was ideal for this trip but I think it would be too small if there was just us and we were using it for anything other than sleeping in. I’m going to be sensible though and not buy us a tent until we’ve been a few times to see if we do really like camping or if it was the weather and the company that made the weekend so good.
We went to Brimham Rocks on Saturday and had a great day climbing the rocks before going back to the camp site to cool the kids down with a water fight. If you ever get the chance to visit, I highly recommend it – especially as it’s free other than the car parking charge of £4.00. There’s lots of really unusual rock formations and everyone (including me) had great fun climbing them.
Yesterday we went to the beautiful Fountains Abbey, another place I would highly recommend (not so frugal though – unless you’re a member of National Trust or English Heritage it’s about £25 per family). We had a lovely wander round the abbey and even managed a good walk around the extensive grounds before setting back off home. The route we took on our walk was about four miles and the kids enjoyed it so much that even with the heat and the distance we walked, there was hardly any moaning from any of them.
I asked Miss Frugal what the best three things about this weekend were and she said ‘the first day, the second day and the third day’. When I asked Master Frugal what his thoughts were he said it was ‘the best weekend ever in his life’.
Would I recommend camping as a frugal getaway? Absolutely, definitely YES. For the grand sum of £36.00 (£18 a night at the camp site) we’ve had a brilliant weekend.