Family Friendly Camping and Sunshine


Hello sunshine. I stretched out in the sun, behind a pair of big shades, cup of tea in hand, enjoying a ‘moment’ while my son played on the grass a few feet away. I hear him laughing. We’ve been camping this last weekend. Away from distractions. Camping seems to bring out something in my boy, he loves a little bit of nature, bugs to find, he was thrilled to spot a deer, skittish in long grass but stopping long enough for us to spy him or her. Camping gives my boy space to run and run he does, in the thrill of being outdoors, routine left behind. It gives us time to play games, it gives him freedom to explore. A sleeping bag and a dark tent fills him with excitement. Waking up to bird song cheers him. Less me, those birds start so early!

I felt the sunshine on my face and in my mind’s eye saw the school holidays looming and told myself we must make a plan to more of this, to do more camping.

Our previous camping experiences have been farm camping. Which has its charms, but it is very much find a spot and take pot luck, with facilities, with who might camp right up against your tent (despite having the option of an otherwise empty field). Mostly, we’ve had amazing experiences.

This weekend we opted for the more formal camping. As guests of the The Camping and Caravanning Club, we shook out our sleeping bags and packed up the stove and some tea bags and headed to their Hertford site, where they were celebrating National Camping and Caravanning week, with food, bouncy castles and family games.

national camping and caravan week event

Unsure of what to expect and was delighted to find a warm welcome and a lovely organised site. I liked the clean facilities and set pitches. It’s a more regulated way of camping but actually that really works for camping as a family. I don’t want to have to ‘suggest’ to a group of teenagers at 1 am that they turn their music off (Been there, thanks). We got to spend time with fellow bloggers Penny from Aresidence and Monika Mum on the Brink.

The Camping and Caravanning club or the friendly club, as they also like to be known, pride themselves on facilities and services developed by people who love camping. There is a huge number of sites to choose in the UK, and (which surprised me) abroad. Campsites local to events and attractions. Locations far from the crowds in unique places. Camping that offers a ‘perk’, that special something extra. Our perk was seeing a deer and finding a green and spacious spot, so near to London. Making for an easy city escape.
Camping and caravanning club

We were treated to a nature walk with David Bellamy, the Club President and general wildlife legend. That’s my boy at the front, hanging on his every word, examining leaves. It reminded me how much he loves nature. I’m keen to take Noo to one of their Forest Campsites, I’ve been browsing the website and it’s an experience as a family we would love (Watch this space!).

Camping makes for a more affordable way to enjoy some time away over the summer holidays. My camping highlight is the end of the day when the light turns golden. The wine is open and the air smells of BBQs. The bustle of camp life, children making long shadows as they tumble across the grass. Adults cooking, snippets of voices and laughter. The conventions and routines of regular home-life put to one side, bath time and bedtimes don’t matter. I like to sit in my camp chair and take it all in, savour time slowing down a little bit.

Fancy camping? What do you love most about camping?

We were lent an Outwell tent for duration of our stay. Find out more on my Google + page including photos.

Disclourse. We were guests of The Camping and Caravanning Club. All words and opinions are my own.


  1. Mammasaurus

    David Bellamy – how cool! I do a pretty mean impression of him too…
    Love camping as a family, we took Kitty and Ozzy away camping a couple of times last year and they loved it – the novelty, the outdoor fun that comes with it and most of all toasting marshmallows over a campfire!

  2. knittymummy

    David Bellamy terrifies me. I remember my grandparents forcing me to queue for his autography in Harrods when I was a child. I wanted to run a mile then and I probably still would!

  3. Pingback: A Residence with The Camping and Caravan Club, Hertford - The Alexander Residence | The Alexander Residence

  4. Melksham Mum

    Looks fantastic! I’ve always been put off Camping & Caravan Club sites but will not dismiss so readily now! If you’re looking for a lovely site down our way Greenacres in Pilton nr Glastonbury is great. 🙂

  5. Mum in Meltdown

    Camping was always something I had vowed never to do, however a chance loan of a tent a few years back and I was hooked ( even though we had the worst bank holiday weather ever!). We camp all the time now- totally love it 🙂

  6. Pingback: David Bellamy at the National Camping and Caravanning week nature walk Hertford

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  8. Rick Lomas

    I was planning a UK trip and deciding between The Caravan Club and The Camping and Caravanning Club. Gemma, your blog swung it for me especially when I realised that Tiswas legend (oops showing my age now) David Bellamy was involved. I’m looking forward to my first trip in October.

    1. helloitsgemma

      Rick, thank you. Am really pleased. I’ve written a further post about camping in the New Forest – which is a joint venture between Camping and Caravanning Club and the Forestry Commission. Lovely lovely part of the world. Just pick your sites carefully as facilities vary. Hope you have a wonderful time.

      1. Rick Lomas

        Thank you for the reply. As it happens I was just talking to my brother about Glebe Meadow Fishery near Wellingborough, Northamptonshire. He said: “It is housed between the sewage works and a animal rendering place. Read the scary review about barbed wire and locked in at night!” – so I will be aware of that! I write quite a lot on a motorhome hire site so I might drop a few links your way as I like your passionate writing 🙂

  9. Pingback: Camping in the Forest - Helloitsgemma | Helloitsgemma

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