A rural retreat.

Last week we headed over to the most serene little corner of the countryside. We wound up driving down that bumpy country road last Wednesday after a completely last minute decision. I was supposed to book us a lovely sunny holiday abroad before the holidays even started, but one day turned into two, and before I know we’re four weeks in and I still haven’t found anywhere that doesn’t cost two grand for a week in a 2 star at best. So I went to plan B. Camping.

I have to admit, I wasn’t overly sold on sleeping out in the elements. I mean, it would have been fine was it just me and Sam, I’m low maintenance, cup of tea, a good book. I’m right as rain. The girls however, rather ashamedly are big on their electronics – though our ‘iPad’ break of last year is still standing!- Mischa’s gasp of “But mum, how will we watch TV?!” Sold me on it. I spent my youth wandering the local woodlands, playing on rope swings, nursing nettled legs. My girls are slightly more sheltered. I let them run free, we regularly go out and about. But the actual freedom of spending the whole day from morning till dinner time “playing out” isn’t something my two have really managed to live through yet.

So, we went back to basics. Well, I say basics. I ended up booking a luxury teepee at the rather gorgeous looking Kings acre glamping. We got a really good last minute deal on Pitch up, £129 for 2 nights. And after creating a mini meal plan of very delicious and non-boring food we cook cook over the fire. we spent no more on £180 for the entire trip!

So, after receiving a very lovely email from Jess (the co-owner) giving me all the details for our stay, I got us packed up and off we went on our journey. The trip took less than 1 hour 10mins from Preston (if any locals are interested.) and the actual campsite was really easy to get too, they’ve even put up little signs to guide you to them.

Once at the site, we parked up and was led to our gorgeous little home for the few days we had the “Little owl” tent, which consisted of a large double bed, two fold out single futons, bedside tables, a chest for storage, a fire pit and enough comfy outdoor chairs for us all. It. Was. Perfect.

We jumped right on in, unpacked, and sat on those chairs out in the sunshine, looking over at the welsh valley views and hearing nothing but the sounds of birds and gentle winds blowing through the acorn tree above. I would go into loads of detail about what we did there, but truthfully, we did nothing for two days. We lazed and ate, we sat by the lake and read. I lay with a cold beer and watched the girls run around freely with the two adorable and completely friendly resident dogs. it was everything I could have hoped for. My only regret is that we didn’t book an extra night!

So, that was it. our little family trip away. If you’re wanting to do something similar before the summers out, here are a few of my best tips.

  • Make a meal plan. For our trip I pre cut and mixed Chicken fajita’s and Garlic n’ herb steak, potatoes and veg. I kept them in a those takeaway style foil trays, in a cool bag with a constantly frozen ice pack. We ate the chicken on the first night (for obvious reasons) and the steak was so beautifully marinated for our second night. I also made cheese and peppered ham pizza pockets wrapped in foil for lunch, you just literally throw them on the fire, turn after a few minutes, unwrap and enjoy.

 

  • Take a washing up bowl, liquid, sponge and a tea towel. Simple, but it just makes clean up after meal times quick and easy.

 

  • Take carrier bags for your rubbish. Again, simple but make sit easy to keep everywhere tidy. (don’t forget to find out if your camp recycles before you start just throwing everything into general waste.)

 

  • Find out if your camp can supply firewood. If they do, use it. Our lovely hosts dropped off a massive wheel barrow of wood for only £5. otherwise we would have been left with the random coal bag we brought. Which will cook the food, but won’t give you a glorious camp fire to spend you’re evenings staring into.

 

  • Don’t forget to pack entertainment for the kids. We where lucky a few of our campmates let the girls play with frisbee’s and footballs, but really I should have been a bit more organised than telling them they can pack one rucksack with toys – Mischa brought a star cushion ?! Next time we’ll be bringing some more outdoor games.

 

  • And finally. This is a biggie, but if you can… turn off your phone. Completely for the whole trip. It was the best thing I did, I was completely present for the entire thing, I had no idea what was happening in the world, and even though I had my camera I wasn’t spending the whole time creating Insta worthy shots. It was just us, our little garden and the sweet silence of the countryside. Perfection.

 

You can see all the shots I took below. I did narrow it down from about 900 photos!

 

 

 

I’m already so excited to book our next trip to kings acre. Bring on the Easter holidays!

Robyn,

The little woman pretends.

 

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