My husband and I used to camp a lot before we had children. We'd decide, on a whim, to go away for the weekend & just throw our tent in the car along with a few basic necessities, and drive to wherever the mood took us. We generally camped in quieter sites with basic facilities, opting for decent views and romantic surroundings over pet corners and soft-play areas.
These days, since the arrival of the children, our choice of campsite may have changed, but our love of camping has not. And it's great to see that the twins appear to love camping too.
Just over a week ago, we had our last camp of the season. I just had to write about the site, because it was BRILLIANT.
We went with close friends of ours - they also have 3 children - to Whitemead Forest Park, in the Forest Of Dean. It's a Civil Service Members Association site, although it is open to non-members as well. It is located deep in the heart of the Forest; the toots of the Forest Steam Railway in the distance by day, and the chiming of a church bell echoing through the trees by night, add to the charm of the site, which is really pretty, well laid out, and immaculately kept.
Wandering around the site, it was surprisingly full, yet at no point did the place feel busy or crowded. There are large green open spaces, a playground, sports areas, forest walks, etc, and also a really decent number of facilities, which would definitely come into their own in case of wet weather.
One of the things I loved most about Whitemead was that we felt we could, unlike some campsites we've been to, manage to avoid the more commercial aspects of the site if we wished, without the children feeling that they're missing out in some way (they're starting to pick up on such things!). We didn't feel forced or pressured into using any of the facilities at all.
When I reflect on all that we did in just 2 days & 2 nights there (see photo below, although there's a lot more I could add), I realise why we all came back exhausted, but with huge smiles on our faces and a definite intention to return when the camping season next begins; it was a perfect final camp of 2012.