I’ve had a few mixed experiences camping as a family, ranging from the packing up and going home early end of the spectrum to the oh I want to stay forever. I think it’s safe to say that I need a level of comfort (and pretty) when I go camping but that’s not to say that I don’t love getting back to nature. In fact switching off and being in the moment with the kiddos is the real magic of camping as well as seeing all the simple stuff new and afresh through their eyes. Luckily, we got to experience all this and more at a local glamping site called Jollydays. Cue picture heavy post (I’m not even sorry).
We stayed in one of the site’s Deluxe Tents, which was a great size for a family of five, with plenty of space for Bea’s travel cot in the lounge and well yes, we had a whole living room, in the middle of a canvas tent. You can imagine how much I loved that up-cycled sideboard. Our tent also had its own separate little kitchen and a bathroom (I had a bath in a tent!!!!). With minimal electricity, the tent is mainly lit by candles and the odd fairy light which adds to the wonderfully magical feel after dark. When night falls, you are very much aware that you are in the middle of a pitch black forest but it is great for spotting stars or moon-gazing, while you sit around the barbecue. And when we did venture indoors, we cosied up around the log-burning stove, toasted marshmallows and made up spooky stories to entertain ourselves. It had that amazing feeling, you know when you feel like you’re really making memories.
The great thing about this place is that the tents are nicely spaced out so you feel secluded (but not isolated) and the kids can run around the area without straying too far out of sight. Charlie and Florence ran around like mad things, climbing trees and collecting pine cones and even Bea negotiated the terrain really well. It felt wild and safe all at the same time. A previous resident of our tent had even built the most amazing little wooden den out of branches that we made use of too. But if you’re feeling sociable there’s a nice community feel to the site as well, where folk gather around the central campfire which burns day and night, help themselves to the eternally open tea tent and generally muck about in the woods.
Waking up under canvas, listening to the birds singing overhead was lovely. And even though our tent was glam we still had frosty breath the next day. But we stoked up the fire and made hot chocolate to dip our pastries into. The kids ate theirs outside, just because. Even when we had vacated the tent, we were encouraged to stay on site and play as long as we liked so we spent most of the morning having the best game of hide and seek in the middle of a beautiful forest. We even spotted some fresh deer prints and loads of wild flowers to keep me happy too. Big thanks to Jollydays for allowing us to have a little slice of magic in the woods.
Disclosure: We stayed one night in a deluxe tent at Jollydays free of charge for review purposes. As always, all opinions are honest and my own.