Camping adventures in beautiful Devon, May 2022
Camping 30 minutes away from your house might seem a bit crazy at first glance…. However, I am here to tell you otherwise. It is, I have decided, a stroke of genius. And this is why…
Camping close to home…
- Being so close to home allows you to go to said home if the weather is dreadful. Big bonus. We were very lucky with the weather, but it was comforting to know, especially if you haven’t done much camping!
- The journey home at the end of the camping trip, when everyone is tired and you have run out of food, and you’ve had to cram everything back in the car, is short and sweet. You are home before you know it and you can relax (after the unpacking and the washing and the shouting obviously).
- Excitement levels of little adventurers at the beginning of the trip don’t become overwhelming on the journey because you are there before you know it – they can run wild and free just 30 minutes after excitedly leaving home.
- It really doesn’t matter where you camp when it is just for a couple of nights. It is the experience – the being away, the sleeping in a tent, the BBQ, the marshmallows, the not having to wash, the running and climbing and paddling – that matters. Not really the fact that you have travelled hours away. You could camp anywhere with kids; they will always love it. They are nuts aren’t they??!! So it works.
This half term we were lucky to have a couple of nights camping with friends in sunny Devon. We headed for a small, off the beaten track, campsite near Fingle Bridge. A great area for anyone local, being close to Exeter, Newton Abbot and surrounding areas. It is a gorgeously green part of the country, and the campsite was perfectly nestled in a valley, surrounded by trees and just minutes from the river.
Finding our wild…
This was a very basic campsite – as close to wild camping as you could get, without it being wild camping. This was great for a number of reasons:
- It was cheap and easy to book. There was loads of space and we could choose our spot from several large fields.
- The kids has so much space to roam free. There were large areas to play, a tree house, swings and plenty of trees to climb.
- My boys favourite part, I think (says it all), was the fact that the facilities were very limited. Toilet, sink, running water, but little else. They didn’t have to wash for two nights. That was their trip made….
- It wasn’t crowded at all – we had plenty of space and the freedom to do our own thing which was perfect for us.
Our top tips and favourite bits:
- We loved cooking over the camp fire every night. As facilities were so limited we went stocked with BBQs and food. We just made do with a cool box for the two nights and stocked our car up with plenty of food and snacks for the boys. Bottled water and lots of snacks. We shared a camping stove and had a big breakfast each morning to keep us going. Plenty of wine too (for us, not the kids).
- LAYERS. Wow did the temperature drop at night, so layers were key. Nothing worse than being cold! It was beautiful in the day, and we were so lucky to have really nice warm sunny days. It still got very cold though. Ralph (4) found it mind boggling that he was wearing two pairs of trousers at the same time…TWO pairs of trousers I tell you!! But I promise it was the only way.
- With a short trip like this we didn’t have any set plans and there was no pressure to fill the days with loads of activities. This was such a nice change, and it was honestly the most present and mindful I have felt in ages. No constant looking at our phones, or planning. Just being. We slept when we wanted to, woke up later than normal, spent hours just playing and eating breakfast. Then we had a lovely long walk and paddle in the river. I think just doing what you feel like at the time is a nice way to be when you’re camping. The kids loved it and there was no rushing for a change!
- Let them play. The best part was the space and freedom to explore. The kids got on so well and loved having the freedom to go adventuring. We were in a lovely big field, all of which we could see from our tent, so they could play in huge open spaces for hours without any kind of nagging! It was good old fashioned outdoor fun, and sometimes that is just exactly what you need.
The boys’ t-shirts and jumpers are available now – Force of Nature was the perfect design for some very wild camping! Click here for some adventure goodness…
You can check out some other adventures (this time in a shepherd’s hut!) here