Posted on June 03 2016
Holidays abroad aren't the only trips you can take with your kids – camping right here in the heart of the UK can be just as fun, and half as costly! Here are some tips and tricks if you’re planning a family camping trip, including what to pack, where to go and what to do.
What to pack
Obviously, you’ll be packing the tent, your clothes, toiletries, a first aid kit and all of the other camping essentials – but here are a few extras that will make your trip that little bit easier.
Comfortable sleeping pads. Children can have trouble sleeping when they’re not in their usual surroundings, so the best thing you could possibly do is to ensure their bed is as comfortable as possible with a foamy sleeping pad and pillow.
Maps, binoculars, compass and torches. What’s the point in camping if you can’t teach children a little more about the Great Outdoors? These small items can fit in a children’s backpack, and they can enhance the whole experience for little ones.
Clothes for all weather permutations. British weather is notoriously unpredictable – if you’re packing swimwear, you should also pack waterproofs just in case! If you’re packing wool jumpers and heavy coats, don’t forget to include a few light vests in case the weather picks up.
Where to go
The UK has an abundance of child-friendly camping sites – here are just a few:
Arthur’s Field is one of the most popular family camp sites in England. Situated in Treloan, Cornwall, there are plenty of exciting activities for children to get involved in, including feeding the animals on-site, camp-fire storytelling and art workshops.
Beddgelert camp site in the heart of Wales is situated right in the middle of a forest – but it’s just a five-minute walk to a local village with all the amenities you need. There’s a kid’s playground on site, as well as local attractions including Go Ape, the Welsh Highland Railway, and of course, Mount Snowdon.
Jerusalem Farm in Yorkshire is one for families who want to ‘rough it’. Children can learn about nature here, and there’s plenty of nature walks and cycle paths for the more active residents.
What to do
You've got no iPads, no television and no distractions – it sounds idyllic, but some parents break out into a cold sweat as they panic about keeping their little ones entertained without electricity! Here are a few suggestions:
A scavenger hunt is a typical camping activity that’s great for kids of all ages. Create a list beforehand (you can find many online) and send your little ones off (in groups of two, at least) to find leaves of a certain colour, rocks of a certain shape or special items like shells, seeds and pine cones.
Kids will love the thrill of cooking on a camp fire – it’s totally different from the microwave or oven at home! Ask for their help putting marshmallows onto skewers, but make sure you do the actual roasting yourself!
Start a ‘Camping Olympics’ competition. You could even get other families on the site involved! If you’re near a beach you’ll have an ideal space for the long jump, and a tug-o-war can be set up easily with just a piece of rope. Add in nature-themed events like skipping stones, or posing like a tree for the longest!